His Masterís Voice

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I’ve read in the media that this is a contra-information blog. I’ve said this myself in fact. But I don’t like this word any more.
Contra-information is what they do, the good old media, headed by the TV channels. We (I plus you with your comments) are creating information, or at least we are trying to.
There is no difference between reality and information;
the reality is what you know.
For these reasons, I feel that the more important battle is between information and contra-information, between the possibility to make free choices and that of being hypnotised, induced to make a choice.
I believed that we are all in agreement that the contra-information must not  be at the service of economic interests.
But it is.
Who are the owners of corrieredellaseralastampamediaset?
You who read the newspapers and watch the TV? Or those that possess them?
Do you believe that il Corriere can say exactly how things are about Tronchetti and about Telecom Italia or that la Stampa is objective about the future of Fiat or that the Mediaset channels tell us the truth about the judicial proceedings of the dwarf carrier of interests (the play on words is in the speech of Follini who gave in his notice today)?
Given that no sane person believes that the media are telling us the truth, on those rare occasions when it happens we don’t take any notice.
From this I deduce that the contra-information in Italy is the winner.
It has won because information is ignored.
What has won are the interest of individuals, of groups, of the party.
Any information that is contrary to these interests is annulled by the majority of citizens who don’t even take it into consideration.
For example: In last Sunday’s Corriere della Sera Franco Battiato denounced electoral fraud in favour of il Polo in the last elections in Catania:
Votes bought and sold. Tricks. A friend of mine who is a painter was given a form that was already completed. Naturally, Scapagnini protested, they accused him of being a trickster and he reacted. Others perhaps have accepted the situation. The left knows these things, but who knows why do they not say”.
In a normal country, there should be an investigation.
Here we read this information lightly, distractedly and we turn the page.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 08:55 PM in | Comments (2)
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contra-information in Palestine:

Everybody Must Get Stoned

Injured in Bilíin anti-wall demonstration

By Joe Carr

October 15, 2005

Iím still having trouble breathing, but they say the internal bleeding has stopped. Iím writing from a Palestinian hospital in Ramallah, I was injured while protecting Palestinian children from rubber-coated bullets at last Fridayís anti-wall demonstration in Bilíin.

Unlike most weekly protests in the US, Bilíin villagers are incredibly creative and give each demonstration its own flavor. Last week, demonstrators dressed in the colors of the Palestinian flag with words written on them like ďHopeĒ, ďPeaceĒ, and ďFreedomĒ in Arabic, English and Hebrew, and then wrapped snake puppets around their necks to demonstrate how Israelís wall is snaking through the West Bank and strangling any chance for positive change. Iíve made lots of puppets and done street theatre in the US, but this was my first time to do so in Palestine, and I must say, I learned a lot of artistic tricks.

Just after noon-day prayers, a large group of costumed Bilíin villagers, accompanied by Israeli activists and internationals from the International Solidarity Movement, set off for the wall site while chanting and banging on bottles and cans.

As usual, Israeli riot soldiers were waiting at the wall site forming a line to block us from walking any further. A standoff ensued, and eventually smaller groups went off the road to go around the line. Soldiers moved quickly to roughly push the nonviolent demonstrators back onto the road. Soldiers hit, kicked, and drug people through sharp cactus plants. I got repeatedly pushed into rocks, and received a nasty bruise when a soldier nailed me in the back with the barrel of his gun. I wish that had been my only injury that day.

Eventually, the soldiers began pushing the crowd back towards the village, and tried to drive army jeeps through the crowd and into Bilíin. Shebab (young Palestinian men and boys) piled large rocks on the road to block the jeeps, and then began throwing stones and using slingshots to defensively drive the soldiers out of the village. The soldiers fired teargas, rubber-coated bullets, and a new experimental bullet that contains chemicals and explodes on impact to cause a large bruise and internal bleeding. Several shebab were injured from this and other weapons.

Suddenly, we noticed soldiers taking four Palestinian-looking men away to jeeps. Several of us activists ran down the hill to make sure the soldiers didnít mis-treat those in their custody. Turns out they werenít Palestinians being arrested, but agent provocateurs being evacuated. They were Israeli Special Forces placed there to provoke the shebab into throwing stones.

While down with the soldiers, another activist and I interfered with the soldiers firing rubber-coated bullets at the shebab. We yelled at the soldiers to stop and physically blocked their guns, a picture this appeared on the cover of Al Quds (Jerusalem) Newspaper, a leading Palestinian publication. The soldiers began pushing us out of the area. While an Israeli soldier held me from behind and pushed me roughly, a large rock hurled from one of the shebabís slingshots struck me just below the ribs. I effectively became a human shield for the soldier who would have barely felt the stone through his flak jacket.

The soldier quickly pushed me away and I ran from the area to avoid getting hit by any other rocks. Shebab quickly came over to me and apologized and tried to help me up the hill, but I insisted they stay and continue defending their village. I quickly found the paramedics who treated the flesh wound, and later took me to a hospital in Ramallah.

X-rays determined that my ribs werenít cracked or broken so I filled the prescription for an anti-inflammatory and went back to the ISM flat to rest. I found myself in an overwhelming amount of pain; I could barely breathe and couldnít sit or stand up without almost fainting. After about six hours of anguish, I went back to the hospital and demanded they admit me and knock me out. Doped up on plenty of Tramadole and an IV, I slept like a baby. The next morning, an ultra-sound located a rupture in my spleen and internal bleeding. They thought it might heal on its own, but after a day of continued bleeding they had to operate to keep me from bleeding to death.

Palestinian surgeons were able to repair my spleen rather than remove it, and the bleeding has stopped. They hope Iíll be out by next Saturday, so Iím set up with some movies, my computer, and plenty of Palestinian and international visitors.

The medical care has been excellent. The nurses are cheery, playful, and frequently present. The doctor has been nice and frank, and even called my parents. The Palestinian healthcare system is mostly public, and this hospital is particularly known for giving free care for those with intifada-related injuries. Itís called the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, and specializes in trauma.

I completely affirm Palestinians right to resist Israeli colonial occupation. Palestinians have the right to do much more than throw rocks at soldiers committing colonial genocide, and they must if they are to survive. Boys with rocks are hardly a match for the Israeli Military heavily stocked with the USís most deadly weapons, so it is my responsibility to help protect the shebab as they symbolically resist.

My only regret, is that right now it isnít that colonial soldier lying in this hospital bed.

Posted by: alessandra arrigoni | October 21, 2005 01:36 AM

The European Union is founded on the principles of democracy and it is within the interests of the Union to ensure that these principles are followed by the individual member states. Italy has seriously violated these principles by allowing the current Prime Minister to control indirectly 90% of the television airwaves, thus failing to ensure the media pluralism, necessary for a functioning democracy. This persistent violation by Italy threatens the stability of the Union and is a concern to all the citizens therein. Therefore we the undersigned, petition the European Parliament to compel Italy to comply with the values of the European Union.



Posted by: Alex | October 19, 2005 12:02 AM

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