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Political Cartoon Debuts on Indymedia

17.03.2004 23:54

Political comic strips have long been a source of reflection and have offered a good outlet for activists to deal with the stressful situations that the leaders of the world put on the inhabitants of the world. The Indymedia network has recently seen a regular political comic strip on several local IMC's. These include: Portland, Los Angeles, and Seattle; however, other IMC's are picking it up and reposting it daily.

The Daily Grind originally debuted in 1997 in a college newspaper. "The columnist, Jacob Jackrabbit, originally appeared as a parody of a Rush Limbaugh-style pundit," says Aaron Neathery, the strips author, "but the strip wasn't particularly political as it proved difficult to parody pundits who are, themselves, self-conscious parodies. But after experiencing three even worse than expected years of Bush, and inspired by strips like Aaron McGruder's Boondocks and Get Your War On, I decided to bring The Daily Grind back as my own personal political soapbox."

There are also more well know comics like This Modern World, by Tom Tommorrow; and Wildcat, by Donald Rooum. And, of course, there are countless political comics we dont find out about!

DAILY GRIND ON IMC: Portland IMC | Seattle IMC

M-20 Iraq War One Year Anniversary - The World Still Says No to War

16.03.2004 05:00

The upcoming "Global Day of Action against War and Occupation" on March 20, is the one-year anniversary of the U.S. bombing and invasion of Iraq. Organizers say that "people on every continent will take to the streets to say YES to peace and NO to pre-emptive war and occupation." Groups are calling for an end to the occupation of Iraq and the Bush regime's belligerent foreign policies in places like Haiti, Palestine, and Venezuela. They note that M-20 will be the first time the world's 'other superpower', as The New York Times described [popular protest], will take center stage since February 15, when more than 15 million people across the globe expressed their opposition to Bush's looming war on Iraq." The action has been endorsed by the Global Assembly of the Anti-War Movement, the World Social Forum, and the 3rd Hemispheric Forum Against the FTAA.

As damning evidence concerning lies and the manipulation of intelligence by the Bush regime continues to surface since the invasion of Iraq, both U.S. citizens and the international community are turning up the heat on Washington, Tony Blair's government in the UK and John Howard's administration in Australia. Talk of Whitehouse war crimes is increasing. Possible al Qaeda-led attacks on trains in Spain have resulted in the pro-Bush Aznar government being voted out of office. Italian people are opposing Berlusconi's support of the war as well.

Keep watching Indymedia for reports on M-20.

[International Actions | U.S. Actions | Bush Lies | Iraq body count]

Genetic Engineering Action Network Conference

15.03.2004 19:53

March 12th, 2004 marked the beginning of the GEAN (Genetic Engineering Action Network) conference in San Francisco, CA, USA. Events began with a public forum called "California at the Crossroads". A roundtable of speakers talked about current GMO issues from the struggles farmers are facing, activists passing legislation in Mendocino County, CA, USA and consumer issues from GE foods, mad cow and other safety and environmental concerns. [ AUDIO: GEAN Conference 03-12-2004 | BioDevestation 2004 | Bio Tech InfoNet | Portland IMC ]

Flotillas of Hope to sail to Nauru

14.03.2004 11:39

Flotillas of Hope The Flotilla 2004 campaign was initiated in November 2003 in response to the appalling treatment of asylum seekers by the Australian Government. (see recent Refugee stories) The Flotilla 2004 voyage will recall the old law of the sea -- which obliges us to give assistance to anyone in peril, without regard for flags.

The voyage, containing a fleet of small craft (flotilla), is leaving Sydney on May 15 to meet more boats in Brisbane on May 22, before traveling to Nauru (Map) in time for World Refugee Day on June 20, where many asylum seekers are currently being held in detention. The boats converging north of Australia will be crewed by autonomous affinity groups; online protests, media streams, radio waves and OpenFlow projects will aid the campaign back in Australia and around Oceania. With Four boats already signed up, but more boats are still needed for an effective campaign. There are several different alternate ways you can participate in this campaign, and donations are welcome.

Flotilla 2004 | Nauru Wire

Massacre in Madrid

14.03.2004 09:28

Madrid te quiero Ten bombs exploded last Thursday morning, March the 11th, in different local trains around Madrid. At that moment, most of these trains were filled with people from the poorest areas in Madrid. A large number of them were immigrants from Eastern Europe and Latin America.

The blasts resulted in 200 dead and 1400 injured. The government immediately blamed the underground Basque separatist group, the ETA, and public opinion did not question the official version.

Nonetheless some contrary evidence came up in the hours that followed:

First Regional Indymedia Meeting in Africa

11.03.2004 02:50

The first Indymedia Regional Meeting in Africa is taking place these Days in Dakar, the Capital of Senegal. Many Delegates from African based IMC's (forming as well as approved) are present. And after a long Trip, the Boundaries to Bridges Caravane arrived at the conference. The two week event has the title "the Alternative (Indymedia) Conference" to embolden participants who though interested and involved in alternative media may have never have anything to do with indymedia.

more pictures: 1 | Program: EN FR | Website

International Women's Day Celebrated

11.03.2004 01:04

International Women's Day has been celebrated around the world on March 8 since the early 1900s. It was originally modelled on the success of May Day as a day of international working class action. It is closely associated with improving working conditions and equal rights for women, such as in the 13 week general strike in 1909 by the women Garment Workers Union in New York, and in the 1917 women's day march in Petrograd for 'bread and peace', which contributed to the abdication of the Russian Czar and a provisional government to give women the right to vote.

[ Global Women's Strike | A History of International Women's Day ]

Austin, TX Activists Unite Against Police Oppression

08.03.2004 05:28

Last year, while undercover agents from the Austin police department were infiltrating anti-war activist workshops, officers of the same department continued the customary practice of harassment and brutality against communities of color on Austin's east side.

Austin continues to be a divided city, both economically and racially. Predominantly middle class activists have often voiced the same outrage against local institutions as the under-privileged in Austin, but from separate angles. The last few months, however, have seen an upsurge of cooperative resistance. Segments of the Austin activist community that have historically been divided are exploring new ways to connect and reinforce their struggles.

Austin Police Department Internal Memos Documenting Surveillance of Anti-War Activist Workshops:

Memo 1 | Memo 2: [ page 1 ] [ page 2 ] [ page 3 ] [ page 4 ]

[ Austin IMC | Austin People's Legal Collective (APLC) | Austin Copwatch ]

First GMO Ban in US: Mendocino, CA

08.03.2004 04:13

Vermonters Call a Timeout Last week, voters in California's Mendocino County voted to pass Measure H, a county-wide measure to ban the "propagation, cultivation, raising and growing of genetically modified organisms in Mendocino County." Measure H passed in spite of enormous financial expenditures by CropLife America in an attempt to defeat it. Washington DC based CropLife America represents biotech giants such as Monsanto, Bayer, Dupont, Dow Chemical and others. Mendocino County is now the first county in the United States to ban the growing of genetically altered crops and animals.

[ Biotech IMC | Santa Cruz IMC | San Francisco Bay Area ]

Trial Today For 26 Activists In Genoa, Italy

02.03.2004 18:51

Supporters have converged upon Genoa, in Liguria, Italy, for today’s mass trial of 26 activists arrested in a coordinated series of 45 home raids across Italy, on December 4, 2002, several of whom have been held in pre-trial detention and house arrest ever since. On the grounds that they were allegedly recognized in photos from the demonstrations, these activists are charged with "devastation and looting" a vague term that carries a penalty of eight to fifteen years. One activist, Gimmy, (Francesco Puglisi) remained in prison awaiting trial for almost a year. In addition to the criminal charges, the activists also face a civil complaint filed by the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Justice, and the President of the Council. The last, unexpected signatory to the civil suit, is the City of Genoa, in a decision unanimously approved by Genoa’s center-left city government, even though two communist city council members, Seggi and Taccani, voted for a motion of shame at the decision. (Multilingual fax to protest the city council decision to file suit against the demonstratorsauf deutsch | neue updaten | mehr | Gipfelsoli | en francais | sur Bolzaneto | temoignages | appel a l’action | Collectif de Soutien aux Inculpes de Genes

US Forces Regime Change in Haiti, Kidnaps Aristide

01.03.2004 20:50

Democracy Now! has confirmed through multiple sources that Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has been "kidnapped" and taken by force to the Central African Republic. Congressmember Maxine Waters said she received a call from Aristide at 9am EST. "He's surrounded by military. It's like he is in jail, he said. He says he was kidnapped," said Waters. She said he had been threatened by what he called US diplomats. According to Waters, the diplomats reportedly told the Haitian president that if he did not leave Haiti, paramilitary leader Guy Philippe would storm the palace and Aristide would be killed. According to Waters, Aristide was told by the US that they were withdrawing Aristide's US security. [Audio]

Hugo Chavez Tells Bush to BACK OFF

01.03.2004 06:34

On the eve of the announcement on whether the U.S. backed opposition has enough signatures to force a Presidential recall referendum, hundreds of thousands of people turned out to support Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias. In his speech, Chavez said "Here is Venezuela in the spirit of the Liberator Simon Bolivar to say NO to Yanqui interventionism, to say no to Mr. Bush, to his invading, imperialist and colonial regime ... and we will tell him that here is the people of Simon Bolivar and we will keep on telling him."

Protests will take place in Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay. Also Mexico; Washington, Los Angeles, Miami, Ohio and Boston in the USA plus protests in Spain, Berlin, Germany and France. "/>

Same-Sex Marriages Break Barrier in America

28.02.2004 19:43

Following steps toward marriage equality for Lesbians and Gays in San Francisco and Massachusetts George W. Bush announced support for a "Say No to Love" amendment to the US Constitution on Feb. 24, 2004. This is widely seen, even by supporters, as an attempt to shore up W's conservative base. Canada, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium , and other countries have varying levels of marriage equality. (See slightly dated comparative acceptances of marriage equality among localities.) In the US rights to pensions, health insurance, health care decisions, inheritance, adoption rights are often tied to marriage. Canadian activists have collected links to organizations throughout the world.

Indymedias with current stories include Alberta, Austin, Boston , Cleveland, Idaho, LosAngeles, Martimes, Michigan, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco, San Francisco Bay Area, Washington, DC, Portland.

Organizations working on marriage equality in the US include the ACLU, Freedom to Marry, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Many activists question the entire notion of civil marriage, arguing that the rights and privileges that come with marriage should be available to all. Emma Goldman offered a trenchant commentary on the institution of marriage.

Thousands Set To Celebrate Across The Country

25.02.2004 18:27

Milwaukee's JoAnn Riedl The Clamor Music Festival is this weekend in 29 cities across the United States. The Festival will promote awareness of independent media and raise much needed funds for local organizations. The festival is based on some basic principles that the participants believe all media should follow: accessability, communtiy control, and mutual aid. Rather than concentrated in one location, the festival is decentralized, controlled by local groups in each city.

Over 6000 people are expected to participate in this celebration of independent media. And over 50 different groups are collaborating on it, including IMCs in Denver, Urbana, Pittsburgh, Houston, Milwaukee, Grand Rapids, and Ann Arbor. There are also shows in Tucson, Oakland, Nashville, New York (as part of the local Grassroots Media Conference) and more.

For full festival details, visit Clamor Magazine.

Crisis In Haiti

24.02.2004 15:45

In the past week paramilitary groups in Haiti have continued to burn buildings and attack police stations, while the "opposition" continues to refuse negotiations and call for President Jean-Bertrand's Aristide's resignation, with the support of the US and Canadia n governments.

Meanwhile, the corporate media (and some "alternative media") have continues to ignore numerous aspects of the situation: US financial support of the opposition, previous US involvement in the region (including support of military dictators, the freezing of over $500 million in international aid and loans, and efforts to prevent the raising of the minimum wage). Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, and has been used as a source of cheap labour by companies like Disney, Wal-Mart and KMart. Workers are paid as little as 11 cents per hour.

US and Canadian diplomats have placed the blame on Aristide, who has publically declared himself to be willing to negotiate with the opposition. The opposition consists of a collection of political parties supported by US funds, the Haitian media and the Haitian economic elite, whose popular support is estimated at between 8 and 12%.

Haiti has a long history of resistance:

The year 2004 marks 200 years of Haitian independence. In 1791, 400,000 Africans enslaved in Haiti rose up against French colonial rule. Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared Haiti a free nation in 1804, culminating the world's only successful revolution of enslaved people. From the beginning, Haiti found itself isolated and besieged. The United States led a worldwide boycott against Haiti and refused to recognize the new nation until 1864, fearing that its freedom would pose a danger to the U.S. system of slavery. In 1825, the Haitian people were forced to assume a debt to France of 90 million gold francs (equivalent to $21.7 billion today) as "reparations" to their former "owners", in return for diplomatic recognition and trade. To make the first payment, Haiti closed all its public schools in what has been called the hemisphere's first case of structural adjustment.

IMC Coverage: [ Argentina ] [ Brasil ] [ Lille ] [Belgium ] [ FTAA IMC ]

Stop the Apartheid Wall at The Hague!

23.02.2004 12:45

At the International Court of Justice (ICJ), The Hague - Netherlands, from the 23rd to the 25th of February, there is a hearing as to the legality of the Apartheid wall being erected across Palestine [court schedule].The walls construction - which has been criticised by the International Committee of the Red Cross - is widely seen as further land grabbing by the Israeli government, who couch its existence as a necessity for security in protection of the Israeli state.

Anti-Apartheid Wall protests

25 anti-Wall protestors will be at the ICJ to represent the concerns of the Palestinians along with the Palestinian Environmental NGO’s Network (PENGON) and other Palestinian solidarity groups. Symposia, exhibits and protests have been organised around the time of the hearing. Accompanying these groups will be Palestinians whose lives are affected by the Wall, including Sharif Omar (farmer from Jayyus), Fayez Tanib (farmer from Tulkarm) and Terri Balata (school administrator from Abu Dis separated from her school).

The anti-Wall protestors will hold a march in the afternoon followed by a vigil outside the ICJ, remembering Palestinian victims of the Israeli occupation. Meanwhile, in Palestine, people are organising strikes, direct action and marches in support of the hearings in The Hague.

This story will be updated as the day progresses on Indymedia UK - check the 'Latest News' section. Continuous updates from Palestine can be found on the Stop The Wall website.

Amnesty International - legal background | Dutch Palestine Committee | Electronic Intifada | Palestine Monitor | International Solidarity Movement | IMC Jerusalem | IMC Israel

COP7: Convention on Biodiversity

21.02.2004 22:47

Convention on Biological Diversity Some 2500 delegates currently meet in Malaysia to negotiate about how to protect biodiversity and about genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the Biodiversity Convention (CBD) and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

There are numerous open issues and concerns (Summary) like the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, Protected Areas (1 | 2), Technology Transfer, Access and Benefit Sharing, Traditional Knowledge, Biopiracy (1|2), as well as 'smaller' issues like the rights of coastal fishing communities, Terminator seeds/GURTs (video).

Besides the delegates, there are numerous members from NGOs and from Indigenous Peoples organisataions, because in contrast to other UN conventions the CBD allows for some relevant participation, even though of course there is a lack of equity, and for the ususal side events and actions like the Captain Hook Awards for Biopiracy or the Biodiversity Sale
The main fight has been so far to keep the WTO out of the CBD and to secure the right of Indigenous Peoples in New Zealand.

[ Updates, statements, reports and video interviews from COP7/MOP1 are posted on BiotechIMC | Daily ECO newsletter | ETC group | Third World Network | Biotech Slam Poetry | video interviews: Terminator 1 | Terminator 2 | Technology Transfer | Pesticides| UK environmental minister on GM crops in the UK (1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6) ]

Plans for Triple Border Fence on the US/Mexico Border Halted

19.02.2004 23:41

Audio: California Coastal Comission Decision Against the Triple Fence

Around 7pm this evening (2-18-04) the Coastal Commission voted no to the consistency determination on the Triple Border Fence. The Commissioners voiced their opposition to the project proposed by the US Customs and Border Protection Service. By a unanimous vote the Coastal commission sent the message that the project was inconsistent with the Coastal Act.

After a long day of hearings activists opposed to the Triple Border Fence applauded as the Coastal Commission voted down the border fence as it is currently proposed. Although this vote does not stop the border fence it reiterates the belief of most present - the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service (formerly the INS) needs to work through local concerns about the impacts of this project.

The ORGANIC Collective Statement on the triple border fence: "We believe that people who wish to enter this country through legal or extralegal means are still human and deserve the same human rights as anyone else in this country. They do not deserve to be shot at, hunted down, driven into the desert, or harassed and intimidated by border patrol agents."

The Triple Border Fence embodies the most racist and violent face of so called "Free Trade" which allows capital to flow freely across borders, but not the people who create the capital. In addition, it embodies the full spirit of militarism for the sake of economic gain.

A great deal of the organizing for the Coastal Comission Hearing was done by the Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association and the San Diego Audobon Society. A lot of organizing was also done by San Diego BayKeeper.

Knock-off &quot;Democracy&quot; - Made in the USA

19.02.2004 23:31

While it is illegal in the U.S. to accept political campaign contributions from foreign sources, the door doesn't swing both ways in DC. A quasi-governmental organization euphemistically called the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has been dumping millions of dollars over the years, often into the coffers of off-shore conservative political parties that are all to glad to march in lockstep with Washington, especially during Republican administrations. Often those political organizations are run by wealthy oligarchs actually engaged in subverting democratically elected governments as was the case in Venezuela during the aborted coup in 2002. The US State Department's human rights bureau examined whether any recipients of the money plotted against the Chavez administration and claimed no such evidence was found, but given that the State Department helps fund NED it seems like the fox may be guarding a chicken house full of U.S. taxpayers' dollars. In fact, it appears that NED continues to meddle in Venezuelan politics just as it is in Haiti, Cuba and just as it did in Nicaragua during the 1990 elections. What is deemed technically legal by the Bush regime and a rigthwing dominated Washington is often seen by most in the real world as blatant attacks on national sovereignty.

Interestingly, even Libertarians take issue with NED and its subversive activities. However, high-profile U.S. figures like recent presidential candidate and retired General Wesley Clark, Senator Bob Graham,, and, of course, the present occupant of the Whitehouse, seem to have no problem with an organization that destabilizes democratically elected governments in the name of....democracy!

The NED and USAID, through the IRI (International Republican Institute), proudly boast of their efforts in having organised "center" and "center-right" political parties in Poland to train the AWS coalition (AWS = Akcja Wyborcza Solidarność = Solidarity Election Action) having helped them create a "unified political party", and having helped them be elected to national parliament (Sejm). This succeeded in the short term: the AWS was in national government (along with the UW = Unia Wolności = Freedom Union) from 1997 to 2001. However, in the 2001 elections, the AWS and the UW were completely rejected by the electorate - they lost all (100%) of their members of Sejm.

Venezuela Watch | Haiti Progres | Democracy Now! on Haiti

Lucky 13: Victory in Thessaloniki Battle

15.02.2004 22:24

On Friday, February 13th, almost 8 months since their initial imprisonment, 13 people arrested during protests at the EU summit in Thessaloniki last June have had all charges dropped. 8 of the remaining cases are still under investagative review by the Greek Judiciary whilst the remaining 6 have had their charges dropped to misdemeanours. A final decision on whether to pursue allegations could come as early as next week. This is an enormous victory in the campaign against state repression waged by the Greek state against anti-capitalist protestors - although it must be remembered that the battle is not over yet.

Comprehensive coverage of the Thessaloniki Support Campaign can be found on the UK Indymedia site; Athens and Thessaloniki Indymedia sites both carry breaking news regarding the Thessaloniki 7 and the other accused.

Seven people in particular were held on remand following the demonstrations on charges of rioting, possession of explosives and resisting authorities. All of the 7 denied these charges and, in the case of Simon Chapman, there was substantial video and photographic evidence to confirm that he was framed. However, this had been repeatedly rejected by the Greek Judicial system despite being freely available on the internet in multiple languages and having been shown in the mainstream media.

To protest their innocence, last autumn Souleiman "Kastro" Dakduk of Syria, Simon Chapman from the UK, Fernando Perez Gorraiz and Carlos Martin Martinez of Spain and Spyros Tsitsas from Greece went on hungerstrike. Michalis Traikapis and Dimitris Friouras were also incarcerated in another, juvenile prison, and joined in a week long symbolic strike. Overall, the five lasted for between 49 and 66 days, which finally culminated in their release on bail - but only after the medical team had been threatened with facing manslaughter charges if they did not force feed the prisoners! Needless to say, the doctors did not cooperate. Following this, the prisoners were forced to stay in Greece, although they appear not to have suffered serious consequences to their health.

During this time, there has been continued state oppression elsewhere around the world, with Miami police brutalising hundreds at protests against the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas Summit, heavy prison sentences being handed out to peace protestors and the ongoing detention of people in Guantanomo Bay. In South America, dozens were murdered in Bolivia, while death remains a daily occurence in the Middle East.

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