Thursday, September 30, 2010

Amnesty International to Polisario Front: Where is Mostafa Salma Sidi Mouloud?

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC STATEMENT


AI Index: MDE 03/002/2010

23 September 2010



Supporter of autonomy plan should not face retaliation in the Tindouf camps in Algeria


In a letter sent yesterday, Amnesty International called on the Polisario Front to reveal the legal status and whereabouts of Mostafa Salma Sidi Mouloud, who was arrested on the evening of 21 September following his visit to Western Sahara, a territory annexed by Morocco in 1975. The organization fears that he might be held solely on account of his publicly expressed views in favour of the autonomy of Western Sahara under Moroccan administration.

According to a statement by Maghreb Agence Presse, the official Moroccan news agency, Mostafa Salma Sidi Mouloud was arrested at the border-post leading to the Tindouf camps in the region of Mhiriz. His brother, Mohamed Sheikh Sidi Mouloud, told Amnesty International that his relatives do not know where he is being detained; however, they were verbally informed by members of the Polisario Front that Mostafa Salma Sidi Mouloud will be referred to trial before a military court after 12 days.

On 9 August 2010, Mostafa Salma Sidi Mouloud, a Polisario Front police officer, announced in a press conference in Smara, Western Sahara, his support for the autonomy of the region under Moroccan rule. Shortly prior to his arrest, he made public his intention to further promote the Moroccan autonomy plan to the Sahrawi refugees living in the Tindouf camps, which are administered by the Polisario Front. The Polisario Front calls for the independence of Western Sahara and runs a self-declared government in exile, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).

On 22 September, the Sahara Press Service (Servicio de Prensa Saharaui, SPS) quoted official sources within the Polisario Front acknowledging the arrest of Mostafa Salma Sidi Mouloud for “spying for the enemy”. The statement went on to say that Mostafa Salma Sidi Mouloud had “divulged secrets” with the aim of undermining the safety and security of the SADR. According to the latest version of the Penal Code of the SADR available to Amnesty International, dating from 1996, penalties for various acts of “treason” are punishable by prison terms of between five and fifteen years, while the divulgation of “secrets” is punishable with imprisonment of between five and 10 years.

The statement also implied that Mostafa Salam Sidi Mouloud’s action of “treason” presents a particularly grave “moral and legal” mistake in view of the Polisario’s Front state of war with Morocco. A ceasefire between the Polisario Front and Morocco has been in place since 1991.

In the letter addressed to Mohamed Abdelaziz, the President of the SADR and the Secretary General of the Polisario Front, Amnesty International urged him to ensure that Mostafa Salma Sidi Mouloud is protected from arbitrary detention or any other retaliatory measures due to his public stance in support of the autonomy of Western Sahara under Moroccan sovereignty. Amnesty International believes that peaceful support for the autonomy of Western Sahara should not be perceived as an act to undermine the security of SADR and justify restrictions to the right to freedom of expression. Mostafa Salma Sidi Mouloud should be released unless he is charged with recognizably criminal offences, and should further be provided with immediate access to a lawyer, his family and any medical attention he might require.

In its letter, Amnesty International added that it would consider Mostafa Salma Sidi Mouloud a prisoner of conscience if he is indeed held solely on the basis of his views on the autonomy of Western Sahara.

The SADR committed to respect the right of any individual to “disseminate and express his opinions within the law”, when it ratified the African Charter for Human and People’s Rights in 1986.

If someone's watching | Video from Amnesty International Canada


Background

The Algerian government, as the country hosting the Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf, also has an obligation to ensure that the right to freedom of expression is respected within its territory. Despite this, the Algerian authorities prevented two Moroccan journalistsfrom the Sahara Ousbouiyaweekly, Lahcen Tigbadar and Mohamed Slimani, from covering the return of Mostafa Salma Sidi Mouloud to the Tindouf camps. Mohamed Slimani told Amnesty International that upon their arrival to the Oasis Hotel in the city of Tindouf, they were interrogated by Algerian security officials and kept under close surveillance until their expulsion from Algeria on 22 September.

Seven Sahrawi activists from Western Sahara, who returned from the Tindouf camps to Casablanca in October 2009, are facing charges of undermining the external and internal security of Morocco, including attacking its “territorial integrity” in reference to the status of Western Sahara. Amnesty International considers three of the activists currently detained in Salé Prison to be prisoners of conscience detained solely for the peaceful and legitimate exercise of their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, including their public support of self-determination.

On numerous occasions, Amnesty International has called on the UN Security Council to include a human rights monitoring component in the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), deployed in September 1991. Amnesty International believes that the inclusion of a human rights monitoring mechanism in the mandate of MINURSO looking at both Western Sahara and the Tindouf refugee camps will deflate mutual accusations of human rights violations by providing equally impartial and independent reporting on the current human rights situation and will improve the situation of the populations affected.An independent mechanism is particularly important given that both sides to the conflict accuse the other of serious human rights violations and of exploiting human rights concerns for their respective political ends.


Public Document

****************************************

For more information please call Amnesty International's press office in London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566 or email: press@amnesty.org

International Secretariat, Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW, UK

www.amnesty.org

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Shared Concern Initiative’s appeal on the forthcoming election in Burma

Burma's Democratic Charade

by Shared Concern Initiative

PRAGUE – On November 7, when Burma’s first general election for almost two decades is to be held, a well-rehearsed script will play out. The country’s ruling generals will twist what is meant to be a democratic process, whereby the people get to express their will, into a mockery of free expression in which people vote in fear and without hope.

The international community must judge Burma’s generals by their actions, not their words and promises. The facts on the ground in Burma speak the truth more loudly than all the proclamations from the generals about a free ballot and a democratic transition.

More than 2,100 political prisoners remain in jail in Burma. Many have been tortured, kept in horrific conditions, and denied medical care. Attacks against the country’s ethnic minorities continue, with the deliberate targeting of civilians, including children, by the Burmese military and police. The country’s media remains censored, freedom of expression denied, and the most popular political party in the country, the National League for Democracy, which won elections in 1990, has been forced to disband because it decided not to register for the November elections.

In such conditions, free and fair elections will be impossible. This so-called democratic transition, a process designed solely by dictators and with input only from the regime’s loyalists, will result in continued dictatorship.

Before Burma’s fate is sealed in a new-model dictatorship, the United Nations must immediately and vigorously embark on a fresh process designed to deliver national reconciliation and democracy to that troubled country. The international community, East and West, must unite behind a UN-led initiative to start genuine dialogue.

But, for this dialogue to have any real legitimacy, it must include the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who has endured decades of house arrest, and her party, the NLD. Other democratic opposition groups, and genuine ethnic-minority representatives, also need to be given a voice in the process.

Pressure must be brought to bear to bring Burma’s generals to a negotiating table where real negotiations take place. All the tools at the disposal of the international community should be used to bring this about.

But responsibility for assisting Burma does not lie solely at the door of the UN. The pressure on Burma’s generals must also be bilateral and multilateral – and should be reinforced by carefully calibrated economic measures, including targeted financial and banking sanctions.

Action must also be taken to end the impunity with which the Burmese generals have ruled. The dictatorship stands accused of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, mostly against the country’s minorities, who chafe at decades of oppression, ostracism, and military misrule. The UN General Assembly should follow the UN Special Rapporteur‘s recommendation to establish a Commission of Inquiry into war crimes and crimes against humanity in Burma.

Moreover, the UN Security Council should impose an arms embargo against Burma, as it has in other countries similarly afflicted by conflict and serious human rights abuses. Those countries supplying arms to Burma expose themselves to charges of complicity in the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the dictatorship.

Dictatorship and human rights abuses will continue in Burma after November 7. We do not need to wait until after the election to know this. So there is no excuse for continued inaction. Now is the time for the world to unite behind the people of Burma, and to help bring them peace and dignity at last.

Václav Havel is a former President of the Czech Republic,

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism,

HRH El Hassan Bin Talal is Chairman of the Arab Thought Forum,

André Glucksmann is a French philosopher and essayist,

Vartan Gregorian is President of the Carnegie Corporation,

Michael Novak is a Roman Catholic philosopher and diplomat,

Karel Schwarzenberg is Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic,

Desmond Tutu is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate,

Grigory Yavlinsky is Chairman of the Russian United Democratic Party, Yabloko.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mary Tarrero de Prío: The Last First Lady of a Democratic Cuba

Requiescat in pace

Mary Tarrero de Prío

The last First Lady of a Democratic Cuba Maria Dolores "Mary" Tarrero de Prío died in Miami on September 23, 2010 and was laid to rest on Saturday, September 25, 2010. She was the widow of Carlos Prío Socarras, the last democratically elected president of Cuba. Carlos Prío died in Miami in 1977 and is also buried there.

Cuban democracy ended on March 10, 1952 with Fulgencio Batista's coup and 58 years later it has still not returned. Sadly as the years pass and those who lived those glory years of democracy leave us they begin to be viewed as myth. Add to that the current dictatorship's rewriting of history to diminish this democratic age in order to justify its own tyrannical rule and one can understand how the world would forget Cuba's own democratic chapter.

Carlos Prío Socarras, Ramon Grau San Martin, Carlos Hevia

Yet there is one witness who spoke out on behalf of the Republic on October 16, 1953 that the tyranny cannot ignore: Fidel Castro. During his trial for the July 26, 1953 armed assault on the Moncada Barracks he addresed the court and described Ramon Grau's and Carlos Prío's presidencies:
Once upon a time there was a Republic. It had its Constitution, its laws, its freedoms, a President, a Congress and Courts of Law. Everyone could assemble, associate, speak and write with complete freedom. The people were not satisfied with the government officials at that time, but they had the power to elect new officials and only a few days remained before they would do so. Public opinion was respected and heeded and all problems of common interest were freely discussed. There were political parties, radio and television debates and forums and public meetings. The whole nation pulsated with enthusiasm. This people had suffered greatly and although it was unhappy, it longed to be happy and had a right to be happy. It had been deceived many times and it looked upon the past with real horror. This country innocently believed that such a past could not return; the people were proud of their love of freedom and they carried their heads high in the conviction that liberty would be respected as a sacred right. They felt confident that no one would dare commit the crime of violating their democratic institutions. They wanted a change for the better, aspired to progress; and they saw all this at hand. All their hope was in the future.
President Carlos Prío Socarras and his wife Mary Tarrero de Prío went into exile in Miami, but his struggle for a democratic Cuba did not end there. He would be arrested on more than one occasion accused of smuggling arms to rebels in Cuba seeking to overthrow Fulgencio Batista.

According to Ramón L. Bonachea and Marta San Martin in their book The Cuban insurrection, 1952-1959 in August of 1956, Fidel Castro and Carlos Prío met at a small hotel in McAllen, Texas where for over an hour they discussed the future of the insurrection against Batista. Castro asked Prío for money and the former president agreed to finance Castro’s expedition to Cuba. Prío would send the Cuban guerrillas almost one quarter of a million dollars in arms and money. Prío got other associates to contribute thousands of dollars more in cash to the guerrillas.

The last constitutional president of Cuba had publicly announced his plan to return to the island as early as 1955 and did so during a brief "amnesty" in 1956 only to be expelled at gun point a short time later and would return again in January 1959 with Fulgencio Batista's departure into exile. Only to depart for exile again in December 1960 as they saw the new government turning into a military dictatorship.

On June 11, 1961 Carlos Prío Socarras addressed 1,200 Cubans in exile and pledged to aid the Cuban underground. He would go on to aide and plan efforts to combat Castro's military dictatorship as he had done earlier against Batista.

As the 1960s drew to a close and the armed struggle against Castro's dictatorship drew to a close Carlos Prío in 1973 sought to preempt efforts at a negotiated solution in which democratic Cubans were not participants boldly proposing that Cuban exiles seek to insert themselves in the dialogue taking place between Nixon and Breshnev and negotiate the island's future. The proposal was met with wariness and opposition going no where.

Carlos Prío Socarras died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound on April 5, 1977 in his garage in Miami. Carlos Prío from his youth battling the Machado dictatorship as a University student in the 1930s to his later struggles against Batista in the 1950s and Castro in the 1960s and 70s he spent a life struggling against dictatorship of all ideological tendencies. Seeing the destruction of Cuba and the suffering of the Cuban people led him to despair.

As we remember Mary Tarrero de Prío who "never completely recovered" from her husband's death we can say a prayer for her, Carlos Prío Socarras and their family remembering the price they paid for Cuban freedom and ensure with the continued efforts of Cuban democrats that those sacrifices not be in vain. Here is one historian's take on the presidency of Carlos Prío Socarras:
They were a time of constitutional order and political freedom. They were not 'golden years' by any means, but in two elections (1944 and 1948), Cubans had the opportunity to express their desire for a rule of civil liberties, primacy of Cuban culture, and achievement of economic independence. If there were sharp contradictions in Cuban society under the Autenticos, the circumstances differed only in degree from the complexities and dynamics encountered in free societies everywhere.

Sample ballot from 1944 Cuban elections in which different political parties vied for power. The last democratic presidential elections were held in 1948 and won by Carlos Prío Socarras.




News clip from Carlos Prío Socarras 1951 visit to the United States


Reparto de Raciones (1950) from Memoria de Cuba on Vimeo.


First Lady Mary Tarrero at the Presidential Palace hands out Easter baskets to those in need in Easter 1950

Friday, September 24, 2010

The power of nonviolence & international solidarity in Burma


Burma’s detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was officially barred from voting in the upcoming "general election", the first one since 1990 that she and her party won but that the military-run junta refused to recognize. A junta that has engaged in brutal and repugnant repression over its entire time in power with a particular brutality seen around the world as recently as the 2007 during the Buddhist Monk led Saffron Revolution.

Now after much negative press that not only would she not be allowed to run in the upcoming elections because she is currently an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience and has been for 14 of the past 20 years the junta has backtracked and now has placed her on the voting roles.

It doesn't mean much because the "election" or should one say "the vote" or the "Junta's selection" has blocked full multiparty participation in the elections forcing the National League for Democracy to disband and the leader that won the last elections, Aung San Suu Kyi, is still under arrest because of her popularity and nonviolent defense of democracy.

Nevertheless this is small victory for international solidarity and scrutiny that produced this small concession means that we must maintain our vigilance with what is happening in Burma and speak out.

Aung San Suu Kyi is a non-violent disciple of Mohandas Gandhi and has observed that this type of struggle takes a long time but its worth it in the long run. Otherwise we risk remaining silent as crimes against humanity are being committed and with our silence be complicit. The video play list below is a tribute to her and all the apostles of nonviolence around the world.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Seven Months Later: Orlando Zapata Vive! Orlando Zapata Lives!

"Still obtuse forces of the tyranny are thrown at a heroic mother who had to bury her son who was killed for defending a cause that was just."- The Declaration of Móstoles , September 5, 2010

"I’ve learned of the death of hunger striker Franklin Brito. It appears that Hugo Chavez now has his own Orlando Zapata" - Yoani Sanchez, August 31, 2010 on twitter



Seven months have passed since the world learned on that afternoon in late February that a man had died on a hunger strike defending human rights and dignity. The dictatorship in Cuba had counted on no one paying attention to the plight of a bricklayer and carpenter who had engaged in grassroots human rights activism, but he was not a leader of a movement, but a humble activist.

The regime's state security had not counted on Reina Luisa Tamayo who would speak out for her son and defend her son's life until the end. When the dictatorship tried to smear her late son's good name she continued and continues to this day demanding justice for him and setting the record straight as to who Orlando Zapata Tamayo was.



Seven months later Reina has a blog and a twitter account and is attending mass on Sunday's and visiting her son's grave despite state security operations designed to intimidate and on more than one occasion physically assault her, her family, and friends trying to join her in remembering Orlando Zapata Tamayo.

Now the dictatorship may have thought that after seven months people would start to forget their heinous crime, and they would be able to get away with crushing Reina Luisa Tamayo and the rest of Orlando Zapata Tamayo's family. They were wrong.

On September 12, 2010 around the world in Brussels, Madrid, Miami, Tampa, Los Angeles, Santiago, and elsewhere people of good will marched in solidarity with Reina Luisa Tamayo and in memory of Orlando Zapata Tamayo. Historic figures of the Cuban Revolution such as Huber Matos spoke out on her behalf in Madrid and Juan Juan Almeida, son of Juan Almeida, spoke up for her in Miami. Videos of the events were uploaded on to youtube and are available below:


Huber Matos in Madrid at Rally in Support of Reina Luisa Tamayo on September 12, 2010


Rally for Reina Luisa Tamayo in Madrid, Spain on September 12, 2010



Marc Masferrer of Uncommon Sense speaks at Rally for Reina Luisa Tamayo in Tampa on September 12, 2010.



Video from demonstrations for Reina Luisa Tamayo in Miami, FL followed by images from Los Angeles, Brussels, Tampa, and elsewhere on September 12, 2010



When Venezuelan patriot and human rights defender Franklin Brito died after a prolonged hunger strike and being kidnapped by Venezuelan security Orlando Zapata Tamayo's name was immediately given as a point of reference. Yoani Sanchez on her twitter account announced:"I’ve learned of the death of hunger striker Franklin Brito. It appears that Hugo Chavez now has his own Orlando Zapata."


Just a few days earlier on Saturday, August 23, 2010 the documentary Zapata Vive! premiered at the Roca Theater at Belen to a huge audience. Portions of the introduction to the documentary have been posted on youtube as well.



They would like us to forget but we still remember and we will continue to speak out about the facts in evidence that proves the heinous crime that the dictatorship in Cuba committed against an innocent man and the ongoing campaign against his family. Orlando Zapata Tamayo died on February 23, 2010 after a lengthy water only hunger strike and agents of the Castro regime in an effort to break his spirit denied him water for 18 days contributing to his death, but failed to break his spirit.

Orlando Zapata Tamayo lives on wherever a man is willing to stand up and resist evil without engaging in evil through non-violent civic resistance. Orlando Zapata's path is the same path taken by Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. it is the path of righteousness. It is a path being taken today by Cuban dissident Vladimir Alejo Miranda who has been on hunger strike for more than 60 days demanding his right to work.

World Youth Movement for Democracy calls for Solidarity with Zimbabwe Student Leader

President Tafadzwa Mugwadi of Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) Arrested

According to a ZINASU Media Release on September 22, 2010, President Tafadzwa Mugwadi was arrested and is being held at the Harare Central Police Station. Mugwadi was summoned to the station for charges related to street writing by an unknown student group, with such slogans on walls as “education is not for sale” and “ZINASU lives.” The writings were a method of protest utilized by the youth, indicative of feelings expressed by many young people in Zimbabwe.

High education costs in Zimbabwe is a serious issue for many young people, whose fees range from US$200-800, while their parents may make a salary of only US$150. ZINASU reports of government cover ups regarding failure to finance education, citing lack of funds as a major cause. Despite such government claims, ZINASU reports that at a recent UN meeting Zimbabwe officials were given allowances of $250 per day.

The President of ZINASU had been in hiding after his home was searched by suspected security forces a few nights before his arrest. According to Mugwadi’s neighbors, the men were responding to his “defamatory utterances” that were made by the ZINASU President on ZTV’s Hot Seat program on September 7th. The men who investigated his home were angry at his remarks regarding the ZRP as a violent organ of the state because of its well known hostility to young activists and students working for democracy in the country.

Hostility toward students has escalated in the country, as seen in the killings last week of two students at Bindura University of Science and Education. University security had attempted to stop the students from graduating, since tuition fees had not been paid in full. Mugwadi and ZINASU have been publicly criticizing the actions of the government. The arrest of Mugwadi must not go unnoticed.

The World Youth Movement for Democracy calls on the international community to join in a voice of solidarity, in support of Mugwadi and his student activism. Please help by contacting the Zimbabwean embassies and voicing your concern. Call for Mugwadi to be released so he may continue his critical work!

For more information on Tafadzwa Mugwadi and ZINASU:

http://kubatana.net/html/sectors/zim020.asp

http://www.zimtelegraph.com/?p=6696

For more information on current education issues:

http://www.zimtelegraph.com/?p=9935

http://www.zimdaily.com/beta/news277302.html

http://www.zimdaily.com/beta/news276734.html

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=34399:bindura-university-blame-armed-robbers-for-student-deaths&catid=52&Itemid=32

To contact the Zimbabwean embassies and voice your concern:

Embassy

The Republic of Zimbabwe

1608 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20009

Telephone: (202) 332-7100
Fax: (202) 483-9326
E-mail: info@zimbabwe-embassy.us
URL: http://www.zimbabwe-embassy.us/

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Barack Obama & the Cuban Memory Hole

Memory hole - A system of pipes, similar to pneumatic tubes, which were used to destroy documents. A document stuffed in the memory hole would be conveniently whisked away to the furnaces below - quickly & easily wiped from history. The Newspeak Dictionary

The Cuban dictatorship's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez stated on September 15, 2010 that
"The embargo policy in the last two years, which is to say under the government of President Obama, has not changed at all.[...] In some aspects, it has even hardened."
The statement is part of a blatant attempt to rewrite the first two years of the Obama presidency with respect to its policy towards Cuba by whisking away the facts down a memory hole. The regime has an extremely effective propaganda apparatus operating both internally and internationally, and have used it extensively to cover up other past crimes and inconvenient facts. The facts presented chronologically below indicate just the opposite that the Administration's offer to reset relations with the Cuban dictatorship and loosen sanctions were rebuffed.

On April 13, 2009 the Obama Administration eased travel restrictions to Cuba put in place during the Bush Administration and paved the way for American telecommunications firms to begin providing service for Cubans.

A few days later on April 18, 2009 addressing Latin American and Caribbean leaders at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago President Obama declared:
"The US seeks a new beginning with Cuba. [...]I know there is a longer journey that must be traveled to overcome decades of mistrust, but there are critical steps we can take toward a new day."
At the same meeting Mr. Obama shook hands with staunch Castro ally Hugo Chavez.

In June of 2009 President Obama snubbed the 2009 winners of the NED Democracy Award which were five leaders of Cuba's pro-democracy movement earning a rebuke in The Washington Post.

How did the Cuban dictatorship respond to this offer of new relations, loosened sanctions and cold shoulder to dissidents?

Rather than focus on what the Cuban dictatorship says. Let us focus on its concrete actions.

On July 21, 2009 medical doctor, Cuban dissident and Amnesty International prisoner of conscience Darsi Ferrer was arrested and housed in a maximum security prison with inmates who had convicted violent crimes.

Despite years blaming the United States and the embargo for its lack of internet connectivity the regime in Cuba rebuffed an Obama initiative that would have opened the island to better cell phone and internet service.

On November 6, 2009 Havana based blogger Yoani Sanchez was kidnapped and beaten up by Cuban state security agents. On November 18 she posted a series questions to both President Obama and dictator Castro about US-Cuba relations. President Obama's response to her questions were posted on November 19, 2009.

On December 5, 2009 Alan Gross, a United States citizen was arrested in Cuba and has been held without trial to the present date.

On December 10, 2009, international human rights day, the Ladies in White were subjected to regime organized acts of repudiation and physically assaulted.

On February 23, 201o Amnesty International prisoner of conscience Orlando Zapata Tamayo died after 83 days on a water only hunger strike. For 18 of those days Orlando Zapata was denied water by prison officials contributing to his death.

Over seven days in March 2010 Cuban state security organized mobs to physically assault the Ladies in White and continued to do so with rising international condemnation until May 2010.

The death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo and the brutalization of the Ladies in White in February and March of 2010 led to both international and domestic condemnation that forced the regime to reconsider its approach not the accommodationist policies pushed by the Obama Administration and the Spanish government.

Now there are rumors circulating and a campaign underway for five Cuban spies responsible for espionage and state terrorism in the United States claiming they will be shortly pardoned. This would encourage terrorists to target the United States as did the 1999 pardoning of Puerto Rican terrorists who engaged in bombing campaigns on US soil. There is something you can do to prevent this outrage: Please sign this petition that will be sent to the President of the United States demanding justice not pardons and that those still at large for murdering Americans be placed on Interpol watch lists.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Open letter to President Obama on Brothers to the Rescue & Gerardo Hernandez

No pardons for unrepentant terrorists please seek out remaining guilty parties


Marc Masferrer, in his excellent blog Uncommon Sense, reported on September 12 that a group of American artists were petitioning President Barack Obama to release five Cuban spies convicted at trial of various crimes, including involvement in the shoot down of the Brothers to the Rescue airplanes in 1996, killing three American citizens and one American resident. I decided to present my contrasting point of view in the letter I sent to President Obama (reproduced below) and also encourage you to sign an online petition opposing the release of Gerardo Hernandez and calling on the remaining killers at large to be placed on an Interpol watch list.

Dear President Obama,

Gerardo Hernandez, Ramón Labañino, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez are currently serving prison sentences for acts of espionage and what amounts to state terrorism against US citizens. They plotted to sabotage planes, set warehouses on fire, and discussed in their coded communications sending a mail bomb to a South Florida resident with the goal of causing their death. None of these men have demonstrated any remorse for their actions.

Then on February 24, 1996 the murders of Armando Alejandre, Carlos Costa, Mario de la Peña and Pablo Morales, condemned by the United Nations Human Rights Commission, the United Nation’s Security Council, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights along with many others gave proof to the deadly seriousness of their planning.

Despite regime claims Brothers to the Rescue, infiltrated by Cuban spies, never advocated violence. On the contrary the organization had a close relationships with the Martin Luther King Jr. Institute and the Albert Einstein Institute and organized teach-ins on nonviolence.



I am writing you Mr. President because two issues concern me greatly.

First, I am troubled that General Ruben Martinez Puente, Francisco Perez-Perez, Lorenzo Alberto Perez Perez who were indicted on four counts of murder, two counts of destruction of aircraft and one count of conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals in August of 2003 and Juan Pablo Roque indicted in May 1999 as a foreign agent (although he played a role in the shootdown) have not been pursued to the full extent of the law.

Why hasn't the U.S. Department of Justice under your Administration or the previous one of George W. Bush presented Interpol with an arrest warrant for the three Cuban Air Force officials indicted for the 1996 murder of four U.S. nationals in international airspace and for the Cuban agent involved in the conspiracy to have them killed? It has already been 11 years in the case of Juan Pablo Roque and seven years in the case of the men who gave the order and pulled the trigger committing an act of state terrorism in which Americans were murdered.

What is the United States government waiting for?

Secondly, it is dismaying to learn that Gerardo Hernandez’s name is being raised in a possible exchange or release. He has had due process in a trial with the best attorney’s money could buy that have put on a zealous defense and appeals process for their client. Gerardo Hernandez’s conviction on conspiracy to commit murder is the only justice the victims and their families have achieved to date.

I am opposed to the exchange or release of Gerardo Hernandez and ask that the others responsible for the extrajudicial killing of these four human beings be placed on the Interpol terrorism watch list.

Sincerely,

- John J. Suarez

"The hope of impunity is the greatest inducement to do wrong." - Marcus Tullius Cicero

Sign petition addressed to the President here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Cuban "WASP" spy network's terror plans

Led to murder of three US Citizens and one US Resident: Take Action

Armando Alejandre Mario de la Peña Carlos Costa Pablo Morales

The Cuban "WASP" spies arrested in 1998 used coded material on computer disks to communicate with other members of the spy network. Below are two excerpts from the 1,300 pages taken from those diskettes translated and used during the spy trial that demonstrate the criminal nature of the Cuban regime's operation in South Florida. In the first excerpt it declares that their primary objective was "penetrating and obtaining information on the naval station located in that city." In the next excerpt intelligence operatives communicated about "burning down the warehouse" and sabotaging Brothers to the Rescue equipment. Also requested that they attempt to identify who would be flying at certain times.


In the final excerpt operatives discuss plans to prepare a "book bomb" so that it evades post office security while at the same time phoning death threats to a man they describe as a CIA agent and then having him killed via the mail bomb.


The seriousness of these planned action items would be confirmed by the February 24, 1996 shoot down where two MiGs hunted Brothers to the Rescue planes in international airspace and used air to air missiles to destroy two of the planes killing two pilots and two passengers based on intelligence supplied by the WASP network.


International organizations recognized that Armando Alejandre, Carlos Costa, Mario de la Peña and Pablo Morales were murdered by agents of the Cuban government on February 24, 1996. The first of the participants in the conspiracy to be held accountable for his actions was Gerardo Hernandez who was sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy to commit murder.




DAV-118 (E) RTF (AIRPORT.DIR)


WORK DIRECTIVES FOR OPERATION “AEROPUERTO”


1-. THE IDEA OF THE OPERATION:

SINCE THE VERY BEGINNING THE ESSENTIAL IDEA OF THE OPERATION WAS FOR A-32 TO JOIN WITH THE ILLEGAL CENTER THAT WAS BEING DIRECTED BY A-4 AND WAS FUNCTIONING IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA.


2-. OPERATIONAL OBJECTIVES:


THE FUNDAMENTAL OBJECTIVE OF THE OPERATION IS TO ESTABLISH S/A A-32 IN KEY WEST FOR THE PURPOSE OF PENETRATING AND OBTAINING INFORMATION ON THE NAVAL AIR STATION LOCATED IN THAT CITY.


ALSO, TO MAKE CONTACTS WHICH CAN PROVIDE US WITH MILITARY, POLITICAL , BIOGRAPHICAL AND OPERATIONAL INFORMATION AS AS TO STUDY COUNTERREVOLUTIONARY ORGANIZATIONS EXISTING IN THE AREA AND CARRY OUT STUDIES ON THE OPERATIONAL SITUATION OF ROADS, MAINLY IN KEY WEST.


3-. PARTICIPANTS


A-32 WILL BE THE MAIN PARTICIPANT AND HE WILL BE DIRECTLY UNDER I.O. A-4.

WORK DIRECTIVES FOR OPERATION “GIRÓN.”


1-. IDEA OF THE OPERATION


Reviewed by: LS Salomon

Declassified by: KMDJr / RJG

Cred. #10517

11/27/00 1



[…]

DHo-101 (E) CMA (Disk 17).wpd



OPERATION “PICADA’


OBJECTIVES:


1.-) TRY TO IMPEDE THE CONSUMPTION OF INTENTIONS OF THE OPERATION P.A.L. (PAN, AMOR Y LIBERTAD) OF THE COUNTERREVOLUTIONARY ORGANIZATION BROTHER’S TO THE RESCUE.


2.-) AFFECT AND DISCREDIT THE IMAGE OF SAID ORGANIZATION.

ACTIONS TO BE DEVELOPED:


1.-) PERFORM THE OPERATIONAL SITUATION STUDY OF THE HANGAR AT THE OPA LOCKA BASE WHERE THE ORGANIZATION KEEPS AND OPERATES THEIR PLANES.


2.-) THE POSSIBILITY OF BURNING DOWN THE WAREHOUSE OF THE COUNTERREVOLUTIONARY ORGANIZATION, AND AFFECT THEIR PLANES, MAKING IT SEEM LIKE AN ACCIDENT, NEGLIGENCE OR SELF DAMAGE.


KEEPING IN MIND THAT THIS PLACE MAY BE SECURED AND THAT IN CASES LIKE THESE, INVESTIGATIONS ARE PERFORMED, RUMORS WILL LEAK THAT BASULTO AND HIS PEOPLE CAUSED THE DAMAGE THEMSELVES TO COLLECT THE INSURANCE AND GET MORE MONEY FROM THEIR CONTRIBUTORS.


3.-) ATTEMPT TO DISABLE THEIR EQUIPMENT AND TRANSMISSION ANTENNAE ON LAND, THE ONES THEY USE TO COMMUNICATE WITH DURING THEIR MISSIONS, MAKING IT SEEM LIKE NEGLIGENCE.


NOTE: THESE THREE POINTS WERE REQUESTED OF CASTOR VIA RADIO MESSAGE. IT HAS TO BE DETERMINED WHAT HE HAS BEEN ABLE TO OBTAIN.


4.-) ANALYZE WITH CASTOR IF HE COULD INFORM US AHEAD OF TIME (DETERMINE PRECISE TIME) WHEN THE BROTHER’S TO THE RESCUE PLANES WILL BE TAKING OFF, WHO IS IN THEM AND IF THEY ARE GOING TO LAND AT A SPECIFIC PLACE. WHAT PERSONNEL KNOWS THIS INFORMATION BEFOREHAND. AT SOME POINT, CAN IT BE DETERMINED WHO PROVIDED THIS INFORMATION.


5.-) ACCORDING TO THE FEATURES OF THE PLANES, THEIR SECURITY SYSTEM, AS WELL AS THE HANGAR WHERE THEY ARE LOCATED, IF AT ANY SPECIFIC MOMENT HE COULD HIDE SOME TYPE OF MATERIAL AND KEEP IT THERE WITHOUT BEING DETECTED. WHAT SIZE WOULD THAT MATERIAL HAVE TO BE



OPERATION PARALLELO:


THE OBJECTIVE OF THIS OPERATION IS TO DEVELOP A SERIES OF ACTIONS AGAINST CIA AGENT JESUS CRUZA FLOR.


THESE ACTIONS WOULD BE:


1.-) PHOTOGRAPH OR VIDEO TAPE HIS HOUSE, LOCATED AT:


1440 S. BAYSHORE DR.

MIAMI, FLORIDA 33131

TELEPHONE (305)358-0762


2.-) ONCE THE HOUSE IS PHOTOGRAPHED, MAKE VARIOUS THREATENING TELEPHONE CALLS (TWO OR THREE) CONCERNING HIS NEARING EXECUTION.


THESE CALLS WOULD BE AT DIFFERENT HOURS AND DIFFERENT DAYS. TRY TO USE THE EQUIPMENT (CALLED SCRAMBLER OR SOMETHING SIMILAR) TO CHANGE THE VOICE. PHONE BOOTHS SHOULD BE SELECTED THAT ALLOW A QUICK EXIT OUT OF THE AREA. KEEP IN MIND THAT THE MEASURES IS AGAINST A CIA AGENT AND HE COULD HAVE CALLER ID TO FIND OUT THE TELEPHONE NUMBER THAT IS CALLING AND THE ADDRESS WHERE IT IS LOCATED. ON THE OTHER HAND, KEEP IN MIND THE REST OF THE SECURITY MEASURES THAT SHOULD BE TAKEN IN THE BOOTH, SUCH AS FINGERPRINTS, HAIR, ODORS, SALIVA, DRESS, THAT THERE BE NO PERMANENT PERSONNEL IN THE AREA TO RECOGNIZE THE CALLER. DO NOT LEAVE THE CAR WHERE IT CAN BE OBSERVED, THE DURATION OF THE CALL. DO NOT RESPOND TO ANY QUESTIONS ASKED.


3.-) PREPARE AN ALLEGED BOOK-BOMB (BOOK, CABLE, BATTERIES, PLASTIQUE, ETC., AND SEND IT VIA EXPRESS MAIL. KEEP IN MIND TO WRAP THE BOOK IN A PROTECTIVE PAPER, WHICH IF THE ENVELOPE IS PASSED THROUGH THE X-RAY MACHINES, IMPEDES THE DETECTION OF WHAT IS INSIDE, AND THEREFORE IT WILL NOT BE ROUTED THROUGH THE MAIL.


KEEP IN MIND TO OBTAIN THE ENVELOPE, AS WELL AS THE POSTAGE, MANY DAYS IN ADVANCE AND SELECT A BUSY PLACE. USE A SPECIFIC CAMOUFLAGE.


STUDY THE MAILBOX WHERE THE PACKAGE WILL BE DEPOSITED, AS WELL AS THE TIME IT WILL BE DEPOSITED. ANALYZE HOW YOU WILL GET OUT OF THE AREA.


DURING THE ENTIRE PROCESS KEEP THE SECURITY MEASURES IN MIND, SUCH AS THE ONES MENTIONED BEFORE, GIVING SPECIAL ATTENTION TO FINGER PRINTS DURING THE ENTIRE PROCESS.


EVALUATE THE POSSIBILITY OF USING MANOLO TO MAKE THE CALL, THE TOPOS TO DEPOSIT THE ENVELOPE AND A-4 TO PREPARE THE BOOK-BOMB.


--------------

FEBRUARY 1, 1994


CONTACT AGENDA WITH 0-4 “ESELIN”


Reviewed by: LS Salomon

Declassified by: KMDJr

MM-#10517

9/24/00 2-6

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The other September 11 and how Satyagraha came into existence

Terrorism and deception are weapons not of the strong but of the weak. - Mohandas K. Gandhi

Gandhi in South Africa photo taken from here.


104 years ago today on September 11, in South Africa Mohandas Gandhi coined the term Satyagraha which brought together truth and firmness into one word defining the essence of nonviolent resistance.

Nine years ago today, the United States was attacked and 2,977 men, women, and children were murdered and over 6,000 wounded in terrorist attacks planned by Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network.

The date September 11 was picked by the terrorists because it marks the September 11, 1683 defeat of the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Vienna. It turned the tide of Islamic conquest in Europe.

Humanity faces a stark choice defined and marked by the chasm between the strong and courageous Satyagraha of Mohandas Gandhi and the weak and frustrated terrorists. Will hope or terror triumph? In the text below Gandhi describes the meeting where the word Satyagraha came into existence and with the life he lived gave the answer to the question.

The young Mohandas Gandhi

CHAPTER XII
THE ADVENT OF SATYAGRAHA
Gandhi, M.K., Satyagraha in South Africa (Ahmedabad, 1928 (revised 2nd edition, 1950) pp. 95-102)

The meeting was duly held on September 11, 1906. It was attended by delegates from various places in the Transvaal. But I must confess that even I myself had not then understood all the implications of the resolutions I had helped to frame; nor had I gauged all the possible conclusions to which they might lead.

The old Empire Theatre was packed from floor to ceiling. I could read in every face the expectation of something strange to be done or to happen. Mr Abdul Gani, Chairman of the Transvaal British Indian Association, presided. He was one of the oldest Indian residents of the Transvaal, and partner and manager of the Johannesburg branch of the well-known firm of Mamad Kasam Kamrudin. The most important among the resolutions passed by the meeting was the famous Fourth Resolution by which the Indians solemnly determined not to submit to the Ordinance in the event of its becoming law in the teeth of their opposition and to suffer all the penalties attaching to such non-submission.

I fully explained this resolution to the meeting and received a patient hearing. The business of the meeting was conducted in Hindi or Gujarati; it was impossible therefore that any one present should not follow the proceedings. For the Tamils and Telugus who did not know Hindi there were Tamil and Telugu speakers who fully explained everything in their respective languages.

The resolution was duly proposed, seconded and supported by several speakers one of whom was Sheth Haji Habib. He too was a very old and experienced resident of South Africa and made an impassioned speech. He was deeply moved and went so far as to say that we must pass this resolution with God as witness and must never yield a cowardly submission to such degrading legislation. He then went on solemnly to declare in the name of God that he would never submit to that law, and advised all present to do likewise.

Others also delivered powerful and angry speeches in supporting the resolution. When in the course of his speech Sheth Haji Habib came to the solemn declaration, I was at once startled and put on my guard. Only then did I fully realize my own responsibility and the responsibility of the community. The community had passed many a resolution before and amended such resolutions in the light of further reflection or fresh experience. There were cases in which resolutions passed had not been observed by all concerned. Amendments in resolutions and failure to observe resolutions on the part of persons agreeing thereto are ordinary experiences of public life all the world over. But no one ever imports the name of God into such resolutions.

In the abstract there should not be any distinction between a resolution and an oath taken in the name of God. When an intelligent man makes a resolution deliberately he never swerves from it by a hair's breadth. With him his resolution carries as much weight as a declaration made with. God as witness does. But the world takes no note of abstract principles and imagines an ordinary resolution and an oath in the name of God to be poles asunder. A man who makes an ordinary resolution is not ashamed of himself when he deviates from it, but a man who violates an oath administered to him is not only ashamed of himself, but is also looked upon by society as sinner. This imaginary distinction has struck such a deep root in the human mind that a person making a statement on oath before a judge is held to have committed an offence in law if the statement is proved to be false and receives drastic punishment.

Full of these thoughts as I was, possessing as I did much experience of solemn pledges, having profited by them, I was taken aback by Sheth Haji Habib's suggestion of an oath. I thought out the possible consequences of it in a moment. My perplexity gave place to enthusiasm. And although I had no intention of taking an oath or inviting others to do so when I went to the meeting, I warmly approved of the Sheth's suggestion. But at the same time it seemed to me that the people should be told of all the consequences and should have explained to them clearly the meaning of a pledge. And if even then they were prepared to pledge themselves, they should be encouraged to do so; otherwise I must understand that they were not still ready to stand the final test.

I therefore asked the President for permission to explain to the meeting the implications of Sheth Haji Habib's suggestion. The President readily granted it and I rose to address the meeting. I give below a summary of my remarks just as I can recall them now:

"I wish to explain to this meeting that there is a vast difference between this resolution and every other resolution we have passed up to date and that there is a wide divergence also in the manner of making it. It is a very grave resolution we are making, as our existence in South Africa depends upon our fully observing it. The manner of making the resolution suggested by our friend is as much of a novelty as of a solemnity. I did not come to the meeting with a view to getting the resolution passed in that manner, which redounds to the credit of Sheth Haji Habib as well as it lays a burden of responsibility upon him. I tender my congratulations to him. I deeply appreciate his suggestion, but if you adopt it you too will share his responsibility. You must understand what is this responsibility, and as an adviser and servant of the community, it is my duty fully to explain it to you.

"We all believe in one and the same God, the differences of nomenclature in Hinduism and Islam notwithstanding. To pledge ourselves or to take an oath in the name of that God or with him as witness is not something to be trifled with. If having taken such an oath we violate our pledge we are guilty before God and man. Personally I hold that a man, who deliberately and intelligently takes a pledge and then breaks it, forfeits his manhood.

"And just as a copper coin treated with mercury not only becomes valueless when detected but also makes its owner liable to punishment, in the same way a man who lightly pledges his word and then breaks it becomes a man of straw and fits himself for punishment here as well as hereafter. Sheth Haji Habib is proposing to administer an oath of a very serious character. There is no one in this meeting who can be classed as an infant or as wanting in understanding. You are all well advanced in age and have seen the world; many of you are delegates and have discharged responsibilities in a greater or lesser measure. No one present, therefore, can ever hope to excuse himself by saying that he did not know what he was about when he took the oath.

"I know that pledges and vows are, and should be, taken on rare occasions. A man who takes a vow every now and then is sure to stumble. But if I can imagine a crisis in the history of the Indian community of South Africa when it would be in the fitness of things to take pledges that crisis is surely now. There is wisdom in taking serious steps with great caution and hesitation. But caution and hesitation have their limits, and we have now passed them. The Government has taken leave of I all sense of decency. We would only be betraying our unworthiness and cowardice, if we cannot stake our all in the face of the conflagration which envelopes us and sit watching it with folded hands.

"There is no doubt, therefore, that the present is a proper occasion for taking pledges. But every one of us must think out for himself if he has the will and the ability to pledge himself. Resolutions of this nature cannot be passed by a majority vote. Only those who take a pledge can be bound by it. This pledge must not be taken with a view to produce an effect on outsiders. No one should trouble to consider what impression it might have upon the Local Government, the Imperial Government, or the Government of India. Every one must only search his own heart, and if the inner voice assures him that he has the requisite strength to carry him through, then only should he pledge himself and then only will his pledge bear fruit.

"A few words now as to the consequences. Hoping I for the best, we may say that if a majority of the Indians pledge themselves to resistance and if all who take the pledge prove true to themselves, the Ordinance may not I be passed and, if passed, may be soon repealed. It may be that we may not be called upon to suffer at all. But if on the one hand a man who takes a pledge must be a robust optimist, on the other hand he must be prepared for the worst. Therefore I want to give you an idea of the worst that might happen to us in the present struggle.

"Imagine that all of us present here numbering 3,000 at the most pledge ourselves. Imagine again that the remaining 10,000 Indians take no such pledge. We will only provoke ridicule in the beginning. Again, it is quite possible that in spite of the present warning some or many of those who pledge themselves may weaken at the very first trial. We may have to go to jail, where we may be insulted. We may have to go hungry and suffer extreme heat or cold. Hard labour may be imposed upon us. We may be flogged by rude warders. We may be fined heavily and our property may be attached and held up to auction if there are only a few resisters left. Opulent today we may be reduced to abject poverty tomorrow. We may be deported. Suffering from starvation and similar hardships in jail, some of us may fall ill and even die. In short, therefore, it is not at all impossible that we may have to endure every hardship that we can imagine, and wisdom lies in pledging ourselves on the understanding that we shall have to suffer all that and worse.

"If some one asks me when and how the struggle may end, I may say that if the entire community manfully stands the test, the end will be near. If many of us fall back under storm and stress, the struggle will be prolonged. But I can boldly declare, and with certainty, that so long as there is even a handful of men true to their pledge, there can only be one end to the struggle, and that is victory.

"A word about my personal responsibility. If I am warning you of the risks attendant upon the pledge, I am at the same time inviting you to pledge yourselves, and I am fully conscious of my responsibility in the matter. It is possible that a majority of those present here may take the pledge in a fit of enthusiasm or indignation but may weaken under the ordeal, and only a handful may be left to face the final test. Even then there is only one course open to some one like me, to die but not to submit to the law. It is quite unlikely but even if every one else flinched leaving me alone to face the music, I am confident that I would never violate my pledge.

"Please do not misunderstand me. I am not saying this out of vanity, but I wish to put you, especially the leaders upon the platform, on your guard. I wish respectfully to suggest it to you that if you have not the will or the ability to stand firm even when you are perfectly isolated, you must not only not take the pledge yourselves but you must declare your opposition before the resolution is put to the meeting and before its members begin to take pledges and you must not make yourselves parties to the resolution.

"Although we are going to take the pledge in a body, no one should imagine that default on the part of one or many can absolve the rest from their obligation. Every one should fully realize his responsibility, then only pledge himself independently of others and understand that he himself must be true to his pledge even unto death, no matter what others do."

I spoke to this effect and resumed my seat. The meeting heard me word by word in perfect quiet. Other leaders too spoke. All dwelt upon their own responsibility and the responsibility of the audience. The President rose. He too made the situation clear, and at last all present, standing with upraised hands, took an oath with God as witness not to submit to the Ordinance if it became law.

I can never forget the scene, which is present before my mind's eye as I write. The community's enthusiasm knew no bounds. The very next day there was some accident in the theatre in consequence of which it was wholly destroyed by fire. On the third day friends brought me the news of the fire and congratulated the community upon this good omen, which signified to them that the Ordinance would meet the same fate as the theatre. I have never been influenced by such so-called signs and therefore did not attach any weight to the coincidence. I have taken note of it here only as a demonstration of the community's courage and faith. The reader will find in the subsequent chapters many more proofs of these two high qualities of the people. The workers did not let the grass grow under their feet after this great meeting. Meetings were held everywhere and pledges of resistance were taken in every place. The principal topic of discussion in Indian Opinion now was the Black Ordinance.

At the other end, steps were taken in order to meet the Local Government. A deputation waited upon Mr Duncan, the Colonial Secretary, and told him among other things about the pledges. Sheth Haji Habib, who was a member of the deputation, said, 'I cannot possibly restrain myself if any officer comes and proceeds to take my wife's finger prints. I will kill him there and then and die myself.'

The Minister stared at the Sheth's face for a while and said, 'Government is reconsidering the advisability of making the Ordinance applicable to women, and I can assure you at once that the clauses relating to women will be deleted. Government have understood your feeling in the matter and desire to respect it. But as for the other provisions, I am sorry to inform you that Government is and will remain adamant. General Botha wants you to agree to this legislation after due deliberation. Government deem it to be essential to the existence of the Europeans. They will certainly consider any suggestions about details which you may make consistently with the objects of the Ordinance, and my advice to the deputation is that your interest lies in agreeing to the legislation and proposing changes only as regards the details.'

I am leaving out here the particulars of the discussion with the Minister, as all those arguments have already been dealt with. The arguments were just the same, there was only a difference in phraseology as they were set forth before the Minister. The deputation withdrew, after informing him that his advice notwithstanding, acquiescence in the proposed legislation was out of the question, and after thanking Government for its intention of exempting women from its provisions.

It is difficult to say whether the exemption of women was the first fruit of the community's agitation, or whether the Government as an afterthought made a concession to practical considerations which Mr Curtis had ruled out of his scientific methods. Government claimed that it had decided to exempt women independently of the Indian agitation. Be that as it might, the community established to their own satisfaction a cause and effect relation between the agitation and the exemption and their fighting spirit rose accordingly.

None of us knew what name to give to our movement. I then used the term 'passive resistance' in describing it. I did not quite understand the implications of 'passive resistance' as I called it. I only knew that some new principle had come into being. As the struggle advanced, the phrase 'passive resistance' gave rise to confusion and it appeared shameful to permit this great struggle to be known only by an English name.

Again, that foreign phrase could hardly pass as current coin among the community. A small prize was therefore announced in Indian Opinion to be awarded to the reader who invented the best designation for our struggle. We thus received a number of suggestions. The meaning of the struggle had been then fully discussed in Indian Opinion and the competitors for the prize had fairly sufficient material to serve as a basis for their exploration. Shri Maganlal Gandhi was one of the competitors and he suggested the word 'Sadagraha,' meaning 'firmness in a good cause.' I liked the word, but it did not fully represent the whole idea I wished it to connote. I therefore corrected it to 'Satyagraha.' Truth (Satya) implies love, and firmness (agraha) engenders and therefore serves as a synonym for force. I thus began to call the Indian movement 'Satyagraha,' that is to say, the Force which is born of Truth and Love or non-violence, and gave up the use of the phrase 'passive resistance,' in connection with it, so much so that even in English writing we often avoided it and used instead the word 'Satyagraha' itself or some other equivalent English phrase.

This then was the genesis of the movement which came to be known as Satyagraha, and of the word used as a designation for it. Before we proceed any further with our history we shall do well to grasp the differences between passive resistance and Satyagraha, which is the subject of our next chapter.

Clips from the BBC Documentary The Making of the Mahatma (2009) pt. 1 above and pt. 2 below