Category Archives: Terror

Pantomime Terror: Music and Politics

A welcome boost to sales numbers last month – some booksellers are doing it right. get them here

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Key ring terror distractor trinket

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Tucked in a side street in London Bridge today, a police stand handing out devices which I suspect.

I suspect an effort to distract from this evening’s BBCLondon report that Scotland Yard’s heavily redacted Operation Tiberius investigation covers up the exposure of 42 senior cops (and 19 former cops) for close links with drug crime and contract killings.

It is our duty, we are told: if you suspect it, report it.

J’suspect!

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On offer: this little show-bag of stuff from the dodgy non-uniform suits who refused to be photographed. I guess the key ring for terror is handy because I so want to be carrying that number around with me as a permanent anxiety reminder. That it came in what seems to be a used gram bag may only be coincidentally linked with the – let me repeat – exposure today that 42 members of the senior police were well paid crime syndicate stooges – as revealed in documents from Operation Tiberius previously heavily redacted by Scotland Yard but exposed tonight by BBCLondon.

The pen speaks for itself, was it previously used to sign payola cheques perhaps? I suspect it, so I report it.

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And this one just really is the perfect Fathers Day Trinket, no?

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FFS, I say, for fucks sake. Get these people a water cannon as soon as possible. Anyone need a news item to distract from the – did I mention – massive exposure of senior cops linked to crime syndicates?

Trinketization as damage control.

Hand Picked Stimulus Respond

I’ve two short bits of writing in this elegant little book from Jack Boulton, Stimulus Respond and Pavement Books. ‘The Politics of Cats’ and the bus part of the intro to ‘Pantomime Terror

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hand-Picked-Stimulus-Jack-Boulton/dp/0957147031

stimulus

Arun Kundnani The Muslims Are Coming!

The contrivers and conspirators of political surveillance (c.o.p.s.) – in Arun Kundnani’s new book p155.

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Pantomime Terror: MIA as Provocateur. Keynote address at International Centre for the Study of Culture, Giessen. 21 Nov 2013

Click on the image to get to Daily Motion to play. 55 mins. Thanks Raul Gschrey: it is on the same material as the last section of the book Pantomime Terror

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Pantomime Terror #music #politics

There’s a whole section on Wagner in this, and some humour. For the record… (you can preorder by clicking the cover):

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Terrorism gone to pot (not that kind) #trinket #trinketisation #crimbo

Sophie keeps on finding pantomime crimbo trinkets – these one’s on special – mustn’t be selling so well.

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Pantomime Terror – pre-order

Screen shot 2013-11-13 at 11.22.40Click here to preorder: http://www.zero-books.net/books/pantomime-terror

 

Pantomime Terror trinket of the day.

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talk at RMIT Melbourne

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John Hutnyk
.
Pantomime Terror: MIA’s lyrical opposition to Capital, Google and the Border Patrols.

 .
Monday 16 December 2013 4:30PM (room tbc)

Within the prevailing ‘keep calm and carry on’ conditions of the UK security regime, those who find safety in repressive complicity are also necessarily disabled from criticism of the war-effect as it appears everywhere. At best this turns anti-war opposition into performance, staged protest and the lyricism of music, song, drum and video. In this talk I examine the culture-inflected, low-intensity war alongside the shooting war. The video provocations of artists like M.I.A. (Mathangi Arulpragasam) can be read as dramatising difficulties that have occupied British South Asian musicians, writers, filmmakers and commentators in the context of a domestic civil liberties crackdown that replicates detention and terror security repression elsewhere.

talk is on the same day as one by Sophie Fuggle…

Flyers with room details:

GRC Seminar John Hutnyk 161213

GRC Seminar Sophie Fuggle 161213

 

Guardian keeping up appearances of a war on terror – 3 item count in today’s edition:

It seems like that fatigue has set in with the regular news item slot that supports the war on terror, so now new angles need to be found – mothers/geeks, aspergers/Loughborough, Mao/tourism – to bolster this bogus paranoia-inducing low-level constant anxiety under which we ‘live’.

NasateenaspterrorTiannenmen

(all from the Guardian, today 30.10.2013 -

what bets there will be Halloween-themed ones tomorrow?)

We are all terrorists…

Screen shot 2013-07-03 at 16.02.08The recent revelations of Snowdon and the cartoon today from Bell don’t really seem that new. Though the following is also another paragraph from the Panto book to fall as a cutting to the floor, I remember the report where MI5 decided that we were all suspect:

If MI5 say there are no particular characteristics of a terrorist, nothing marks them out, all of us are suspect – and indeed, the contemporary nation state is increasingly only one of armed power. Jankel armed police vans in the streets of Britain, attack helicopters in Afghanistan, taps on your phone and inside your ipod. The people with beards are not all terrorists, and people without beards are not all terrorists, rather, all those with or without beards should be investigated, kettled and corralled – the terrorists are everywhere. They are, you are, we are – at risk of the wrath of Slavoj Žižek – all terrorists while actual attacks on particular sectors of the public, and with new legislation, new legal and administrative powers (detention, DNA, CCTV), Extraordinary Rendition (see Paglin 2006), expanded prison population, deportations, exclusions and a Whitehall Research Information and Communications Unit to counter Al Qaida brand ‘spin’ (Guardian August 26 2008) just some of the wide-spectrum targeting that runs cultural cover for political control.

The Hanging Channel spin offs

A new satellite service from the people who brought you ‘Captive Camera (Gitmo)’, ‘America’s Funniest NSA Surveillance Videos’, the YouTube viral sensation ‘LiveScream direct from the heart of Bhagram’ prison, and ‘The Hanging Channel™’ (the one with the ‘real’ – accept no substitutes – Saddam Hussein billion dollar drop – hosted by Devilish McCall).

Must see screen moments on this new service include (live links to be provided later):

- George Bush snr golfing

- George W reading stories to children when the TT were hit

- Obama watching the snuff film from Abbottabad with Hilary

- Hilary saying ‘wow’ to her blackberry when Gaddafi was killed

and other gems. Do not miss this. Parental misguidance recommended.

 

(essay on the Hanging channel see here)

 

 

GERMANY, THE FAR RIGHT AND THE NSU TRIAL

Written by IRR European News Team

Attacks in Germany linked to the NSU trial demonstrate that the far Right does not need a stimulus for violence.

Following the brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich and attacks on several mosques, the government-funded Tell MAMA project warned of the dangers of cumulative extremism, tit-for-tat violence between Islamists and counter-jihadists and a ‘spiral of violence’ seemingly without end. Government counter-extremism programmes in other European countries, which tend likewise to locate all violence within a cumulative extremism framework, have been hotly contested by anti-fascists who point out that violence is central to the far Right’s modus operandi and needs no stimulus. Since the trial of the sole surviving member of the NSU and four suspected accomplices started at the Munich Higher Regional Court on 6 May (the trial is expected to last for two years) journalists from a number of newspapers, and organisations like the Media Team of the Munich Alliance Against Nazi Terror and Racism have been documenting acts of far-right intimidation and violence associated with the trial. And the Coordination Council of Muslims in Germany (KRM) have called for better protection of mosques during the NSU trial period as, according to KRM spokesman Aiman Mazyek ‘Democracies are supposed to ensure security for places of worship’.

For instance, as the trial began, between 10 and 20 May, four mosques were vandalised, in Bullay, in the Rhineland-Palatinate state, as well as its capital, Mainz; in the town of Lengerich in Steinfurt and Düren in North Rhine-Westphalia. In the Duren attack, the perpetrators scrawled on the mosque the words ‘The NSU is alive and you will be the next victims’. Many acts of political intimidation have taken place in Bavaria where the NSU trial is taking place in its capital Munich. The Bavarian Refugee Council has had its building repeatedly vandalised and the Kurt-Eisner-Verein and the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung offices have also been attacked. Residents at the housing project Ligsalz8 (which has also been repeatedly vandalised) were pelted with eggs on 8 May and, on 13 May the door of the Munich office of the legal team representing family members of a victim of the NSU was ‘extensively’ daubed with excrement and urine. The Süddeutsche Zeitungcomments that this ‘is unlikely’ to be a ‘coincidence’. The Spiegel also took the same line when it reported on 16 May that the home of anti-racist activists was pelted with paint bombs. ‘They want us to feel unsafe’, one of the activists told the paper. ‘We won’t allow ourselves to be intimidated.’

RELATED LINKS

Media Team of the Munich Alliance Against Nazi Terror

NSU Watch

Extended coverage! #Woolwich

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tf4eXbk7ME&feature=share

Who remembers Ibrahim?

Ibrahim-Al-MarashiIbrahim al-Marashi was the guy whose article was plagiarised from the Middle East Review by Blair and Labour in 2003 to justify the start of the second Iraq war against Saddam. al-Marashi complained about not being cited properly, and one hopes, much else. It seems he went on to be a pretty cool history professor if you go by the comments on Rate My Professor: here.

Trinkets in Camps

Doc Richard Iveson is a harvester of obscure snippets and curios, none escape his ability to comb through the detritus of philosophy for gems to hold up to the gloaming (apols to Benjamin and Kracauer):

Hi John. I’m in the middle of writing a paper on Catherine Malabou and along
the way I came across an unusual use of the word “trinket” which (if
you don’t already know) I thought you might find interesting -
according to Wolfgang Sofsky (in ‘The Order of Terror’), in the Nazi
concentration camp at Ravensbruck (a women’s camp), the prisoners who
were beyond any possibility of surviving (i.e. the ‘Muselmanner’) were
known as ‘trinkets’. Odd, but provocative, don’t you think?

Protest 5.10.2012

Friends of Al-Aqsa

EMERGENCY PROTEST in support of Babar and Talha

Babar Ahmad

This is the last stand. Join us tomorrow.

When: Friday 5th, 10am -12pm   Where: Strand, London, WC2A 2LL, Map

Tube: Holborn Underground Station – Temple Underground Station

We Are Babar Ahmad, Stop The War, Muslim Council of Britain, London Transport Region – RMT, Enough Coalition, IHRC, Cage Prisoners, British Muslim Initiative, Muslim Association of Britain, Friends of Al Aqsa, Islamic Forum Europe, FOSIS, Muslim Safety Forum, iEngage and MDUK.

 

  Friends of Al-Aqsa Donate to Friends of Al-Aqsa Friends of Al-Aqsa Facebook Friends of Al-Aqsa Twitter

Details from We are Baba Ahmad campaign:

PRESS RELEASE

Emergency Protest in support of Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th October 2012

Thursday 4th October 2012

The ‘We Are Babar Ahmad Campaign’ along with partner organisations, is holding a protest outside the Royal Courts of Justice on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th October from 10am asking for an immediate stay of extradition for Syed Talha Ahsan and Babar Ahmad.

As the Judges decide on representations from the lawyers of both men, it is important to note that their cases are very different from the others. Both are British Citizens accused of wrongdoing in Britain who have been held collectivey in maximum security prisons for 14 years without trial nor with any evidence being presented to them. The Home Affairs Select Committe which reviewed their cases has expressed grave concern. Boris Johnson, The Mayor of London has backed their right to be tried in Britain.

Dr Ismail Jalisi, speaking on behalf of ‘We Are Babar Ahmad’, said, “The extradition of these men to the United States must be stopped by the Home Secretary. The incarceration of these two men without trial and then carting them off to a country that does not need to provide any prima facie evidence even when it agrees that the allegations are based on actions that occurred here in Britain is quite frankly farcical.”

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) declared in July 2004 and December 2006, as did the UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith in September 2006, that there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to charge Babar Ahmad with any criminal offence in the UK. Since then in 2011 the CPS revealed for the first time that evidence had been sent to the US without ever having been reviewed by them. The Director of Public Prosecution has refused to prosecute the men despite being able to call on the Metropolitan Police to show them evidence that it deliberately witheld and sent straight to the United States.

As the Judges determine whether a stay of extradition should be granted to Babar and Talha the Shadow Justice Secretary, Sadiq Khan MP has backed the campaign saying “If there is evidence against them they should be tried in the UK”.

Partners for the protest include: Stop The War, Muslim Council of Britain, London Transport Region – RMT, Enough Coalition, IHRC, Cage Prisoners, British Muslim Initiative, Muslim Association of Britain, Friends of Al Aqsa, Islamic Forum Europe, Muslim Safety Forum, iEngage and MDUK.

ENDS

Details from the Free Tahla Ahsan Campaign site [now slightly dated, since extradition is immanent, see above]:

Talha Ahsan is a British-born poet and writer with Asperger syndrome facing extradition to America.

If convicted he will spend 70 years in “supermax” solitary confinement in ADX Florence.

Read on and help stop this injustice.

Who is Talha Ahsan?

Talha Ahsan is a British citizen born in London in 1979. He was educated at Dulwich College before receiving first class honours in Arabic from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). In the week of his arrest he had job interviews to train as a librarian. His mother describes him as “a serious, bookish young man… a very gentle, softly spoken and thoughtful boy.”

Talha has Asperger Syndrome (a form of autism). In a medico legal report of June 2009, a consultant psychiatrist described him as “an extremely vulnerable individual who from a psychiatric perspective would be more appropriately placed in a specialist service for adults with autistic disorders.”

He is also a keen poet and has received acclaim from novelist A.L. Kennedy amongst others.


Why is he in prison?

Talha Ahsan was arrested at his home on 19 July 2006 in response to a request from the USA under the Extradition Act 2003 which does not require the presentation of any prima facie evidence. He is accused in the US of terrorism-related offences arising out of an alleged involvement over the period of 1997-2004 with the Azzam series of websites, one of which happened to be located on a server in America.

He has never been arrested or questioned by British police, despite a number of men being so from his local area in December 2003 for similar allegations. All of them were released without charge.

One of them, Babar Ahmad, was later compensated £60,000 by the Metropolitan police after a civil case in March 2009 for the violent physical abuse during his arrest. It was evidence from this incident which formed the basis of Talha’s arrest two and a half years later.

Talha is currently making a final appeal to the European Courts of Human Rights (ECHR). He has now served the equivalent of a 12 year sentence at high security prisons without trial. He has never visited America. He denies all charges.

What is ‘Supermax’?

Imagine being confined in a 75.5sq feet cell with only a concrete slab and a thin mattress for a bed for 23 to 24 hours a day for every day of your life – the only window three inches wide looking out to a concrete pit…

This is the prospect Talha faces if extradited and convicted in the US – life without parole  in solitary confinement at ADX Florence, Colorado.

Virtually all of an ADX prisoner’s daily activities occur within the confines of his single cell. Food is delivered through a slot in the door, and he eats his meals alone. He receives educational and religious programming – and some medical care – through a black and white television in his cell. When an inmate is moved outside his cell, he is shackled behind the back, and subject to a strip search.

His cell window looks out onto the concrete pit that serves as an outdoor recreation area. The sun is never visible. Prisoners at ADX  rarely have contact with any other living thing, except the gloved hands of the correctional officers. Prisoners never touch soil, see plant life or view the surrounding mountains.

Prisoners in ADX receive one 15 minute social telephone call per month. Any call that is “accepted” (even by an answering machine) is considered “completed” regardless of the duration. Visits with family members are separated by a glass screen with only a telephone to speak through. The inmate is shackled throughout the visit.

In 2006, the U.N. Committee Against Torture expressed concern about “prolonged isolation periods” and “the extremely harsh regime” in US Supermax prisons.  It is little wonder that the former warden of ADX Florence described the prison as a ‘clean version of hell.’

What do his supporters want?

Talha deserves freedom or a fair trial in the UK. He has received a wide coalition of support. They include his local MP and shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan; novelist, A L Kennedy; former Guantanamo detainee, Moazzam Begg, and the civil rights organisation, Scotland Against Criminalising Communities (SACC).

The Government accepts the possibility for the case to be resolved by a domestic prosecution as the ECtHR highlights in their admissibility judgement of July 2010. In November 2011, his co-defendant, Babar Ahmad, initiated a parliamentary debate with over 149,000 signatures in an e-petition for a UK trial demonstrating the will of the British public for these cases. There are many legal precedents to try these charges in the UK.

One case is R v. Sheppard and Whittle (January 2010), in which the appellants were charged with possession, publication and distribution of racially inflammatory material on websites hosted in California. Lord Justice Scott Baker ruled the UK was the appropriate forum for prosecution as the substantial measure of activities constituting the crime, such as the writing and maintenance of the websites, took place in the UK.

The Home Secretary should also give special consideration to his medical condition. In the USA 97% of defendants plead guilty under pressure from prosecutors. A decision to try Talha in the US will only ensure his trial is as unfair as prosecutors can make it.
How does this affect me?


The Extradition Act 2003 devalues the sovereignty of British citizenship. It was fast-tracked into UK legislation without proper scrutiny. Under the current provisions, British judges have no opportunity to decide which country is more suitable for prosecution and nor can they assess the quality of evidence from the requesting state.

In June 2011 the cross-party Joint Committee on Human Rights called for the implementation of a ‘most appropriate forum’ safeguard. This would allow a British judge to refuse extradition where the alleged offence took place wholly or largely in the UK.

The committee of MPs and peers also recommended that the Government ‘urgently’ renegotiate the US-UK extradition treaty to exclude granting requests in cases where the UK prosecution authorities have already decided not to investigate the individual on the same evidence adduced by the US authorities. These calls were reinforced by a cross-party consensus after parliamentary debates in November and December 2011, as well as the Home Affairs Committee report on extradition in March 2012.

A country that has demonstrated such a flagrant disregard for human rights in recent years is not the proper forum for justice. David Blunkett, the home secretary who was responsible for the act, now expresses regret at its consequences. Any concerned British citizen must work against such a law.

 

Poetry After Guantanamo

a piece on MIA, now available as a pre-print citable version on email request (first 50 only). Shoot me a line to get the code.

 

link PoetryafterGuantanamo

Poetry After Guantanamo

a piece on MIA, now available as a pre-print citable version on email request (first 50 only). Shoot me a line to get the code.

 

link PoetryafterGuantanamo

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