From Our Daily Report

  • OmanNine people were killed, including three attackers, and 30 more wounded as gunmen opened fire on worshippers outside a Shi'ite mosque in Wadi al-Kabir district of Muscat, the capital of usually peaceful Oman. The assailants reportedly shouted as they fired, "You non-believers, this is your end!" Four Pakistani nationals and a police officer were among those killed. The Islamic State group (ISIS) claimed responsibility the attack, which occurred during the Shi'ite holy month of Ashura. ISIS released a video showing three men holding rifles and their black flag, boasting of "the targeting of the Rafida," a pejorative term for Shi'ites. (Map: PCL)

REVOLUTION 9

Yippie

by Bill Weinberg, Skunk

This brief memoir of CounterVortex editor Bill Weinberg's days as a young neo-Yippie in the 1980s first appeared in Canada's Skunk magazine in winter 2012-13. 

On Nov. 14, I went back to 9 Bleecker Street for the 63rd birthday bash of Aron Kay, the famous Yippie Pie-Man.

Aron is something of a legend in activist and radical circles in New York City. Of impressive girth and walking with a cane, he still sports beard and tie-dyed t-shirt, and is viewed as a kind of an elder statesman by some of the Occupy Wall Street crowd. Although his physical condition no longer allows him to engage in the daring tactic that won him notoriety, he has more than earned his sobriquet. Across his career, he has wafted pies into the faces of (in chronological order) right-wing pundit William F. Buckley, New York’s Senator Patrick Moynihan, Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt, anti-feminist mouthpiece Phyllis Schlafly, New York City Mayor Abe Beame, Watergate burglar G. Gordon Liddy, CIA chief William Colby, Studio 54 empresario Steve Rubell, California governor Jerry Brown, Vietnam-era National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy, H-bomb mastermind Edward Teller (who got a special mushroom pie—get it?) and anti-abortion crusader Randall Terry.

CHIQUITA TO PAY FOR PARAMILITARY TERROR

paramilitaries

by Ingrid Burke Friedman, JURIST

Chiquita’s money helped buy weapons and ammunition used to kill innocent victims.

— US Government sentencing memo, 2008

In 2007, Chiquita—one of the world's largest banana producers — admitted that for years it had been knowingly paying a Colombian terrorist organization to protect its operations in the country. The consequence was predictably violent, allegedly resulting in thousands of murders, disappearances, and acts of torture. This week, nearly two decades later, a federal jury in South Florida ordered the company to pay upwards of $38 million in damages in the first of multiple waves of wrongful death and disappearance lawsuits.

THE NEW ZAPATISTA AUTONOMY

EZLN

by Uri Gordon, Freedom

Last week the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) released a declaration, setting out a new decentralized structure for the autonomous indigenous communities in Mexico's southern state of Chiapas. To get more insight into this change and its significance, Freedom spoke to Bill Weinberg, a longtime journalist and anarchist in New York City. His book about the Zapatistas, Homage to Chiapas: The New Indigenous Struggles in Mexico, was published by Verso in 2000. He spent much time in Chiapas and elsewhere in Mexico during the 1990s, covering the indigenous movements there, prominently including the Zapatistas. In recent decades he has been spending more time in South America and is now completing a book about indigenous struggles in the Andes, particularly Peru. He continues to follow the Zapatistas and Chiapas very closely, and covers world autonomy movements on his website CounterVortex.org.

GAS INTRIGUES, ECOLOGY & THE UKRAINE WAR

Siberia pipeline

by Eugene Simonov and Jennifer Castner,
Ukraine War Environmental Consequences Work Group

Over the last several decades, Russia has sought to expand its customer base for natural gas exports, efforts which necessitate the construction of pipelines from fossil fuel deposits in Russia's north to Europe and China. At the same time, fossil fuel exports are a valuable tool for Russia's geopolitical influence. Since the start of the war in Ukraine in 2014 and the full-scale invasion in 2022, the economic and political stakes have skyrocketed. Russia's national and regional green movements have played a vital role in decision-making about pipeline routes and negotiations in parallel. In the last few years, however, their activity has attracted increasingly harsh scrutiny from the Russian government, which has seen a growing number of organizations branded "undesirable" or declared "foreign agents."

UKRAINE'S DIFFICULT PATH TO JUSTICE

Ukraine tribunal

by Mariia Lazareva and Erik Kucherenko, Jurist

On August 21, 2023, Ukraine's capital of Kyiv hosted a large international conference entitled Special Tribunal for the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine: Justice to be Served. The conference was aimed at reinvigorating global efforts to prosecute the crime of aggression against Ukraine—a crime which cannot be prosecuted under the current jurisdictional regime of the International Criminal Court. The conference was especially relevant given that, despite optimistic expectations at the beginning of the year, disagreements between Ukraine and its allies have left some wondering: in the end, will justice be served?

GAZA'S SHOCK ATTACK: UNVEILING THE CONTEXT

Gaza

by Haggai Matar, +972 Magazine

This is a terrible day. After waking up to air sirens under a barrage of hundreds of rockets fired on Israeli cities, we have been learning about the unprecedented assault by Palestinian militants from Gaza into Israeli towns bordering the strip.

News is flowing in of at least 40 Israelis killed and hundreds wounded, as well as some reportedly kidnapped into Gaza. Meanwhile, the Israeli army has already begun its own offensive on the blockaded strip, with troops mobilizing along the fence and air-strikes killing and wounding scores of Palestinians so far. The absolute dread of people who are seeing armed militants in their streets and homes, or the sight of fighter jets and approaching tanks, is unimaginable. Attacks on civilians are war crimes, and my heart goes to the victims and their families.

CRIMEA: UKRAINE'S OTHER NATIONAL LIBERATION STRUGGLE

Tatars

by Yevgeny Lerner

Many would-be “peacemakers” on the political right as well as on the political left, including even some on the libertarian left, have “very helpfully” suggested that Ukraine should give up some territories, which they describe as “Russian-speaking,” in order to appease the aggressor.

UKRAINE: DEBUNKING RUSSIA'S WAR PROPAGANDA

Kharkiv

by Bill Weinberg

The war in Ukraine has left cities in ruins, displaced 12 million people, and brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. Why did Putin invade Ukraine?

Upon launching the invasion at the end of February, Putin said his aims were ensuring that Ukraine is “neutral,” “de-nazified” and “demilitarized.”

Putin has appropriated the rhetoric of anti-fascism, and his state-controlled media have for years portrayed the Ukrainian leadership as “Nazis.” Increasingly, the words “Ukrainian” and “Nazi” are used interchangeably.

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