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Bush's "Corporate Responsibility" Speech Greeted with Skepticism

11.07.2002 06:45

Protestors on Wall Street A sullen crowd gathered Tuesday morning outside the Regent Hotel in the center of New York's financial district while George W. Bush gave top business leaders inside a stern lecture about "corporate responsibility." Bush's performance may have been too little too late as the stock market continued its precipitous downslide.

Tens of thousands of people have lost their jobs and life savings due to scandals at companies like Enron and Worldcom. Bush promised to crack down on crooked CEOs even as questions are rising about Bush's own shady past as a politically-connected Texas oilman who managed to enrich himself while presiding over a long string of failed business ventures. If Bush is serious about a crackdown on white-collar crime, he may have to start with his vice-president, Dick Cheney, who was sued Wednesday for securities fraud during his 1995-2000 tenure as CEO of Halliburton, the world's largest energy services company. While some (like Bush) prefer to blame America's business crisis on a few errant individuals, others see rampant corporate fraud as being inevitable in a capitalist system.



Mass Mobilization for Argentine Day of Independence

10.07.2002 22:28

80,000 March in Buenos Aires

Over 80,000 persons of all ages converged in the Plaza of May in the center of Buenos Aires on July 9 [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 ]. The marches and demonstrations were held to show ongoing public opposition to the neoliberal policies of President Duhalde and continuing IMF demands for structural adjustment programs. Duhalde had promised earlier that the financial problems of the nation would be resolved by Tuesday, but the crisis is worsening. July 9 is also a national holiday in Argentina, marking the nation's independence in 1816.  Protestors are calling for a "second and definitive independence" from the demands of multinational corporations and investors.

Though elections have been scheduled for March 2003, public impatience with all politicians is increasing. This is particularly due to the economic policies of continuing deregulation and privatization advocated by the groups in power. Moreover, on July 10, Otto Reich, the U.S. Undersecretery of State for Latin America was scheduled to speak in Argentina in advocacy of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA / ALCA).

Demonstrators included persons of all ages, workers, students, unemployed persons, left party members, piqueteros, assembly members, and others. While converging at the plaza from multiple directions, the marchers protested at factories, the U.S. Embassy, the finally the Argentine Congress and Federal Capitol. Many participants have compared the convergence to the demonstrations in December which originally toppled the government.



Hunger Strike in Support for Woomera Refugees

10.07.2002 16:40

Hunger strike for Woomera refugees in London

On July 8, four hunger strikers positioned themselves in front of the Australian High Commission at Australia House at the Strand (London). They are staging a protest [ 1 | 2 ] in support of the refugees locked up in the notorious Australian Woomera Detention Centre, who have been on hunger strike themselves for the past sixteen days.

The police threatened to remove the hunger strikers, claiming their presence constitutes an 'intrusion to the dignity of the building'. The protesters action theme now is: "What government puts the dignity of a building over the dignity of a person?".

Other support actions for Woomera have taken place in New Castle , Kyogle (New South Wales), Mexico, Israel, India and the United States. On July 10, Chilout (Children out of Detention) will hold a solidarity fast outside Australia House as well. This is two weeks after a mass escape from the detention center on June 26.



Looking Back at the G8 Demos in Calgary

09.07.2002 23:41

Jumping for Global Justice

On June 26, the most expensive street soccer game in history took place in Calgary. After months of government, media, and police scare tactics, a garrison of more than 3000 police stationed in the city, attempts at infiltration by white supremacists, and $300,000,000 spent on security costs to protect the world's leaders from dissent, protests against the G8 summit culminated with soccer games taking place in two of the city's busiest intersections. The protests opened with a 3 hour snake march [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | audio 1 | 2 ] of more than 4,000 persons that included union participation [ audio ]. It split into two subsequent actions: one, a symbolic di-in [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] and global knit-in [ 1 ], and two, a march of 1,500 headed to the west of the city towards the red zone. The latter action began with high tensions and a shoving match in front of a McDonalds [ 1 ], but relaxed as it moved to the downtown core, with drumming, chanting, dancing, and soccer games sans police [ 1 ].

Later, activists and unionists gathered at Riley Park for a free picnic and rally with speakers and music. Later, a 150 car caravan [ 1 | 2 ] left Calgary to challenge the security perimeter at Kananaskis, and passed two police checkpoints before being forced to stop.

Other actions held in Alberta included a parade on June 23 [ 1 | 2 | 3 | video ], the June 25 Gap action [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ] and 'Show-Down at the Hoe-Down' [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4| 5 | 6 | 7 | audio ], a chalk Peoples Security Perimeter, the "Rolling Sunlight" solar truck, and a solidarity march in Edmonton.

Numerous groups expressed their views at the convergence, with press conferences held by the Halifax Initiative, Medicins sans Frontieres, the Revolutionary Knitting Circle, the Upfront Media Collective, and Greenpeace on the Rio + 10 Summit and nuclear waste transport. The G6B Summit also issued its recommendations and statements on the Kyoto protocol [ video 1 | 2 ], while G8Watch issued a response to Canadian Prime Minister Chretien. Other issues focused upon include structural adjustment and African development.

For more, read these summaries and analyses [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ] of the 2002 G8 protests in Alberta.



Activists Fast in Bhopal Over Union Carbide Spill and Narmada Dams

09.07.2002 04:42

Fasters in Bhopal

In late June, a protest in Bhopal, the capital of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, was organised by the National Campaign for Justice in Bhopal. It began with a sit-in on June 26 by some 200 activists, while an indefinite hunger strike started on June 29. This strike was initiated by survivors of the Union Carbide chemical spill in Bhopal, and passed its tenth day on July 8 with no assurance coming from the Indian government on the protestors' demands. On July 10, rallies for Bhopal survivors are planned in New Dehli, Mumbai, and elsewhere.

The hunger strikers [ Day Five | Day Eight | Day Ten ] include survivors Tara Bai and Rashida Bee, as well as Satinath Sarangi, a founder member of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action. They are protesting new developments, including proposed reductions in charges against former Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson, and the government's decision to distribute compensation funds to residents of 20 municipal wards in Bhopal unaffected by the disaster.

Over a month earlier on May 20, activists from the Save the Narmada Movement against Big Dams began a fast in Bhopal. This fast ended after thirty days, and focused on the eviction of more than 1000 families displaced by the Maan Dam on the Narmada River. Non-violent resistance against large dams on the river continues as flooding increases in the ongoing monsoon.



Ralph Nader and the "People Have the Power" Tour

08.07.2002 19:26

"People Have the Power" Superrally Banner

Ralph Nader brought the "People Have the Power Tour" to Portland, Maine [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] and New Haven, Connecticuit at the end of June to increase public support and education for issues like public financing of campaigns, worker's rights, corporate reform, environmental protection, living wages and single-payer health care in the United States.

The tour is organized by Democracy Rising, a new organization founded as a means to educate citizens on current progressive issues. Local groups have also criticized the group for its organizational structure. Past stops include Boston, Cleveland, San Francisco, Phoenix, Portland (Oregon), Toledo (Ohio), Atlanta, and Tampa Bay.

Performers and speakers at the rallies in Maine and Connecticuit included singer/songwriter Patti Smith, comedian D.L. Hughley, actress/comedienne Janeane Garofalo, spoken-word artist Jello Biafra, Host of Democracy Now! Amy Goodman, Reverend Billy from the Church of Stop Shopping, local activists and politicians, and 2000 Green Party Presidential candidate Ralph Nader.



Anti-Prison Actions Continue in New Zealand

06.07.2002 16:03

Actions continue in response to the Department of Corrections plan to build a prison in the geothermal region of Ngawha, Northland, New Zealand. On July 4, about 15 people got their message across in New Plymouth, while 30 people picketed the Head Office of the Department of Corrections in Wellington on July 3. However, police attacked and intimidated Maori at a court appearance in Kaikohe. The demonstration follows an earlier occupation of the department, when a list of demands from the youth of Nga Puhi was also presented.

200 people occupied the prison site in May, staking their claim of land ownership by driving a pouwhenua (pole) into the ground. 37 people, including 20 elders, were arrested while trying to prevent the land works taking place illegally at the site. Solidarity actions were also held in Auckland.

One reason for calling to a halt to the construction is the dangerous emissions from the thermal fields, including high levels of carbon dioxide and mercury. Moreover, an appeal to the High Court in Wellington by the Nga Puhi people failed to recognise the cultural and spiritual rights of the people.



For Dario & Maxi: Tens of Thousands Demonstrate in Argentina

04.07.2002 17:40

Thousands demonstrate against state repression in Argentina

Not pacified by President Duhalde's stopgap condemnations of the police killings of two demonstrators last week, upwards of 60,000 people demonstrated in driving rain at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires on July 2. These protests were against state repression and for radical change in the country's economic and political order. At least three people were shot, though it's unclear as of now who shot them.

The demonstrations were held in solidarity with Maximiliano Costeki and Dario Santillan, piqueteros who were assassinated by police at protests on June 26 near the Pueyrredon Bridge in Buenos Aires. Participants in the march, converging in the plaza from multiple directions, included persons with CTD Anibal Veron, the Piquetero Block, the CTA, the CCC, MST, popular assemblies, students, and political parties of the left.

Due to these protests, Duhalde has rescheduled national elections earlier to March 2003, though many are focused on the continuing influence of the IMF and international investors on the nation's policies.

Listen to testimony and discussion (es) [ 1 | 2 | 3 ], and view photos of the demonstrations [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 ]



Toronto City Workers Announce Strike

04.07.2002 15:52

Municipal Strike in Toronto

Fresh off the heels of the anti-G8 protests, the largest municipal strike in Canadian history is about to engulf the city of Toronto. Toronto's 6800 outside city workers went on strike last Friday. It was announced that effective at midnight July 4th, over 18000 inside city workers, would also be going on strike while Mayor Mel Lastman refuses to negotiate with the workers.

The main issue is the threatened privitization of key services such as garbage disposal. Recently, the neo-liberal policies of the ruling Conservative (Tory) Party to privatize Ontario Hydro has led to scandal. The entire Tory-appointed Board of Directors of Ontario Hydro resigned over salary scandals, as well as legal rulings against the plan.

The revolt against these plans to turn public services into private capitalist ventures has become a focal point in the labor struggle and in street protests. While the strike continues, anti-capitalist activists will be holding a conference under the banner of "Making the Movement Matter". Meanwhile, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty is preparing to open a squat as the city pays host to the Pope in the midst of an housing crisis in Toronto.



"USA Patriot Act" Threatens Constitutional Rights

03.07.2002 16:58

The New Neighborhood Watch Program

The so-called USA Patriot Act, rushed through Congress in the wake of September 11, is viewed by many critics as a threat to human rights guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution. The Act's definition of terrorist could be applied to almost anyone engaged in a protest.

It broadens the powers of intelligence agencies engaging in cyber-snooping using technologies such as Carnivore and Magic Lantern. It allows for unwarranted searches, the nullification of due process, and secret incarceration without trial. There's a chilling precedent for such actions. The U.S. government has enacted similar repressive measures in the past . As U.S. citizens celebrate their nation's birth on July 4, the Bill of Rights is threatened by politicians who are supposed to protect it.

However, opposition is on the rise to what some say is an un-patriotic act, and to similar measures like military tribunals and FBI access to library records . In addition, a few members of Congress have spoken up, and some communities have taken action. But, the Bush Administration and their supporters are hatching still more Orwellian schemes. If the Department of Homeland Security has its way, facial recognition technology, Operation TIPS, or even a VeriChip tracking system may one day be operational.



University Protests Expand through Germany

02.07.2002 03:02

Protest Against GATS in Germany

There have been weeks of strikes, demonstrations and direct actions against the corporatization of public education throughout Germany. These protests began this spring in Nordrhein-Westfalia, the most populated state in the country, and spread throughout Germany.

The protests have been building the last two months, with actions Dusseldorf, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin , and elsewhere.

The students are speaking out against the planned implementation of user fees for post-secondary education. These fees are being instituted to finance budget deficits of the state, and are a potential precursor to the implementation of the General Agreemant on Trade in Services (GATS) treaty through the World Trade Organization.

Through GATS, public services like education are declared a tradable commodity and subject to deregulation and privatization. The European Union has already accepted to open markets to 'public-private partnerships' for primary and secondary education, higher education, and adult educational services. Since GATS negotiations are continuing following the Doha Round in the WTO, it remains possible that the EU commitments may go even further.



Waterfront and Service Workers Fighting Back

30.06.2002 17:38

unloading a boat...

On June 30, the contract covering over 10,000 West Coast ILWU longshoremen expires with Pacific Maritime Association (PMA). PMA is seeking to eliminate the union hiring hall, roll back health benefits, prevent cost-of-living increases in pensions and has a host of other takeaways that would destroy the power of the union.

Additionally, truckers, some of the lowest paid port workers, are trying to organize with the Teamsters, and in Oakland, the contract with the janitors' union (SEIU 790) is also up, and they may use this opportunity for solidarity strikes. 'Homeland Security' Czar Tom Ridge and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld have put pressure on the ILWU, raising concerns about the invocation of the Taft-Hartley Act, criminalizing any strike that the administration considers to be threatening national security.

As contract negotiations reach their final hours, and the possibility of a shutdown of ports along the entire West Coast looms, portworkers held a rally [ 1 ] on June 28 at the Port of Oakland [ video 1 | 2 | 3 ]. The rally was webcast and broadcast via microradio throughout the West Coast.

Also on the waterfront, the workers at the Marriott Courtyard Fisherman's Wharf are on strike. Strikers are demanding a contract with the same wage and workload standards as the rest of the union hotels in San Francisco.

Inland, in Silicon Valley, janitors are trying to organize a union at Yahoo's headquarters for better wages, healthcare and respect on the job. Meanwhile, a one-day conference for Bay Area trade unionists about the "War On Terrorism" and its effects on the democratic rights of working people was held on June 29 in Berkeley.



Anti-Eviction Campaign Growing in Cape Town

29.06.2002 17:26

"Give Us Proper Houses Now!" in Cape Town

At the end of May, about 250 persons occupied the NBS Bank in Cape Town, requesting improvements in housing conditions in the Khayelitsha neighborhood, and an end to continuing evictions of pensioners. The action, which lasted several hours, was organized by the Mandela Park Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC).

The campaign has continued and grown through the month, with a two hour occupation of the offices of Khayelethu Home Loans on June 11. The two hundred mostly women pensioners were protesting paying nearly their entire monthly pension for structurally unsound buildings. A week later, the AEC began reinstating evicted pensioners back into their houses, as evicted persons were compelled to live away from their communites without means of support.

By June 26, protestors began sit-ins at governmental sites, when 70 members of the Mandela Park AEC and the Tafelsig AEC occupied the office of the provincial Minister of Housing. This sit-in occured as the Minister had refused to meet with the communities to discuss the housing crisis. On Friday, June 28, 44 persons who had been jailed for the protest were released on warning and banned from going to provincial government.

The same day, five banks, including ABSA, Bank of England, FNB, Nedcor, and Standard Bank, along with Servcon, a company jointly-owned by banks and the South African government, filed an interdiction application to prevent the Mandela Park AEC, and four of its leaders, from "taking any steps to prevent the eviction of people in Mandela Park." The campaigners are currently planning a response to the banks' actions with a meeting on Sunday, June 30.



Mass Escape from Woomera Detention Centre

28.06.2002 19:03

Thirty-four asylum seekers escaped from the Woomera Detention Centre in the South Australian desert on the night of June 26. Five have so far been recaptured and four people have also been arrested for aiding the escape and are in custody in Port Augusta. Three people alleged to have "aided and abetted" the escape have since been released on bail from Port Augusta police station

According to a report, the break-out happened around midnight, when refugee supporters with vans drove up to the centre, and broke through the fence. Police have set up road blocks and are searching an area of 200,000 square kilometres.

The breakout occurred on the fourth day of a hunger strike by most of the detainees in the centre. It also follows previous breakouts during the Easter Woomera 2002 protests and a mass breakout by detainees in 1999.

Protesters in Melbourne are converging on Maribyrnong Detention Centre for a festival and civil disobedience against mandatory detention beginning Friday, June 29.



Take the Capital! Comes to Ottawa

27.06.2002 20:55

Take the Capital! Graphic

While the executives of the G8 nations were meeting in Kananaskis, and protests were continuing in Calgary, activists converged in Ottawa in opposition to the policies of the G8 and Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien. Teach-ins and protests opened on Sunday, June 22.

Despite a continual downpour, a corporate media smear campaign and subsequent shallow coverage, and weeks of police intimidation, over 3000 protestors took to the streets of the Canadian capital for Take the Capital! to show resistance to the G8 on June 26. This snake march [ 1 | 2 ] lasted two and a half hours, moving throughout downtown Ottawa, and ended by opening a squat in an abandoned house and massing, some nude, on Parliament Hill [ 1 ]. At the end of the day, Take the Capital! claimed victory [ francais ], while others are both hopeful and less optimistic. Listen to participants discuss the protests [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | video ].

Members of the Ottawa Coalition Against the Tories (OCAT) and Anti-capitalist Community Action (ACA) opened the squat in order to draw the links between the deregulation of rent control by the Tory government and the types of policies aggressively promoted by the G8, at home and abroad. The squat [ 1 | 2 | video ] has been named the 'seven-year squat', a double meaning referring to the length of time the building has sat abandoned, and the expected wait for those on the waiting list for social housing in Ontario.

At the same time, the Bikechevik Velorutionaires finished their ride in from Montreal, with a Critical Mass ride [ 1 ] through the city in solidarity. In the Chill Zone [ 1 ], activists shared the park peacefully with neigbourhood families and the ubiquitous bicycle cops, drumming, dancing, playing chess, throwing around frisbees and volleyballs, and serving up food.

By Wednesday evening, the legal collective reported that there were only two confirmed arrests. One of the more intrusive police measures was their continuing surveillance of demonstrators and arriving buses.



Asesinos: Argentina Regime Kills Two Piqueteros

27.06.2002 02:22

argentina's new regime From Argentina IMC: Three months ago, Dario proudly showed us a mountain of earth with a flag on it. Fifty families had helped to take this mountain. Last week, he told us that it was ready for people to settle there. Dario was 21 years old and today he was assassinated by the police. The complicity of the corporate media, the sweeping declarations from civil employees bounce against the haunting figure of this young fighter. His assassins will always have the stigma of taking a great companion from us. Dario died like he lived; when a bullet took his life from him, he was aiding a friend who was wounded on the floor. This is how we will remember him for each one of our days. Dario Santillan of the MTD Lanus and Maximiliano Costeki of the MTD Pte. Peron, both of the CTD Anibal Veron, are the first victims of the new regime in Argentina. Read More | Photos & Audio

Hace tres meses, Darío nos mostró orgulloso una montaña de tierra con una bandera clavada. La montaña formaba parte de un basural, que junto con unas 50 familias el había ayudado a tomar. La semana pasada, mientras trabajaba haciendo bloques, contaba orgulloso que ya se había podido instalar ahí. Darío tenía 21 años y hoy fue asesinado por la policía. La inmundas calumnias de los medios de comunicación, desde Haddad hasta Tognetti, la basura de las declaraciones de los funcionarios tropiezan y rebotan contra la figura impecable de este joven luchador desocupado. Sus asesinos llevaran por siempre el estigma de habernos arrancado a un gran compañero. Darío murio como vivió; cuando una bala le arranco la vida, estaba socorriendo a un compañero que estaba herido en el piso. Así lo recordaremos cada uno de nuestros dias. Darío Santillan del MTD Lanus y Maximiliano Costeki del MTD de Pte. Perón, ambos de la CTD Anibal Verón, son las primeras victimas del nuevo régimen en la Argentina. Leer el informe completo | Audios y Fotos

Read more at Argentina IMC: Espanol | English | Deutsche | Sverge



Struggle for Global Justice Continues in Calgary

26.06.2002 16:33

G8 leaders show up early in Calgary As the G8 opens its annual meetings on June 26 in the isolated Kananaskis resort in the mountains of Alberta, activists will be converging on Calgary to voice their opposition to corporate globalization, and support for human rights [1 | 2 ], labor rights, and environmental protection.

Large demonstrations began on June 23 with a march through downtown Calgary [ 1 | 2 | 3 | video ], while the G6B Summit opened on Friday, June 21 with a speech from Stephen Lewis, the UN Secretary General Special Envoy to Africa for HIV/AIDS. On June 25, actions were held at a Gap outlet in Calgary [ 1 ]. There was also a G8 cycle brigade that traveled to Calgary, and a Critical Mass held on June 21.

The resort of Kananaskis has been deserted, while the area around it has been militarized with roadblocks, tanks, and anti-aircraft artillery [ 1 | 2 | 3 ].

Meanwhile, various activists, including African G6B participants and musician David Rovics are being denied entry at the Canadian border. Corporate media has sensationalized prospects for violence, including 'health emergencies'. A G8 Activist legal collective is following up on these and other concerns about civil liberties abuses.

More actions are planned for June 25 and 26, including a caravan for global justice and a 'Di-in for Life'. IMC Alberta has opened its G8 coverage, and is webcasting a stream of NGO, Activist, Labor, and Collective press statements.



Violent Repression in Argentina: Two Killed

26.06.2002 16:29

In an escalation of violence police attacked a group of unemployed protesters (piqueteros) outside Buenos Aries. Two protesters were killed, 19 injured with 2 in critical condition, and between 150 and 100 people arrested when police attacked the crowd. Piqueteros are unemployed and poor argentines who have been holding protests by blocking roads demanding food and jobs.

This repression marks the first time in Duhalde's presidency that the police have directly attacked protesters which have consumed the country since it's neoliberal economic system collapsed last November.

Tension has been rising lately in Argentina. Yesterday unemployed construction workers in Tucaman blocked bridges demanding jobs were attacked by the national guard and state police who fired teargas and rubber bullets arresting 5. Last week some student radicals were kidnapped and tortured similar to what happened in the 70's and 80's during the military dictatorship.

Police have raided and are searching the offices of a left-wing political party in Buenos Aries. The Argentine peso has devalued further while Argentine officials are in Washington begging for an IMF bail-out.



World Bank Confronted in Streets of Oslo

26.06.2002 12:49

Pink Bloc in Oslo

June 24 marked the opening of the World Bank ABCDE conference in Oslo. A counter-conference 'South meets North' and street protests were organized by Oslo2002, while there was a 'Reclaim the Streets' and other actions of resistance.

Former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda and Philippino organizer Lidy Nacpil , among others, spoke at the open forum counter-conference, criticizing World Bank policies and even its existence from first-hand experience. A counter-festival was held with stands, music, a demonstration workshop, beer and a relaxed, peaceful atmosphere.

Repression in Norway had been high in prior days. There have been arrests and deportations of persons registered in the Schengen Information System despite no records of criminal convictions, while the borders of Norway have tightened.

The protests opened Sunday evening with a party and concert by the Oslo Ya Basta! collective. The Norwegian Adbusters network launched their 'VB' newspaper, imitating the style of the country's largest tabloid ("VG") but with content on the World Bank. The demonstrations on Monaday were colorful and peaceful, including a pink bloc and samba band amongst 15,000 demonstrators. Immediately afterwards, there was a RTS party, and two unused houses were squatted.

Read reports from June 22, June 23, an update on the organizing, and photo galleries of IMC-Norge [1], preparations [1 | 2 | video]], 'Jernbanetorget' [1 | 2], the demonstration [1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6], and the RTS [1 | 2].



The G8 Agenda - L'agenda du G8

26.06.2002 00:13

Sommet Kananaskis Summit, Canada 2002

From the Montreal IMC
In their own words, the priorities at the Kananaskis summit will be to strengthen the global economy, build a partnership for Africa's development, and to fight "terrorism."

Questions arise about the intended means to "strengthen" the economy. In the past, the G8 has relied on international organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank, which caused the economic devastation in Argentina, and sent Colombia's economy into a tailspin. Other questions arise as to whether the G8 will keep any promises they might make, as they failed to do with their 1999 debt-relief pledge.

The Partnership For Africa's Development (NEPAD) being touted by the G8 has come under fire for not gathering the required public input, and for supporting neo-liberal economic policies similar to those of the IMF and World Bank. IMF and World Bank programs have been identified as the original cause of Africa's economic woes. Amnesty International has launched a campaign to draw attention to how the G8's trade in arms and military aid in Africa undermines human rights. Human Rights Watch has voiced similar concerns, arguing that NEPAD does not address the massive human rights violations occurring on the continent.

Concerns have been raised about how the "War On Terrorism" is being used by G8 member countries to further their own domestic agendas. Canada has passed several anti-Terrorism bills aimed at cutting civil liberties, which include the infamous Kananaskis clause. Russia has stepped up aggression in Chechnya, amid flagrant human rights abuses. The United States was recently condemned by a group of leading artists, writers and academics for what they call a 'War Without Limit'. Others have wondered how it could be a war against "terrorism" when its leader is itself a leading terrorist state.

Conspicuous by its absence is talk about the Kyoto Protocol, long since killed by Canada and the United States at a past G8 meeting. More information on issues behind the G8 can be found here. On Wednesday, June 26 from 9pm to 12 am EDT, the NYC IMC Sound Collective will be streaming a live show on this year's meetings and popular resistance to the G8's initiatives.




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