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The Shocking Truth about Tasers

24.02.2005 03:23

"Taser" is the brand name for an electrocution device produced by US-based Taser International, and is currently being used by 7,000 law enforcement agencies worldwide. The Taser is marketed as a "non-lethal" device that is "saving lives everyday." However, the recent killing of a man by police in Houston, TX, who shocked him with a Taser three times in a row, is just one incident in a growing pattern of lethal abuse that contradicts this claim. The death toll due to Taser use in North America has climbed near 100 since the weapons were first introduced in 2000. Taser International's medical director's claims that there is no connection between the use of Tasers and subsequent death by cardiac arrest are being challenged by those who point out his deep financial ties with the corporation.

Save Our Civil Liberties | Ban Less Lethal Weapons | US-Indymedia



Victory for McLibel 2

20.02.2005 07:00

McLibel 2 Last Tuesday (15th February) the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg declared that the notorious and long running McLibel case was in breach of the right to a fair trial and right to freedom of expression. The McLibel 2 (Helen Steel & Dave Morris) had launched legal proceedings against the UK government arguing that the marathon 'McLibel trial' which lasted 313 days - the longest trial of any kind in English legal history - and UK libel laws, breached the European Convention on Human Rights Article 6 (right to a fair trial) and Article 10 (right to freedom of expression).

Press Release | Nottingham cellebrations | Campaign's website



Oil Trading Exchange Occupied As Kyoto Becomes Law

19.02.2005 21:29

On 16 February 2005, the Kyoto Protocol came into effect, legally binding most industrialised countries to greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2012. On the same day 35 Greenpeace activists halted trading on the global oil market by occupying the International Petroleum Exchange in London, and disrupting the trading - there were 27 approx arrests [audio report].

The Kyoto treaty was agreed in 1997, but has since been watered down by special provisions and has been often criticised as being too little, too late, and for promoting potentially damaging practices.

Later in the evening more activists blockaded and disrupted the oil industry's most prestigious annual gathering in a Park Lane hotel in London, complete with a banner reading "Climate Change Kills - Oil Industry Parties". There were also actions and events around the world - see global reports and pics. Recently (on 25th January) the Greenpeace Business Lecture itself a target of climate campaigners when the 'Greenwash Guerrillas' from London Rising Tide protested against what they called they Greenwash of Shell's Chairman, Lord Oxburgh [see report and pics].



State Repression Showers Goiania with Mourning, Protest

www-features, 19.02.2005 16:54

After the violent eviction suffered this Wednesday, the 16th of February, many of the families from the occupation Sonho Real spent the night at the Catedral of Goiania. Others stayed in a Gym, because no other space was provided for them after their eviction. IMC reporters are now hearing a great number of reports of police violence and authority abuse. Even neightbors from the occupation have made reports about being attacked by the police. Some have sought medical attention. A rally was called for today, the 17th of February at 9 AM in front of the Catedral of Goiania to protest against the violence and to demand punishment for the perpetrators. During the rally the homeless held a funeral for the two 2 militants killed in Wednesday's raid, Pedro Nascimento Silva and Wagner da Silva Moreira. During the demonstration some undercover cops were identified by the squatters while they were trying to arrest of one of the leaders of the Occupation. Trying to avoid prison, the homeless surrounded the police officers who shot many times in the direction of the crowd. In as attempt to escape, they ran to a square near the Military Police who proceeded to set up a police line and protect the undercover cops. Still coming in are many uncomfirmed reports of murders and extreme police violence, in addition to the reports about the missing bodies. A recent post to IMC reports bodies that had been hidden in tanks or burned by the police). At this time, some of the arrested remain in jail and it is estimated at least 50 people missing, based on the various eye witness reports.



VIOLENT EVICTION IN GOIANIA, BRAZIL

Brasil Indymedia Collective, 16.02.2005 14:06

A large military policy operation with 2,500 men has started this morning (February 16) for the eviction of the land occupation Sonho Real (Real Dream) in the city of Goiânia, Brazil. Two people got killed, over 800 people got arrested and several people are wounded (five were very seriously wounded). Among the arrested, two Indymedia volunteers, one from Goiânia and one from Indymedia New York.

The occupation started in may 2004 in an area which has been abandoned for years and quickly gathered 3,000 families. In January, Justice ordered the eviction of the families and since then police have been terrifying the families with death threats and sudden attacks. In February 11, police showed up suddenly and shot gas and concussion bombs and fired rubber bullets against the people. One child got hit by a concussion bomb. On February 15, in another attack, police shot bombs and fired with guns. Two people got hurt. After pressure from social movements and human rights groups, state of Goiás Governor Marconi Perillo committed himself not to send police to evict people in a violent way (you can hear his commitment in this recorded audio. Today's attack and the so far confirmed death of two people showed he did not stick to his words.

You can pressure authorities for the release of the arrested and for the investigation of the murders:
Marconi Ferreira Perillo Júnior
Goias State Governor
Phone # 55 - 62 - 2131456 r.231
Fax # 55 - 62 - 2131479 or 2131481
E-mail: governador@palacio.go.gov.br

Jonathas Silva
Public Security Secretary
Phone # 55 - 62 - 2651000 or 2651050
Fax # 55 - 62 - 2651001 or 2651002
E-mail: Isabela@go.gov.br

Full story at Indymedia Brasil: www.brasil.indymedia.org



A Different Kind Of 'Route Irish'

12.02.2005 03:54

In 2004 more than 158,000 US Troops flew through Shannon Airport, most on their way to Iraq. During much of that same period of time approximately 5,500 US Troops have deserted, gone into hiding, sent to jail and some have escaped to Canada.

What if the funnel to Iraq, called Shannon Airport, were to be transformed into a sanctuary for US Troops resisting the Iraq War by requesting asylum in Ireland?

The refueling of USAF military planes has taken place in Shannon for over 30 years but has caused renewed contraversy when in 2001 Ireland's Government waived persmission to the USAF to refuel at Shannon Airport in 2001 for Bush's aggresive 'war on terror'. Protest in the courts and at Shannon Airport enusued but still today USAF planes share runways with commerical airlines and some of the 1,000 soldiers a day mingle in the airport terminal with international passengers using the Shannon stopover. Report.

This is the new effort by the Dublin Catholic Worker and other anti-war activists and politicians announced in Dublin on Feb 3rd - the second anniversary of the Pit Stop Ploughshares disarmament of a US Navy Plane at Shannon.

Links: [ The 'Route Irish' to Sanctuary Project | Harry Browne writes: 'Don't Get Back on that Plane' Soldiers: Seek Asylum in Ireland - CounterPunch.org | GI Dissent Shakes up the Pentagon: More then 5,500 deserters | Frida Berrigan writes: 'Meet the New Conscientious Objectors' - Voices In The Wilderness | Original feature on Indymedia.ie: A Different Kind Of 'Route Irish' ]



The Uruguayan Military in the Congo: Unpunished Abuses Abroad as well?

Indymedia Uruguay, 11.02.2005 16:31

Soldiers and civilians from the multinational UN peace force in have and continue to be committing serious acts of abuse against the local population who they are supposed to protect. NGO's and observers have accounted for 59 Congolese woman and girls who have become pregnant due to both the prostitution and rape primarily committed by Uruguayan and Moroccan troops.

UN authorities have acknowledged the veracity of serious charges in the case, but hasn't acted develop any effective mechanisms to stop the abuses or bring justice to the victims.



State Repression and Indigenous Resistance in Oaxaca

bb, 10.02.2005 00:35

Three members of an Oaxacan state-wide alliance, COMPA (Oaxacan Anti-Neoliberal Popular Magonista Coordination) have been arrested as part of an escalating campaign of repression and human rights abuses by the PRI state government against an increasingly mobilized indigenous population.

The arrests took place the same afternoon in which members of COMPA were scheduled to meet with the PRI party governer Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, under the advisement of Dr. Jose Luis Soberanes, the president of the CNDH (National Commission on Human Rights) as part of an ongoing investigation of human rights abuses committed by armed state forces against the people. This meeting was taking place less than a month after a massacre in the community of Santiago Xanica on January 15, during a communal work day, in which three community members (also part of COMPA) were shot and arrested.

The three arrests, which took place hours before the scheduled meeting, are clear maneuveurs in a long campaign of repression against autonomous movements in the state. As with the Zapatistas in neighboring Chiapas, international solidarity may become a vital component in the survival of this potent movement against the neoliberal agenda attempting to advance in this resource-rich region.

For pictures of the detainees and background click here | Oaxaca Indymedia

Please take the time to send send this letter to the Mexican authorities and demand the release of these political prisoners.

Continuing coverage at Austin-IMC and CMI-Mexico



Canada wants Terminator Seeds

09.02.2005 04:53

A confidential document leaked today to the NGO ETC Group reveals that the Canadian government will attempt to overturn an international moratorium on genetic seed sterilisation technology, known universally as Terminator seeds. at a United Nations meeting in Bangkok 7-11 Feb 7-11. Even worse, the Canadian government has instructed its negotiators to "block consensus" on any other option.

Terminator technology was first developed by the US government and the seed industry to prevent farmers from re-planting saved seed and is considered the most controversial and immoral agricultural application of genetic engineering so far. When first made public in 1998, "suicide seeds" triggered an avalanche of public opposition, forcing Monsanto to abandon the technology and prompting the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to impose a de facto moratorium on its further development. According to the leaked instructions to Canadian negotiators at SBSTTA 10 (a scientific advisory body to the CBD), Canada will insist on Wednesday (9 Feb.) that governments accept the field testing and commercialization of Terminator varieties (referred to as GURTS -- Genetic Use Restriction Technologies). Canada will also attack an official UN report, prepared by an international expert group, which is critical of the potential impacts of Terminator seeds on small farmers and Indigenous Peoples. In stark contrast to Canada's position, the expert report recommends that governments seek prohibitions on the technology.

[ Stop Terminator Action Alert | ETC Group | Terminator Technology | Convention on Biological Diversity | Earth Negociations Bulletin in Bangkok | IMC Biotech ]



Warsaw cops attack cultural centre, beat up pregnant activist

07.02.2005 09:59

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Systematic police repression led up to and followed the alternative economic conference and anti-WEF protests on 29 April 2004, but during Dec/2004 and Jan/2005, a new wave of police repression against human rights activists has started in Poland.

On 11 December 2004, police attacked a music concert at the ElektroMadonna squat in Częstochowa without showing a warrant, illegally searched the building without independent witnesses present, detained 15, and filed minor drug charges. The motive for the attack is hypothesised to be anti-war organising at the squat.

On 26 January 2005, police in Krakow violently attacked peaceful protestors (pl) (en) opposing war criminal Putin's presence at the 60th anniversary of the freeing of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and detained about 28-35. Police suggested they would charge people for insulting a head of state (Article 136 in criminal law), but as of 29.01.2005, only one person remained accused of this; other charges such as assaulting a police officer remain.

On 28 January 2005, the third attack occurred when police attacked (pl) (en) the Fabryka squat in Warsaw. They refused to show a warrant or to provide their identity numbers, and they beat up a 5-month pregnant activist.

Videos of the Krakow attack and audio files of the Warsaw attack are being widely distributed, calls for the resignation of the police minister Ryszard Kalisz are being made, but your pressure on Prime Minister Belka, President Kwaśniewski and at your local embassy calling (1) for all charges against the victims of the three attacks to be dropped and (2) for Kalisz to be dismissed, might help stop this wave of police violence.

Related links: [wa29.mpg] | Częstochowa 11.12.2004 [report (pl)] [1] | Krakow 26-27.01.2005 [report (pl)] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] | Warsaw 28.01.2005 [report (pl) (en)] [1] [2] [1] [2] [3]



Australian Immigration abducted local woman

06.02.2005 19:10

Following the release from Baxter Immigration Detention Centre, in the southern desert of Australia last week of Cornelia Rau, a mentally ill 39-year-old former Airline flight attendant, we can "see the ramifications of a cruel and inhumane policy" of mandatory detention...

As Australian Prime minister, John Howard promises an "Inquiry" into Ms Rau's case, the recent situation of an Australian woman caught up in the Department of Immigration's(DIMIA), scales of injustice, serves to highlight how the "government has no intention of respecting the human rights of even it's own citizens". Cornelia Rau spent 10 months in immigration detention, including extended periods in an isolation cell, after authorities failed to identify her as a "missing person".

Refugee Rights advocates say: "To force someone into detention, especially Immigration Detention, because of mental illness is deplorable and a stuff-up of monumental proportions. Human Rights groups are calling for The Minister to resign..."



Martial Law Declared in Nepal

Indy, 05.02.2005 19:29

Photo: Nepalese Soldiers in Kathmandu Feb 2

Nepal: All communication links were cut after the King Gyanendra's announcement of suspending parliament and fundamental rights, on Tuesday, 1st of february.
Airlinks have been closed, roads blocked, other transport links delayed. Armed security forces in riot gear are deployed. Leaders of major political parties, trade unions and student organisations are under house arrest or detained. Army is stationed in the editorial offices of all national dailies in order to censor. Outside of Kathmandu, the Maoist strike is apparently observed.

A student demonstration at Prithvi Narayan Campus in Pokhara was fired on by a military helicopter gunship leaving several protestors badly injured if not dead; all FM radio broadcasts outside of Kathmandu are blocked and those broadcasting in Kathmandu play only entertainment-oriented programmes; the BBC FM station recently established in Kathmandu is forbidden from broadcasting the news in Nepali; news stands outside of the Valley have been closed; and a 72-hour blockade on long-distance public bus travel in and out of Kathmandu is in place.

[ full report] [ report updates ] [ Zmag Coverage 1 | 2 ] [ Reporters without borders ] [ Amnesty international Statement ] [ Indymedia India first report | News update | Communist Party (Maoist) statement 01.02. | Communist Party (Maoist) statement 4.02. ]



Ward Churchill Under Attack

02.02.2005 13:29

Ward Churchill, generally considered a friend of radical and indigenous communities, is under attack for his views and perhaps his race. He is a Native American, contributor to many publications including Z Magazine, and Professor of Ethnic Studies at University of Colorado at Boulder where his job is at risk. Under pressure triggered by local press in Denver, and FOX's Bill O'Reilly (excellent article!), he has has already resigned his department chair position. His recent speaking engagement at Hamilton College was cancelled due to security concerns and death threats in response to an essay he wrote several years ago about 9-1-1.

Denver's Rocky Mountain News is currently running a live poll about whether he should resign his professorship as well. Churchill opponents' on-line poll comments are instructive in their anger and ignorance: "He should resign his citizenship" (he's an Indigenous American), and various comments that free speech is ok until it criticizes the US. If the poll comes out against Churchill, it can be used to exert additional political pressure on his employer. The attack against Churchill was fomented by two AM talk radio DJs in Denver and FOX's Bill O'Reilly.

Other articles and resources: [Info on the O'Reilly attack and contact info for taking action | Panel Including Ward Churchill Cancelled in New York (indybay) | Another good one from indybay | Interview with Derrick Jensen | Older Churchill audio Q&A | More audio (2004)]



Anti-WEF protests in Switzerland

27.01.2005 09:08

WEF - World Egoistic Forum

political and economical heavyweights will from on January 26 come together behind closed doors in the Swissish Davos for the World Economic Forum(WEF), to give a "social label" to the capitalistic globalization.

Like usual there are actions held against this summit, [Fr|De]held by a anti-WEF-coalition

This year the actions started already on Friday 21th January and more actions are planned till the end of the WEF on Saturday 29 January.

Also, like in good habit, there are many restrictions opposed on the actions, a playfull streetparty was forbidden in Bern. The police was very repressive, so repressive that there was some protest in parliament. 250 Activists are forbidden to enter the country and even the Army has 6500 soldiers on hold.

There were also actions in Basel, Lugano, Geneva, Davos self and in Burgdorf

In the next week more actions are planned, like an authorized manifestation in Davos on January 29, the distribution of the Public Eye Awards on January 26 and a stage-piece from Dadavos. More actions are in the pipeline, they will be announced on Indymedia Switserland (fr |de)

[Video Dadavos] [Pictures Bern: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | Davos: 1 | 2 | Burgdorf: 1 | Geneva: 1 | Lugano: 1 | 2 ]

[ autonome gipfelblokkade| Anti WEF Alliantie| Anti WTO Cordination| Revolutionnaire Opbouw| Chiapas| Dadavos| Perspektiven nach Davos| Public Eye| Wintimedia| No WEF]

[Anti WEF posters]



28 Detained for insulting Putin?

27.01.2005 03:33

POLAND: 28 DETAINED FOR INSULTING PUTIN?

Police have brutally detained 28 peaceful human rights protestors in the Polish city of Krakow today (Wed 26.01.2005). Claims of human rights abuses against the prisoners include: throwing people into water despite the sub-freezing temperatures; kicking people in the genitals, pulling their hair (dreadlocks) in order to exert pain, throwing two women to the ground and putting their knees on the women's backs despite no violence from the side of the protestors.

It appears that the 28 people detained will all be prosecuted for having insulted Putin</ a>, under legislation which makes it illegal to offend a foreign head of state present on Polish territory.

Urgent appeals to the Polish Police Minister, Premier and President and directly to the police detainment centre at Mogilska street 109 (telephone +48 12 615-49-21 - fax at central police station: +48 12 615 2607) where the human rights protestors are being detained may help free the victims and prevent any continuation of these abuses.

The main aim of the protest (pl) was against tomorrow's planned presence at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp of war criminal Vladimir Putin, responsible for the continuing systematic human rights violations in Chechnya. Protestors consider it hypocritical to invite a known war criminal to the anniversary of the freeing of a concentration camp. A wide consensus exists among protestors that other visitors like Dick Cheney are also war criminals who should be the target of protests, but points of view diverge on the degree of responsibility for war crimes or other human rights violations by the president of Israel (Moshe Katsav) and whether or not this is an appropriate time/place to protest against his policies. There is total consensus in supporting the paying of homage to the victims of the Holocaust: people are only protesting the presence of leaders themselves responsible for systematic human rights violations.

[Original Story - Poland Indymedia] | photos[1] [2] | videos [1] [2] [3] [4] [Urgent Appeals</ a> | [Prisoners Freed]



Japan deports recognized mandate refuges

25.01.2005 23:35

Two Kurdish mandate refugees recognised by UNHCR were deported Tuesday afternoon last week in Tokyo, prior to the given deportation orders issued by Japanese Immigration officials. Ahmet Kazankiran and his son, Ramazan are now facing possible threats to their lives back in Turkey after the given orders.

Those deported are two of the Kurdish asylum seekers who last year continued sit-ins for weeks in front of the UN University in Tokyo and later got relocated to Tokyo Detention Center. The airplane, TK 51, carrying them arrived at Istanbul 19:55, Jan. 18th, Turkey Time (Jan. 19th, 2:25, Japan Time).

According to reports "No Kurds from Turkey have been given refugee status by Japanese government so far, while the number of people who were granted official refugee status or special residence permits in Japan in 2003 was just 26 and may be only 16 in 2004."

Turkey has poorly succeeded in appealing itself as a potential new EU member state in spite of many time negotiations because its insufficient human rights standard, as well as low environmental standard, has barred itself from the historical joint with European neighborhood. Japan celebrating 2005 EU-Japan Year of People to People Exchanges has just chosen to line with the repressive side of the candidate, ignoring the mandate refugee status granted on two Kurdish men by the human rights department of the UN.

More links
Indymedia Japan: 1 | 2
Kurdish Families in Japan | UNHCR Statement



Farmworkers, Students Turning up the Heat on Taco Bell

bb, 25.01.2005 21:33

CIW Farmworker Raises His Fist Farmworkers from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers – the Florida group leading the Taco Bell boycott – and allies from across the US are gearing up for the 2005 Taco Bell Truth Tour to draw attention to sweatshop conditions and forced labor in American agriculture. Between Feb. 28 and March 5, farmworkers will tour the South, East, and Midwest to expose the truth of how Taco Bell and its parent company, Yum Brands, profit from farmworkers' extreme poverty. Tour stops include Atlanta, Nashville, Cincinnati, Cleveland, St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Chicago, among others.

Links: Coalition of Immokalee Workers | Student/Farmworker Alliance | Human Rights are Dying on the Vine (Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation) | Power to The Pickers (Mother Jones Magazine)

Coverage at Indymedia.US and Austin.Indymedia



Green Capitalism of Corporations and Environmentalists

mark, 29.01.2005 14:28

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In South America we are currently witness to the creation of a Roundtable of Corporations for “Sustainable Soya”. An iniciative of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the idea is, with the pretext of conserving high biodiversity regions, to legitimise the expansion of industrial monocultures of GM soya and the introduction of intensive models of meat and milk production. It is a strategy of Green Capitalism with the objective of satisfying the growing demands from the the European and Chinese markets and in this way to continue paying the illegitimate external debt to the international financial institutions, ignoring the internal food demand. In Argentina this proposal has taken form through the “The harvest of a hundred million” project lead by Fundación Vida Silvestre – WWF Argentina. A project of expansion of the area cultivated by about 10 million hectares. This expansion means war on the indigenous communities and farmers who are resisting the advance of industrial corporate agriculture. It means that Argentina will lose the the minimal local production that is still surviving, its fields will be just a source of fodder and of meat for the growing world markets even with the social crisis of our countrey where more than half of the population is found under the line of poverty and indigence. This model of industrial agriculture orientated to exportation means the expansion of agribusiness based GM industrial agriculture, agrichemicals and deforestation. More information http://argentina.indymedia.org/features/medioambiente Sección Medio Ambiente - Indymedia Argentina http://www.aseed.net/ Action Network for Solidarity, Equality, Environment and Development (english) http://iguazu.grr.org.ar/ Contra encuentro Iguazú (castellano)



Tsunami devastates migrant workers and villagers from Burma

23.01.2005 12:30

Inspection of bodies in Southern Thailand More than 3000 migrant workers from Burma have been killed in the South of Thailand following the tsunami. They have been denied access to government aid and have been unable to claim and bury their dead. The Thai government has also used the tsunami as an excuse to crackdown and deport people back to Burma. In Arakan State, which is in the west of Burma, 96 people were killed and 788 displaced in 17 villages, but there has been no government assistance to those affected.



Protesting the US Presidential Inauguration

20.01.2005 03:09

On January 20th, the United States will Inaugurate their (p)Resident (s)Elect, George W. Bush. Indymedia.org will be offering breaking news from around the world. For US specific news, and direct news from Washington DC, please visit indymedia.us.

For live radio webstreams check Live Radio, DC Stream, Portland Stream and San Diego/Radio Active.

BREAKING NEWS / GLOBAL UPDATES:




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