Why Daniel McGowan is Back in Prison; Students Protesters Evicted; Drop the I-Word Victory

Ben Lorber

Each Fri­day here at Upris­ing, we present a round-up of the demon­stra­tions, debates and oth­er man­ners of rab­ble-rous­ing that went under-report­ed dur­ing the week.

Daniel McGowan Back in Prison: Earth Lib­er­a­tion Front activist and polit­i­cal pris­on­er Daniel McGowan was re-arrest­ed by author­i­ties yes­ter­day, only months after being released from 6 years of impris­on­ment. McGowan was alleged­ly tak­en back into cus­tody in response to an arti­cle pub­lished on the Huff­in­g­ton Post on April 1, in which he charged the Fed­er­al Bureau of Pris­ons with trans­fer­ring him to a high secu­ri­ty prison unit to restrict his polit­i­cal speech. McGowan was arrest­ed in 2006 as part of the Green Scare that saw fed­er­al forces crack down on envi­ron­men­tal activists nation­wide.

Pris­on­er’s Death Ignites Mass Hunger Strikes in Pales­tine: On Wednes­day, thou­sands of Pales­tin­ian pris­on­ers began refus­ing break­fast to protest the death of Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh in prison. Hamdiyeh was diag­nosed with can­cer in Jan­u­ary, and lawyers insist he was giv­en only antibi­otics and painkillers by Israeli author­i­ties. Protests and mourn­ing erupt­ed through­out Pales­tine upon news of his death on April 2nd, but it is unclear how long the mass hunger strike by pris­on­ers from all polit­i­cal fac­tions will continue.

Gram­mat­i­cal­ly Speak­ing, No Human Being is Ille­gal: The Asso­ci­at­ed Press has announced that it will drop the phrase ille­gal immi­grant” from its pop­u­lar style­book. Under the new AP guide­lines, the word ille­gal” can be used to describe an action, such as an ille­gal bor­der-cross­ing, but not a per­son liv­ing in a coun­try with­out legal per­mis­sion. The deci­sion marks a vic­to­ry in a cam­paign by immi­grants rights advo­cates to replace the epi­thet ille­gal’ with terms such as undoc­u­ment­ed’ or with­out papers’.

Anti-Pri­va­ti­za­tion Pro­test­ers Evict­ed: On Tues­day, more than 20 stu­dents at Sus­sex Uni­ver­si­ty were evict­ed from a build­ing on cam­pus they had occu­pied for weeks in protest of pri­va­ti­za­tion at the UK uni­ver­si­ty. In May 2012, Sus­sex Uni­ver­si­ty announced that cam­pus facil­i­ties and cater­ing would be pri­va­tized, dis­plac­ing over 200 employ­ees. In response, the group Sus­sex Against Pri­vati­sa­tion has mobi­lized a wave of protests, includ­ing an 8‑week occu­pa­tion of the uni­ver­si­ty’s Bram­ber House. On Mon­day, the uni­ver­si­ty was grant­ed per­mis­sion to evict the stu­dents by a high court; the rul­ing also banned stu­dents from enter­ing and remain­ing on the cam­pus and build­ings of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Sus­sex for the pur­pose of protest action” with­out per­mis­sion from the university.

Ben Lor­ber is Cam­pus Coor­di­na­tor for Jew­ish Voice for Peace.
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