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5th Intercontinental Youth Camp of the WSF

14.01.2005 07:45

During the World Social Forum 2005 the 5th Intercontinental Youth Camp (IYC will take place in Parque Harmonia, Porto Alegre. Situated in at the heart of the WSF landscape, the camp will map the alternatives throughout the camp focusing on self-management, horizontality, diversity and creative resistance, experimenting and proposing alternatives that oppose capitalist and neoliberal hegemony. The Youth Camp opens its doors on the 24th January to around 25,000 people from around the world. One challenge of IYC 2005 is to enable the building of new networks of different struggles seeking articulation from local to global levels with the capacity to influence the consequences and causes of global political spheres and also it will be crucial to collect information on all the different practices experimented in the camp for exchange on an international level and to spread the ideas.

Inside the IYC are programmed autonomous activities, such as the Intergalactic Caracol wich will gather autonomous groups at the borders of the Youth Camp. Issues should range from Basic Income to Free Software and should happen all day during the WSF. Another activity planned to happen inside the IYC is the Shared Knowledge Dock, a place that will congregate different collectives working with free software, free radio and alternative media. Indymedia S�o Paulo is hosting a space inside.

Report | Call for activities at the IYC | International Youth Camp | World Social Forum | Indymedia Brasil

Food Health Bribery

13.01.2005 18:40

Monsanto, the world's biggest producer of GM crops was fined US$ 1.5 million for bribing at least 140 Indonesian government officials and their family members between 1997 and 2002. In 2002, while Monsanto was already running an internal investigation, a Monsanto employee in the US arranged a payment of US$ 50.000 in cash to repeal a decree of the Indonesian Ministry of Environment that demanded prior environmental impact studies of Bt cotton. The money was taken, but the decree staid in place.

After strong protests from farmers, as well as from the environmental minister, Monsanto got approval to grow Bollgard Bt cotton in the South Sulawesi province. 40 tonnes of GM seeds were flown into from South Africa under milatry protection. Only after 2 growing seasons with farmers protests, burning fields and harvest failures - and the failed attempt to buy itself out of the environmental stdies - Monsanto pulled out of Bt cotton in Indonesia.

The experiences match those of farmers in India where Bollgard is still grown, and Thailand which banned Bt cotton in 2000. Monsanto is now trying to introduce Bt cotton into West Africa.

[ Full Story | GRAIN (1 | 2) | GM Watch | Friends of the Earth ]

Jewish activist puts Israel's Wall on Trial

12.01.2005 03:43

International documents beating of Palestinian is then arrested afterwards Israel continues to build its Apartheid wall as solidarity activists continue to mobilise against planned illegal settlements. Solidarity activists from the UK report on the fight against the land seizures over the festive season.

In a recent incident in December two internationals were brutally arrested by Israeli Border Policemen while filming a peaceful demonstration outside Ramallah, in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Kate Bender, a Jewish activist from the San Fransisco Bay Area filed an appeal in an Israeli Court on 20 December requesting that the order to deport her be revoked. She plans to put Israel's Wall on trial. Kelly Minio-Paluello (23), a community activist from the USA and a member of Britain's National Union of Journalists, was deported to the USA on 24 December.

[Israel IMC | End The Occupation | Electronic Intifada]

Acheh Faces Double Disaster: Tsunami and Occupation

11.01.2005 00:26

Up to 100,000 people may have died in Acheh, from the earthquake and tsunami on December 26. But Acheh Faces Double Disaster: Tsunami and Occupation. Since the tsunami hit the coast there are reports that the Indonesian military (TNI) continues the war in Aceh despite the devestation and a ceasfire offered by the Free Acheh Movement (GAM). (Perth Feature, Darwin Feature, Sydney article)

Nurdin Abdul Rahman from the Achehnese Community of Australia spoke to AID/WATCH campaigner Tim O'Connor about the complexities of delivering aid in Acheh. In New York a teach-in was recently held on the history of Acheh and the present catastrophe.

[ Jakarta IMC | Democracy Now | Indonesia Alert: The Aftermath in Aceh | Laksamana.net | Via Campensia ]

World Bank leads funding for the development of Tsunami disaster areas

Takver, 09.01.2005 17:55

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The question of the establishment of a Consortium for the reconstruction of the Tsunami crisis region under presidency of the World Bank formed one of the agreements of the extraordinary summit conference of the ASEAN states to the consequences of the earthquake and the Tsunami. The consortium will play a role on a long-term basis in the reconstruction of the Tsunami crisis region.

At a press conference after completion of the all day meeting, on Thursday, 6 January in Jakarta Convention center (JCC), the president of the Republic of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) explained that the World Bank will manage the consortium. The Consortium will be formed at the demand of the national states concerned by the disaster. The consortium also involved other financial agencies like the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Islamic Development Bank as well as other international financial agencies that will provide the fund for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the area of tsunami casualties in the Indian Ocean region.

[Jakarta IMC | Perth IMC: Howard (Australia) shows his heartless hand (en)]

Amid Claims of Torture USA plans Indefinite Detention Camps

09.01.2005 13:16

The Pentagon and the CIA have asked the White House to decide on a more permanent approach for potentially lifetime detentions, including for hundreds of people now in military and CIA custody whom the government does not have enough evidence to charge in courts.

This comes after the International Red Cross made allegations of abuse, mistreatment and torture by the USA. It alleges that US interrogators not only used psychological and physical coercion, but also enlisted the participation of medical personnel in what the report called "a flagrant violation of medical ethics." Doctors and involvement in torture has been raised most recently in the New England Journal of Medicine, (6 January 2005) which claims Doctors aided in detainee abuse.

[Records Released to ACLU | Geneva Convention on Torture | Amnesty International: torture allegations mount for USA]

Protests against new labour laws in Germany

07.01.2005 16:05

On Monday morning, January 3rd, grassroots groups organised protests called 'Agenturschluss' (shut down the agency) inside and outside labour agencies in 83 cities in Germany.

The protests addressed a new law introduced on January 1st 2005, merging unemployment and social welfare benefits. The new Unemployment Benefit II (ALG II) is likely to spell poverty for a large amount of job seekers, especially in Eastern Germany whre unemployment rates are continuously soaring high.

In Summer 2004, a sudden and massive protest against the so-called labour market reforms surprised the country. Thousands took to the streets, simultaneously on Monday evenings, in more than 200 cities in Eastern and Western Germany. The protests continued regularly every Monday, reduced to a much smaller scale in Autumn but still going on in January 2005.

indymedia Germany | overview and protest reports | labournet Germany

Massive Global support for Disaster relief effort

06.01.2005 00:48

Banda Aceh after the earthquake and tsunami Over the final days of December there has been massive community support for aid agencies in the Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster. The United Nations has had promised from Governments more than $US2billion for disaster relief, with a similar amount likely to be raised by private and business contributions. This level of global support is unprecedented, raising more in a period of about a week than all humanitarian fundraising programs in 2004.

The international labour movement is assisting Tsunami fundraising appeals, such as in Australia, to assist such programs as the Norwegian People's Aid already operating in Sri Lanka, and Non Government relief efforts in Aceh.

Medical aid organisation Medecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Greenpeace are working together to bring desperately needed medical aid to survivors in Aceh by using the Rainbow Warrior to ferry supplies on the west coast of Sumatra.

[Jakarta IMC | India IMC blogforsrilanka.com | Friends of the Earth Indonesia (WALHI) | Labourstart | Stop Funding Hate]

January 6th: Electoral College Votes to Be Certified and Protested

03.01.2005 23:50

On January 6th, 2005 there will be a "Block Bush Insurrection Rally" at the U.S. Capitol. That day is when the electoral votes, which will have been sealed and sent to the President of the U.S. Senate, are to be read aloud to both Houses of Congress. The No Stolen Elections campaign says that if one member of the House and one member of the Senate object to the certification of the vote, then all members of Congress will finally discuss these issues so they are urging people to call their Congresspeople and Senators. Locally and nationwide, voters are concerned about voter suppression and disenfranchisement, especially in African-American and Hispanic communities.

[ US Voting Integrity Project | 51 Capital March.com | Contest the Vote | Voter Bill of Rights |

Recent government & elections features on indybay.org 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 10 | 11 ]

UK taking over G8 presidency

03.01.2005 11:30

As 2005 begins, the UK takes over the Presidency of the G8 in a flurry of media coverage about Aid, Trade, Debt and Climate Change, in advance of the G8 Summit scheduled for July 2005 in Scotland. Jan 1st was also the official launch of the Make Poverty History coalition campaign, which is part of a wider campaign - the Global Call to Action against Poverty (see also the UN listed initiatives around the Millennium Development Goals).

The UK Government has recently launched it's official G8 website complete with the much criticised 'thistle' logo and a special message from Prime Minister Tony Blair (see alternative message from the PM).

Tony Blair recently rejected the request from Italian Prime Minister Silio Berlusconi to convene a special G8 ministers meeting about aid for the Tsunami disaster (link to come), however several meetings in the UK are planned before the G8 Summit, including a meeting of G8 Finance Ministers in London in February and another of G8 Justice and Home Affairs ministers in Sheffield in June.

The Assembly of the Social Movements at the European Social Forum in London Oct 04 stated in their declaration: "We oppose the G8’s self-assumed task of global government and neo-liberal policies, and therefore we pledge to mobilise massively on the occasion of the G8 summit in Scotland in July 2005".

Other links: Anti-Capitalist Symbols 'Hijacked' for G8 2005 (J18 and Ya Basta!) | Media War Against G8 Protestors Begins (secret anarchist training camps) | Bono praises Brown - Clinton praises Blair - global poverty love in! | ID Cards for G8 Locals | International Dissent!/Anti-G8 Meeting in Feb 2005 | Alternative Versions of Band Aid 20 - Do they know it's christmas | Tsunami

Africa is Waking: Africa Social Forum

03.01.2005 01:41

Africa "The story of the poor goes round and round. But what about the story of the rich? The story not being told is that of the beneficiaries of slavery and colonialism. The story of exploitation that put us into this dispensation, commodified our own life for profit. They divided and ruled. Can we unite and live? Can we unite for the world that will be our
world? Let us rise up and begin to tell this story* of why they continue to be rich, continue to plunder." -- Wahu Kaara, Kenyan feminist activist speaking at the ASF opening

At the opening plenary of the Africa Social Forum in Lusaka, Zambia (10-14 December, 2004), delegates from across the continent gave varied testimonies that coalesced around a single truth: recolonisation is worse than slavery.

Activists noted Africa's history of injustices and
oppression through colonialism, slavery and apartheid, but swiftly moved on to the injustices of present-day, post-colonial Africa: privatisation and cost-recovery, wars fought over Africa's natural resources, heavy debt burdens and conditionalities, unfair trade and disease. Contrary to dominant accounts of the continent as an almost biblically
'cursed' 'basket case' and Africans as helpless victims, delegate after delegate emphasised that Africa's poverty, wars and disease pandemics are causally related to a global economic system that is predicated on the poverty of the many.

Earthquake and Tsunami Tragedy: how many lives could've been saved?

31.12.2004 10:26

At moment of this posting, the death toll from the earthquake and the tsunami costed already 125.000 lives. Somebody did write that's it "Whites-only 'aid' to tsunami disaster areas".
Features: Darwin IMC | Manila IMC | Melbourne IMC

Was warning of civil population possible?
In September there was an AGSO(Australian Government, Geoscience Australia) Report On Tsunami-Quake Danger . The American Government send a warning for a tsunami to a military base in Diego Garcia. Scientists in USA saw the tsunami coming but failed to warn the local governments they claim.

Use of the disaster for extending USA global hegemony
The Pentagon Scrambles to Reenter its Old Thai Air Base. Bush said on 29-12-2004 that: "The US, Australia, Japan and India have formed an international coalition to lead aid efforts after the Indian Ocean sea surges".

Lessons for the future: climate change, ecological collapse, etc
Science, tsunami and other Global Warming Threats |Asian Tsunami Hails Ecological Collapse |Putting a Disaster in Context ]

Links: Worl d Health Organisation | Relief Web latest News | Wikiped ia | Tsunami News Updates

Deaths rise in Earthquake and Tsunami Tragedy

29.12.2004 17:14

Foto korban bencana alam tsunami di Aceh

On December 26 an underwater earthquake, later measured at 9.0 on the Moment Magnitude scale, occurred off the coast of Aceh on the island of Sumatra, in the Indonesian Archipelago. The resulting tsunamis have killed tens of thousands, with many more people missing, feared to be washed out to sea and drowned. The final death toll, taking into account missing persons, is likely to exceed 100,000 with up to two million people displaced and made homeless. (See Wikipedia article on Damages and casualties)

Much of the affected coastal regions in Indonesia (id) (Photos from Aceh), Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma) (UNICEF report), Sri Lanka (UNICEF report), India (UNICEF report), Maldives, and as far away as the coast of Africa, have poor communications and infrastructure which have hampered a full assessment of the disaster and immediate disaster relief.

According to UNICEF Children account for one third of tsunami dead. The UN Population fund warns that women and girls are especially vulnerable to the "second wave" of the disaster as millions of people face health risks due to contamination of drinking water, and devastation of health infrastructure.

IMC Stories: Barcelona IMC (ca) | Italy IMC report 1, 2 (it) , Audio (it) , Jakarta IMC (id) , Aotearoa (en), Melbour ne IMC (en)

Links: World Health Organisation | Relief Web latest News | Wikipedia | Tsunami News Updates

Tsunami casualties 15000 killed

translations.indymedia.org, 31.12.2004 11:37

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Resulting from the TSUNAMI - the Citizen saw the remnants sapuan the wave of the Tsunami that hit the Madras coast, India, Sunday (26/12). The earthquake and the Tsunami that shook eight countries in Asia as well as seven countries in East Africa caused at least 15,000 people to be killed and thousands of others lost.

Jakarta - At Least 15,000 people were killed resulting from the tectonic earthquake and the concentrating Tsunami in south Meulaboh, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD), Sunday morning (26/12). The earthquake had a force of 9.8 on the Richter Scale that resulted in serious damage in 15 countries in South Asia, South-East Asia, and East Africa.

In the meantime, the Centre of the Control of the Problem of the Health (PPMK) the Department of the Health, Monday morning(27/12), mentioned till Monday morning casualties in NAD were approximately 4,500 people. With details in Banda Aceh of 3,000 people, East Aceh 26, Lhokseumawe 157, the Bireuen Regency 90, the Pidie Regency 165, and North Aceh 619 people. In East Aceh there were five Casualties, and North Aceh of 303 people.

While casualties in North Sumatra of at least 83 people with details in the Nias Regency 75 and Pantai Cermin 8.

Greece - Conscientious Objector Convicted

26.12.2004 13:15

[fr // espanol] Conscientious objector Lazaros Petromelidis was convicted to the exterminating sentence of 2,5 years imprisonment on Thursday 16 December. The military court did not allow the suspension of the sentence in case of appeal and ruled that it can be bought off for 10 Euros/day (instead of the "usual" price of 4 Euros/day).

Lazaros Petromelidis publicly stated his refusal to serve military service in March 1992; eversince he has been under prosecutions and trials by military courts, reaching the ultimate with his three imprisonments. Only in the last three months the police have attempted to arrest him four times.

Lazaros has been adopted by Amnesty International and War Resisters’ International for being prosecuted on grounds of conscience. His case has also been raised by the Council of Europe, the Greek Ombudsman, the Greek National Commission for Human Rights and several other institutional bodies for the protection of Human Rights. Lazaros did not appear in the court as a protest against the continuous and selective prosecutions against him.

[ Association of Greek Conscientious Objectors | protest letter to the greek prime-minister | indymedia archives on conscientious objectors ]

Peaceful Demonstration in Cap Haitien a Success Despite Ongoing Repression

24.12.2004 17:10

On December 16, 2004 10,000 people flooded the streets of Cap Haitien chanting and dancing for over four hours as they risked their lives to peacefully commemorate Jean Bertrand Aristide's 1990 electoral victory in Haiti's first democratic elections [ see the video ]. Organizers stated that their two primary demands of the demonstrators were the return of the constitutional government of Haiti and the release of all political prisoners. This week Jean Charles Moise will speak on the radio to thank the demonstrators for their courage and commitment and to thank the Chilean UN and Haitian National Police for having done their job as peacekeepers. During the meeting with the UN on the 13th one official remarked "neither side likes us, no one ever says thank you." Well here is the thank you they have been waiting for, now let's see if mutual respect and gratitude can make a difference. [ read more... ]

Jean Charles Moise grew up in Milot, a rural town on the outskirts of Cap Haitien. He was elected mayor in 1995 at the age of 27 by an overwhelming 85% of the vote and was re-elected for a second term in 2000. He served as mayor until he was thrown out of office following the coup on February 29, 2004. During his tenure as mayor Moise redistributed state landholdings to many landless peasants in the area, earning him great respect among the poor and powerful enemies among the elite who had previously controlled the land. Following the overthrow of the elected government, Moise and over 400 other duly elected mayors were forced out of office for their affiliation with Aristide's Lavalas party, Moise had not been in public since August 14 when he made a brief appearance at the first Lavalas demonstration in the north of Haiti since the coup. [ read more... ]

While accompanying Moise in the week leading up the December 16 demonstration, I had the privilege of visiting a handful of the schools that Moise founded during his tenure as mayor. We visited 9 community schools built during the last decade to serve poor families that are unable to afford the few state run public schools that exist in the area. [ read more... ]

previous reports about Haiti by Zoe Moskovitz and Sasha Kramer: [ The Politics of Injustice in Haiti: The Cases of Auguste and Chamblain (2004.09.01) | Hard hit Municipalities:The Attempt to Destroy Lavalas and the Consolidation of the Coup (2004.08.21) | The Dismantling of Popular Education Under the new U.S-backed Regime in Haiti (2004.08.21) | Reportback form Haiti: Resistance and Repression Six Months After the Coup (2004.08.21) ]

More info: [ HaitiAction.net ]

2004 the Fourth Warmest Year Globally

24.12.2004 02:00

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has determined that 2004 was the fourth warmest year since accurate records commenced in 1861. The last 10 years (1995-2004), with the exception of 1996, are among the warmest 10 years on record.

The Tenth Session of the Conference of Parties (COP 10) of the Framework Convention on Climate Change has just completed meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The USA continues to obstruct Climate talks, along with Saudi Arabia. For the first time Australia distanced itself slightly from the United States' hardline attempts to stall international action to stop global warming.

COP10 Report (es), Photos: 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9, Audio: Moira Millan (es).

The United States is about to be charged with human rights violations for contributing substantially to global warming, by the Inuit, whose homeland stretches from the northeastern tip of Russia across Alaska and northern Canada to parts of Greenland. The Bush Administration Shuns Latest Global Warming Studies.

[Argentina IMC | Melbourne IMC | Sierra Club: Bush Fiddles]

Street Art Festival Attacked by Paramilitary and Jakarta City Police

anon, 23.12.2004 13:30

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The Jakarta Street Art Festival (SAF), which started on 4th December, turned out to run less smoothly than was initially hoped. The disruptions came from the city police (Pihat PEMDA DKI) and other security forces, who violently dispersed the street art festival which had been running flawlessly since the morning of the 4th December.

The disruptions happened during the middle of the night. PEMDA DKI, in this case the Pamong Praja Police Taskforce, along with some other security forces, and with some plainclothes policemen, started disrupting the actions of the SAF first of all by taking down several posters ("baleho") which came from and were made by people in several different regions, and continued by violently chasing away participants, among which were participants from Jakarta, some from outside of Jakarta and even some known personalities where forcefully chased away without the authorities wishing to know that they were from outside of Jakarta.

Pictures of the Jakarta Street Art Festival

EU Council tries to silently adopt laws about software patents

21.12.2004 11:08

Today, the EU Council for Agriculture and Fisheries could possibly adopt the directive of the European Parliament about the patentability of computer-implemented inventions ("software patents"). This highly disputed directive was added last-minute to the list of deliberations, breaking the Council's Rules of Procedure, an open letter of the civil information liberty group Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure tells.

Currently, over 30,000 patents, granted against existing laws, are waiting to be legalized. If this law passes, significant damage of open source projects and small and medium sized software enterprises is expected. "When software is patentable, anything is patentable.", states FFII.

Previously, the Polish government got under diplomatic pressure of the Dutch Presidency because of their declining position on software patents. According to FFII, "The Dutch Presidency insists that, due to some formal reasons, Poland must vote "Yes" or agree to a formal adoption without a vote".

[ FFII | nosoftwarepatents.com | IMC Barcelona | IMC Germany | Previous articles: NO Software Patents in Europe | Netwide Protests Against EU Software Patents | More information on software patents: FFII: Logic Patents in Europe | Wikipedia: Software patent | European Union: Software Patents FAQ | No Software Patents! | Campaign against software patents]

NYC IMC Alleges Pattern of Harassment

21.12.2004 11:02

The New York City Independent Media Center filed a response December 14 in United States District Court to a subpoena from the New York City Law Department.

The subpoena, part of a civil suit in which New York City is a defendant, demands voluminous information, including all of the Independent Media Center's news reporting, emails, internal documents, and web pages relating to the World Economic Forum.

As the NYC IMC detailed in its response, the request violates reporter's privilege as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constitution by seeking information that is available through other sources and that is not highly relevant to the claim.
"Why doesn't the City ask the New York Times for all of their articles and emails relating to the World Economic Forum?" Arun Gupta, an editor of the NYC IMC newspaper, The Indypendent, said.

The subpoena is the fourth time since August 2004 that US law enforcement has taken legal action against the Indymedia network. Three of the four subpoenas have focused on the NYC IMC.
"Four legal actions in as many months is a lot for any organization, but especially a news outlet. This is a pattern of harassment," said Joshua Breitbart, Director of Allied Media Projects, which is advising the NYC IMC.

[ Full Record of NYC IMC Subpoenas and Responses | Complete article ]

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