The account of Josh Sykes, one of the admins of Leftists in the U.S. South, has been disabled as part of a recent crackdown on Leftist activity. For some background, read this article in the Guardian which discusses the thoroughly reactionary character of the people and forces behind Facebook.
Tom Burke, spokesperson of the National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera responded to the attack, saying, “By shutting us down, Facebook is taking the side of the death squads in Colombia. We will not be silenced – not by death threats from Colombian intelligence agents and not by Facebook. We will use every means available to express support for Professor Palmera and his just struggle for freedom. We reject Facebook’s claim that a campaign for human rights, for prisoners’ rights, and against the U.S. government’s violation of the sovereignty of the Colombian people is somehow anything other than peaceful.”
The “Free Ricardo Palmera!” group, with more than 700 members from all over the world, but especially Latin America and the U.S., existed for many months prior to the abrupt shutdown. The “Free Ricardo Palmera!” page was a valuable and important resource for getting the word out about the injustices done to the Colombian revolutionary Ricardo Palmera and the continuing U.S. attacks on the Colombian people.
Tom Burke said, “We, the administrators of the group “Free Ricardo Palmera,” never ‘attacked’ anyone. Our protests made a mockery of the U.S. Justice Department’s trials and railroading of Ricardo Palmera. The U.S. State Department is upset that their plans to criminalize Professor Palmera and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia failed. It is Ricardo Palmera and the Colombian people who are under attack here. The U.S. war in Colombia, known as Plan Colombia, has displaced over 4 million Colombians – made them landless and homeless. Every week Colombian government death squads murder a trade unionist. Now the U.S. government is building and ‘refurbishing’ seven new military bases in Colombia.”
Burke continues, “We never posted anything hateful or threatening. It is Facebook that is revealing itself to be hateful towards and practicing censorship towards groups organizing for progressive social change. This is a political attack, it is meant to silence social justice in every way. This is an attack on Professor Palmera, a Colombian political prisoner extradited to the U.S., who suffers 23- hour solitary lockdown in Colorado’s Supermax Prison, the threat of electric shock torture and the forced kidnapping from his country by the U.S. It is obscene.”
The censorship of the “Free Ricardo Palmera!” page and the disabling of the accounts of Josh Sykes, Angela Denio, and Tom Burke, follows a series of recent attacks by Facebook on activist groups, including shutting down a group in solidarity with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the 800,000 member Boycott BP page. After a campaign opposing it, the Boycott BP has been reinstated. Apparently the U.S. government and big corporations have great influence over Facebook policies and decisions.
Tell Facebook that you are outraged:
Call Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, at (650) 543-4800
Tell him to
Stop the Assault on Progressive Causes!
Reinstate the group “Free Ricardo Palmera!” Now!
Reinstate the profiles of Josh Sykes, Angela Denio, and Tom Burke Now!
For more info on Palmera see here: http://www.fightbacknews.org/2010/6/22/prisoner-us-empire-colombian-revolutionary-ricardo-palmera