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Indigenous Riot on Palm Island highlights racism in Queensland

28.11.2004 20:44

"On the 19th November 2004, on Palm Island a community just off the east coast of Townsville, Queensland, Australia an Aboriginal man by the name of Cameron Doomagee was arrested for singing a song on a street in the Palm Island Community, just over an hour and half later he was dead in the police cell." National Indigenous Human Rights Congress Australia from the Melbourne Indymedia Newswire

A State of Emergency has been declared with over two hundred police officers sent to the Island to supress the community after the State Coroner's autopsy report found the death to be an accident. Story on Melbourne Indymedia Newsire

Palm Island, home to over 4000 indigenous Australians has turned into a crucible for bad race relations in Australia after the death in police custody of indigenous man Cameron Doomagee this week. Last Friday the shock and anger in the community erupted into a 'riot' after release of an autopsy finding that Doomagee death, of "intra-abdominal haemorrhage caused by a ruptured liver and portal vein... (with) four broken ribs" was "accidental", the result of a 'fall' outside the watchouse [Townsville Bulletin article] . The police station, court house and police residence were burnt to the ground as local expressed their disbelief and anger at the judicial system.



Brasil: Violence unleashed against landless

24.11.2004 20:59

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During the month of November, the landless movements' activities in Brazil have grown significantly - and so has the repression against them, especially against the MST (Landless Workers Movement). In Jandaia, a rural city about 300 kilometers away from Brasilia, ninety three rural workers were arrested on the morning of November 8th and brutalized by police after an action to re-take the lands sold from under an occupation named "Paulo Freire". 81 comrades were released the next day, though nine were kept in jail. Local justice officials denied the request for parole under the argument that "[their detention] was needed to secure public order and maintain peace in the area". The National Instute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA) building in Goiás was occupied and about 650 landless workers camped in vigil in front of the Goiânia Cathedral on hunger strike to protest police violence and the federal government's inertia on promoting agrarian reform.

On November 20th in Felisburgo, Minas Gerais state, fifteen mercenaries attacked landless workers, killing five and wouding twenty others. The workers were part of an occupation named "Terra Prometida" on the Nova Alegrida farm. Mercenaries set fire to several tents and destroyed personal belongings of many families living in the occupation. In protest, the MST blocked three roads for a few hours.

Meanwhile, the case about the Eldorado dos Carajás killings remains open. Police murdered 19 landless workers in April of 1996, but a court judgement satisfactory to the MST has not yet been reached. Three judgements have been made in this case so far. None of the police officers were found guilty when the first judgemenst were made in 1999. But the decision was thrown out after an appeal by the MST lawyers and the Attorney General. In the second trial, held May of 2002, two comanders, colonel Mário Colares Pantoja and captain Raimundo José Almendra Lameira, were found guilty but none of the 145 other officers were convicted. In the third trial, that just finished on Novemeber 19th, the judge maintained the sentence, despite MST protests demanding for justice. An appeal has not yet been made to this third decision.

Links:
Homeless arrested and tortured in Jandaia, Goiás | Manifesto pelo fim da impunidade em Eldorado dos Carajás | Cartilha de Eldorado dos Carajás (pdf - 30MB) | Last updates on the massacreÚltimas notícias sobre o massacre | End new trial on the massacre of Eldorado de Carajás



Arizona prepares to resist AFTA

24.11.2004 18:26

The U.S. is embarking on yet another mission of economic terrorism. A new bi-lateral trade agreement between America and three South American countries – Colombia, Ecuador and Perú – will be hashed out in Tucson, Arizona. The Andean Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) talks will be held from November 30 through December 4th.

Locals have already spent a considerable amount of time organizing resistance. During the week activists have begun to plan protests, teach-ins, press conferences and other actions. NOAFTA has been launched with housing and ride boards, calendars, background info, a newswire and many other features. More information about AFTA and resistance events can be found here.

Visit Arizona Indymedia and NOAFTAfor ongoing updates leading up to and during the negotiations.



Vanunu re-arrested by dozens of armed police; later released to house arrest.

16.11.2004 22:45

"Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu was released from custody that evening, following his arrest in a dramatic and excessive show of force early Thursday morning, November 18, at St. George's Cathedral in East Jerusalem. He has been punished yet again, and placed under house arrest for seven days.

This on suspicion of passing confidential material to unauthorised persons and possibly because he has given interviews to The Sunday Times, the BBC and a Greek radio station, declaring that there are still nuclear weapons materials in Israel.

Vanunu was warned that he is still bound by the severe restrictions placed on him by Israeli authorities when he was released on April 21 after serving his complete 18 year sentence. Issues regarding his re-arrest are under investigation, and no formal charges have been filed. However, Vanunu was told that he may face charges for interviews that he has given to foreign media.

For more information, see www.vanunu.co.uk | www.vanunu.com | www.vanunu.org



Regulate and you will reign: 3rd International Congress of the Spanish Language

Michael N. Escobar, 29.11.2004 10:17

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From the 17th to the 20th of November the 3rd International Congress of the Spanish Language will be held in Rosario (Argentina), organized by the Royal Spanish Academy and the Cervantes Institute, with the support of the the national, provincial and local governments. The senator and First Lady of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, was named honorary president of this event, which will cost 500,000 euros per day, and will have a security detail of 1,100 police officers. Under the theme of "Linguistic Identity and Globalization," it is no accident that among the principal sponsors of the Congress are the Spanish multinationals Repsol YPF and Telefónica, some of the companies who have most enriched themselves during the last few years in Argentina. President Néstor Kirchner and His Majesty the King of Spain, Juan Carlos I, will give the inaugural speeches next Tuesday. In parallel fashion and in ideological opposition, between the 15th and 20th of November, the 1st Congress of LanguageS will take place in various independent spaces. This meeting, free and open to the public, will gather together academic institutions, cultural organizations and indigenous communities to discuss, among other subjects, the causes and consequences of imposing linguistic policies, and declaring that languages are not marketable products: their only owners are their speakers. According to the announcements of the organizers of the event, "we are not going to speak 'about' the indigenous peoples, the poor, the marginalized, and the people of the historic autonomous communities of Spain, but rather speak 'with' them. We are all social agents, with a totally complex reality such as that of Iberoamerica which we declare to be linguistically and culturally plural."



Landless farmers under constant threat

Abby Anna Batko-Taylor, 12.11.2004 16:30

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Police violently dislocated a group of rural farmers on November 4th who were occupying land in the department of San Pedro, Paraguay. (photos) One farmer, Aurelio Espinosa, 55 years old, was killed, and 30 others were detained. This type of confrontation has occurred in various departments in the country. Typically, farmers and their families have been sent to prison, where they have experienced inhumane conditions and treatment.

In just three years, the Paraguayan government has expelled more than 100,000 farmers from their lands in the implementation of mono-agricultural programs to cultivate genetically modified wheat, soy and corn. These farmers are joining the growing number of families in Paraguay without land, now more than 400,000. The government of Nicanor Duata, following the footsteps of past governments, has promised lands to the farmers, but has not followed through on this. He has publically acknowledged that there are 13 million hectares (32.11 million acres)of ill-gotten land and that 90% of that land is in the hands of 2% of the population of Paraguay.

Note: this translations is missing some links: check the spanish original and/or post a new translations. thanks.



US government: "We seize - you can't complain"

12.11.2004 07:47

Hard-disks nailed to the Italian consulate in Dijon, France Yesterday, November 9, the U.S. government responded to the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF) Motion to Unseal the court order that led to the seizure of two hard drives that hosted more than 20 Indymedia websites. The government claims that the order to Rackspace should remain secret because: (1) EFF and their Indymedia clients lacked "standing" (the legal right to initiate a claim) to contest the seizure, (2) the request came from a unnamed foreign government pursuant to a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), and therefore was not subject to the protections of the Bill of Rights; and (3) disclosure would endanger "an ongoing criminal terrorism investigation." EFF intends to oppose these arguments and will file a legal brief responding to the government's letter. It's then up to the court to decide whether the court order should be unsealed or not.

The government response also contains details suggesting that the order may have originated in Italy. While the government refuses to identify which government prompted the court order, the letter cites language from "Article 8" that corresponds to the Italy's MLAT and not to Switzerland's. (As reported earlier, Italy and Switzerland were the two prime suspects.)

Meanwhile, more than 10,000 individuals have signed the Indymedia solidarity statement and at least 17 of the downed websites are back up and running.

[ previous feature | EFF motion | EFF blog | US government response (pdf) | The Register article (2, 3) | solidarity statement ]



Crossing Into Juarez with the International Caravan for Justice

10.11.2004 17:32

A Portland indymedia videographer accompanied the West Coast leg of the International Caravan for Justice in Juarez and Chihuahua City. On October 31 the Caravan marched across the border between El Paso, USA and Juarez, Mexico to demand justice in the cases of approximately 400 murdered women, cases neglected and mis-investigated by Mexican authorities. This is part 2 in a series of reports about the Caravan, which visited dozens of cities in the US and Canada and spent 6 days in Mexico meeting with authorities and the family members of the dead. [ read the rest of this report... ]

previous reports from Caravan: [ 12th Day of International Caravan for Justice in Juarez and Chihuahua (Oct. 29) | Caravan for Juarez Women Succeeds in Raising Awareness of 400 Murdered (Nov. 1) ]

[ More from Steev | Mexico Solidarity Network | Juarez feature October 2003]



Protests against Fallujah-attack

09.11.2004 22:34

Since the war was declared over ("Mission Accomplished") the anti-war movement has been fairly quiet, but that is now changing. Protests have been occuring across the U.K. in response to the assault on Fallujah. On Monday 8th, the day the assault started, there were protests in over 30 towns and cities around the UK, including vigils and protests in Swindon, York and Brighton.

Four people were arrested in Edinburgh as the US Consulate was spattered with blood red paint and covered in anti-war slogans.

News from Iraq: Al-Muajaha | Electronic Iraq | Iraqi blog | Juan Cole blog | Empire Notes blog | also see Jo Wilding and her blog.
UK Protest + Iraq Info Upcoming London Events | Voices in the Wilderness | Stop the War Coalition | Justice Not Vengeance | Iraq Occupation Focus | Jubilee Iraq.

More protests are planned around the world.



Polar Regions experiencing severe climate change

09.11.2004 09:10

Larsen B ice shelf breakup, Antarctic Peninsula, March 7, 2002 The Arctic and Antarctic are experiencing severe climate change. The Arctic ice cap is melting at an unprecedented rate due to human induced global warming, according to a new study conducted by 300 scientists and elders from native communities in the arctic, released 8 November. Over the last 30 years the ice cap has shrunk 15-20 per cent. In 2003 the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, the largest in the Arctic, broke into two pieces. With the build up of greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide, the trend is set to accelerate with forecasts that by the summer of 2070 there maybe no ice at all.

In Antarctica, while the interior of the continent is cooling, disappearin g sea ice and warmer temperatures around the Antarctic peninsula are causing an 80 percent drop in the numbers of Antarctic Krill. This is causing the food chain to crash affecting fish, penguins, sea birds, whales and other animals, as well as commercial Fisheries. The breakup of the Larsen B ice shelf in 2002 has also released several glaciers, increasing their speed up to eight fold, and dumping their loads into the Weddell Sea contributing to rising sea level.

[Melbourne IMC: Climate Change Features | Perth IMC: Warming in Antarctica | WWF: Arctic Climate Impact Assessment | Climate Solutions]



Target: US Protesters

09.11.2004 01:38

Boston: On Thursday, November 4, the Boston Area Faculty Group on Public Issues, the National Lawyers Guild and the Save Our Civil Liberties (SOCL) Campaign issued a public demand for an immediate moratorium on police use of so-called "non-lethal" and "less-lethal" weapons.

Tucson: Police made it a point to harass and repress an energetic but peaceful march on November 3. Cops immediately targeted known activists, including Keith McHenry, founder of Food Not Bombs, who was singled out and arrested within the first 15 minutes of the march. Tucson Police Department (TPD) indiscriminately used a new weapon – an air rifle that fires small paint-ball style bullets filled with CS gas – against marchers. Although TPD claims to have only fired four pepper balls, more than four welts have been documented.
Miami: During the November 2003 FTAA protests, less lethal weapons were used entensively to disperse peaceful crowds, including their use on unsuspecting journalists, local citizens and people silently praying. Street medics treated over 100 injuries including at least five serious head wounds caused by police firing projectiles to the head - the same scenario that resulted in the death of Snelgrove.
Oakland: Less-lethal projectiles were also deployed and used during the April 2003 Oakland Port protests when police open fired on peaceful protestors, longshoremen, legal observors, and journalists with rubber and wooden projectiles. Several dozen people were injured, including some who were permanently maimed by the bullets.
Oregon: Recently, police used pepperball projectiles to disperse an anti-Bush crowd in tiny Jacksonville, Oregon when other alternatives were available.



Day X: Anti-Nuclear Demonstrator Killed in France

08.11.2004 07:19

You are leaving the democratic sector... The 23 year old protestor Sebastien died in Avricourt, France trying to stop a a so-called CASTOR train, carrying 12 containers - holding 175 metric tons of atomic waste - from La Hague, France to Gorleben, Germany, after he was run over by the train. According to latest news, he had locked himself to the train tracks, but the train conducter saw him to late to stop in time. (1 | 2 | 3. More detailed info (en, fr ,de) will follow once others of the group can report on the events.)

Spontanous rallies to mourn his death took place in more then 25 cities in Germany, but in most cases it was decided to go on with the protest actions.

The train is expected to reach Dannenberg/Gorleben on Monday. Actions are expected along the train track as well as on the last 20 km that the transport has to do on the street. There is a general ban of demonstrations on the actual road and 50 meters on both sides of it.

[ castor.de | NIX-DA live Ticker (up to the minute information on the location of the train) | Maps | Indymedia Germany | Radio Free Wendland (live stream) ]



80 Southern Muslims massacred by Thai authorities

04.11.2004 13:01

Hong Kong protest at Thai massacre At least 80 Southern muslims were massacred by the Thai authorities on 25th October. Those killed were part of a thousand strong demonstration in the Southern province of Naratiwart who had assembled to demand the release of those arrested on charges of stealing weapons from an army camp earlier this year. It is widely believed that those in custody are innocent. After their arrest they were systematically tortured into giving "confessions". A leading muslim defence lawyer was about to expose this torture and also many "disappearences" of southern muslims at the hand of the Thai police, when he himself was abducted and murdered by police. The government of Taksin Shinawat clearly has blood on its hands. Last year they ordered police to kill over 2000 suspected "drug-dealers" without any trials or need for evidence.

Protestors in Hong Kong held a protest on November 3 and issued a statement saying that the Thai PM Thaksin is accountable for the Narathiwat massacre.

More at: [Manila IMC | Perth IMC | QC IMC]



Arundhati Roy collects Sydney Peace Prize

04.11.2004 03:45

Arundhati Roy Indian novelist and social justice activist, Arundhati Roy, was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize on 3rd November at a function in Sydney where she delivered an address, Peace & the new Corporate Liberation Theology' (or read the corporate media sanitised version).

Roy has been an articulate critic of the war in Iraq and the neo-liberal agenda of 'free trade' and investment regimes. Conservative commentators have attacked the awarding of the Peace prize due to her support for resistance in Iraq against the invasion and occupation by the USA 'Coalition of the Killing'. Arundhati Roy told an ABC reporter "One wasn't urging them to join the Mehdi Army, you know, but to become the resistance, to become part of what ought to be a non-violent resistance against a very violent occupation. So that is to redefine what resistance means, you know, we can't just assume that resistance means terrorism, because that would be playing right into the hands of the occupation."

[Sydney IMC | Melbourne IMC]



(S)ELECTION 2004 COVERAGE

31.10.2004 18:24

sEelection 2004 - your choice is being made for you The November 2nd election is drawing ever closer and IMCs from across the United States are stepping up their coverage. As accusations of voter fraud and disenfranchisement continue to accumulate, activists are preparing a nation-wide campaign to prevent another stolen election and imcistas will be reporting from the ground.Michigan Indymedia will have two days of special coverage on N2 and N3, including a live webstream (more), a toll-free call-in number, and a text-messaging system to keep people up to date. IMCs in Portland, St. Louis and Cleveland, among other places, are also planning election coverage. IMC Pittsburgh has a live radio show on WRCT at 6pm EST.

As well, the new US IMC will officially launch on Monday, just in time for the elections.



Critical Mass Radio Network : Halloween or the US Elections, Which is Scarier?

29.10.2004 22:31

Today's schedule, all times are PM and PST:
  • 1 - 3 los angeles
  • 3 - 5 portland
  • 5 - 7 san francisco bay area (ECR)
  • 7 - 8 santa cruz
  • 8 - 10 new york
  • 10 - 12 san diego
Today, October 29th, 2004 is our third national coordinated broadcast with many more to come. The 2004 US election (a.k.a. distraction/ extravaganza) is only 5 days away. Tune in for commentary and analysis from your peers and neighbors, outside of the corporate stenographers and party hacks, to hear something that isn't for sale. Join the message board and share your thoughts, or call into any of the stations as they broadcast from this decentralized network of resistance to the factions of the USA Business party. In our unofficial poll, what is more frightening: Halloween or this election?

Listen online at criticalmassradio.net. Also, you can join the Critical Mass Listeners announcement list here: CMRN List.



Iraqi civilian deaths put at 100,000

29.10.2004 19:07

Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed in violence since the US-led invasion last year, according to public health experts who estimate there were 100,000 "excess deaths" in 18 months. The US-based researchers found that the risk of death from violence in the period after the invasion was 58 times higher than before the war.... [ Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey ]
[ The LANCET REPORT ] The rise in the death rate was mainly due to violence and much of it was caused by US air strikes on towns and cities: "Making conservative assumptions, we think that about 100,000 excess deaths or more have happened since the 2003 invasion of Iraq," said Les Roberts of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in a report published online by The Lancet medical journal.

"The use of air power in areas with lots of civilians appears to be killing a lot of women and children," Mr Roberts said. Mortality was already high in Iraq before the war because of United Nations sanctions blocking food and medical imports. But the researchers described their findings after the war as shocking. The new figures are based on surveys done by the researchers in Iraq in September 2004.



So water continues being a right of all of us

IMC Uruguay, 28.10.2004 17:40

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Once again Uruguayan people will demonstrate itself against the privatizations , the support to the constitutional reform about water would have the majority acording to the surveys. This fact as well as the 92 one and the 2003 one for ANCAP is a victory of the social, political and gremial movments and it has been reached thanks to the great effort, with signatures recolection and the long campaign that have ended this weekend with an act and a rock festival [ fotos 1 - 2 videos 1 - 2 ], after several days of work.

Others sites: FFOSE, Redes, IMC ALCA



Fascists get run out of town

27.10.2004 07:39

fairydust

The extreme ring wing/fascist group National Front was confronted this weekend by counter marches, fairies and anarchist blocks. The National front rally at parliament, to support of keeping the current national flag as a symbol of New Zealand's colonial heritage, was met by fairies throwing glitter over the skinheads and an anarchist block, who chanted 'boring' and 'nazi scum' throughout the nationalist speeches.

Despite the National Front attempts to leave the area (even with police escorts) before the arrival of the 2,000 strong multicultural march , they found themselves blocked at every entrance. From this point on bockades sprung up spontaneously to frustrate the National Front's every attempt to escape.The National Front were eventually trapped within the station between two lines of anti-fascists. Things got even more heated when one fascist threw a punch at a protestor and got quite a few punches to the face by anti-fascists in retaliation. The National Front leader's car was also jumped on and pieces broken off as he was driving away. At one point the police tried to arrest a girl who punched one of the cops, but was unarrested. Another protestor was arrested following the scuffle. About 40 people occupied the police station to demand his release, resulting in the arrest of one more person. Both prisoners were charged (the other with disorderly behaviour) then released within a couple of hours.

Demo reports: Multicultural Aotearoa | Fairies Fighting Fascists | Nazis lose badly in Wellington | National Front run out of town



US multinational installs controls positions in indigenous territory

Mark, 24.10.2004 18:13

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Since September the sugar business Ingenio Tabacal, property of Seabord Corporation, has prevented a guaraní community from freely accessing lands that are vital for their subsistence in the Salta region of Orán. The squads are under the charge of the private security group Search, also from the US.


The recent restrictions to enter to La Loma, an area of 5000 hectares used daily for harvesting firewood and medicinal plants, motivated a new accusation (denuncia) from the Indigenous Guaraní Community El Tabacal of the Hipólito Irigoyen area. Two representatives from the community travelled to Buenos Aires, invited to participate in the opening of the Professorship (Cátedra) on Indigenous Rights of the University of Morón and they took advantage of the opportunity to denounce their situation before national representatives, official agencies and the press.

Mónica Romero - president of the community - and Haidee Cuñandipa - vice president - explained to Indymedia that the impediments to entering the lands began on September 4th, when personnel from the Ingenio Tabacal knocked down bridges that gave access to La Loma and built earth walls. Just a few hours before a delegation of national representatives had left who had travelled to the region to verify the constant violations of indigenous rights.

Not content with the previous, the executives of the sugar company ordered private security, under the charge of the Search group, the installation of control positions and the permanent patrolling of the territory. The only possibility of accessing the lands would be to sign documents possessed by political leaders (punteros politicos) connected to the IngenioTabacal - according to the demands of the guards - although the content itself is unknown.

The representatives of the community also announced that the police station of the city have refused to receive the accusations, until the intervention of representatives from Buenos Aires.




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