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Police Brutality in Port au Prince puts UN Mandate to the Test

27.03.2005 18:58

Several thousand people marched through Bel Air on February 28 On Monday February 28 Haitian National Police opened fire on several thousand unarmed demonstrators in Bel Air, killing five and wounding dozens. Brazilian troops, part of the United Nations MINUSTAH mission in Haiti, witnessed the incident and did not intervene at the time.

This is not the first time that the UN has witnessed extrajudicial executions by the Haitian National Police without intervening. In fact they have been directly involved in training the police so they are not merely casual observers but also shoulder a heavy burden of responsibility for the widespread police violence since the overthrow of the democratically elected government.

most recent reports from Haiti from Sasha Kramer: [ Walking a Tightrope Between Hope and Fear: Northern Haiti One Year after the Coup | Lavalas Officials throughout Northern Haiti Forced into Hiding | Community Schools in Northern Haiti: A plea to the international community | Peaceful Demonstration in Cap Haitien a Success despite Ongoing Repression / Beloved Mayor Continues to Serve his Community from Hiding (12/21/04) ]

previous reports to portland indymedia 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 ]

Thai government silencing refugee voices

27.03.2005 10:56

The Thai government is sticking by a March 31 deadline to relocate all urban-based refugees from Burma who have Person of Concern (POC) status from UNHCR. This is despite an obvious lack of resources to house the estimated 2000 refugees, and an inability to ensure their security. While the majority are being relocated to refugee camps on the Thai Burma border, refugees who will be resettled to third countries in April are being forced to go to Bangkok’s Special Detention Centre. Children will also be detained there.

Refugees who do not comply can face arrests, deportation and lose their chances of resettlement and all protection provided by UNHCR. This policy has drawn widespread anger from refugees and activist and human rights groups.

For background information see:
[Abuses against Burmese refugees in Thailand | These threee are about the camp relocation | Harassment or Burmese refugees and migrant workers | Deportations | Situation for Burmese in Thailand | About the situation for Karen refugees | About cross border attacks on a refugee camp | UNHCR Letter to Burmese POCs | Burma IMC


Global Protests on 2nd Anniversary of Iraq Invasion

25.03.2005 16:04

March 19, 2005, was an International Day of Protest on the second anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Over ten thousand people took to the streets of San Francisco. Elsewhere in California, thousands took to the streets of Los Angeles, and many people from all over the Central Valley gathered in Fresno for "the Rally in the Valley." Hundreds converged in San Diego, and in Eureka, thousands braved the rain to demand an end to the occupation of Iraq and the immediate withdrawal of US troops.
Articles, Photos, Audio and Videos from California

March 19th Action Page on Indymedia.us

There were many other protests around the US. Aside from San Francisco, the largest protests were in New York (Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 Video: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ) , Chicago (Photos: 1 | 2 Video: 1 ), and Fayetteville, North Carolina (Photos: 1 | 2 ).

Thousands also took to the streets in Portland (Photos: 1 | 2 ), smaller towns in Oregon (Photos: 1 | 2 ), Las Vegas ( Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 ), Baltimore (Photos: 1) , Seattle (Photos: 1) , St. Paul ( Photos: 1 ) , Boston (Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ), Austin ( Photos: 1 ), Houston ( Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 ), Madison (Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 Video: 1 ), towns throughout New York State (Photos: 1 Video:1 ), Nashville (Photos: 1 ), Miami ( Video: 1 ) Atlanta ( Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 Video: 1 ), Traverse City Michigan (Photos: 1 ), Pittsburgh (Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 ), Champaign Illinois ( Photos: 1 ), Cleveland ( Photos: 1 ), Arkansas (Photos: 1 ) , and Milwaukee.

Around the world, protests took place in Tokyo, Winnipeg, Istanbul, Copenhagen, London, Bombay, Lahore, Rome, Ankara, Athens, Brasilia, Dublin, Glasgow, Mexico City, Puerto Rico, Sydney, Aukland, Madrid, Kuala Lumpur, Santiago, Cairo, Montevideo, Sao Paulo, Johannesburg and many other cities. Photos

Hunger Strike at Georgetown Over, All Demands Met

24.03.2005 04:59

At Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C., the hunger strike has just ended. Twenty-two students went on hunger strike nine days ago to demand a living wage for University employees. All 10 Demands that the Stundent Solidarity Group had made have been met by the University.

Follow DC IMC and US IMC for additional information. Also, see the recent feature on this site for background information.

Day Eight of Georgetown Hunger Strike For a Living Wage

23.03.2005 00:07

In Washington D.C. twenty-two college students from Georgetown University have gone on a hunger strike to demand a living wage for all workers. The hunger strike has carried on into its eighth day today and enjoys support from the AFL-CIO, they are also getting support from students around the nation including the Georgetown University Social Democrats who are fasting for 24 hours in solidarity with hunger strikers; and students of Swarthmore College who will engage in a 48-hour solidarity fast.

The AFL-CIO boldy stated, "We stand firmly in support of these brave Georgetown student hunger strikers who inspire all of us in the fight to create good jobs that lift working people from poverty." Currently, subcontracted workers at Georgetown are paid a minimum of $8.50 per hour, and unionized workers are paid $12.00 per hour. The hunger striking students are demanding, on behalf of the workers, a living wage of $14.93 per hour in total compensation, including any benefits. These rates of pay do not approach a tenth of the wage that the Georgetown President receives.

In the eight days that the hunger strike has been happening, the strikers have collectively lost 223 pounds from their bodies.

For more information: Georgetown Living Wage Coalition I Photos I Hunger Striking at Georgetown: What Workers and Students Say I Georgetown Living Wage Hunger Strike - Day 4 I DC IMC

CAFTA Passed in Guatemala Amid Clouds of Tear Gas

NYC IMC, 18.03.2005 19:29

The Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), a precursor to the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and an extension of the existing North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA), was passed by the legislature of Guatemala on Thursday, March 10. Massive anti-CAFTA protests in Guatemala City had delayed the vote on the treaty, but CAFTA was finally passed with thousands of police surrounding the Guatemalan congress and tear gas wafting throughout downtown.

Guatemala joins ElSalvador and Honduras in having approved the treaty, leaving the legislatures of the United States and Nicaragua yet to pass it. The Dominican Republic has signed but not yet approved an identical treaty, while Costa Rica, one of the five "target countries" for CAFTA, refused to sign the treaty in December. A hearing on CAFTA, the first step in congressional approval of the pact, will be held in the U.S. Senate on April 6.

Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, has expressed hopes that the FTAA is effectively dead and has proposed a Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas.

Stop CAFTA | FTAA IMC | Global Trade Watch

Computers of the Genova Legal forum siezed by police

16.03.2005 15:39

genoacop Two computers of the Genova Legal forum were siezed by police today, outside the Genoa Court. The computers were being used by two consulants of the Genoa Legal Forum, who are supporting the lawyers working on Genoa G8 trials. The event happened at the end of a trial against two activists previously charged with armed robbery during an action against a group of fascists who provoked a group of people on on a train on their way to an anti-fascist demonstration. The seizure is related to a charge of slander presented by Anna Canepa and Andrea Canciani, the public prosecutor of the trial against 25 activist charged for devastation and sacks during the G8 of july 2001.

[ Supporto Legale | IMC Italy | background ]

CPI da Terra aprova pedido de Federalização no caso Sonho Real

16.03.2005 02:19

A Comissão Parlamentar Mista de Inquérito da Reforma Agrária (CPI da Terra), aprovou unanimamente o pedido de Federalização das investigações das mortes e da violante reintegração de posse em Goiânia, no dia 16 de fevereiro.

O pedido será encaminhado ao Procurador Geral da República, Cláudio Fonteles, que é quem dá prosseguimento ao STJ, que decide definitivamente se o caso será ou não federalizado.

Na dia 03 de março, a CPI da Terra esteve em Goiânia e visitou a área devastada do Sonho Real e as famílias alojadas em ginásios. Pela manhã ouviram o governador Marconi Perillo em uma reunião no Palácio das Esmeraldas. Durante a tarde, em audiência pública na Assembléia Legislativa foram ouvidos o secretário de segurança pública Jonathas Silva, Américo Novaes como representante dos sem-teto, a procuradora-geral de Justiça Laura Bueno e Frei Marcos Sassateli, representante da Arquidiciocese de Goiânia. Dois moradores da ocupação deram depoimentos a portas fechadas à CPMI, para preservar suas identidades, pois informaram estar sendo ameaçados por policiais.

Após a sessão, o relator da CPI, Deputado João Alfredo (PT-CE) disse ter ficado surpreendido com o que viu em Goiânia e que não considerava que a polícia do estado poderia fazer uma investigação isenta, e que encaminharia o pedido de Federalização do caso.

Centenas de famílias seguem alojadas em dois ginásios em Goiânia, vivendo em péssimas condições. Até agora nem o Estado nem a Prefeitura fecharam nenhum acordo sobre o assentamento dos desabrigados do Sonho Real.

Entrevistas: João Alfredo, relator da CPMI | Laura Bueno, procuradora de justiça de Goiás | Entrevista com Ella Castilho, procuradora da República

Fotos: CPMI em Goiânia | Terra devastada | Refugiados no Ginásio do Bairro Capuava | Refugiados no Ginásio do Novo Horizonte

Vídeos: Manifestação de solidariedade ao Sonho Real | Sonho Real devastado | Relatos sobre a desocupação do Sonho Real | Massacre em Goiânia | Imagens da desocupação

Solidariedade Global: Ato de solidariedade em Goiânia | Panfletagem em Brasília em solidariedade ao Sonho real | Manifestação de apoio aos sem-teto do Sonho Real em Washington-EUA | Ato no Consulado Brasileiro e na ONU em Nova Iorque | Ato na Embaixada Brasileira na Noruega | Ato na Embaixada Brasileira na Holanda | Chamado para Escrache na Embaixada Brasileira em Buenos Aires

[ CPI da Terra investiga a violenta reintegração de posse ocorrida em Goiânia | Comissão Especial da Secretaria Nacional de Direitos Humanos chega a Goiânia | O Sonho Real e seus entulhos | Quem pagará pelo crime lesa-humanidade? | CPMI da Terra aprova pedido de Federalização das investigações ]

Zanon Under Attack

14.03.2005 13:27

The workers of the self-managed Zanon ceramics factory are once again under attack by the government and business interests trying to evict them in the southern province of Neuquen, Argentina. Since 2001, the employees have successfully managed the factory, setting an example for the working-class worldwide that workers can produce and manage even better without a boss or owner. Over the past four years, workers have battled against eviction threats and intimidation, but in the past few weeks the government and security forces representing the factory’s old ownership have used tactics of torture and kidnapping – reminiscent of Argentina’s military dictatorship (1976-1983) in which 30,000 people, mostly activists, were disappeared in the dirty war.

On Friday, March 4 a group of four individuals (three men and a woman) kidnapped the wife of an employee at Zanon. They forced her into a green Ford Falcon, a model of car security operatives used to kidnap activists during the dictatorship, sending a chilling reminder of the dirty war. They tortured her and cut her face, hands, arms and breasts. They gave details of how they carefully followed her and have detailed information about her movements. In response, this woman, who had never participated in a protest, led the march on International Women's Day in Neuqen.

Links: [1 | 2 | 3 | 4] More information: Argentina Indymedia | Zanon website

Coordinated inter-squat direct actions in France supporting the &quot;400 couverts&quot; in Grenoble

12.03.2005 19:29

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Last years, France has seen the development of many independent political squats, where are being led alternative collective life experiments and public political activities of various sorts. These spots usually host anti-capitalist and pro-anarchist actions and events, "free-zones" where goods and material are exchanged, squatted vegetable plots, hacklabs. These are places where alternative hardware and software is developed, information, books and brochures printed and brought out within "infokiosques", where people work on alternative medicine, recycling, bicycles, mechanics, wood and metal craft, silkscreening, DIY building, sunflower-oil recycling for vehicles, organic seeds exchange, groups for feminist, queer or transgender thoughts and action, "food not bombs" street meals, free vegan restaurants, bars, concerts, film-projections and theatre performances.

The "400 Couverts" is one of these projects. Little street located in Grenoble's city centre, squatted for over 3 years, the 400 Couverts houses 20 inhabitants and hosts a public space, filled with activities. The local "Socialist Party" council, owner of the place, intends to evict and raze the 400 Couverts alley. A local campaign to prevent the eviction has been launched, soon to be broadened with a day of decentralised solidarity actions elsewhere.

On the 25th of February, 2005, everywhere in France, squatters stood up to protest against evictions, with a particular focus on the "400 Couverts" and the french "Socialist Party"'s repressive politics. Occupations, banner-drops, wall paintings, rubble dropping, demonstrations, squat openings, confrontations with officials and miscellaneous other actions took place in Grenoble, Dijon, Saint-�tienne, Thonon-les-bains, Besan�on, Paris, Toulouse, Lyon, Reims, Montpellier, Nantes, Ales, Strasbourg, La Rochelle, Rennes, Gen�ve, Neuilly-sur-Marne.

Account summary of the actions, including introduction to the french squat movement en - fr | photos of the action in Dijon | photos of the action in Grenoble - more | photos of the action in Paris | photos of the action in Neuilly-sur-Marne | Infokiosques ressources center

22 Arrested at Blockades Protecting Ancient Forests

10.03.2005 18:45

Reigning in a dark new era of wilderness destruction, the logging of "protected" old-growth reserves has begun at the Biscuit timber sale, atop Fiddler Mountain. 11 people, including a 72-year old womyn from rural Selma, Oregon was arrested on Monday. Another 11 were arrested on Wednesday, including one man who locked down to the rear axle of a police vehicle with a steel lockbox.

The logging takes place on areas set aside for protection of the northern spotted owl during the Clinton administration, and is directly adacent to a pristine, roadless area. This is the latest and most egregious logging yet in Southern Oregon, which has become test site for the Bush administrations worst environmental policies. Logging of so-called "killer trees" along roadsides in the Biscuit timber sale began early in 2004 under the farce of public safety concerns. Despite successful summer efforts preventing logging, cutting on unprotected ancient forests began again in the fall. Although stalled by roadblockades (1, 2), the destruction has continued unceasingly over the past months. Ultimately, this logging project is is slated to log 19,500 acres (30.41 sq. miles) of public National Forest land, or roughly 70,000 truck-loads of logs. This logging includes 8,173 acres (12.77 sq. miles) in the Pacific Northwest's largest untouched, unroaded area and 6,303 acres (9.85 miles) of logging on these "protected" old-growth reserves.

The logging is happening in advance of a March 22nd lawsuit, that is likely to rule the logging operations are illegal. The goal of the timber companies is to have this forest logged before that can happen. Forest defenders have vowed to everything in their power to stop them.

Photos: 1, 2 Videos: 1, 2, 3 Logging Photos: 1, 2

related: Rogue imc (Southern Oregon) | Portland imc forest defense page | Oxygen Collective | Siskiyou Project | Cascadia Rising EcoDefense

IMCistas Organize and Socialize in Austin

10.03.2005 06:48

A few months after the Independent Media Center celebrated its fifth anniversary as a non-corporate resource for the open-publishing of news and information, about 150 IMCistas, mostly based in the US, gathered in Austin, Texas for IndyConference which took place February 18-20. The weekend included both formal and informal workshops, discussions, and skillshares with the goal of improving our effectiveness as a radical media network. There were also presentations from media activists Douglas Kelner, John Downing, Clemencia Rodríguez, and Amy Goodman.

Our discussions included themes such as Professionalism and Indymedia, Shortcomings and Potentials of IMC, The Geography Hurdle, Setting up an IMC at a Mass Mobilization, Blogging and Indymedia, IMC and Underserved Communities, and Race and Gender in Indymedia. Other workshops and skillshares included IMC Print Caucus, IMC Video Discussion, How to Do a Radio Show, and Documenting Resistance. A generous amount of time was dedicated to discussing Indymedia.us, an open-publishing website and a portal site syndicating news from local IMCs in the US. Before the Friday workshops began, we discussed how we would document the conference and coordinated our coverage efforts. We hope that you find the documentation useful and encourage your feedback about all aspects of the conference.

[ Austin Indymedia | Indymedia.us | Indymedia.us Syndication FAQ | John's Indyconference Dispatch | Indyconference Fosters Different Views ]

35,000 Women March in Brazil

Shayn Peitsch, 10.03.2005 06:25

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Women’s Day, Brazil

In São Paulo the march counted on the presence of 35 a thousand women, about 110 buses had all come of the country bringing women of diverse social movements. It was organized in sections of solidarity, equality, justice and peace, freedom having represented the axles of the Letter.

On March 8th, 2005, a national mobilization organized by the Worldwide March of Women, was held in São Paulo to support the passage of denunciation, protest, and construction of alternatives for the five continents. As the result of the long process of participation and convergence of people and regional communities, a letter from the women of Brazil to all of humanity is currently being signed. The letter is based on the values of equality, freedom, solidarity, justice and peace. After it’s signed in Brazil, the letter is being passed along to 49 countries, finally arriving at Burkina Faso on October 17th. On that day, activities are planned worldwide to occur, with 24 hours of feminist solidarity to complete the letter’s voyage.

Participants of the march in all the continents created the letter collectively through debates and suggestions. Presented for the first time in Porto Alegre, during Social Forum 2005, activists in Brazil are working to construct agendas of mobilization and action based on the express values of the document.

In São Paulo, 35,000 women participated in the march, with about 110 buses coming from all over the country bringing together women of diverse social movements. It was organized by the various movements based around solidarity, equality, justice and peace, with freedom being represented and defended by the core values of the letter. The day finished with a show in the center of the city and the passing of the letter to the next country, Argentina.

Farmworkers take down Taco Bell

09.03.2005 10:39

"The consumer boycott is the only open door in the dark corridor of nothingness down which farmworkers have had to walk for many years. It is a gate of hope through which they expect to find the sunlight of a better life for themselves and their families" (Cesar Chavez)

On March 8, after nearly four years of struggle and amidst the momentum of the 2005 Taco Bell Truth Tour, farmworkers from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW scored a decisive victory in their national boycott of Taco Bell. Caving under the weight of an intense grassroots campaign, the fast-food giant has agreed to work with the Florida-based farmworker organization to improve the wages and working conditions of farmworkers in the Florida tomato industry by paying a penny-per-pound surcharge demanded by the workers. The farmworkers' sub-poverty wages have been stagnant and declining in real terms since 1978.

"This is an important victory for farmworkers, one that establishes a new standard of social responsibility for the fast-food industry and makes an immediate material change in the lives of workers. This sends a clear challenge to other industry leaders," said Lucas Benitez, a member of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. The CIW's precedent-setting victory is also an important step forward for student/youth, global justice, and poor peoples' movements throughout the U.S. who have worked in solidarity with the farmworkers, forcing the world's largest restaurant corporation (Yum! Brands, Taco Bell's parent company) to accept responsibility for conditions in its supply chain.

As planned, farmworkers and their allies will gather in Louisville, KY on March 11th and 12th to celebrate the victory and chart the next steps in the movement to end sweatshops in the fields. The battle is won; the war continues.

[video Daily Video Diaries: East Leg: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 & 5 | 6 & 7 | West Leg: 1 | 2,3 & 4 | photo Photos: Day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 7 | audio Audio: Tour Departs from Immokalee (.mp3) | West leg hits Tally (.mp3) | Cleveland IMC Radio Interview with farmworker | CIW Teach-in Cleveland, OH | Connections b/w Civil Rights and Boycott | Peace Talks | Interview with Fernando Suarez del Solar (en/es) | news Stories: [Cleveland IMC] | [Tennessee IMC] | [Houston IMC] | [Tallahassee-Red Hills IMC] | [Chicago IMC] | [ATX IMC] | audio Boycott Taco Bell song| video Download film "Immokalee: From Slavery to Freedom" (.mov) | audioArchived articles from Democracy Now! 1 | 2 | More Articles: Leading Like Jesus | Values Voters, Desperate Housewives and Sweatshop Tacos | ‘Truth Tour’ Highlights Poverty Wages | Student/Farmworker Alliance | Coalition of Immokalee Workers | 2005 Truth Tour

BEIRUT, LEBANON: Demonstrations

08.03.2005 21:56

Lebanon's ongoing conflict intensified and complexified Sunday when Hezbollah put out a call for massive street demonstrations in Beirut on Tuesday, March 8 to protest the departure of Syrian troops from the country. Syria had announced a two-stage pullout of troops from Lebanon on Saturday, in response to the massive rallies demanding Syrian withdrawal that followed the death of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri. Hezbollah led the armed resistance that forced Israel to end its occupation of south Lebanon in 2000.

More infos
An Interview with Hezbollah | "Hezbollah Warns Against Withdrawal of Syrian Troops from Lebanon" | "Who Killed Hariri?" | "Is the Lebanese Opposition an Alternative?" | "Beirut protesters demand Syria pullout" | Beirut Indymedia

La Batalla Final de la Guerra del Agua en El Alto

silviopaez, 08.03.2005 19:30

El 13 de enero, el gobierno firmaba un confuso decreto en el que comprometía la salida de la empresa Aguas del Illimani. Después de casi dos meses, el gobierno ha impedido la salida de la empresa utilizando todos los medios a su disposición y ha conseguido sumar de su lado a los alcaldes de La Paz y El Alto. El gobierno, nombró a Erico Navarro como nuevo superintendente de servicios básicos, que pretende revisar el contrato y hacer auditorias, regresando el conflicto al punto inicial, después que en meses de diálogo, el gobierno tuvo que admitir la recesión del contrato con la empresa, tras las causas demostradas por la FEJUVE.

Por eso los vecinos saben que ésta es la última batalla que libran por recuperar el agua para el pueblo. No quieren más transnacionales ni empresas estatales burocratizadas. Imponen como condición inicial de cualquier diálogo, la renuncia del nuevo superintendente y no cesarán con las medidas de presión hasta que la empresa Aguas del Illimani se vaya, dejando el servicio a cargo de SAMAPA residual, que en tres meses deberá traspasar la gestión del agua a una nueva empresa social.

Mas información: CMI-Bolivia | Terminó el cabildo en la ciudad de El Alto | Desde la ciudad de Tupak Katari: la lucha continúa, ¡UMAX INAKIWA! | Blog de Jim Shultz del Centro de Democracia en Cochabamba [en]

Oaxacan Activist Released: The Campaign Continues

www-features, 08.03.2005 17:20

On February 3rd three leaders of the Oaxacan Antineoliberal Popular Magonista Coordination (COMPA) were arrested in Oaxaca City immediately after meeting with the states Secretary of Governance, Joaquin Rodriguez Palacios. Jaquelina Lopez Almazan & Samuel Hernandez Morales were arrested in their office shortly after Alejandro Cruz Lopez had been arrested in the Parking lot of the Los Olivos Hotel after his meeting with Palacios. The three were actively engaged in a campaign against the detention of three other COMPA members: Abraham Ramirez Vasquez, Juventino Garcia Cruz, and Noel Garcia Cruz, who were arrested shortly after an attempted state sponsored massacre in Santiago Xanica, Oaxaca, which had been thwarted by residentes of that community.

International attention through many mediums including the Indymedia network has aided in the release of Jacquelina Lopez Almazan, leader of the Oaxacan Popular Magonist Antineoliberal Coordination (COMPA). Rather than celebrating, COMPA is intensifying their campaign to release the remaining political prisoners and hold the president of the Mexican National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) accountable for human rights violations.

The Austin Indymedia Center has been working with COMPA and its affiliates for four years. Austin IMC has exposed intitutionalized paramilitarism, and state sponsored abuses in Oaxaca on multiple occasions. Most recently ATXIMC initiated a campaign to demand the release of these political prisoners.

Background at atx imc | global imc | Compa Fact Sheet
video View El Enemigo Común trailer by atx imc

Deaths in isolation as prison segregation increases

01.03.2005 11:14

The use of segregation of prisoners as punishment has been increasing recently in Australia, the US, and the UK. Segregation can be used for protection or punishment, but in both cases it results in extreme psychological stress. An indication that segregation is being over-used is the appearance of deaths in custody from suicide of those placed in segregation.

From New York: A Death in the Box. A mentally ill young woman died in the most stressful and isolating place in the New York state prison system. Jessica Roger, 21, killed herself in the "box" and many thought she didn't belong there.

From the UK: Put in the way of self-harm in a place intended to protect others. Sarah Campbell, 18, spent the last hours of her life in the segregation unit of Styal prison, Cheshire.
Out of sight but in our minds. In recent years conditions in high security segregation units have deteriorated, and the use of long-term segregation as a control mechanism has increased. Fight Racism Fight Imperialism (FRFI) asked some of our readers in gaol to send us their views and experiences.

From Australia: Sisters Inside, a Queensland abolitionist group likens Australian prisons to Abu Ghraib.
Harm-U Human rights group Justice Action is calling for an independent inspection of the isolation unit at Goulburn known as the High Risk Management Unit due to conditions which violate UN Standards.
A Total Abuse of Power
When the Norm is Not the Norm

Colombian army massacres members of Peace Community

27.02.2005 04:36

We can scarcely find words; the pain overwhelms us so deeply that all we can do is weep. In a demonstration of its incredible illegitimacy, the Colombian state has carried out another massacre that bathes our land in blood. The XI Brigade of the Colombian army massacred Luis Eduardo Guerra and six more people, including three children. Luis Eduardo was a great friend and a great leader, defender of human rights, founder of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó and representative of the community. His death overwhelms us with indescribable pain, and the circumstances of his killing, and of the people who were massacred with him, fill us with anger and indignation.

On March 23, 1997, the civilian population of the 28 hamlets in the San Jose area declared the area a peace community. Since then, in this process of civil resistance, the community has lost over 150 members to massacres and assassinations, most ot them carried out by right wing paramilitaries collaborating with the Colombian security forces. We believe that this act of terror speaks for itself. Luis Eduardo, your memory, your commitment, your clarity, your friendship give us strength in the midst of pain. As we always say, we will not retreat from our principles until the state and its paramilitaries finish us all.

Links to:
Full report from the Peace Community English Spanish | Colombia Indymedia

Disingenuous Reduction of Agricultural Subsidies to Reopen FTAA Negotiations

25.02.2005 22:14

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The co-presidents of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), Adhemar Bahadian of Brazil and Peter Allgeier of the United States, will meet in the United States from the 22nd to the 23rd of February in Washington, DC. The topic of the encounter: the reopening of negotiations of the FTAA, stalled since July, and exploration of such issues as access to Brazilian markets and intellectual property. The meeting was set by Foreign Relations Minister of Brazil, Celso Amorim, and US representative Robert Zoellick during the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 31st.

The new negotiations were heralded by the US government's announcement of a possible reduction of agricultural subsidies (government funds that enable US producers to sell at lower prices, debilitating production of other countries). The issue of subsidies was the principal conflict that paralyzed previous negotiations between the US and Brazil. Their removal would be a strong motive for the application of the FTAA, which would intensify the process of privatization of services, education and place at risk the production of inexpensive medicine, among other things. The 2006 budget proposed by US Congress indicates a 5% reduction. However, estimations of the US Department of Agriculture confirms that, even with this small reduction, subsidies would actually increase by 24% in 2005 and by 19.8% in 2006 - consequence of the fall of the prices of soy, rice, corn and cotton.

The cut in financial support to agriculture in the US accompanies the president Bush's reduction of social spending. The principal reason being the increase in military spending including increases in salaries of armed forces personnel. In addition, the US initiated a new nuclear project, which currently occupies 9 million dollar. In a press conference, the Brazilian negotiator in the World Trade Organization, Clodaldo Hugueney, stated that "It does not matter if the cut is the result of the internal necessities of the Americans (sic). What matters it that there is a cut."

More infos
links about FTTA | previews features | FTTA IMC

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