Ayesha Kazmi

Archive for the ‘The Political’ Category

Dark Times in a Western “Democracy”

In The Political on 29/12/2011 at 22:33

The very same afternoon that the Tarek Mehanna verdict was announced, I was diligently working on a piece I was meant to submit to the ACLU. Upon hearing the verdict, I simply closed my word processer and sat in a state of shock wondering whether or not I should even continue working on my piece.

Mehanna was arrested for a second time in the early hours of the morning on 21 October, 2009 on charges of conspiracy and material support for terrorism. Those who know him testify that Mehanna was openly opposed US foreign policy.  Read the rest of this entry »


PERF’s Jamaican Misadventures

In The Political on 28/12/2011 at 22:53

Recent probing into the independent investigation of the Oakland Police Department (OPD), launched by Mayor Jean Quan to review the heavy handed actions of Oakland police at the Occupy crackdowns, revealed that the investigation to survey police conduct was anything but independent.

According to videographer, Scott Campbell, who was shot in the leg by a rubber bullet by the OPD, “The ‘independent’ investigation proposed by the city is just another version of the police investigating the police … This is especially true given the questionable past Read the rest of this entry »

ACLU of Massachusetts Statement on Tarek Mehanna Verdict

In The Political on 21/12/2011 at 04:31

The following is the press release of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts in response to the Tarek Mehanna verdict on 20 December, 2011:

Mehanna verdict compromises First Amendment, undermines national security

Decision today threatens writers and journalists, academic researchers, translators, and even ordinary web surfers.

Read the rest of this entry »


The Media Whitewashing of the Occupy Boston Eviction

In The Political on 12/12/2011 at 03:48

After Occupy Boston’s 5 am raid on the morning of 10 October, the Boston Police Department (BPD) tucked away with the media for a press conference. Since, I have been anxiously awaiting for the local media coverage of yesterday’s eviction of Dewey Square to come pouring out.

Just this afternoon, I came across this: an article from the Boston Globe entitled “For Menino, police, a 99 percent success” by Brian McGrory. I almost spat out my tea while I read the article. It was pretty much exactly what I was expecting from beginning to end. Read the rest of this entry »


What I Think of PERF

In The Political on 23/11/2011 at 21:25

After a difficult week on Occupy movements across the United States, members of the public have been wondering whether violent crackdowns have been coordinated, given the nature of the crackdowns and their proximity in time.

Civil rights activists, journalists and the public began accusing the US Federal Government of coordinating crackdowns. However, after an article appeared in the San Francisco Bay Guardian (SFBG) saying that a little known non-governmental organization, called the Police Executives’ Research Forum, or PERF, had been advising mayors across Read the rest of this entry »


OWS, Welcome to the War on Terror

In The Political on 11/11/2011 at 18:49

It would be fair to assume that American Muslims are likely breathing a sigh of relief and welcoming the rank and file of Occupy protesters now brought into the folds of the War on Terror – and it’s certainly not because American Muslims enjoy seeing others being put through the wringers of surveillance.

Just shy of two months, Occupy has proven to be the platform where Americans of all backgrounds now come together to engage in long overdue civic dialogue – Occupy’s indisputable shining accomplishment. Read the rest of this entry »


Why Anti-OWS Speech Scares Me

In The Political on 17/10/2011 at 23:40

To their credit, various “occupy” protesters have warded off critique quite well. We have read the counter arguments and even witnessed a Wall Street protester tearing a Fox News reporter to shreds.

Many of us want to hurl objects at our television screens when we hear the likes of Bill O’Reilly spewing his venomous disgust at the occupy movement.

Rather than carry out our typical “knee-jerk” responses many of us are inclined toward with the likes of talking heads like O’Reilly, I have an alternative suggestion. Read the rest of this entry »


At its Core, Occupy Wall Street Will Always Remain a Product of its Time and Place

In The Political on 04/10/2011 at 00:34

Criticisms about the various occupy movements now spreading throughout the United States were expected from the outset.

Generally speaking, and for various reasons, there will be underlying elements that will seek to undermine popular movements. Often this is accomplished by questioning the purpose, usefulness, motives, tactics, or by constructing moral judgments to rally around, and even by slandering individuals within the movement or the movement as a whole. Read the rest of this entry »


Activism Street: Street Protests and Anonymous

In The Political on 28/09/2011 at 15:41

This article was originally published at http://www.presstorm.com

New York City’s Zuccotti Park has been “Liberty Park” to some for a week now. The number of protestors fluctuates between 200 and 500 at any given moment. Many of them routinely head home to shower, rest, regroup and return.

So what is it about this leaderless, directionless, “revolutionary” Occupy-Wall-Street movement that appeals to the protesters’ loyalties? Read the rest of this entry »


A Day of Hate?

In The Political on 15/09/2011 at 23:53

The 10 year anniversary of 11 September has come and gone. Sunday, 11 September, 2011 in itself was an occasion in its own right.

Building up to the 9/11 anniversary “event”, material floods bombarded the public with items recapping a diverse body of stories to stir the mood. Despite the fact that these sources came from a variety of places and backgrounds, Americans, Europeans, Muslims, Arabs and Pakistanis, the underlying messages carried a similar tone (save a small handful): 9/11 changed the world. Read the rest of this entry »