Robbie Martinspeaks toKelly Jones, the ex-wife of Alex Jones, about her ongoing custody battle and experience being under continual bombardment of vexatious litigation on behalf of her ex-husband. Kelly has already been granted primary custody by a Texas court, yet the judge has left her children with Alex.
They also speak at length about how Infowars transformed over the years from being a non-partisan, civil liberties focused, anti-militarized police platform into a pro-Trump, pro-police, pro-fascism hyper partisan anti-left megaphone. Kelly also walks through when the big ‘shift’ occurred (which happened to be around the same time as their divorce) when shadowy figures like Roger Stone, Matt Drudge and supplement manufactures started circling around Alex as he descended deeper into alcoholism and uncontrollable anger.
Leader of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro, has died on his own terms, after surviving at least 638 assassination attempts by the CIA. Unlike the glorification of brutal theocratic leaders like Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah, the establishment will be giving no accolades to Castro.
Capitalism’s defenders vociferously attack Cuba as a freedomless dystopia, while downplaying the country’s amazing achievements under socialism.
You cannot look at Cuba in isolation without understanding the long history of economic and political sabotage in the country on behalf of the U.S. Empire. From the crippling embargo, to the sponsoring of political dissent to the creation of an immigration policy designed for defection, the U.S. government has done everything in its power to undermine Cuba’s success.
Despite its severe economic restrictions, Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate than the U.S. and a near perfect literacy rate of 99.8%. Cuba’s system of free preventative healthcare is one of the best in the world.
The country’s philosophy of medical solidarity trains anyone to become a doctor, and has sent the world’s largest contingent of medical professionals to fight Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. From Haiti to Pakistan, Cuba is usually the first country on the front lines helping with every natural disaster and medical emergency. Today, more than 50,000 Cuban healthcare workers are operating in 66 countries around the world.
Because it provides basic amenities like food, shelter and healthcare for all citizens, Cuba also has one of the lowest crime rates in the Western Hemisphere.
Cuba is not perfect, yet far from the “police state” it is painted to be. I didn’t see one police officer when I was there, and people spoke freely about their discontent with the government. There was even a government sponsored art space that was full of cutting, self-reflexive political commentary.
In a three part series finale to Breaking the Set, I explain the history of Cuba-U.S. tensions and highlight underreported aspects of society and culture in an on-the-ground report.
Cuba Part I: Revolution, Sabotage & Un-Normal Relations
BTS explains the history of Cuba and U.S. attempts of regime change, and talks to average Cubans both in Havana and in Miami about their views on the state of U.S. relations. Featuring an interview with Kenia Serrano, a high ranking Cuban parliament member, about everything from internet access to the crackdown on free speech in the country.
Ebola Solidarity & Castro’s Daughter on LGBTQ Rights
BTS covers Cuba’s exemplary medical achievements with a Cuban doctor and students at the Latin American School of Medicine, an international medical school that trains anyone to become a doctor for free, as well as the U.S. programs that actively undermine international health efforts. Featuring an interview with Mariela Castro, daughter of President Raul Castro, and director of Cuba’s sex ed program CENESEX about LGBTQ rights in the country.
The Evolution of Revolution
BTS focuses on reforms to the country’s economic and agricultural models, giving an overview of how Cuba’s cooperative and food system works, as well as operating private enterprise. Feauturing an interview with Ricardo Alarcón, Cuba’s former minister of foreign affairs and president of the People’s National Assembly of Power.
In her first on-the-ground report from Palestine, Abby Martin gives a first-hand look into two of the most attacked refugee camps in the West Bank: Balata and Aida camps.
With millions of displaced Palestinians around the world, hundreds of thousands are refugees in their own country—many have lived packed into these refugee camps after being ethnically cleansed from their villages just miles away.
Inside Palestine’s Refugee Camps
Aida camp is located between the municipalities of Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Jerusalem and is near two large Israeli settlements – Har Homa and Gilo – considered illegal by the international community.
“Gilo is less than two km away and they have 24-hour fresh water, gardens and schools for children. We live just next to this settlement and we suffer from lack of all of these. We’ll never accept this. My home village is 40 minutes distant and I can’t reach it. It is not easy to be a refugee in my country,” Alazzo complained.
Aida has been a hot spot since the Second Intifada (also called as Al-Aqsa, a Palestinian uprising started in 2000) and refugees became highly exposed to violence as a result of military operations.
The increasing number of injuries in the camp are due to excessive force documented by the UN. In 2015, there were 84 incursions by Israeli security forces, 57 injuries (21 were minors), 44 arrests (including 13 minors), and one fatality with the death of a minor.
Walking through the alleys and narrow streets of Aida, it is common to hear stories about men and boys taken from their homes by Israeli security forces.
“We’re always afraid of our sons being taken by Israeli army. I never leave them alone. It is normal for the Israeli soldiers to take kids. It’s a scary life,” Sumayah Asad, a 40-year-old mother of six, told IPS.
It was a Friday morning, a sacred day for the Muslims, and she was handing out chocolates and sweets as gifts to whoever passed in front of her house. Asad said she was celebrating her 12-year-old son’s release after five days in detention.
“I’m happy now to see my son released from the Israeli occupation. Soldiers came to my house at three in the morning and caught my boy. They let him out after discovering he hadn’t done anything. Kids should be playing or be in the school, not in jail,” she said.
Although not everyone agrees that coexistence is possible among Jews and Palestinians, Munther Amira, 45, who was born in Aida and whose family came from the village Dier Aban (South Jerusalem), remains optimistic that peaceful change can be achieved.
“Yes, we can coexist. The idea of coexistence is based on human rights and should include our right of return. Here in Palestine, Christians and Muslims already live together. It’s difficult to develop a democracy under an occupation,” he told IPS.
In case you were wondering how Philadelphia police compared to those in Cleveland, journalist Abby Martin was willing to share the details of her own arrest at the Democratic National Convention this week.
“They use this tactic of unlawful mass detainment where they can just sweep people up for hours,” Martin revealed, regarding the police at the DNC. “They do this for sometimes days and then release people with no charges, essentially other than the citation and then just say no arrests were made, our hands are clean, but at the same time, it’s so abusive, what’s happening.”
Martin is a producer for “The Empire Files.” She was arrested on her way to an action and put in custody soon after. Martin described the entire incident as “unreal.”
“My partner Mike and I, a producer for ‘Empire Files’ were trying to get to this action where there was massive civil disobedience arrests happening,” Martin began. “It was at a public park away from the convention center. We got dropped off in a parking lot, tried to get to action, roads are blocked, the train stations were closed, the police are making it difficult as possible to even get to this action.”
After realizing they were fenced in a parking lot, Martin asked a cop how she could get out.
“He said go to this exit. Completely complying with police orders, we walked toward the exit about five feet from the exit [where] another female police officer came up said, Where’s your credentials, you have to have credentials to be in this area. We’re credentialed journalists, but we weren’t credentialed to be in the DNC,” Martin explained.
That didn’t seem to fly with the police.
“As my partner was telling her this, she grabbed my shirt very aggressively, my dress, ripped it and said ‘arrest her to these other two officers were standing at the entrance, and she said, ‘arrest her for disorderly conduct,'” Martin said.
Martin was in shock. But that was just the beginning of her ordeal.
“They twisted my arm extremely hard, my wrists were in excruciating pain, they zip-tied them as close as they possibly could, very very awful experience aggressively, manhandled by three police officers were on me on this fence,” Martin recalled. “I didn’t even see any arrests happening, it was just so shocking, it was so random, I was just stunned and I kept saying ‘we’re credentialed journalists, we were told to come here by another police officer’ and so they carry me to the paddy wagon, totally separate from my producer, I had no idea what’s going on, I just thought ‘I’m spending the night in jail’ and I was just trying to accept my fate and how unreal what was happening was.”
The official line from the police is that “no one has been arrested” at the Democratic National Convention, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Protestors and journalists are being rounded up, handcuffed, booked, and cited all over the city of Philadelphia, and Empire Files hostAbby Martinwas one of the victims. Ring of Fire’sFarron Cousinswas lucky enough to speak with her about her experience.
ROF Exclusive: Abby Martin Discusses Her Arrest at the DNC
I also discuss the story in depth with my brother Robbie on the latest Media Roots Radio.
One the latest Media Roots Radio, Abby and Robbie Martin talk about the insane, cringeworthy pageantry of the RNC and DNC and behind-the-scenes dissent, Abby’s story about being unlawfully arrested and manhandled by Philly PD, and the absurd hype that Putin is directly behind the hack on the DNC.
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