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Independent Media Center: Three Years of Media Resistance

24.11.2002 15:31

Three years of hope The resistance remains global. Three years into our shared experiments in open publishing, a growing number of Indymedia centers around the world continue to seek out and mobilize media forms which dramatically alter the balance of power between multinational corporations and grassroots community organizing. With a bit of coding, some cheap equipment, and the commitment of many dedicated volunteers, we have set up participatory websites providing news and commentary in eighteen languages, across six continents. Our work extends beyond the bounds of the Internet, through local media production centers, radio networks, community newspapers, film and video.

On November 24, 1999, a trans-Pacific collaboration brought this website into existence in Seattle. In the three years since, Indymedia's global network has grown rhizomatically, crossing national borders without difficulty. Locating the silences where social and economic injustices are perpetuated, IMC journalist/activists challenge information monopolies based on wealth and power. This is only the beginning.



Palestinian Activist Targetted By INS

24.11.2002 14:46

Solidarity demonstration in Government Center

Palestinian human rights activist Amer Jubran was arrested at his Providence-area home by the INS and FBI on November 2, when he refused to submit to an FBI interrogation without lawyers present. He was detained at INS facilities in Cranston, Rhode Island. His friends and supporters emphatically feel that the detention is for political reasons, coming three years after he was granted permanent resident status and two days after he led a rally in downtown Boston. They mounted a pressure campaign [ images | audio ] to urge the INS to release Jubran. On November 21, Jubran was released on $1,500 bond. The next phase of the trial starts February 20, 2003. In the past, the INS and FBI have targetted other Boston Palestinian activists, including Jaoudat Abouazza, who was detained for forty-one days, during which time he accused the Bristol County jail of medical torture.



Peaceful Protesters Challenge NATO in Militarized Prague

24.11.2002 02:39

Anti-NATO Banner

The NATO summit in Prague on November 21 and 22 was met with a week of protests under a broad platform. Demonstrations began Sunday, November 17, International Students' Day, when 300 people followed the route taken by students in 1989 as they marched in protest of communism, one of the sparks of the Velvet Revolution. This time around, in spite of 8,000 policemen in Prague, the day proceeded peacefully, setting the tone for the rest of the week. OPH (a Czech legal observer group) stated they were aware of no arrests, though the corporate press had predicted violence and a tense atmosphere. On November 20, the NATO delegates arrived to a lavish dinner at the Obceni Dum. Food Not Bombs distributed free food to 300 people, and the numbers grew to 500 during a noisy demo.

On November 21 at Namesti Miru, 1,300 demonstrators marched in the main demonstration, in good spirits despite the cold. Symbols of militarism were handed back to NATO in an apt piece of street theatre. Confrontation with the police was kept to a minimum. On Friday November 22, there was another march. Other events included a netstrike, internet radio, and some heavily policed direct actions [ 1 | 2 ]. About 300 people were turned back at the borders. Anticipated this, border groups in Germany, Austria, Poland and Slovakia helped those refused entry to the Czech Republic. There were also solidarity actions in places around the world, including Jihlava, Vienna and New York.

Read: full summary by Prague IMC (cz, en)



Eviction Papers Served to World's Most Destructive Bank; Four Arrested

22.11.2002 21:07

Four demonstrators lock themselves to a Citibank door

Citigroup has earned the title of the World's Most Destructive Bank for its environmental plunder, consumption of third world economies, and support of apartheid-era South Africa and, more recently, Enron and WorldCom. On November 21, activists attempted to serve Citigroup with well-earned eviction papers. As part of the Corporate Crime Patrol, four activists from the Wetlands locked themselves to the door of a Citibank in New York City and were arrested. Similarly, on November 14, activists with the Rainforest Action Network engaged in civil disobedience at five separate Citibank locations in San Francisco.

Read: full feature | NYC IMC summary | SF IMC summary



Senate Passes Fascist Homeland Security Bill

21.11.2002 21:25

Official Logo of the Information Awareness Office On November 19, the U.S. Senate passed the Homeland Security Act (H.R.5005) 90 to 9 with the understanding that next year both chambers will take up three minor provisions of the bill that Democrats have objected to as being pork-barrel. The Democrats did not challenge the section for the Orwellian Information Awareness Office - which conservative columnist William Safire lashed out at as a gross violation of civil liberties - or the rest of its fascist provisions. The bill guts the Freedom of Information Act, establishes a draconian surveillance system for spying on U.S. citizens, and will terminate many union jobs. The House passed the bill on Nov. 13th. Many people in the U.S., including immigrants, Muslims, and political activists, will not be feeling as safe when they sleep.

Previous coverage: Nov 17



Until Always: Remembering Shirley Bueno

21.11.2002 03:25

Shirley Bueno

Shirley Bueno, an activist and friend of imcistas, died in a bus accident shortly after the FTAA protests in Ecuador. In remembrance, Jhenny Santander, seriously wounded in the bus accident and companera of Shirley said,

"The knowledge of your heart has given me strength and a road to continue the struggle. We have also created a solidarity network and a space of tenderness that together, be it here or there, we will maintain for the dignity of life."

Read: eulogy for Shirley | original eulogy (es)



Tactics Vary; Message Stays The Same

19.11.2002 17:06

The past two weeks have seen a consistent, international effort to halt the U.S. war on Iraq. This past weekend, tens of thousands of people joined separate marches in 25 cities in Canada. In the UK, peace activists managed to board a nuclear submarine and surrender themselves as part of a disarmament campaign. Other UK activists are targetting embassies to highlight the connection between the U.S.-led war and the international crackdown on dissent. On November 16, they held a mock wedding for George W Bush and Lee Raymond, CEO of Exxon Mobil, known around the world as 'Esso' petrol, at the US embassy. A student walk-out is expected in the United States on Wednesday, November 20.

[ Read the entire feature. ]



Uruguay Social Forum a Success

19.11.2002 13:39

Foro Social Uruguay march against ALCA/FTAA The Uruguay Social Forum commenced Friday, November 15, with a march against the ALCA/FTAA from the Plaza Libertad to the Esplanade of the University in Montevideo. There was a three-day marathon of workshops, debates, dance, theater, music, exhibitions, and interchanges of experiences. The forum, like other branchings of the World Social Forum, aspired to create spaces to share visions about an alternative society and to strengthen bonds between people with diverse views and between movements and non-capitalist networks.

Over the weekend, there were approximately 90 workshops, with meetings held in buildings around a rural meadow. The sessions unfolded successfully with enthusiastic participation and included workshops on multiple topics such as a shared common economy, recent experiences in Buenos Aires, alternative media, and more. Community radio from the forum was transmitted to bordering districts.

Read: Sunday - forum recap | Saturday - outline of activities | Friday - march account | forum introduction (es)



Over 10,000 Protesters Demand Closing of 'School of Assassins'

18.11.2002 13:54

Protester scaling the fence

On Sunday, November 17, the second full day of protests, over 10,000 protesters demanded the closing of the Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC) (formerly the School of the Americas). Ninety-six activists engaged in acts of civil disobedience by illegally entering the Ft. Benning Army Base (where the school is located). At least eighty-eight people were arrested, most of them facing jail sentences of up to six months (many of those arrested at last year's protest have had to serve terms in prison). Elsewhere in solidarity actions, there was a march in Nicaragua, and a student strike in El Salvador. The SOA protests have taken place every year since 1990, and have grown considerably in the last few years.

Read: entire feature | Atlanta IMC recap | Atlanta IMC action updates (Nov 17)
Previous coverage: Nov 17 | Nov 16 | Nov 15



Activists Protest Pro-War Media

18.11.2002 13:31

Protesting the Minneapolis Star Tribune's coverage of antiwar activism

On November 15, for the second Friday in a row, a new group calling itself the Flying Pickets protested at the studios of Minnesota Public Radio (MPR)/ National Public Radio (NPR) in St. Paul. The actions have been called to bring attention to and protest the continual barrage of pro-war reporting by major media outlets, including MPR. Similar actions have been occurring in St. Paul/Minneapolis with regular frequency following horrible media coverage of the historic October 26th anti-war protest that drew more than 10,000 people to the St. Paul Capitol building.

Read: full article
Related Stories: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | Oct. 30 Star Tribune protest ]



10,000 March for a Genetic Engineering Free Aotearoa

18.11.2002 12:51

As a part of protest actions during the 8th International Pacific Rim Biotechnology Conference, ten thousand people marched in Auckland Saturday for a GE Free Aotearoa. The colorful, diverse crowd comprised a wide range of groups including the Green Party, Alliance, Mothers Against Genetic Engineering, and Eco Labour to name just a few. The march, led by Pukekohe school children, went from Aotea Square to Albert Park where people listened to a variety of speakers and were entertained by DJs and musicians. The event took place without negative incidents and like last year's Auckland protest succeeded in creating a vibrant, carnivalesque atmosphere.



&quot;Black Voices For Peace&quot; Protests For Media Fairness

18.11.2002 01:56

Black Voices For Peace and the Black Voices For Peace Peoples Action launched a Fairness In Media Campaign Friday, November 15, with a protest in front of the Washington Post. The campaign is targeting the Washington Post and other media outlets that have not been fair, balanced and accurate in their reporting on the antiwar movement and the participation of black and other people of color in antiwar activities.

Read: entire article



Speakers, Puppetistas - Festivities Begin on Saturday

17.11.2002 20:20

SOA Protests begin on Saturday, November 16 The first mass protests against the School of the Americas at Fort Benning began on Saturday, November 16. Although the city-sanctioned police searched all of the attendees and the weather wavered between fair and cloudy, the crowd still maintained an optimistic mood. At the stage there were various speakers on a variety of Latin American issues. Throughout the day, attendees recognized the Prisoners of Conscience that are currently incarcerated due to their actions at last year's demonstration. Midway through the day's events performers gathered to perform 'Argentine Uprising Puppet Theater'.

The Atlanta IMC conducted interviews in Portuguese [ 1 ], Spanish with an Argentine puppetista and activists from Colombia [ audio ]. More information is available from an interview with Father Bourgeois, photos [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ], audio [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] and video [ 1 | 2 ] of Saturday's events.



House Passes Orwellian Homeland Security Bill

17.11.2002 19:26

Official Logo of the Information Awareness Office

Late in the day on November 13, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a new Homeland Security Bill [ text | votes ]. It calls for a sweeping consolidation of federal intelligence and police forces and places jobs in risk. While the elimination of jobs may be the norm in any merger, this consolidation also takes away the rights of unionized workers and severely limits the protections given to whistle blowers.

The bill has a number of effects, including compromising the Freedom of Information Act, increasing sentences for so-called "hackers", and establishing a pervasive and integrated surveillance system intended to collect information on as many persons as possible.

Read: entire feature



Creative Protests Against Social Center Evictions

17.11.2002 18:18

Police on the streets of Hamburg The largest evictions seen in years in Germany took place in Hamburg in the early hours of Monday, November 4, and protests against this have continued through this weekend. A city with a long history of strong autonomist movements, Hamburg was awakened immediately with protests against the eviction of the "Bambule" Wagenplatz - one of several sites in Hamburg and other German cities where people live in lorries and trailers. Many of those living on such sites are involved with local political activism, including social centres, anti-racist organizing, and more.

Read: entire feature

More information about Bambule is available from the Germany IMC: [ background | update ] (de)



WTO Protesters Push Against Massive Police Buildup, Some Meditate

17.11.2002 04:29

WTO Protestors attack the fence

Friday in Sydney, a lively crowd of about 2000 persons protested talks amongst 25 trade ministers from the WTO. Protesters were outnumbered about 2 to 1 by police. Thursday, New South Wales Police Minister Michael Costa revealed that $5 million AU of taxpayers' money had been spent policing the event. In addition, Olympic security legislation was still enforced at the former Olympic venue, meaning that NSW Police had the potential to use extensive powers (including $5000 AU fines for distributing leaflets) against people protesting.

The day started out with a 2-kilometer march [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] from Flemington train station to the Homebush bay site. Closer train stations were closed for the days of the talk for "security reasons". Once at the site, several scuffles broke out [ audio ] and there was an attempt to pull the fence down [ 1 | 1 | 2 ]. This led to 35 arrests [ legal observer audio ], as well as to allegations police harassment [ 1 | 2 ]. Meanwhile, one of the main actions of the day was held by a peace bloc who sat silently on the road meditating.

Read: entire feature | Melbourne IMC wrap-up



City and Police Prepare for Demonstrations

17.11.2002 01:07

Attorneys for SOA Watch and the Georgia ACLU SOA Watch and the ACLU attempted to file an injunction against the City of Columbus, Georgia in court this week, based on new security measures that were to be implemented during the demonstrations. The U.S. federal district court judge, a new Bush appointee, ruled in favor [ text ] of the City of Columbus on Friday, November 15, as activists were arriving in Columbus. The new security measures include the use of metal detectors to search every person attending the demonstration. The city will set up a perimeter and demonstrators must enter and exit through access points.

Read: in-depth article



Firefighters on Strike Across U.K.

16.11.2002 23:39

Day one of the U.K. firefighters strike For the second time in the history of the United Kingdom, firefighters are on nationwide strike for 48 hours. They are asking for a raise to £8.50 per hour. Negotiations of the Fire Brigade Union with the National Fire Service Employers broke off on Tuesday, November 12 after the Labour government twice intervened in the talks.

Read: entire feature



Direct Action Against War Performed on Halloween

16.11.2002 23:21

A projected antiwar slogan on the House of Parliament on October 31 Thousands of anti-war protestors across the U.K. took to the streets on Halloween in protest at the government's plans to join a U.S. led attack against Iraq. Around 150 different events included critical mass bicycle rides, street occupations, and mass demonstrations in Brighton, Manchester, Glasgow and London. Other places included Broadstairs, Walthamstow, North Finchley, Muswell Hill, Gamlingay, Kingston, Milton Keynes, Southend and Dorking. There was some local press coverage and very little national media coverage, which only mentioned the main London protest. Everybody had been asked to join in the non-violent resistance against war and oppression by engaging in acts of civil disobedience, however large or small.

Read: entire feature



Nine Internationals and Israeli Arrested in Jaayuss, Palestine

16.11.2002 11:15

Arrests

On Thursday, November 14, a successful direct action by Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals in Ja'ayush aimed at a separation wall under construction from caused a freeze at three construction sites. Around noon on Friday, Palestinians were again joined by Israelis and internationals as they returned to the site to pray on their land, while Israeli soldiers aimed rifles at them. About an hour later soldiers began firing tear gas and live ammunition at the crowd. The internationals and Israelis then stood in the line of the soldiers' aim and were attacked. Soldiers attempted to take activists' cameras, and hit them with their rifles' butts, injuring one severely. Nine internationals and one Israeli were arrested. The internationals are now facing deportation.

Read: Update

Look: Pictures




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