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9/11 Widow takes Bush Regime to Court

18.12.2003 08:26

9/11 Ellen Mariani, whose husband, Louis Neil Mariani, was a passenger on United Airlines Flight 175, which crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center filed a complaint in federal district court against George W. Bush and his administration charging they failed to heed repeated warnings from U.S. intelligence and foreign sources that terrorists could well use commercial aircraft as weapons. In a separate letter to the Bush, Mariani wrote: "During your daily intelligence briefings you were given information that had been uncovered that the very real possibility existed that certain undesirable elements would use commercial aircraft to destroy certain "target" buildings. You never warned the American people of this possible threat. Who were you protecting?" Access to Bush's daily briefings in which such matters were discussed has been blocked by the Whitehouse, though a select and questionable few on the 9/11 investigation commission will be allowed limited review.

[ 9/11 Citizenswatch | Take Action ]



Bush Regime Claims Capture of Old Friend

15.12.2003 21:25

Sadam-Rummy handshake While Bush, Blair and Howard trumpeted loudly that Saddam Hussein had finally been found, opposition to the presence of foreign forces is likely to increase, the nightmare is about to begin. Satirical commentaries abound, including:

Some observers may be wondering whether Saddam, a former U.S. operative, will end up sharing a cell with Manuel Noriega, another former U.S. operative. It is likely Saddam will be subjected to a kangaroo show trial: 3 days before his alleged capture, the Bush appointed Interim governmant in Iraq set up a special war crimes tribunal that will be closed to the world except for "outside experts".

[ IMC Beirut | MER Iraq Magazine | Guerilla News Network | Iraq Body Count ]



www.indymedia.org migrates to New Servers and New Software

13.12.2003 15:04

Mother Earth IMC's and Indymedia Activists,

The server which has been hosting many indymedia sites, stallman, is losing its net connection on Monday the 15th of December. Over the last two months we, indymedia techies, have been working to move all the remaining indymedia sites to other servers. In the process every site has been upgraded to new indymedia software including mir, sfactive, and dadaimc depending on the preference of the local indymedia center. The last and biggest site to move is the global or network site, www.indymedia.org.

We are upgrading www.indymedia.org to new software when we move it to a new server, Edna. The server, located in New York, is named after a New York anarchist poet. The site also will have a database hosted on a new server named after Noam Chomsky.

For technical reasons we were unable to upgrade the site while maintaining the old active software which we have been using for 4 years. There was a discussion on the imc-tech, www-features, and www-migration list and it was decided to switch to the mir system. Mir will allow more scaleability, better management of the features publishing process, and multilingual support.

The new site will go live before Monday the 15th of December. It will have all the functionality of the old site, but it will not have the same design and it will not work in exactly the same way. For example, people will now be able to comment directly to features on the site, and publish versions of the features in languages other than english.

Please note that it's an evolution, we are working very hard to keep the site up and working through the transition. Feedback and design help would be appreciated, but right now we need to just make it work.

in solidarity,
the www-migration geeks



Majority of the population of Uruguay votes against privatisation

13.12.2003 14:18

The overwhelming majority of the about 2.5 million voters demanded the abolition of the law 17.448. This law was supposed to terminate the monopoly of the national oil enterprise Ancap on import and export as well as refining of crude oil. At the night of Sunday the 7.12.2003 to Monday, everywhere in the country victory celebrations, held by the opponents of privatisation, took place. The main streets of Montevideo were crowded by cars. Whole families sat in their cars, leaned out of the windows, honked continuously and swivelled flags. Primarily those of the opposition party 'Frente Amplio', but also many flags by trade unions and grassroot activists were to be seen.
During the day of Sunday the popular vote had taken place, which was supposed to decide about the abolition of the privatisation law 'Ley de Ancap'. The law was rejected with 62,2 per cent (51% would have been enough) of the votes, the proponents of the privatisation reached 35,4 per cent. In 16 out of 19 provinces of the country the majority voted with 'Si' (yes) on pink paper for the refusal of the bill.

Photos : closing meeting 1 - 2 | Celebration 1

Read the complete article:
Castellano - English - Deutsch - Português

[ Indymedia Uruguay ]



Protests Mark International Human Rights Day 2003

13.12.2003 08:21

International Human Rights day, observed on December 10, 2003, marked the 55th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Drafted in 1948, in response to the recently uncovered horrors of fascism and intolerance, this document affirmed that"[e]veryone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association," and that "[e]veryone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his (sic) interests."

One of the largest global campaigns promoted on International Human Rights day is the Million Faces Petition. Begun by Oxfam International, this project hopes to collect a million signatures with accompanying photos by 2006. This multi-media campaign will then be presented to a the United Nations, which has scheduled a meeting to deal with the global arms crisis that summer. The petition is part of a larger “Control Arms” campaign, which seeks global support for an international arms treaty to strictly limit the small arms trade. According to recent estimates, the use of conventional arms are responsible for the deaths of approximately 1,300 people every day. The vast majority of victims are civilians or non-combatants.

For more information see:

[ Universal Declaration of Human Rights ]



Seizing the means of communication

11.12.2003 22:26

The World Summit on the Information Society, (WSIS) is continuing in Geneva, Switzerland. Throughout the week you can tune in to the HighNoon video and audio stream. Activists are demanding that the UN Summit address issues of intellectual property, human rights, the right to communicate, infowar, the rights to cheap generic medicine, and to free software as a model for technological development. During the preparation of the conference the police raided and initially shutdown the Polymedia lab, a hands on workshop space and community media lab. On Thursday activists held an action by projecting "Give me the mermaid" (Audio | Video skip to 20:08) by Negativland on the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) building.



Miami Activist Defense Calls For Evidence

11.12.2003 16:06

Miami Activist Defense needs your testimonies, photos, and particularly VIDEO footage in preparing for the mass defense and civil litigation. We are working with both the Miami Public Defenders and the National Lawyers Guild.

If you or you know of someone with video footage from the Miami protests, please make a copy and send it to us right away. Other evidence (photos, eye-witness statements and contacts, etc.) should also be sent ASAP. Please do this and encourage others you know who have evidence to do the same.

We can't stress this enough. Please do it now. Call (305) 400-6445 or visit:



Activists Gather in DC to Oppose CAFTA

08.12.2003 10:55

From December 7-16, there will be a series of actions and protests against the final negotiations of the U.S.-Central American Free Trade Agreement, which the United States Trade Representative describes as "an agreement to eliminate tariffs and other barriers to trade in goods, agriculture, services, and investment between the United States and Central America," that will be held December 8-12 at the Mayflower Hotel in downtown Washington DC. CAFTA is a trade agreement being negotiated by government representatives from the United States, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. It is modeled after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Bush regime initiated CAFTA in 2002 and hopes to have an agreement sealed as quickly as possible, in part to move the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations forward faster (see the FTAA IMC).

All the same problems human, environmental and labor rights organizations have with NAFTA (and the FTAA) are present in CAFTA. These include the negotiations' lack of transparency; probable provisions to allow corporations to sue governments when laws hinder potential profits; privatization of public services and utilities;reduced labor rights; increased economic instability and financial speculation; favoring subsidized agribusiness at the expense of small farmers; and environmental destruction. The little known Plan Puebla Panama is also an integral part of CAFTA.



Unofficial Mideast Geneva Peace Accord May Be On a Roll

06.12.2003 22:06

The unofficial Geneva Accord signed recently in Switzerland is generating a good deal of attention around the world in spite of the lack of interest from the governments of Israel and Palestine and negative critiques from the right, the the left and elsewhere. Is peace breaking out regardless of the deeply entrenched enemies? Some observors point out that "peace must start to be measured by how well justice is served, and not by how much fanfare is generated."

Geneva Accord architects, former Israeli justice minister Yossi Beilin and former Palestinian information minister Yasir Abd Rabbu, met with Bush regime Secretary of State, Colin Powell friday, an event that is not welcomed by the Sharon government. Some of the Accords proposals are being hotly debated. Whether it can survive the long-standing impass that has historically plagued the Mideast is a question many are asking.



World Summit on the Information Society

04.12.2003 13:30

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) is a full United Nations Summit to be held 10-12 December 2003 in Geneva with a second meeting in Tunis in 2005. [Official Website]

Community media and other civil society organisations are organising a number of events to run alongside and contra to the WSIS which, they believe, fails to promote media diversity or engage with the question of fair access to the Information Society.

The Summit's stated objective is to address the inequalities that will arise as the world changes from an industrial to information-based society. Information is a powerful tool for economic and social development and the WSIS was announced as a platform for the UN, governments, the private sector along with civil society groups to contribute to bridging digital and knowledge divisions.

However the Civil Society grouping including many progressive electronic networks have severly criticised the process for failing to agree on a comittment to basic human right standards (most prominent in this case being the freedom of expression), as well as failing to properly include a development agenda and address issues such as media concentration, support for community media, internet governance, free software, and security. The stage is now set for a confrontation as the movement for media democracy and communication rights continues to gain pace.

Links: UN Summit Information Society | Prepcom Reports | WSIS? We Seize! | Polymedia Lab | WFCR



12th World Tribunal on Reparations for African People

03.12.2003 00:41

The 300 or more people attending the Reparations Tribunal listened in shocked silence as the elderly black man spoke of being used as a human guinea pig in medical experiments in Pennsylvania's Holmesburg prison. Robert Davis was one of about 30 witnesses presenting testimony at the 12th Session of the International Tribunal on Reparations for African People in the U.S., held November 15th and 16th in Philadelphia.

In the 2-day hearing, the Reparations Tribunal reaffirmed its 1982 guilty verdict, convicting the U.S. government of genocide and human rights violations. This 12th Session focussed on the educational, police and prison systems found to function as institutions of continued oppression and exploitation of African people. The international panel of judges accepted the testimony into the growing body of evidence substantiating the demand of Africans for reparations from the U.S., awarded at $4.1 trillion dollars for labor alone in the 1982 founding session of the Reparations Tribunal.



Milano COP9: A hot summit

02.12.2003 15:55

The COP9 (Conference Of Parties), the worldwide summit on climate and climate changes is going to be held be held 1 - 12 Dec. It should definitively let the Kyoto protocol start. But it won't be like that.

The management of oil, the most precious resource for the free-trade economy, is at stake and here's where, more than elsewhere, national and international polical balances are determined. Demonstrations are planned, to answer to the ones who only try to solve economical problems and to assert that the atmosphere is a common weal of the people the earth and that oil and free trade economy are destroying it. To remember that we need to break the dependence on fossil fuels, the control of which was the main reason of the last wars which struck the planet.

Read the whole feature in the "ecology" category (also in eglish version)



Judge Orders Halt to Nestle's Ice Mountain Bottling Operation

01.12.2003 05:01

Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation's landmark suit against Nestle Waters North America has ended in a court order to halt all spring water withdrawals from a site in Mecosta County, Michigan.

After mass resistance in Wisconsin forced Ice Mountain out of that state, they set up a bottling plant in Michigan. The fight against water privatization has been led by two organizations, Sweetwater Alliance, a state-wide, grassroots, group "dedicated to the liberation of essential resources from corporate control," and Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, which spearheaded the trial against Ice Mountain.

Judge Lawrence Root handed down the order for Nestle to terminate its spring water withdrawals earlier today in a markedly personal 68-page written decision.

"I am holding that Nestle's pumping operations at the Sanctuary Springs must stop entirely," Root wrote. "Further, I am unable to find that a specific pumping rate lower than 400 gallons per minute, or any rate to date, will reduce the effects and impacts to a level that is not harmful."

Read: Full Article

[ Summary and Order by Judge Root ]



Thessaloniki 7 out of Prison

30.11.2003 20:48

"They are in for us, we are out for them"

On November 26th, the "Thessaloniki 7" won a five months struggle against the Greek prison system and various Greek authorities. Souleiman "Kastro" Dakduk from Syria, Simon Chapman from the UK, Fernando Perez Gorraiz and Carlos Martin Martinez from Spain and Spyros Tsitsas were on hungerstrike between 49 and 66 days in protest against the conditions of their arrest and imprisonment [First pics of the hungerstrikers & health report].

The Saloniki 7 were amongst 29 protesters arrested during the protests against the EU summit in Thessaloniki. While the others have been released, the seven were held on remand on charges of rioting, possession of explosives and resisting authorities. All 7 say that these charges are false, as say their friends, family and supporters. In Simon Chapman's case, video and photographic evidence confirm that he was framed.

The 7 are not allowed to leave Greece until their trial takes place [imc athens | imc uk]. The Council of Judges ruled their release after the district attorney in Athens ordered doctors to force feed the hungertrikers. Pressure on the Greek authorities had increased since the hungerstrikers' health deteriorated. Solidarity groups formed all over the world, 28 European parliament members called for the prisoners' release, Amnesty International called for an independent inquiry.

Read: Entire Feature



Activists brutalized at FTAA protest; FTAA Ministerial concludes with "watered-down" agreement

30.11.2003 17:38

As over 10,000 people demonstrated in Fort Benning, Georgia, against the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly called the US Army School of the Americas and on the heels of 200,000-strong demonstrations against George Bush's formal state visit to the United Kingdom, thousands of demonstrators gathered in Miami to protest the signing of the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas, which would extend "free trade" rules similar to those in NAFTA to all American states except Cuba. (See People's Global Action for context). Creative actions during the protests included public sharing of food, guerrilla gardening and demonstrations against the biases of corporate media, featuring the Kensington Welfare Rights Union.

The Miami police were led by former Philadelphia police commissioner John Timoney, made infamous during the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, August 2000, which has since set a national precedent for police brutality and arbitrary mass arrests during demonstrations. Following Timoney's decision to "embed" reporters within the ranks of the police, at least seven non-embedded journalists were among the more than 250 activists arrested, including Democracy Now! producer Ana Nogueira, and Indymedia reporters Justin Lipson, Jeanette Lee and Michael Medow. There have been at least twelve activists hospitalized with serious injuries and police even attacked the clinic where demonstrators were being treated. There have been repeated reports of torture and abuse in prison, unfair targeting of Queer activists and People of Color, and data collection for sharing with immigration and customs agencies, prompting calls for a Congressional investigation from Amnesty International and the United Steelworkers of America. Donations are being collected for bail, legal, and medical costs.

Shortly after the protest, Jordan, a Miami street medic who worked with New Jersey Anti-Racist Action, died of meningicoccal meningitis [Memorial Website].

Despite the police and paramilitary repression, the FTAA conference concluded early, with an agreement that is less restrictive for member states than the original proposal. Activists are already regrouping to prepare for the Western Hemispheric Conference against Neoliberal Globalization and the FTAA, to be held in Havana, Cuba, on January 23.

FTAA IMC Wrap-Up Features: [N21 Jail Support Protest | The Miami Model | What Happened? | The Trade Talks | Global Solidarity | We Demand Justice]



Resistance from below

30.11.2003 10:28

Amidst the heavy downpour in the afternoon rain, ALTERNATIBA!, a consensus-based united front that was forged through militant grassroots unity was formally launched last Friday, November 21, 2003, in a massive mobilization near Malacanang Palace. Traffic was forced to a halt as busloads of militant farmers from Central Luzon, indignant masses of urban poor from depressed areas of the metropolis, grim and determined workers and trade unions from factories, fisherfolk from the shore areas, agitated students and youth from the universities, and enraged women from feminist movements, all converged at Welcome Rotonda in Quezon City, Philippines to express dissent against the infightings of the Elite, the specter of a Military Junta, and the onslaught of Neo-liberal Globalization that has wreaked havoc in the daily lives of poor Filipinos everywhere.

As many as 15,000 militant protestors from different people’s organizations, multi-sectoral coalitions and political formations stood in solidarity when the broad coalition had its first baptism of fire as police where forced to turn tail in retreat and taste defeat in the hands of the masses overflowing with energy and fervor. It would not be long now and a people enraged would express their discontent into meaningful and militant direct action on a massive scale.



Diebold Caves on Threats But Potential Voter Fraud Lives On in U.S.

29.11.2003 11:04

As reported on U.S. Democrat Party presidential hopeful, Denis Kucinich's website, "Diebold Inc., one of the nation's largest electronic voting machine manufacturers, is withdrawing threats against ISPs for hosting users [like Indymedia] who publish or link to corporate documents suggesting there are flaws in its equipment and irregularities with certifying the systems for elections." An Indymedia global feature last month described the threats and activists response to them. Now the documents can even be found on Kucinich's own government webpage where the congressman refers to Diebold's threats as contrary to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Growing concern in the U.S. about the potential for one's vote to be changed without their knowledge in the upcoming 2004 presidential elections has sparked a rapidly expanding movement to correct the course of events. The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2003 (H.R. 2239), represents one such response, but Rep. Robert Ney, chairman of the House committee that would propose the bill, opposes it, so its future is in doubt. Interestingly, Ney is a Republican representing Ohio, the home state of Diebold.



International Buy Nothing Day To Be Celebrated In 55 Countries

26.11.2003 21:08

Buy Nothing Day

In observance of what may very well be the most important holiday of the year for the anti-capitalist movement, people in at least 55 countries will celebrate "International Buy Nothing Day" this weekend. Begun in 1993 by the founders of Adbusters, the concept has taken root in diverse communities and manifested in multiple ways in cities throughout the world. In Europe, International Buy Nothing Day (BND) is celebrated the last Saturday in November (the 29th) while in the United States and Canada the event has coincided with the day after Thanksgiving. The latter date was chosen in response to the fact that the last Friday of November has become, due to intentional marketing strategies, the "biggest shopping day of the year" in the United States. BND was conceived as a protest against the religion of consumerism, and the multiple ways in which the imperative to shop is implicated in systematic violence throughout the world. In its positive aspects, BND is a celebration of life, community and local autonomy.

Meanwhile, a group of "anarcho-situationists" from Montreal have decried Buy Nothing Day as a "misplaced...notion of consumer empowerment." Seeking to raise the bar on anti-consumerist action, they have called for Steal Something Day, to be held Friday, Saturday and everyday.

Read the entire feature.

[ International Buy Nothing Day | UK | New Zealand | Netherlands ]



More than 100.000 persons in Compostela streets

26.11.2003 18:10

One year after the Prestige oil spill, Galiza came to the streets. A metaphor about the efects of globalizing based on war and the destruction of the ecosystems.

The big demo was scheduled to Sunday, 16th November, in Compostela. The Galizian citisenship after 365 days of dignity, and unavailable to support more indignities, gave their response. More than 100.000 persons ocupied the city saying "NUNCA MAIS" (never again). [Portuguese feature]



Recent Developments on Iraq Concern Haliburton & Bechtel

26.11.2003 17:48

The US Corporate news media was reluctant to report one of the key reasons why European Union countries were wary of opening their wallets for a US-Controlled Iraq Development Fund. Reportedly the fear was that most of the money would wind up in the hands of US corporations Haliburton and Bechtel. Reporter Ian Williams wrote for the progressive news and commentary site, Alternetthat their preference was to channel their money directly through the "UN window" into funds under international rather than coalition control. A large part of donor reluctance stemmed from their observation that, according to Williams, "It has taken six months for the U.S. to allow the establishment of the International Advisory and Monitoring Board, which is supposed to supervise the allocations made by the Development Fund. The Fund which increasingly resembles a Halliburton/Bechtel moneybox".




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