Thursday, 29 January 2015

The neighbours are drowning

At least 3,419 people died last year trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.

Most were fleeing Syria and Eritrea.

The UK Government has withdrawn support for Mediterranean search and rescue.

Protest in London on Saturday.
31 January, 2-5pm, at the Home Office, 2 Marsham St, London SW1P 4DF.

Read more: Three ways to save Syrian refugees.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Shot in Cairo carrying flowers: Shaimaa al-Sabbagh

From The New York Times:
A woman was killed on Saturday in Cairo when the police fired shotgun pellets at a handful of socialist activists carrying flowers and marching to Tahrir Square to commemorate the hundreds of demonstrators killed there during the revolution that began on Jan. 25, 2011, her fellow activists said.

The protester, Shaimaa al-Sabbagh, was shot at close range and died a short time later, reported Aswat Masriya, a local news site that quoted a statement from the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, which organized the march.
Read the rest.

Cartoon: The woman died, by Andeel, via Andy Carvin.


Egypt: Video Shows Police Shot Woman at Protest – Human Rights Watch, 1 February 2015.

Coming to Mourn Tahrir Square’s Dead, and Joining Them Instead – By David D Kirkpatrick, New York Times, 3 February 2015.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

“Moi aussi, je suis une dessinatrice.”

Paris. Via Kim Willsher.

Et moi aussi, je suis un dessinateur.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

The number of civilians killed in Syria since 2011 is greater than the number of British civilians killed in the Second World War

Cross-posted from

For the entire conflict, the Violations Documentation Center in Syria has recorded 78,867 civilians killed to date, greater than the recorded number of British civilians killed in the Second World War.

The VDC is unable to record all violent deaths. By comparing their numbers to the UN’s most recent minimum count, it appears the true figure of civilians violently killed in Syria since March 2011 may well be over 137,000. All violent deaths, civilian and military, are now well over 200,000.

The UN’s minimum count of 191,369 violent deaths to the end of April 2014 was greater than Iraq Body Count’s number for total violent deaths in Iraq in the ten years from 2003 to 2013: 174,000 including combatants.

The UN Security Council passed Resolution 2139 in February of last year, demanding amongst other measures an end to aerial bombing of civilian areas. Enforcement of the resolution has been blocked by permanent member Russia, the principle supplier of arms and aircraft to Assad’s air force.

Individual states enjoying the privilege of UN Security Council membership now have a responsibility to act: specifically France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These three states have the proven ability to stop the Assad regime’s air attacks against civilians almost immediately. Their New Year’s resolution should now be to enforce the old year’s resolution.

Action is justified, in the words used by then Defence Minister George Robertson in the 1999 Parliamentary debate on the UK’s Kosovo intervention, “as an exceptional measure in support of purposes laid down by the UN Security Council, but without the Council's express authorisation.” Whether individually or collectively, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, must act now to stop this slaughter.

Protect civilians. Enforce UN Security Council Resolution 2139. Syria needs a No-Fly Zone.

• Photo: Firemen at work in bomb damaged street in London, after Saturday night raid, circa 1941. Source: US National Archives.