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Profile Information

Name: Elizabeth Ferrari
Gender: Female
Hometown: San Francisco
Member since: Mon Nov 22, 2004, 10:50 AM
Number of posts: 163,986

Journal Archives

Alaa is free. (Dial up warning)

He was released on Christmas Day and went right back to Tahrir. From the Egyptian Chronicles blog:

Sunday, December 25, 2011
#FreeAlaa : Alaa is released !!

This is the good news of the day indeed.

Our dear blogger and activist Alaa Abdel Fatah Seif has been released pending investigation by the judge on Sunday.


Alaa Abdel Fatah Seif was accused in the Maspero clashes which are being investigated now by civilian judge after month in front of Military judiciary followed by state security court then a civilian judge.

Here is the first photo showing Alaa Abdel Fatah as a free man outside the jail , he has been always a free man.

Triad of Business, Cops & Politicians Attack Occupy San Francisco

December 27, 2011

Low Friends in High Places
Triad of Business, Cops & Politicians Attack Occupy

A political campaign by San Francisco’s well-heeled “property owners” was launched to influence police and politicians to aggressively demobilize Occupy SF and to dismantle their encampments. And, there are documents to prove it.

Things did not start out this way.

When the Occupy movement first took root on Saturday, September 17, 2011 in New York’s famously renamed Liberty Square, it took the country and the whole world by surprise.

None more shocked than the now notoriously renamed one per cent. They were embarrassed by the spotlight on their secretive, self-serving, and sometimes illegal transactions.


Quan’s codependent investigation of the OPD

December 26, 2011
by Scott

by Scott Johnson (@OccupiedOakTrib)
with @MaryMad
Source: SFExamier.com

Last week, with Police Chief Howard Jordan at her side, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan announced the creation of an “independent investigation” into the actions taken by police against Occupy Oakland.

“We take use of force very seriously,” Jordan said at the press conference. “All instances of force are being thoroughly investigated.”

At a cost of $100,000—which no doubt will be another expenditure blamed on Occupiers—the four-person team of investigators appears to be hardly independent and unlikely to root out systemic police brutality in the department. With the brutal hospitalization of two veterans–Scott Olsen and Kayvan Sabeghi–and the completely unprovoked shooting with a non-lethal device of videographer Scott Campbell, to name only the most high profile cases, there is a desperate need to investigate the violent elements in the OPD. But there are serious questions about this specific investigation.

Campbell told me va email that this whole episode appears to be a “whitewash,” and as of the Christmas weekend–nearly two months after the incident–the OPD has still not yet contacted him about the incident. “The ‘independent’ investigation proposed by the city is is just another version of the police investigating the police,” Campbel said. “This is especially true given the questionable past conduct of the ‘investigators’ and the links that Frazier has to conservative and pro-police think tanks, as well as the Department of Homeland Security.”


Pioneer Bloggers in the Gulf Arab States (Sultan al Qassemi)

Dec 20 2011

Long before Facebook updates and 140-character tweets, a number of cyber activists defined the landscape of non-government led opinion in the Gulf Arab states. In less than a decade, a group of bloggers—many of whom have never met—has paved the way for the emergence of the “other opinion” that was and continues to be largely missing from the government controlled Gulf Arab media. The shake-up to traditional media that these blogging pioneers caused was no less significant than what Al Jazeera’s arrival did to the moribund government-controlled television channels of the Arab world.

Today the number of Twitter and Facebook users in the Gulf is estimated to be in the millions. Many are outspoken and critical of Gulf Arab regime policies, religious establishments, and the stagnation of social and political reform. There is no doubt that this space for online peaceful dissent would be even narrower and less tolerated than it is today had it not been for the courageous activism of the Arab and Gulf blogging pioneers. A majority of these social media pioneers have incorporated new mediums into their activism, but a few chose to stop blogging altogether. Some are no longer with us today, while others have gone into hiding in fear of being jailed. Bloggers such as emoodz, Redbelt, and Silly Bahraini Girl scaled back on covering local events out of fear of intimidation or possible reprisals following arrests of high profile bloggers. Where some bloggers adopted pseudonyms, others used their real names despite the many pressures and threats they faced. Although many of these bloggers never met in the real world, their lives were interconnected nonetheless.

Back in December 2007, Saudi blogger Fouad al-Farhan wrote a post titled “Ten Saudis I never want to meet.” The controversial list included a senior cleric, a judge, and a Saudi prince, among others. Al-Fahran had also previously written in defense of a group of conservative academics who were arrested for holding meetings and demanding reforms. Shortly thereafter, he was detained and placed in solitary confinement for almost four months. Chillingly, al-Farhan had predicted his own arrest. A source informed him that he would be “picked up” for investigation by the Ministry of Interior “anytime in the next two weeks,” after which he ended his blog entry with: "I don't want to be forgotten in jail."

During al-Farhan’s 137-day detention the most vocal support came from Hadeel al-Hodaif, the twenty-five-year old Saudi female author of the blog Heaven’s Steps. Al-Hodaif was unique for blogging in her real name and launched a “Free Fouad” campaign and Facebook page that attracted the attention of global media such as the BBC Arabic, who hosted her to speak about al-Farhan’s plight. Sadly, a few days before al-Farhan’s release on 26 April 2008, al-Hodaif fell into a coma and passed away in a hospital twenty-five days later. Saudi Arabia’s blogosphere was inspired by al-Hodaif and is enriched today by other brave female bloggers such as Manal, Fotat, and Ghada as well as Eman Al Nafjan and Manal Al Sharif, both of whom were chosen amongst Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers list in early December 2011.


Jailed Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad is a prisoner of conscience who should be released (12/14

Jailed Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad is a prisoner of conscience who should be released

Posted: 14 December 2011

Amnesty International has called for the immediate release of the imprisoned Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad and criticised Egypt’s military rulers for a continuing pattern of abuse after his imprisonment was confirmed in a military retrial today.

The blogger, who is considered by Amnesty to be a prisoner of conscience, had his three-year sentence reduced to two years after a retrial before a military court earlier today. He was imprisoned in April for criticising the post-Mubarak military authorities on his Facebook page and for supposedly “spreading lies and rumours about the armed forces” on his blog.

On top of his conviction and two-year sentence today, Maikel was fined 200 Egyptian Pounds and required to pay 300 Egyptian Pounds in legal fees for a lawyer appointed for him by the military court (a sum of around £53). He had refused legal representation in protest over his trial before a military court.

Maikel has been on hunger strike since August in protest against his imprisonment and his trial before a military court, surviving on liquids. Recently, military officials have reportedly asked him to apologise to Supreme Council of the Armed Forces for his writings but he refused. Amnesty opposes the trial of civilians by military courts and considers these trials unfair as they violate defendant’s rights to a trial before an independent and impartial tribunal.


Here is a link to four stories by Amira Al Hussaini on this detention and on Alaa abd El Fattah:


Half an Hour With Khaled (Alaa Abd El Fattah a.k.a. Abu Kaled)

Monday, December 19, 2011
Half an Hour With Khaled
A piece smuggled out of jail by Alaa Abd El Fattah.

Published in Arabic an al Shorouk on December 19th

Fate chose that my imprisonment should be connected to the civil judiciary: I was imprisoned in 2006 with fifty comrades from Kefaya movement and untold hundreds of the Muslim Brotherhood because of our solidarity with the intifada of the judiciary against Mubarak and his regime. We protested for the independence of the judiciary and their complete supervision of the elections, and so were imprisoned by the State Security Prosecutor for a month and a half.

And now, in the era of the revolution I was imprisoned by the military prosecutor as a punishment for insisting on appearing before a civil judge. And perhaps also as a punishment for my role in the events of Maspero, which was also connected to the civil judiciary: our stand in the Coptic Hospital to ensure a serious investigation by the pubic prosecutor and our insistence on genuine autopsies by the coroner. This stand was the reason my name was listed in the files of the police and military intelligence.

With the killing of new martyrs in Tahrir we gained a victory in the Maspero case. But it is a victory with a Ganzouri taste. It’s true that the case was referred to the civil courts but instead of standing in front of an independent investigating judge I find myself once more in front of the higher state security prosecutor.

In the era of the deposed we used to refuse being tried by state security prosecution because it is an exceptional judiciary. But in the era of Ganzouri we agreed to it on the basis that the exceptional civil is better than the exceptional military. And because it was a Ganzouri victory I did not rejoice. In fact I came back from the prosecutor in a miserable state. I spent my most difficult week in jail because what had gone before had been a struggle and a stand against military trials, and struggle inspires patience and makes resilience easy. But what was the meaning of my continued imprisonment after the case was referred? What’s the aim of my resilience?

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