Thursday, May 25, 2017

Propaganda In Our Day: Even Its Opposite Is Untrue

Drug Enforcement Agency personnel or terriorists operating in Honduras? You be the judge.
Photo: Rodrigo Abd/AP via The Intercept

It's spring in the 8th grade and we turn to the study of propaganda. The student who considers it his duty to challenge everything I do demanded to know why studying propaganda belongs in English class. I turned his question back to his classmates and the wary silence accompanied by bored inattention was broken by a lone raised hand. "Weasel words is about using words that don't mean what they seem to, and words are what we study in English." Good job. 

Of course we live in an age dominated by images that amplify words or often sidestep words altogether to convey ideas. And a veritable deluge of false narratives like Russiagate conveyed by any means. It makes for an interesting perspective for this old teacher reflecting that there is hardly anything new under the sun.

(This reminds me to show them the Assyrian relief on display at my alma mater with cuneiform exalting King Ashurnasirpal as he's blessed with the gift of fertilizing -- there's tree pollen in the winged spirit's handbag.)
Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine
We've considered lots of advertisements, for that is the very air a child in the waning days of capitalism breaths from birth. I've also shown a clip from the 1947 U.S. Department of War film "Don't Be A Sucker" pointing out graphically the parallel between a demagogue's claims in Nazi Germany and a demagogue's claims in post-WWII America. Scapegoating, preying on people's fears, and exploiting the unemployed are clumsily demonstrated as a man in the Cold War crowd nervously turns the masonic ring on his finger muttering, "Hey, now they're talking about me." Any resemblance to current events is purely coincidental.

But the real fun began when I asked students to find a short video of any kind that exemplifies at least two of the propaganda strategies we've been focusing on: weasel words, glittering generalities, bandwagon and expert (in 2017 read: celebrity) opinion.

One student turned up an infographic-style video that animates a book on propaganda by evil mastermind Edward Bernays. I wasn't planning to study the history of propaganda but students now saw how it was used on behalf of the corporation United Fruit to effect regime change in Guatemala, and who invented the weasel words "public relations."

I knew this history already so it didn't stick in my craw quite as much as the next offering, a video titled "Propaganda video claims to show ISIS's 'workout program'." 

Screenshot from Daily Mail video

All the men are masked like DEA agents in Honduras, and some appear rather chunky. No voices are heard under the soundtrack of an Arabic (or Dari?) song presumably calling on idealistic notions of faith in the service of killing infidels.

Without an understanding of the words, the appeal of the images was strong for teenagers -- leaping through rings of fire, tumbling through obstacle courses and demonstrating proper knife fighting techniques. "They make it look so fun," one observed.

I will not be sharing this infographic with my students.

It would take an entire course on contemporary U.S. foreign policy to unravel the complicated lies about Islamic terrorism that conceal our lust for wealth and territorial ambitions. The documentary Reel Bad Arabs showed a plethora of Hollywood's efforts to demonize those sitting on top of what U.S. oil companies consider their rightful property. But in a week when corporate news was full of images of the president and Saudi Arabia's leaders dancing together with swords as they sold and bought $110 billion in weapons -- and a suicide bomber allegedly motivated by religion blew up scores of young girls at a concert in Manchester -- the layers of deception are too dense for my 8th grade English class.

As for the "fun" of combat, what empire has not employed propaganda to sell that notion?

When thinking about propaganda I often return to an essay by George Orwell published in 1939 about boys' "penny dreadfuls" sold in England's poorest neighborhoods. An interesting quote:

The American ideal, the ‘he-man’, the ‘tough guy’, the gorilla who puts everything right by socking everybody on the jaw, now figures in probably a majority of boys' papers.

Orwell concerns himself with framing, arguably the most powerful propaganda technique of all. (A question I posed about the "Don't Be A Sucker" film was: Where are all the women?) By directing our gaze to a narrow window on the world, other possibilities are negated. A constricted view offering compelling, false narrative meets the litmus test of truly sophisticated propaganda in that even its opposite is untrue.

I'm not going to push my own political analysis on 8th graders. That would be wrong, and not what I agreed to do when I signed my contract. I am going to try and plant a seed of doubt in their minds about their access to real information. Net neutrality is under fire (again), and we live in the sticks -- so online searching may or may not continue to be a uniquely powerful way for my students to find real news. At least I hope they leave for summer vacation realizing it's their own responsibility to find some.

I'll let a teenage girl have the last word here: @angryhijabi's passionate appeal for an unbiased and unhurried examination of actual facts.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Din of Protesters Grows Louder By The Day #Aegis9

This op-ed I wrote appeared in the The Times Record on May 17, an installment in an ongoing series of opinion pieces submitted by Peaceworks of Greater Brunswick. I'm reprinting it here with added visuals and embedded links.

Din of Protesters Grows Louder By The Day

This month Governor Paul LePage convened an opiate addiction roundtable in Augusta that was attended by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. Why Maine? Because in 2017 an average of one person a day dies of an overdose. It’s a serious problem.

The press conference on the steps of the State House had to be moved inside because protesters led by Planned Parenthood had gathered, noisily demanding full coverage for reproductive health care for women. Even inside, videos recorded that the chanting was loud enough to drown out the man at the podium.

video shared on Facebook by Michael Shepherd

News coverage of the roundtable made reference to the protesters — thus amplifying their voices.

We who protest at the General Dynamics Bath Iron Works shipyard are often told that protesting does nothing. Routinely barred from entering the regular “christenings” when a warship is completed, our messages typically reach thousands in attendance.

Reporters have told us they are warned that if they photograph or interview protesters outside the gates, they won’t be allowed inside to cover the event.
I created this Susan Collins costume by adding the logos of my senator's many corporate sponsors to a thrift store power suit.

It’s difficult to tell whether our congressional delegation see us as they are whisked through the gates in cars with tinted windows. On April 1 we did catch of glimpse of Senator Angus King at BIW, a man who shook my husband’s hand in Bath’s 4th of July parade while campaigning and told him that bringing our war dollars home “sounds like a good idea.” 

Senator King continues to support huge budgets for the Pentagon and to accept campaign contributions from its contractors.

I’ve shared copies of the UMass study demonstrating that military contracting is a poor jobs program with Senators King and Collins, and Representatives Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin -- but the problem persists. Thus, I protest.
Aegis 9 defendant Jason Rawn channeling Senator Angus King on April 1
That Saturday I joined a tradition of nonviolent civil disobedience at BIW and was arrested for trespassing. News outlets around Maine carried a brief mention of the protest. As I arrived at school to do my regular job on Monday, coworkers cheered as they had seen television coverage of the protest. Now, my antiwar message has spread to many unusual audiences due to an unintended consequence of my arrest.
Mike Turk and Jessica Stewart are led away in handcuffs for transport to the Bath Police headquarters.

I was up for an internal transfer in my district, but the school board abruptly tabled the matter at their April meeting. I learned why a few days later: one board member was angry that I was protesting “the government who pays her salary.” Whether or not General Dynamics is now de facto an arm of the federal government would make an interesting high school debate topic, but whether my 1st amendment rights exist on the weekend probably would not. I’m entitled to freedom of speech on my own time whether my employers agree with me or not.

Artist Natasha Mayers took off her giant carbon footprint costume before entering the police van.

As a member of the Maine Education Association I took the matter up with my local president and he contacted our MEA uniserv director for advice. Officers there discussed the matter and advised that the district would have a “PR nightmare” on their hands if they attempted to discipline an employee for protesting outside of school hours at BIW.
Meanwhile, another colleague contacted me to say she wished she could be as brave as I was. One wondered why I had not told her of my arrest.

As a public servant, I do not use my position as an educator in order to espouse my political views. I see my job as teaching children how to think, not what to think.

Many of my coworkers marched in the massive women’s protests this year. Currently many are worried about the prospect of nuclear war. My arrest upped the ante and prompted them to ask, “Why am I not doing that?” I am delighted that they are discussing this possibility, because only mass civil disobedience is likely to bring the highly profitable war machine to a halt.
Did you know that thousands more jobs would be created if Bath Iron Works were converted to building sustainable energy components? Long time activist Jenny Gray shares a message often seen at BIW.

The final unlikely audience for my protest message was the law firm Drummond Woodsum, which provides counsel for most of the school districts in Maine. Consulted by my school board, they billed time explaining the 1st amendment and its ramifications. Subsequently, the board voted unanimously with one abstention to approve my transfer.
Aegis 9 left to right: Bob Dale, Russell Wray, Bruce Gagnon, Natasha Mayers, Mike Turk,
 Jessica Stewart, me, Mark Roman and Jason Rawn.

The Aegis 9 look forward to a jury trial this summer to explain our actions and further share our message: building warships at BIW is bad for the environment, bad for jobs and dangerously bad for our collective karma. Building sustainable energy solutions would be much better. As we await trial, we plan to go on protesting. My next unlikely audience: classmates at my 40th Bowdoin reunion in June. Will I disrupt commencement with my urgent plea for peace in our time? Stay tuned.
Lisa Savage is a teacher and literacy coach in RSU #74, a member of Peaceworks, and a director of the Maine Natural Guard campaign. She blogs at

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Chelsea Manning Is Free Today, Most Important Whistleblower Of Our Time @xychelsea

Chelsea Manning is hugely important as a whistleblower who brought us many, many inconvenient truths about our national government in action around the planet. Here from blogger Greg Mitchell (co-author with Kevin Gosztola of a book on Manning):
First, just a very partial list from "Cablegate" (keep in mind, this does not include many other bombshells that caused a stir in smaller nations abroad): 
-Yemeni president lied to his own people, claiming his military carried out air strikes on militants actually done by U.S.  All part of giving U.S. full rein in country against terrorists.
-Details on Vatican hiding big sex abuse cases in Ireland. 
-U.S. tried to get Spain to curb its probes of Gitmo torture and rendition. 
-Egyptian torturers trained by FBI—although allegedly to teach the human rights issues.
-State Dept memo: U.S.-backed 2009 coup in Honduras was 'illegal and unconstitutional.'”
-Cables on Tunisia appear to help spark revolt in that country. The country's ruling elite described as “The Family,” with Mafia-like skimming throughout the economy. The country's First Lady may have made massive profits off a private school. 
-U.S. knew all about massive corruption in Tunisia back in 2006 but went on supporting the government anyway, making it the pillar of its North Africa policy. 
-Cables showed the UK promised in 2009 to protect U.S interests in the official Chilcot inquiry on the start of the Iraq war.
-U.S. pressured the European Union to accept GM — genetic modification, that is.  
-Washington was misled by our own diplomats on Russia-Georgia showdown. 
-Extremely important historical document finally released in full: Ambassador April Glaspie's cable from Iraq in 1990 on meeting with Saddam Hussein before Kuwait invasion.
-The UK sidestepped a ban on housing cluster bombs. Officials concealed from Parliament how the U.S. is allowed to bring weapons on to British soil in defiance of treaty. 
-New York Times:  “From hundreds of diplomatic cables, Afghanistan emerges as a looking-glass land where bribery, extortion and embezzlement are the norm and the honest man is a distinct outlier.”
-Afghan vice president left country with $52 million “in cash.”
-Shocking levels of U.S. spying at the United Nations (beyond what was commonly assumed) and intense use of diplomats abroad in intelligence-gathering roles. 
-Potential environmental disaster kept secret by the U.S. when a large consignment of highly enriched uranium in Libya came close to cracking open and leaking radioactive material into the atmosphere. 
-U.S. used threats, spying, and more to try to get its way at last year's crucial climate conference in Copenhagen. 
-Hundreds of cables detail U.S. use of diplomats as “sales” agents, more than previously thought, centering on jet rivalry of Boeing vs. Airbus. Hints of corruption and bribes. 
-Millions in U.S. military aid for fighting Pakistani insurgents went to other gov't uses (or stolen) instead. 
-Israel wanted to bring Gaza to the ”brink of collapse.”
-The U.S. secret services used Turkey as a base to transport terrorism suspects as part of its extraordinary rendition program.

Most famous of all Chelsea's many important leaks is the video known as "Collateral Murder" which you can see here with commentary from Ethan McCord. 

He was a soldier on the ground trying to resuce the children being shot at from the soldiers hovering over them in a helicopter (location of the video camera).

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Graduates At #BethuneCookman Boo DeVos As Dean Scolds: 'Choose Which Way You Want To Go'

In a sea of bad news this morning, my bright spot was video of graduates at Bethune Cookman, a historic Black college, booing and turning their backs on honorary degree recipient Betsy DeVos.

In an ironic touch, a dean who appeared to be angered and no doubt embarrassed by the crowd's reaction to DeVos at the podium admonished graduates to "choose which way you want to go." This followed a threat that if the disturbance did not cease that diplomas would be mailed rather than handed out as they marched in caps and gowns.

Celebrating years of hard work to achieve a college degree by protesting an uneducated white representative of the openly racist regime of the demagogue with bad hair seems like making a good choice to me. 

Other notable tweets reporting the controversy:
DeVos is an heiress of the Amway fortune and sister to notorious Pentagon contractor Eric Prince. Famously uneducated herself, she was instrumental in harming public education systems in Michigan and Texas before ascending to the federal post of Secretary of Education. She is an avowed enemy of public education favoring privatization schemes and charter schools over fully funding schools that serve all children.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Onward, Kleptocracy: Why Your Country Can Afford WMDs But Not Health Care For Sick Kids

Here's one of the products big corporate donors to congressional and presidential campaigns sell at a profit: weapons of mass destruction. The many reasons trotted out for spending well over half the discretionary portion of the federal budget each year on the Pentagon and its contractors tend to focus on "security" in the face of threats from actors around the globe. 

What this really means is "financial security for me and my family" as aspiring millionaires like Obama -- or the once destitute Bill Clinton -- cozy up to the big dogs, exchanging representation of the interests of the already wealthy for a piece of the pie.

Here's another profitable product: financial services, such as investment banking. A groundbreaking academic study "Fifty Shades of Green" analyzed the voting of Democratic congressmen and women in relation to their acceptance of campaign donations from the private sector. From the Roosevelt Institute article about the study:
The message of [authors] Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Chen’s study is simple: Money influences key congressional floor votes on both finance and telecommunication issues. Americans may not have the “best Congress money can buy”—after all, as they note, their results could be even bleaker—but there is no point in pretending that what appears to be the voice of the people is really often the sound of money talking.
This is an inconvenient truth. Liberals in the U.S. want to pretend the influence of $$$$$$$$$ in government is a new, Republican problem. 

It was the failure of the Democratic Party to represent people rather than corporations that handed the last election to the other corporate party, the one that similarly made a lot of false promises to represent the little guy by "draining the swamp" of the lobbiest-infested federal government.

In fact, Republicans have done nothing of the kind since coming to power in 2017. The swamp is well and thriving. Evidence has emerged that selling access and influence has become even more blatant under the current regime. "Staff for Sale" reveals documents obtained by The Intercept documenting the ways in which campaign donors buy meetings with congressional staffers who are paid by me and thee.

Comic Margot Robbie channeling Ivanka Trump, whose clothing line
  profits were successfully promoted by White House staffers.

The embarrassing peddling of costume jewelery and other trinkets from the White House is more symbolic than actually dangerous. But it is the tip of an alarming iceberg, one that abandons any pretense of taxation with representation. What we have now is more on the order of exemption from taxation via purchased representation.

But make no mistake: the mob is angry. Listen to their reaction when Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador told them at the kind of town hall meeting most of his colleagues are (understandably) too frightened to hold, "Nobody dies because they don't have access to health care."

Billionaire Warren Buffet went on record this week calling the American Health Care Act just passed by Republicans in control of the House "a huge tax cut for guys like me." Not that he's in favor of it. (He likes the other corpporate party better.) He also showed some clarity by observing in the same interview, "Medical costs are the tapeworm of American economic competitiveness."

The strategy of corporate mass media shutting out and ridiculing challengers to the duopoly of corporate parties has been predictably effective in giving us the best government money can buy.

Onward, kleptocracy! Unless we go on general strike soon, we are likely to die -- uninsured -- starved by the worm at the heart of our corrupt system.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Why Voting Won't Save Us, And Why It's Time For A Women's Strike

Thelma Glass, a founding member of the Women's Political Council of Montgomery, Alabama
What to do with so much egregious government to respond to? In Maine we have a legislature in session that is attacking Medicare, Medicaid, public education funding passed by referendum, water quality via changes in mining regulations, Native sovereignty, and our status as a refugee asylum state -- just to name a few.

So I'm receving hundreds of messages a week similar to this one, from a former colleague, on facebook:
shared a link.
15 hrs
How about a rotating ongoing vigil at Poliquin's office with a sign: Poliquin's voted for Mainers to die.
I'd take a shift every week.

The link shared was news of the passage of draconian austerity in the form of the "American Health Care Act" published in the Washington Post. (The Post is a corporate government stenographer I'm no longer willing to read or share because it has been so destructive of truth; but most baby boomers cling to loyalties they developed when young. Here's an alternative by RoseAnn De Moro in Common Dreams, "Did the Marquis De Sade Write This Health Care Bill?")

Older white progressives have a hard time recognizing that the Democratic Party is not their friend.

This delusion extends to believing that an "independent" senator toeing the pro-Israel line and espousing socialist notions while voting with corporations would have saved the party.


Millenials, on the other hand, have been kicked in the teeth by corporate government since the day they were born. As they stagger through life carrying the burden of their student loans, many can't afford a dentist. A dip into their social media threads finds them responding to the newest wave of healthcare austerity by calling for guillotines and other forms of violent rebellion.

I don't believe in the effectiveness of violent tactics, especially when the people are so thoroughly outgunned by the "security" forces of the state, whether police or military (this line is blurring rapidly).

Also, I'm a boomer heavily influenced by Rosa Parks and Jo Ann Robinson, women who believed that giving up the moral high ground i.e. abandoning nonviolent tactics like the Montgomery bus boycott would be a strategic mistake.

Another view in wide circulation among the woke on U.S. healthcare woes:

Phil Rockstroh sums it up: 
"If Obama and the Democrats had submitted and fought for a single payer plan rather than the byzantine, designed-to-fail (by the rightwing Heritage Foundation) Big Insurance/Big Pharma/Big Medicine Trojan horse ACA, there would not be the extent of discontent that has allowed the act to be challenged and its existence threatened. 
The popular outcry would have made the attempt to dismantle it politically prohibitive. 
Therefore, we are witnessing yet another example of how the lesser-of-two-evils canard in the end serves no one but the capitalist plundering class.In short, liberals and sham progressives, it is more propitious, result-wise, to be engaged in an honest fight, rather than to feign one, as High Dollar owned and controlled Democratic Party elites did in regard to Obamacare. 
Yes, the Republicans are soul-dead practitioners of shit-wizardry. But the fact does not provide cover for Obama’s and the liberal class’ own collaboration in the craven art."

This is countered by people calling for our "Representative" Bruce Poliquin to be held accountable at the next election and who will no doubt call on us to elect a Democrat to fix everything.

Poliquin is a man who wears $500 shoes to a town hall in central Maine, whose entire resume reflects his service to Wall St., and who will literally hide in the bathroom to avoid questions about how he intends to vote. All his office voicemail boxes are full, and all constituents get is a busy signal when trying multiple times a day to get through. On the rare occasion that they do get through they are told that "the congressman is still deciding." If they rally at an event he's willing to attend, he quickly cancels his appearance citing yet another family emergency. 

My impression is that Poliquin has watched and studied the film Ferris Bueller's Day Off very, very carefully.

I do not believe that working through the proper channels to request meetings or elect better represenatives are anything more than elaborate wastes of time at this point in the trajectory of history.

We have full on corporate government with the mass incarceration that goes with along with regimes abandoning non-coercive ways of earning support (like providing healthcare, housing, or public transportation) in favor of 100% coercion.

I also do not believe that most baby boomers will understand this. That's ok, we are the past not the future. We are old and in the way for the most part. 

Begging for scraps from the corporate table is also a waste of time.

Women's Political Council organizer Jo Ann Robinson's mug shot from the Montgomery County archives

Now is the time for Parks and Robinson-style strategy: start withholding support from the corporate beast.

If every woman who could get away with it would call in sick for two days in a row, the system would wobble. Then, others would join in. Einstein estimated that if 2% of the population stops upholding a system, that's enough to bring it down.

Baby boomers, many still working because they can't afford to retire, could play a key role here. Most of us could get away with not working for two key days (like the Monday and Tuesday of a new quarter or fiscal year?). Working class women who can't afford to lose wages should be subsidized by those who can. Caregivers for the dependent obviously would go on working. No one is going to stop feeding their 3 year old or bedridden mother to make a political point. That's ok if the 2% work together.

After 48 hours, the white males who run this country would be forced to notice their lack of meals, travel itineraries and business as usual. Phones would ring unanswered. Important emails would pile up in inboxes, or not get sent in the first place. Many in the ruling class would be scrambling to get enough calories -- or maybe they would just drink their calories until their liquor supplies ran out? 

The Montgomery bus boycott was a movement largely of women (and the making of Martin Luther King, Jr. as a national leader -- draw your own conclusions). The black female domestic workers who joined the boycott initially wanted to make a point about how valuable they were as a customer base for the bus line that discriminated against them.

The Mongtomery bus boycott was only planned to last for a day.

But the power of withdrawing so much support from a bad system was intoxicating. It snowballed quickly so that the cautious joined the first adopters. Community groups helped organize people to share resources so they could still get to work. 

Pregnant teenager Claudette Colvin's wildcat strike against bus segregation provided the spark that motivated the Women's Political Council WPC) of Montgomery to support Rosa Parks in a planned arrest followed by a boycott. Which strategy adopted by the WPC resulted in more change: voter registration, or the boycott?

May 1 this year saw strikes in many U.S. locations, with a theme of the power of immigrant labor predominating. That's a good sign.

What will be the spark for a general strike by women? My prediction: when the corporate controlled Supreme Court removes access to legal, safe abortion.

The ACHA is already well on its way to making abortion unaffordable. Even white baby boomers will strike against that.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Reports From Inside Israel's Gulag On Hunger Strike And Reprisals #DignityStrike #PalHunger

Supporters participating in the Salt Water Challenge post videos of themselves drinking the only thing prisoners
planned to consume during their hunger strike prior to Israeli prison officials confiscating their salt.

I am sharing this news from my inbox received today from Addameer, which in Arabic means "conscience." Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association published their reports on attempting to visit prisoners who have been on hunger strike since April 17.

I would like to dedicate this post to Eric Axelman, a young Jewish friend in Maine currently raising funds for post production on his important documentary 70 Years Across the Sea: American Jews and 21st Century Zionism. To support this effort to educate English speaking folks on the ongoing brutal occupation of Palestine, click here.

Today, 25 April 2107, Addameer’s attorneys visited Nafha, Hadarim and Asqlan prisons, where they were not able to visit hunger-striking prisoners and detainees due to Israeli Prison Service (IPS) refusal. However, they managed to visit prisoners who were not on hunger strike that informed the attorneys of the hunger strike's recent developments.
During a visit to the Hadarim prison, prisoner Thabet al-Mardawi explained to Addameer’s attorney Mona Naddaf, that the IPS started transferring prisoners from one section to another on the second day of the strike, 18 April 2017. He added, that Marwan Barghouthi and Karim Younis were placed in isolation in Al-Jalama prison, and Anas Jaradat and Mahmoud Abu Sorour were placed in isolation in Ela prison. He added that about 36 prisoners were transferred to Ramle prison, and the rest of the prisoners were placed in different prisons across occupied Palestine.
Additionally, sick prisoners were transferred to the cells of Section 5 in Hadarim, which is a civilian detention room located in the civil section of the prison. The prisoners live in a completely isolated situation, where there is no television, no electrical devices and were only given sleeping mats.
Prisoner Thabet explained that the IPS isolated 102 hunger-striking prisoners before placing them in different prisons. Special unit forces stormed and raided the hunger-striking sections confiscating personal belongings. All of the prisoners have been stripped of their possessions; only one blanket has been kept for each prisoner and one set of clothing in addition to the “Shabas clothing” or prison uniform. Prison administration also seized salt in the first days of the strike, and strikers have had to drink water from the tap as the administration does not provide them with drinking water.
The prison administration has also imposed several punitive sanctions on the hunger-striking prisoners. The most important of these is the denial of family visits, as well as the denial of recreation, denial of access to the “canteen” (prison store).
In Nafha prison, Addameer’s attorney Samer Samaan visited prisoners Ayman Odeh and Raed al-Saadi, who told him during the visit that the number of hunger striking prisoners in Nafha is 250 from all political factions. The IPS also started isolating hunger strikers from their fellow prisoners, raided their sections and banned them from having attorney visits.
In Ashkelon prison, Farah Beyadsi visited prisoner Sharif Hamid, who is not on hunger strike. He informed her that the IPS transferred all the prisoners who are not on hunger strike to Section 12 of the prison. And transferred hunger striking prisoners to  Section 3 and placed them in isolation. 42 prisoners in Ashkelon prison are on hunger strike.
“In Ashkelon there are 5 rooms, each room has about ten prisoners, the prisoners are forbidden from communicating with anyone, and they are denied family visits and access to the prison canteen. They are not allowed to see their attorneys as well,” Hamid added. The prison administration in Ashkelon also stripped hunger striking prisoners of their possessions, and strikers have had to drink water from the tap as the administration does not provide them with drinking water. They also prohibited them from participating in group prayers on Friday.
Addameer Prisoner Support urges supporters of justice around the world to take action to support the Palestinian prisoners whose bodies and lives are on the line for freedom and dignity.
Addameer urges all people to organize events in solidarity with the struggle of hunger-striking prisoners and detainees. Addameer further calls upon the international community to demand that the Israeli government to respect the will of hunger strikers who use their bodies as a legitimate means of protest, which has been recognized by the World Medical Association (WMA) Declaration of Malta on Hunger Strikes as “often a form of protest by people who lack other ways of making their demands known.” 

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association

P. O. Box: 17338, Jerusalem
3 Edward Said Street
Sebat Bldg.
1st Floor, Suite 2
Ramallah, Palestine
Tel: +972 (0)2 296 0446 / 297 0136
Fax: +972 (0)2 296 0447