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Johannesburg's Poor Fight Evictions and Privatisation

21.12.2002 20:51

"This system is taking us back to square one," said Mvenda Masalas, an unemployed father of three fighting eviction from an inner city tenement in Johannesburg. He was among 150 poors, many of them already homeless, who marched on the offices of the provincial Minister of Housing on Saturday, 14 December. They were protesting the escalation in what amounts to forced removals, a phenomenon many remember from Apartheid days when non-whites were displaced to areas where they could still provide cheap labor to the city, while living on treeless wastelands out of sight of whites.

Read: entire feature | Dec 20 feature | Nov 14 | Sep 20 | Sep 16 | Sep 13 | Sep 9 | Jun 29



D19: Urban Blockade in Buenos Aires

20.12.2002 20:22

Urban blockade on 19 December in Buenos Aires

Over one thousand protestors blocked streets in Buenos Aires' financial district on December 19 "to make the streets free of capitalism." This urban blockade was organized as part of the extensive actions planned for December 19 and 20. Protesters cut streets in front of banks and transnational corporations beginning at 9 in the morning seeking to effect suspension of bank operations and financial activity. Meanwhile, marches of thousands of persons coming from all corners of Argentina have been progressing towards Buenos Aires for days.

Read: entire feature | Dec 19 feature | Dec 18 feature | summary preview

The Argentina and Rosario IMCs are providing extensive coverage of the actions as well as a live radio webcast [ audio ]. You can support this coverage by donating through paypal here.



Civilian Weapon Inspections Continue in England and Scotland

20.12.2002 19:55

Civilian weapons inspectors on 16 December at USAF Fairford in Gloucestershire

Civilian weapons inspectors were refused entry on Monday, 16 December to the US Air Force Fairford base in Gloucestershire [ 1 | 2 | video ]. Bombers flying from Fairford dropped nearly half of all the bombs used during the Kosovo war. Since then, the base has had extensive refurbishment and is the only base in Europe which will be deploying the aircraft due to its long runways and opposition to war by other countries.

Read: entire feature | Nov 25 feature

More information is available from the Gloucestershire Weapons Inspectors and the Campaign to Close Menwith Hill US Spy Base.



Voters Opt For Peace, Reject US Presence By Narrow Margin

20.12.2002 19:40

On Wednesday, December 18, South Koreans elected a human rights attorney as President. Roh Moo-hyun, a progressive who ran on a platform of reconciliation with North Korea and resistance to the United States, defeated the hawkish Lee Hoi-chang by a margin of less than 3 percent. While North Korea has adopted a newly aggressive stance, South Koreans have had to deal with a wave of scandals in the current administration and a series of events involving American servicemen that have sparked anti-American protests.

Read: entire feature | Dec 4 feature



US and Canadian Activists Report from Iraq

20.12.2002 13:41

As the corporate media continues to conflate Saddam Hussein with the entire population of Iraq, activists from the US and Canada are reporting the daily experiences and opinions of Iraqis on the ground. These reports come from the multimedia Iraq Journal, as well as from emails sent from Iraq. Voices in the Wilderness activists have recently interviewed an Iraqi opposed to both Hussein and American foreign policy, and plan to continue to send updates about Iraqi conditions to the rest of the world. Calgary peace activist Dr. David Swann was recently in Iraq and published these reports:

  • [Dec14] Final Report: "Dying for Peace in Iraq: Disaster Preparedness on the Brink of War"
  • [Dec14] Farewell Iraq
  • [Dec. 10] Iraq: Interim Report on Medical - Disaster Preparedness
  • [Dec.05] All of Us Are Iraq
  • [Dec.05] Just Another Day of War Games
  • [Dec.05] Life and Death in Iraq (Karima's family)
  • [Nov.29] Bitterness in Basra
  • [Nov.29] Why Iraq?
  • [Nov.22] Notes from Iraq
  • [Nov.22] Just another day for Baghdad children



Evictions and Pollution Focus of Movement in Durban

20.12.2002 13:36

Communities from across Durban converged on the Settlers Primary School in Merebank on Wednesday, 11 December 2002 to plan a campaign of rolling mass action against the city's new relocation policies. Residents in South Durban who face increasing industrial expansion and pollution have found common cause with the poor of Chatsworth, Sydenham Heights, and Umlazi, who face evictions for rental arrears and unpaid rates bills. Disconnection of electricity service continues despite its unlawful basis.

Read: entire feature

An interview with the Dean of Students at KwaZulu-Natal University looks further at how women are particularly impacted by the rapid changes and contradictory nature of contemporary South Africa.



INS Interns Hundreds, Refuses to Report

19.12.2002 18:54

Thousands protest detentions in Los Angeles For their cooperation in an INS voluntary registration program, an unspecified number of Iranian and Middle Eastern nationals, estimated in the hundreds, have been detained indefinitely, cut off from family and legal assistance. Officials are refusing to report the identities or individual charges against those detained while LA area jails are overflowing.

The Southern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee have received numerous phone calls for assistance from families of those detained, and many are comparing the arrests to the internment of Japanese Americans in camps during the Second World War [ interview ]. On Wednesday, December 18, more than three thousand persons, mostly Iranian Americans, rallied outside the Westwood Federal Building in LA to protest the roundups [ 1 ]. Meanwhile, solidarity protests are already planned, including one on Friday in Portland.

The detentions are currently receiving little comparative attention in US dominant media, with original coverage limited to an article in the Los Angeles Times and a wire report [ audio ]. More information is available from the LA IMC Dec 19 feature.



Iraq Report Documents Foreign Support For Weapons Programs

19.12.2002 15:57

Hewlett Packard, Dupont, Honeywell and other major U.S. corporations, as well as governmental agencies including the Department of Defense and the nation's nuclear labs, and numerous companies from other countries, all helped Iraq to build its biological, chemical and nuclear weapons programs, according to Iraq's 12,000-page weapons declaration to the UN. This information was contained in the nearly 9000 pages removed by the United States before the report was circulated to the non-permanent members of the UN Security Council. The nuclear support under Presidents Reagan and Bush, Sr., violated non-proliferation treaties.

Read: entire feature | Democracy Now! coverage including an interview with the Geneva-based reporter who broke the story and translations of original German stories.



Que Se Vayan Todos

19.12.2002 12:34

Rallying in anticipation of D19 and D20

December 19 and 20 mark the anniversary of the popular rebellion in Argentina ousting former President Fernando De la Rua. Citizens will go to the streets under the slogan "Que Se Vayan Todos," (to hell with all the politicians). Massive mobilizations will take place in Buenos Aires, throughout Argentina, and around the globe. Organizers of actions to commemorate the anniversary maintain that actions will be peaceful and non-violent. In the past weeks, mass media has been creating a climate of tension and fear in preparation for the protests. In the face of this atmosphere, piqueteros, popular assemblies, cacerolazos, alternative media, and human rights activists will reclaim the streets for two days of non-violent actions.

The Argentina and Rosario IMCs will be providing extensive coverage of the actions as well as a live radio webcast (es). You can support this coverage by donating through paypal here.

Further coverage from the IMC network includes El 19 y 20, todos a... (es), El sol del 19 y 20 viene asomando (es), and Another D20 (en) from Argentina, Diciembre 19 y 20 de 2002 (es) from Uruguay, Um ano do levante argentino (pt) from Brasil, Tage des sozialen Ungehorsams (de) from Germany, D19-21: Tango Argentino e piquete global! (it) from Italy, International Action Days (nl/fr) from Belgium, Argentinie: een jaar na de opstand (nl) from the Netherlands, Argentina: 1 Day (gr) from Athens, Argentina Libre (gr) from Thessaloniki, All of Them Out! (en) from Melbourne, D19 - 21: Global Piquet (en) from the United Kingdom, and Thousands Pour into Buenos Aires for a New Argentina (en) from San Francisco.



Coast to Coast, the Antiwar Marches On

19.12.2002 12:29

The Code Pink Carolers serenade the residence of Defense Secretary Donald &quot;Duck&quot; Rumsfeld with pro-peace parody carols. The Don blows off Code Pink's offer of cider, fruitcake and cookies. &quot;Bombing kids is NAUGHTY!&quot; sez Santa, by Mike Flugennock From Harlem to Chicago to Denver to Hollywood, people in the US continue to march against the war. Residents of Los Angeles are also mobilizing in the face of a mental environment mixing messages between celebrity, the Federal Communications Commission, Palestine, big-budget propaganda, and peace activism. In Washington DC, the ladies of Code Pink visited the house of US Secretery of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to sing "War to the World" and other parody carols.

In the world of academia, the University of Michigan recently joined the growing list of universities that have passed antiwar resolutions. Meanwhile, graduate faculty and students at the New School in New York City, together with faculty from other area schools, are calling for a teaching moratorium on the two days following the beginning of any US-led war on Iraq. The process of education about war continues, with teach-ins gathering steam, ranging from North Carolina to Wisconsin to Idaho.



Migrants, Border Militarization, and Vigilantes

19.12.2002 00:54

Anti-immigrant militia in Arizona Racism is on the rise in Arizona as right-wing militants take the law in their own hands on the borderlands. Militias have formed in Tombstone and other parts of Cochise County, lurking in the vicinity of water stations placed in the desert by humanitarian groups in order to round up migrants at gunpoint. Last May, border vigilante groups issued a call across the US for others to join their efforts, resulting in a meeting in Sierra Vista attended by ranchers and members of the Ku Klux Klan. There has been a considerable recent escalation of violence against migrants in Arizona.

Read: entire feature



Another December 20th for Argentina

18.12.2002 05:19

Argentina Uprising One year after the protests and riots that ousted President De la Rua, the Argentine people prepare to take the streets once again on December 19 and 20 in what is expected to be two days of massive actions. The reason for the protests - then and now - is the catastrophic situation to which Argentina has been driven by IMF structural adjustment combined with widespread corruption throughout the government. Current President Duhalde has made no progress in restoring the nation's economy or people's faith in government.

The people, organised through piquetero groups and popular assemblies, however, remain strong and commited to the struggle. On this December 19 and 20, tens of thousands prepare to take the streets all across Argentina. Protests range from piquetes blocking all major highways to an urban piquete that will attempt to shut down the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange and the headquarters of major corporations such as Microsoft, IBM, Telecom, Merryl Lynch, Bank Boston, and Standards & Poor. A comprehensive list of the actions that will take place can be found here [ english | español ].

The Argentina IMC and the Rosario IMC will be providing extensive coverage of the actions as well as a live radio webcast. You can support this coverage by donating through paypal here.

Peoples' Global Action (PGA) has called for an International Action Day D20. In Solidarity with Argentina, acts and actions of public disobedience are planned in more than 30 cities around the world between December 19 and 21.

Read: entire feature | summary of actions



Protestors Turn Focus Towards Oil Companies

18.12.2002 03:40

&quot;Oil Makes War&quot; Peace and environmental activists are increasingly taking oil companies to task for their role in fomenting war and causing pollution. On Monday, December 3, a dramatic protest was held at the London offices of so-called environmental consultants [ 1 ]. Protesters from London Rising Tide occupied the Cavendish Square office of Environmental Resource Management (ERM). ERM has been performing research for oil giant BP on a proposed pipeline system from Baku in Azerbaijan, through Georgia to the port of Ceyhan in Turkey.

Read: entire feature

More information is available from erm concerns, Falkor I.C.Y., Rising Tide UK, Rising Tide International, Stop ExxonMobil, Pressure Point, and Greenpeace USA's Don't Buy ExxonMobil campaign.



Blockade Escalates Into Hunger Strike at Grassy Narrows

17.12.2002 18:57

Grassy Narrows, Ontario The people of Grassy Narrows have escalated their direct action to protect their hunting, trapping, and fishing rights on their customary lands. For years they've suffered from mercury poisoning, clearcutting, damming, flooding, herbiciding and more in their traditional territory. Early in December, about 40 First Nation residents were blocking logging trucks from accessing Highway 671, the access road to Abitibi Consolidated clear cutting operations north of Kenora. No logging trucks attempted to cross the blockade in the first three days of the action, but the protesters remain vigilant.

Read: entire feature | request for support



Africans Build Resistance to Corporate Globalisation

17.12.2002 03:13

&quot;Blood 4 Money&quot; As Nigerians and other African peoples struggle with the oppressive forces of neo-colonialism (globalisation) propelled by the G8 through their hand-made financial and trade institutions, Nigerians and other persons from throughout African civil society have recently stood up in defence of their motherland.

In Nigeria, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), recently had a face to face battle with the Nigeria Government on issues surrounding the IMF, World Bank, the WTO, human welfare, and the poverty of the Nigeria people. Meanwhile, Zambians have resisted the privatisation of the Zambian National Commercial Bank (ZNCB). Resistance over these issues is growing as awareness of the history of Breton Wood institutions in Africa does.

Further discussion of these issues is available in an essay titled "Globalisation, Independent Media, and Development in Africa." (en/de) [ audio ]



Ten Thousand March in Inner Copenhagen

17.12.2002 00:01

Anti-capitalists march in Copenhagen on Saturday, 14 December Some ten thousand protestors met on the morning of December 14 at the anticapitalist demonstration near Christiansborg, the castle housing the Danish government [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 ]. The demonstrators included socialists, anarchists, and other groups such as ATTAC and labor union members, all agreeing that an another world (and another Europe) is possible.

All the demonstrators seemed to be fairly young in age. Even the labor union section, which traditionally has been made up of over 50-year-olds, seems to have started sucessfully organizing a new generation.

Read: entire feature | Dec 14 feature | Dec 10 feature

Further coverage is available from GlobalRadio and TV Stop CPH 2002.



Europeans Declare &quot;People Before Profit&quot; in Copenhagen

14.12.2002 14:23

Protestors march towards the EU summit in Copenhagen on Friday, December 13

On Friday, December 13, in opening rounds of protests [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 ] calling for a more transparent and democratic Europe, police arrested perceived leaders of the non-violent protest contingent, notably those from Italy (it). Meanwhile, a relatively peaceful group of "white overalls" penetrated soft barricades while stopping short of trying to infiltrate the main "Red Zone" where European Union leaders and ministers were meeting. Additionally, an internet service provider for protest sites was reportedly raided by 50 Danish police officers. Norway Indymedia and Denmark Indymedia were not affected and are providing continuing coverage.

Read: entire feature | Dec 10 feature

More IMC coverage includes Protests against EU summit in Copenhagen (en), EU-Summit (nl/fr), and EU Gipfel in Kopenhagen von Protesten begleitet (de).



Australia: By Invitation Only

13.12.2002 16:44

Interred refugees in Australia The Australian government today came under the strongest criticism from the prominent Human Rights Watch organisation. Human Rights Watch has released its first dedicated report on Australia, focusing attention on the plight of refugees and asylum seekers. The 94-page report roundly condemns the government's actions during interception at sea of two vessles (SIEV 5 & SIEV 7) and also criticises the so called "Pacific Solution" in which asylum seekers arriving in Australia are sent indefinitely to dentention centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

The Australian government's commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is clearly only lip service as they work at an international level to undermine long-established norms of refugee protection.

Read: entire feature



Calls for Peace on International Human Rights Day

12.12.2002 19:58

Peace activists gather in New York City on International Human Rights Day to stand up against war on Iraq Marking International Human Rights Day, activists across the U.S. held demonstrations, vigils, civil disobedience actions, die-ins, and others events as part of a National Day of Protest Against the War. The nationwide event was called by United for Peace, a coalition of diverse groups working to stop the Bush regime's campaign to invade Iraq.

Actions on December 10 included blockades of military recruiters in Washington DC and Austin, to die-ins in Ithaca, to occupations of federal buildings in Chicago, Milwaukee, New York City, and Oakland, and various other actions throughout the country. In sum, over 100 persons were arrested nationwide for acts of civil disobedience.

Read: entire feature | Dec 11 feature | Dec 10 feature



Solidarnosc and Workers Battle Neo-Capitalism in Town of Ozarow

12.12.2002 02:34

Workers gather outside of the cable factory in Ozarow, Poland

Years after the Solidarinosc labor movement helped bring down the authoritarian Communist regime in Poland, workers in Ozarow are now engaged in a struggle against the new capitalist ruling class in Poland. Beginning on November 26, pitched battles have occurred between workers and riot police over the issue of labor rights at a telephone cable factory. The factory has been the site of a protracted labor dispute over attempts to shut down the factory. The latest actions have led to arrests and beatings, and is entering a third week. On the first day, ten workers were arrested and four hospitalized. As the struggle has continued, there have been fifty arrests.

Read: report about protests | appeal for solidarity

More information is available in a November 27 report (pl) from the Poland IMC, a series of three reports from A-INFOS [ 1 | 2 | 3 ], and a timeline of the dispute over the factory.




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