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Unions Fight FCC Deregulation of Media Ownership Rules

11.06.2002 14:35

Powell and friends Congressmen Tauzin and Upton urged FCC chair Michael Powell last week to strike down a rule prohibiting single companies owning both broadcast and print media in the same market. The cross-ownership ban protects media diversity by ensuring that no single voice can control all media outlets in a single community. Deregulation is favored by giant media conglomerates who would be able to create literal monopolies throughout the country, with single newsrooms churning out content for broadcast and print--"convergence," in industry lingo. The Newspaper Guild and consumers groups are fighting the proposed move, warning that dropping the cross-ownership ban would amount to a serious attack on diversity and journalistic standards. The unions point to Canada, where deregulation of ownership allowed broadcasting giant CanWest Global to gobble up most of the country's daily papers and to stifle editorial freedoms. The same is likely to happen here, warn the unions, if the cross-ownership ban is not saved. In Seattle, even the union foe Frank Blethen (owner of the Seattle Times) has issued a strongly-worded appeal to save the ban.

Read the whole story.

The need for regulation of media ownership will be one of several core issues animating media democracy activists this September as they "converge" on Seattle to confront the National Association of Broadcasters, corporate media owners' principal lobbying mouthpiece. Plans to counter the NAB with a Community Media Conference are underway; see reclaimthemedia.org for information.



Riot Cops Menace Protesters as World Bank President Speaks at University

11.06.2002 14:21

Friendly Neighborhood Cops On June 8, as the president of the World Bank spoke at the Massachusett Institute of Technology’s graduation, activists engaging in a legal march against the World Bank’s poverty-promoting policies were confronted by a battalion of riot cops. They prevented the activists from exercising their right to free speech anywhere close to the graduation ceremonies.
View video of the event



Competing Bio-visions in Toronto

11.06.2002 04:10

From the Biodiversity/Biojustice website:
Over the last two years, thousands of people have gathered to counter the annual conventions of the biotechnology industry in Boston and San Diego. This year, people will be converging on Toronto to broaden the biojustice movement and challenge the biotechnology industry and their vision for our future. It will be a gathering to learn, strategize and network about genetic engineering in agriculture and pharmaceuticals, biowarfare, genetic and non-genetic discrimination, trade regimes and corporate control, patenting of life and more. This event is timed to challenge the industry's annual convention BIO2002, Toronto, June 9-12.



Ship Containing 255 KG Of Plutonium To Set Sail From Japan to UK

08.06.2002 15:38

raft with sign, stop plutonium As international attention focuses on the World Cup in South Korea and Japan, the Japanese government is preparing to send off one of the most controversial shipments in history: two "lightly armed" boats loaded with enough plutonium to make 50 nuclear bombs.

The ships, the Pacific Pintail and Pacific Teal, are to embark as early as June 8 on an 18,000 miles journey to England. Greenpeace and dozens of nations along the possible routes have protested the voyage. The Nuclear Free Seas Flotilla will attempt to track the ships on their secret route.

While not unprecedented -- the Pintail and the Teal brought the same load of plutonium to Japan three years ago (a dispute over the quality of the plutonium forced England to take the waste back) -- concerns are much greater after September 11. Critics fear the ships amount to a floating terrorist target. In 1999, Jane's Foreign Report determined the "lightly armed" fleet "is totally inadequate for transporting half a ton of plutonium half way around the world."



Imagining a World Without Borders, From Arizona to Australia

07.06.2002 18:04

On the fence While restrictions on the flow of corporations and capital continue to ease, the ability for people to move freely is being restricted by governments around the world. Last month on the U.S./Mexico border, hundreds turned out to protest these restrictions in the second annual Binational Fiesta Without Borders. At the gathering just beyond the end of the border wall one mile West of the Naco, AZ port of entry, one of the activities was a volleyball game with the net on the border. [Read More]

More recently at the Woomera detention centre in Australia, conditions have reverted back to the same old repression and suffering following some improvements made for a visit by the UN. There are reports of children being placed in a punishment compound and other accusations of mistreatment, particularly relating to the enforcement of the Child Protection Act. Read a Report. In Melbourne, groups have begun preparations for actions against the Maribrynong Detention centre in the city's western suburbs.

Please post additional links or information here



Popular Mobilization Stops Privatization

06.06.2002 18:16

Thousands of people took the streets of Paraguay this week to protest the process of privatization of state companies. The mobilization was a result of the law number 1.615 that allowed and regulated the auction of the telephone state company (Antelco). On Tuesday, June 4, a great demonstration by the peasants ended with the murder of Calixto Cabral by a police officer. The Central Command of Workers (Central Nacional de Trabajadores – CNT) met on June 5 and summoned the workers from all over the country to go on a general strike without an expected end date in response to the privatization process and the police brutality. The strike was to have started today, June 6, at midnight. The government, afraid that the situation could escalate, revoked the law and suspended the auction of the telephone state company. The dollar immediately went up 100 points and the Minister of Economy said the agreement with the IMF is compromised. More information is available at Indymedia Argentina and Indymedia Brazil .



Corporate Influence and the U.S. Conference of Mayors

06.06.2002 05:56

conference logo From June 14-18, the U.S. Conference of Mayors will hold their annual meetings in Madison, Wisconsin. The USCM includes mayors from cities throughout the U.S., and strives to set national urban policy while holding private meetings and social events in the host city. It is also strengthening ties with multinational corporations, and has "transformed (their) organization to bring corporate America even closer to the mayors of our nation."

Various groups in Madison, Milwaukee, and elsewhere are organizing a response to what the World Bank is calling "glocalization," the extension of neo-liberal policies to the municipal level. Creative Peoples Resistance is planning a critical mass, marches, and a Midwest radical networking session, while Cities for People has organized a counter-conference, community parade, and petition against Bush. Rallies against Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge and the USA Patriot Act are planned as well. Meanwhile, Madison media and authorities have focused on supposed "violent anarchists" coming to participate. More information on the USCM, the Mayors Business Council, community organizing, media sensationalism, and state reaction are available at the Madison IMC Mayors Features page.



FBI OKs COINTELPRO Tactics

05.06.2002 06:29

USA on lockdown The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently reversed its longstanding policy limiting surveillance of domestic religious and poltical groups. The London Register has predicted the FBI will once again become the "premier national secret-police force as it had been under J. Edgar Hoover." The ACLU fears a return to COINTELPRO operations that targeted Martin Luther King and thousands of other innocent activists a generation ago.

COINTELPRO, an acronym for Counter Intelligence Program, was officially curtailed by Congress in the 70s, though many activists and organizations have firsthand experience suggesting that such practices never ceased. The civil lawsuit of Judi Bari vs the FBI, currently under deliberation by a jury in Oakland, concerns two Earth First! activists who charge they have been the target of such tactics. The activists were the victims of a car bomb attack in 1990.

Please discuss or add to this feature here.



Yes Men Disband the World Trade Organisation

04.06.2002 06:08

On May 21, a representative of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) announced the dissolution of the organisation to a shocked but supportive Sydney audience of the Chartered Practicing Accountants (CPA). The WTO would reconstitute itself as a new organisation dedicated to assisting the world's poor instead of the rich.

The representative was actually from the yes men, a group of anti-corporate activists who have pulled off previous elaborate hoaxes on the WTO. The story spread around the world, from Australia, to England, to the Canadian Parliament, where MP John Duncan took the floor to ask "what impact this will have on our appeals on lumber, agriculture and other ongoing trade disputes." [More]



Critical Mass Bike Rides to Occur Around the World Today

31.05.2002 11:48

It's the last Friday of the month and cyclists in dozens of cities around the world will take to the streets today for Critical Mass bike rides. "We're not delaying the traffic. We ARE the traffic!" is their motto. Critical Mass began in San Francisco in 1992 and has since become a global phenomena as people come together to celebrate the possibility of a car-free culture that is not driven by war, terrorism and environmental destruction.

Please post reports of Critical Mass rides here.



On The Brink Of Nuclear War...

29.05.2002 06:48

As the world holds its breath, India and Pakistan face off across the disputed line of control in Kashmir. The assassination of Kashmiri moderate Abdul Ghani Lone and the inflammatory rhetoric on both sides have left little hope of a peaceful resolution. Nuclear war would cause unimaginable damage: an estimated 3 million to 12 million to 100 million people could die, according to scientists. Millions more would be injured in the blasts or by radioactive fallout and the destruction of food and water supplies in a nuclear winter.

Report from the India IMC: We want Peace
The Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) is deeply concerned at the campaign unleashed in India for a 'full-scale war' with Pakistan and the attempts at projecting a 'national consensus' in favour of such a war. While condemning strongly the latest terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir the CNDP appeals to all political leaders, policy-makers and legislators of India and Pakistan to ensure immediate pull-back of troops from their common border and to launch a dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues.

Post links to other stories or links to further information here.

Offer your thoughts and opinions on this issue here.



Fast Track Passes Senate, Opponents Look To House For Hope

27.05.2002 20:41

occupying Senator Cantwell's office The Senate has passed Fast Track, a bill that would eliminate Congress's right to amend trade treaties, effectively transferring public negotiating power to secretive presidential trade negotiators and unaccountable business interests. While local activists in Seattle and Vermont seek to hold their senators accountable by occupying their offices, others are gearing up for the vote in the House of Representatives. Fast Track passed in the House of Representatives in December by just one vote, but will be reconsidered after the Memorial Day recess. [More]



Dubya not welcome in Europe

22.05.2002 05:31

Resistance is flaring up against George W. Bush's visit to Europe. Tens of thousands of people are planning to protest against the US government's appalling human rights record, their "war on terror" and their disregard for international agreements. Moreover they are protesting against Bush as one of the most prominent representatives of neoliberal capitalism, which is tied to big business and is spread around the globe by violent means.

In the German capital Berlin, protests started with a 70,000-strong peaceful demonstration on May 21st. More demonstrations and a large variety of autonomous actions are planned for Wednesday and Thursday. In response to dissent on the streets, Berlin is currently seeing the biggest deployment of police since World War II. Both the city council and the federal government have made clear that where the comfort of a US president is concerned, the people's civil rights come second.



Questions Swirl Around 9/11

19.05.2002 21:00

The silence in the mainstream media surrounding the events of September 11th has been shattered. News outlets around the world are running stories about unheeded warnings of possible terrorist attacks, and democrats are lessening their blind "patriotic" support of the Bush regime. However, there is still little investigation into possible Bush administration complicity and conflicts of interest.

During such unbridled nationalism, investigation and dissent are deemed unpatriotic and equated with terrorism. However, increasing pressure for answers keeps yielding results. Questions are being asked and disquieting facts are being brought forward. As a plethora of pre-9/11 warnings emerge, critics question if the repressive Patriot Act was necessary to boost intelligence gathering capabilities.

Further Information

Read an eyewitness indymedia description of White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer's May 17 news conference.

Read U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney's (D-GA) statement pressing for an investigation of the Bush Administration.

Read a corporate media analysis of the changing press climate.

Some Dare Call It Conspiracy

Conspiracies involving deliberate civilian casualties are not without precedent.

Read Mike Ruppert's investigative report.

And questionsquestions.net seems to be back up and running.



Protests against the World Bank's policies 23-26 june 2002, Oslo

18.05.2002 16:01

The World Bank is one of the most powerful institutions in the world, and belongs with the International Monetary Fund, IMF. Both of these organisations commit great crimes against human rights by setting tough neoliberalistic demands on poor countries in exchange for loans. Their aim is a better world, but in the soon sixty years the WB has existed their policy and methods have only increased poverty and this has especially struck women and children.

World poverty can not be solved through neoliberalism! The consequences will be as in Norway: poorer schools, fewer hospitals and less social security. Everything is privatized and in the end only to the benefit of a few who are already rich, such as foreign investors who can afford to buy up the public sector and make a profit off of it.

The 24 to the 26 of june 2002 the World Bank is holding its annual yearly development meeting (ABCDE) in Oslo.

Oslo2002 and others in Norway are mobilizing people to protest against the World Bank’s policies while they are meeting here. Before the meeting there will be held a big countersummit, like the one we saw in Genova last summer. During the meeting itself there will be several demonstrations and a Reclaim the Streets on the evening of the 24. IMC Norway will be covering the event, centered at a currently undisclosed location. Where it will be will be posted on the indymedia.no - page when the event has started.

| Oslo 2002 | Reclaim The Streets | Open Forum |

| What is the World Bank | Why protest | World Bank | ABCDE Europe |



East Timor Gains Independence

18.05.2002 02:57

''The Timorese, Australians and Papuans demonstrated Sunday and circulated a letter which they sent to the new incoming President of East Timor stating demands dealing with the situation of West Papua and Aceh and the new Timor Gap. They demand that incoming president Xanana recognize the situation and call for an end to the occupation.''

Independence has finally come for the East Timor as the United Nations handed power over to the incoming Timorese government. Indonesian President Megawati was also in attendance along with 300 Indonesian militia who were individually recognized by emotional Timorese.

For the past two years the World Bank has managed the Timorese fund and disbursed it to projects controlled by the World Bank. One of the main economic developers in Timor happens to be Japanese interest. Walking around the city there are no signs of how those funds were allocated as the destructive remains of Indonesian occupation is still apparent. Stay tuned as Simba from NYC Indymedia reports on this week's historic events in East Timor. Reports:May 16 || May 17 May 19th May 20th



U'wa Prevail Over Oil Giant

16.05.2002 21:32

At its annual shareholder meeting, May 6, the Occidental Oil Company anounced its abandonment of controversial plans to drill for oil and its intent to withdraw from sacred U'wa lands. The contested Samore oil block will be returned to the Colombian government. This announcement follows over three years of peaceful nonviolent protest and direct action by the U'wa and thousands of others through solidarity actions around the world. However, this victory may not be the end of the U'wa struggle. Other oil companies including Ecopetrol, Colombia's state oil company, may continue the exploration begun by Occidental.

The U'wa are an indigenous population of 5,000 living in the cloudforests of north-eastern Columbia. The land has ancestral ties that date back thousands of years. Throughout that time they have had to defend it from invaders on more than one occasion. In the past it's been Spanish Conquistadors; today it is the Los Angeles, CA, based Occidental Oil. The U'wa went so far as to announce a plan of collective mass suicide if the oil exploraton went forward.

Occidental claims they ended the exploration because the original test wells came up dry, thus making the project economically inviable. This is a common response by corporations under pressure from a grassroots campaign of this sort. This same explanation has been heard when corporations pull out of contested timber sales. Rarely has a corporation admitted defeat to a local community or activist organization and this case is no different.

Plan Columbia also plays a large role in this situation. The current U.S. proposal to give $98 million to aid in Columbia's civil war is earmarked to protect the Cano Limon oil pipeline, which has been repeatedly sabotaged in recent years. The pipeline services oil fields owned and operated by Occidental Oil. The U.S. aid to protect it is a clear case of corporate welfare.



Largest Peace Demo Since Intifada Began

15.05.2002 11:53


Tel Aviv, Israel: 60,000 to 100,000 Israelis gathered downtown to rally for peace Saturday, while the following day the ruling Likud party passed a declaration that was spearheaded by former Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, which stated official opposition to an independent Palestinian state. The turn-out was the largest of any Israeli peace rally since the intifada began in September 2000.

The Likud declaration was a sharp contrast to the calls to end the almost four decade long occupation of the Palestinian territories made by the broad coalition that organized the rally. The occupation has long been recognized in the diplomatic community as illegal in light of a number of U.N. Security resolutions that have never been complied with, such as Resolution 242.

Before the peace rally on Saturday, an Arab-Israeli non-violent direct action group opposed to the occupation staged a protest in the morning at the Kissufim crossing. The Kissufim crossing is a Gaza Strip Israeli army controlled checkpoint that separates the border between Israel and illegally occupied Palestine.

In other news, a number of important studies have been released in the last few weeks, including a detailed human rights report issued by Human Rights Watch which declared that there had been war crimes in the IDF invasion of Jenin. The World Policy Institute also issued a revealing study documenting the extensive connections that the U.S. has to the Israeli military. The study comes out of a WPI project called the Arms Trade Resource Center.

[On-the-scene IMC reports on Saturday's Peace Demo: Largest Israeli Peace Rally Since Intifada Began Demands End to 35 Year Illegal Occupation | Tripping Point | Gaza Strip Demonstration: Palestinians Brace for Invasion, while Arab-Jewish Group Protests War Plans | Breaking News from the Palestine IMC: Events and developments in the Palestinian Lands during the past 24 hours | Israeli settlers confiscated 5000 acres in the center of the West Bank | Extra judicial execution in Halhoul | World Bank: Israeli Defense Forces strike caused $2.4 Billion in damages to PA | Israeli soldiers imprisoned for refusing to take part in human rights violations]

[News, Analysis & Studies from Other Independent Organizations: Alternative Information Center News & Analysis: Peace Now organises largest opposition demonstration in recent years | The Invasion that Wasn't | Human Rights Watch: Detailed Investigation and Report on Jenin | World Policy Institute: World Policy Institute Report on U.S. Support for Israeli Military Activities]



How Chavez Foiled The U.S.-Supported Coup

15.05.2002 03:06

Hugo Chavez An extraordinary investigative report by Greg Palast has revealed that Venezuela President Hugo Chavez had advance warning of the April 11th military coup and that U.S. military officers participated in his attempted overthrow. [Read report from the Guardian || Watch report on BBC] Based on a tip from an ally in OPEC, Chavez secretly assembled several hundred troops in hidden corridors within the presidential palace prior to the coup to help secure his return to power. In an interview with NYC Indymedia, Palast explained Tuesday that U.S. interest in overthrowing the democratically elected government stemmed not just from the threat of a Middle Eastern oil embargo but Chavez's success in offering the world an alternative to the neoliberal economic model.



Activists Occupy Jeffords' Office

14.05.2002 16:51

BURLINGTON, VT - Calling on Senator Jeffords to pull his support for Trade Promotion Authority (Fast Track), a group of non-violent Vermont activists has occupied and locked themselves together at his Main St. office at 3:00 pm today. Refusing to leave, the group is demanding that Senator Jeffords vote against Fast Track and not allow the president to negotiate trade deals with other nations without congressional or public debate on the creation of such agreements.

Fast Track takes the power to negotiate trade agreements away from the US Congress and gives it to the Bush administration. Under Fast Track, there are no checks and balances and Congress must vote the entire free trade agreement up or down. Congress can make no amendments or modifications to free trade agreements if they are negotiated under Trade Promotion Authority. This has huge implications for trade agreements like the Free Trade Area of the Americas, agriculutral issues, labor issues, environmental issues, etc.




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