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Over Half a Million Workers on the Streets Across Australia

15.11.2005 15:58

More than half a million people took part in over 300 protests across Australia on 15 November, the first initiative of a national movement of workers showing their solidarity in opposition to proposed Industrial Relations laws, an attack on workers conditions, by the Howard Federal government. Melbourne saw possibly the largest political rally in its history with up to 250,000 people clogging the heart of the City, and marching in a crowd that reached for 18 blocks. Sydney also saw around 45,000 people gathered in Martin Place after an early morning blockade of the M4 motorway, while Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart and Darwin all saw unprecedented crowds. Regional Australia also came out in force, and solidarity protests occurred in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch.

Melbourne IMC | Australian Council of Trade Unions | "Your Rights at Work - worth fighting for", Official Campaign Site

Police brutally supress peaceful march in Durban

imc-durban, 15.11.2005 07:07

Foreman Road march

At noon on the 14th of November 2005, at the Foreman Road settlement in Clare Estate, Durban, police attacked a peaceful demonstration of settlement dwellers from around the muncipality. Dozens have been arrested. As of 2:30pm, police had surrounded the Foreman Road settlement and blocked both exits. No one is being allowed in or out. Shots have been heard, and there are reports that anyone attempting to leave the settlement is being fired upon. Eyewitness reports suggest many injuries due to rubber bullets.

The elected committee of Abahlali base Mjondolo, a shack dwellers movement with 16 affiliated settlements, followed due procedure in attempting to gain permission for the march. The city council, however, illegally denied the application (see letter below from the Freedom of Expression Institute for details). At 11am, the majority of the 3000-strong crowd decided to march to the nearby Asherville sports field. This was a route recommended by the Mayor’s office at a meeting on Friday, 11 November, in the Mayor’s presence.

Background info here. And an update.

São Paulo´s Mayor promotes social hygiene operation in downtown

12.11.2005 14:23

Poor residents expelling, repression to homeless and itinerant workers, police violence on occupied buildings and persecution on social movements are a balance of the social hygiene operation leaded by Sao Paulo’s mayor José Serra and his Secretary of Services Andrea Matarazzo – who is also responsible for local downtown management - in the name of a "Downtown Gentrification" of São Paulo city.

Since the begginig of his administration, Serra (Brazilian Social Democracy Party - PSDB) has took over this project making use of BID financing - requested still on Marta Suplicy's (Workers Party - PT) last government (2001/2004). Serra's intent is to promote downtown as a technologic polo by attracting big companies. Innumerable actions has been taken so on: big centre pavements has been opened into streets, so the itinerant cannot work at those places anymore, a so called "anti-homeless" ramp has been constructed under Paulista avenue's viaduct to expel homeless who used to live there. A violent police has invaded many occupied buildings: besides expelling poor population who lived in these places, Serra determined a number of buildings in downtown that must be dispossessed and restored to attract enterprises.

In opposition to the hygienist downtown gentrification many movements has planned actions in solidarity to the poor population of the centre. The International Association of Confectioners Without Borders threw a pie in the face of Housing Secretary Orlando de Almeida during a conference in Sao Paulo University. In other occasion Fórum Centro Vivo, a coalition of many groups based at SP centre, organized an fun act at Services Secretary´s house, Andrea Matarazzo.

Read More
Fun Act at Andrea Matarazzo's house | Video - Fun Act: [1] [2]
Pie thrown at Housing Secretary Orlando de Almeida | Video - Pie Thrown
Serra builds "Anti-Homeless ramp" | Video - anti-homeless ramp: [1] | [2] | [3] | Indymedia Brasil
More articles: SP City Hall threats to dispossess autonomous co-operative workers seat | BID and "Downtown SP Gentrification" | Emptying buildings in the name of "progress" | One more occupation evicted in downtown - Text, photos and video | Homeless workers occupy four buildings in SP - November 2005
CMI na Rua (street newspaper)
#10 – Police repress homeless fighting for habitation | #13 - Police action on repossession infracts constitutional rights | #15 - Persecution on itinerant workers | #16 - Critical moment for autonomous workers | #17 - Pie thrown at Housing Secretary | #18 - Anti-homeless ramp | #19 - Fun act at Andrea Matarazzo´s house

Colombia: Troops and armoured vehicles attack peaceful communities

12.11.2005 01:56

El Japio: This thursday, Belisario Camayo Guetotó, a 16 year old indigenous guard, was killed by the riot police, and many other people were injured, one of them by gunfire. The police are using armoured vehicles against the indigenous people. The riot police (ESMAD) and these armoured vehicles are trying to evict the Nasa people of El Japio; meanwhile, the Misak people have occupied the Corazón hacienda en Piendamó.

More information: Colombia Indymedia

115 arrested for protesting against hunger in Zimbabwe

imc-sa, 09.11.2005 20:36

The Independent Zimbabwe Campaign reports that on Tuesday 8 November the Zimbabwe trade union movement, headed by the ZCTU (Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions), called a demonstration, against the poverty and hunger the majority of Zimbabweans face right now.

Trade unionists in their thousands, including other opposition groups - Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), and the International Socialist Organisation (ISO-Zimbabwe) - congregated in central Harare. The police sealed off the area and prevented them from marching to the government offices. The police, mainly picking off prominent leaders, then arrested one hundred people, and took them to the Harare Central Police Station. They were charged under the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), notorious for preventing people from protesting against violations of workers' and human rights. NCA members Lovemore Madhuku and Misheck Shoko have been in detention since 5 November. Today's arrested people have been put in the same cells as the NCA members.

Some of those arrested include: Lovemore Matombo, ZCTU President, Wellington Chibhebhe, ZCTU Secretary General, Netsai Dzinoreva, NOC Member Zimbabwe Social Forum, Briggs Bomba, National Co-ordinator ISO, Aaron Dhliwayo, Harare Branch Co-Ordinator ISO, Munyaradzi Gwisai, National Co-Ordinator ISO, Canwell Muchadya, President ZGAWU (Printing Union), Regis Mututu, Chairperson Zimbabwe Social Forum, Rita Nyamupinga, NOC member Zimbabwe Social Forum.

A Cry for Help from Ethiopia

07.11.2005 00:32

According to eyewitness accounts from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, violence erupted Tuesday, November 1 after five months of relative calm. "As I am speaking now, many people are being detained and people are being killed. I have seen special police forces kicking students, pedestrians etc..." Says an Ethiopian employee of an international non-governmental organization.

The protests began over the disputed multi-party elections held this last May. Opposition leaders were arrested on October 31. Arrests led to a series of civil protests and to violent clashes between civilians and police forces sent by the government. Witnesses describe scenes of horror with special forces opening live fire on civilians, even those who attempt to help the wounded.

To read more click here

Summit of the Americas

San Francisco Bay Area, 06.11.2005 08:07

Leaders of all the countries of the Western Hemisphere, except Cuba meet in Mar del Plata, Argentina from October 28 through November 5 for the Fourth Summit of the Americas. Talks on the resumption of negotiations on creating the US-proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas ended in a deadlock after a group of left-leaning countries, headed by Brazil and Venezuela, opposed the idea, saying it would open their countries to exploitation by large American firms and do little to alleviate poverty. Read More

A People’s Summit was organized as a counter protest and thousands gathered to hear Venezuelan President Chavez speak. Audio From Democracy Now
The participation of US President George W. Bush in the Summit of the Americas unleashed a wave of popular outrage in both Argentina and Uruguay. Thousands marched in Argentina and among those marching was Argentine soccer superstar Diego Maradona. Later in the day 1,000 rioters clashed with police, setting bonfires in the streets and destroying storefronts. Over 87 people were arrested and 5 people are missing. Two Indymedia journalists were among the 87 people who have been detained by police.

Argentina Indymedia provided independent coverage from the streets of Mar Del Plata where the FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) Summit of the Americas was held. Check out San Diego Indymedia for English-language translations.

Protesters mass to confront Bush in Argentina | Bush faces mass protests, opposition to trade pact in Argentina | Bush rebuked by the hand of God | Wikipedia: Mar del Plata Summit of the Americas

Hacienda Luisita Union Leader Shot Dead, Dissidents Condemn Killings

06.11.2005 06:12

After the massacre, assailants suspected to be the operatives of Philippine Armed Forces Region 3 Command under General Palparan, gunned down Hacienda Luisita union-leader, Ricardo Ramos, Tuesday night.

According to reports gathered from mainstream media, Ricardo Ramos, 47, president of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union (CATLU), was shot and killed on Tuesday while drinking with friends in his backyard in Barangay Mapalacsiao five hours after the union received at least P8 million from the Hacienda Luisita Inc. as settlement for back wages.(source: inq7.net)

“The murder of Ramos is the fresh addition to the long line of labor leaders who have been killed during the Arroyo administration.” says BMP (Solidarity of Socialist Filipino Workers) in a given solidarity statement condemning the State for carrying terrorist campaign against workers struggle for genuine unionism and social reforms. BMP also said that State sponsored terrorism has gone berserk even in workers picket lines, pointing out the recent murder of a worker from Scneider Packaging Corp. in a violent dispersal by police and scabs using the power of Assumption of Jurisdiction ordered by Department of Labor.

In case of another attack, a unified civil liberties movement was suggested by Jun Simbulan of Philippine Greens to strengthen the ranks of various dissident groups by setting aside each own ideological differences.

Police raids houses to remove banners

imc-nl, 05.11.2005 20:16


On the 27th of October, a fire broke out in the deportation centre at Schiphol near Amsterdam, Netherlands. 11 people died there as a result. On the same day, a wake was held for the victims, and the question of accountability was raised right away from several sides; possible causes and effects of the fire were discussed.

In many municipalities and cities, solidarity actions were instigated. In Amsterdam this was done by means of a banner action. Since the 1st of November, banners have been hung from a score of houses, questioning the administration of minister Rita Verdonk and its deadly consequences.

Mayor Job Cohen - who had just defended the freedom of speech ardently on the day of commemoration dedicated to Theo van Gogh - seems to think quite differently about this subject two days later. Or, does freedom of speech only apply to the criminalisation of minority groups and to pushing the boundaries of racist and faschist and anti-semitic proclamations?

On Friday the 4th of November at 8pm, the first attempts were made to remove a banner which questioned the way immigration is handled in the Netherlands from the facade of the squatted house "Wilde Westen" . In the early morning hours of the following day, a brutal assault against the house was committed by the police, during which a lot of damage was done inside the house, and the banner was removed by means of violence.

Pictures: [ wake | banners | damage after raid ]

Paris is Burning: Racism and Repression Explode in Week of Uprisings

various imcers, 05.11.2005 09:56

Paris Uprising 2005

Africans living and working in Paris have been pushed into ghettoized suburbs of Paris (banlieue), where the state has withdrawn education, health, and other services, while increasing police presence, checkpoints, raids on sans-papiers and levels of oppression in general. This week the suburbs have exploded.

The trigger came on Thursday, October 27th, 2005, as a group of 10 highschool kids were playing soccer in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois. When police arrived to do ID checks, the kids ran away and hid, because some of them had no ID. Three of the children hid in an electrical transformer building of EDF and were electrocuted. Two of them, Ziad Benn (17) and Banou Traoré (15), died; the third, Metin (21), was severely injured.

On Saturday morning, 1000 joined in a march organised by religious associations and mosques in Clichy-sous-Bois. Representatives of the Muslim community appealed for calm and marchers wore T-shirts saying mort pour rien ("dead for nothing"). The mayor of Clichy, Claude Dilain, called for an enquiry into the deaths of the two boys. All eyes were on Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy. The response? As people were gathering in the mosques for the Night of Destiny, the most sacred night in the month of Ramadan, a night people usually spent at the mosque, the empty streets of the Cité du Chêne Pointu filled with about 400 CRS militant riot police and gendarmes, blocking off the neighborhood. Yet very few people allowed themselves to be provoked into breaking the sanctity of this night, despite racist insults from the police.

On Sunday, however, provocation turned into outrage as the women's prayer room at de Bousquets mosque was teargassed by police. As people stumbled out gasping for air, the policemen called the women "whores", "bitches" and other insults.

[ Reports from Paris IMC (fr): one | two | three | four ] [ Eyewitness account in English: UK IMC kersplebedeb ]

European Caravan Against the Fence : No-one is illegal

imc-estrecho, 02.11.2005 12:45

Jumping the Fence of Death

Jumping the walls that separate Morocco from the colonial enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla has long been a way to enter Europe from Africa. Security forces have begun firing upon migrants attempting to cross. In response, the European Caravan against the Fence of death will protest at Ceuta on the 4th, 5th and 6th of November.

"In various places in Europe, there have been gatherings and protests, to say "enough!": enough assassinations, enough murderous deportations, enough blows and annoyances, enough investment in the militarisation of the frontier. We, social groups and self-organised spaces, independent media activists, European citizens born here and there, neighbourhood associations, assemblies and migrant forums from difference places within Europe, have decided to join together in a caravan to the wall at Ceuta, so that our "Enough!" is heard loudly.

We go towards the barricades that are the place of a crime perpetrated in the name of European democracies. We go towards the barricades that are the symbol of a border regime made not only of physical barriers and more and more militarized surveillance zones but also a system of access rights that creates "first class" and "second class" citizens (as well as "non-citizens"), leading to a veritable apartheid both in labour and in social life, making precarious the conditions of life and work and spreading fear about 'the Other'.

We invite everyone, men and women from different European cities, to join us in this journey, because today more than ever, in the face of the cruelty, against the proliferation of barriers and the inclusion/exclusion system that really exists in Europe, being part of human society means saying "enough" to the fence of death and to everything it symbolizes: not in our name! And it also means an alliance with those trying to cross that wall, defending their right to existence that is also our right... in a better world."

[ Indymedia Estrecho ]

Oceania Indymedia Newsreal 3 Online

02.11.2005 01:15

Oceania Indymedia Newsreal 3 is a compilation of short, critical documentaries focussing on social and environmental issues in South East Asia, Australia and the Pacific. Edition 3 includes pieces on Maori struggles in Aotearoa, the East Timor campaign over Australia's theft of oil in the Timor sea, life and resistance in the slums of Jakarta, climate change in the Pacific, Food not Bombs in Australia and much more.

A listing of the videos and links to download individual pieces can be found on the Oceania Newsreal page. You can download a full version at archive.org, or a bittorrent at indytorrents.

Licensed using Creative Commons the Newsreal is also distributed on VCD. If you are interested in getting a hard copy you can contact EngageMedia.

[Oceania Newsreal | EngageMedia | Indymedia Video]

Mhlengi Khumalo is gone

29.10.2005 13:47

KENNEDY ROAD, DURBAN, 26 OCTOBER 2005 - Last Friday 16 shacks burnt down in the Kennedy Road informal settlement in Durban. A one year old boy, Mhlengi Khumalo, was very badly burnt and died on Saturday night. This was the third conflagration this month. The fire started when a candle was knocked over. Until 2001 pre-paid electricity meters were being installed in shacks. To get electricity you needed to pay R350 and to be able to represent your case in a certain way. According to S'bu Zikode from the Kennedy Road Development Committee "It all depended on who applied. If you seemed ignorant because you can't speak English you were just told to wait outside." The eThekwini Metro has since informed Kennedy Road residents that there is a "new policy not to install electricity in informal settlements".

Their electrification policy openly states the following:

5. Informal Settlements
In the past (1990s) electrification was rolled out to all and sundry. Because of the lack of funding and the huge costs required to relocate services when these settlements are upgraded or developed, electrification of the informal settlements has been discontinued.

More than 70 people with receipts for payments for installation have neither a refund nor electricity. If the installation of electricity to the settlement had not been halted these fires, and Mhlengi's death, could have been avoided. Pre-paid meters won't stop fires altogether though since many people can't afford to buy electricity on credit. The fires will stop when there is decent housing and free basic services for everyone.

Read more here.

Eviction of the DeCentrum squat

imc-poland, 27.10.2005 16:30

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During the afternoon of Tuesday 25 October 2005, police went to the DeCentrum squat (in Białystok) with town officials and the owner, with a warrant for clearing the building, these guests didn't use the doorbell and they damaged the door of the squat. When one of the squatters to leave his room quietly, city security guards removed him from the room and put him in the corridor, where two guards held him, he was hit in the face and then he was kicked in the abdomen by a third, and he was threatened with being thrown down the stairs. The squatters removed equipment from the building. They declare that they will not give up the squat without a fight and they appeal for solidarity actions. http://pl.indymedia.org/pl/2005/10/16494.shtml (pl) http://pl.indymedia.org/pl/2005/10/16495.shtml (pl) http://pl.indymedia.org/pl/2005/10/16499.shtml (pl)

On Wednesday 26 October 2005 at 14:30 a demonstration in defence of DeCentrum is planned to take place in front of the town hall at 1 Słonimska Street in Białystok. http://pl.indymedia.org/pl/2005/10/16504.shtml (pl)

Solidarity actions will take place in Warsaw in front of the MSWiA (Ministry of the Interior) at Batorego 5, Thursday at 15:00, and in Poznań at ul. Półwiejska, next to Stary Marych also Thursday at 15:00.

More info: http://decentrum.bzzz.net | http://foodnotbombs.prv.pl

This year other squats also had problems with the authorities: Brutal attack on the fabryka squat - report on the raid , sound recording: arrival, - telephone complaint , destroying the gate. Police attack on the Elektromadonna squat: report, Raid on the Spółdzielnia squat - report.

10 years of communitarian police

Daniel Gee, 26.10.2005 14:29

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The tenth anniversary of the Communitarian Police was celebrated on the 14th and 15th of October in the community Hidalgo Town of the municipality of San Luis Acatlan, Guerrero, Mexico. The event reunited approximately 1,500 people, members of the movement of the Communitarian Police of several regions, inhabitants of the neighboring towns, activists and supporters of other states of the country. The communitarian police form stems from the system of communitarian justice, constituted by diverse institutions like the Regional Coordinator of Autoridades Comunitarias (CRAC) and the communitarian and regional assemblies. The movement of communitarian justice involves 62 communities grouped in five municipalities. Within this organization are a diverse group of mixtecos, tlapanecos, nahuas and mestizos.

Activists mobilize for Hong Kong WTO

20.10.2005 21:03

Trade ministers, NGOs, and social movements are all converging on Hong Kong, China, for the 6th Ministerial meeting of the WTO (World Trade Organization), which will take place from December 13-18th, 2005. A network of movement activity is bustling, with hubs including the Hong Kong People's Alliance on the WTO [en | chinese] and the Stop the New Round Coalition (SNRC), among others.

Peasants and small farmers from the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Korea are getting organized to come to Hong Kong, mobilize against corporate globalization and present alternative proposals. Conferences, cultural events, mass mobilizations, and direct actions are being planned between December 11th-18th, with the majority of activity during The People's Action Week, opening with a Public Assembly of the movements on the 13th and closing with a mass march on the 18th.

Organizing momentum has increased with a string of strategy meetings and declarations by Asian regional NGO and social movements, including the Colombo Declaration in June: "We, workers, organized and un-organized, peasants, dalits, indigenous peoples, fisherfolks, women, students, migrants and other marginalized communities of Asia in solidarity with other peoples of the world will stand at the forefront of the global struggle against the Hong Kong Ministerial Meeting."

Media activists will also be arriving from around the region and across the world to hold workshops and skillshares, to strategize together, and to plan independent coverage of the mobilizations and events in Hong Kong. The media conference and workshop is called New Media and Social Transformation. The major purpose of the conference is to have more in-depth discussion on the independent media movement in Asia, and plan possible long-run collaborations. However, a workshop will be organized for independent reporters to cover the WTO, and a sharing and exchange workshop will be organized by the end of the WTO mobilization. Here is an update of the New Media and Social Transformation conference plan . [inmediahk site in chinese].

More background: ZNet | Third World Network | Declaration of conference on WTO, Development and Migration | Colombo Declaration
Mobilization Links:

Clown Army engages war profiteers: 20 arrests

19.10.2005 01:02

Blockading a tank More than 70 people took part in an action organised against the Weapons Defence Industry Association conference held at Te Papa in New Zealand on Tuesday. The action, which was organised by Peace Action Wellington, involved a large sit-in/blockade by the Aotearoa Revolutionary Clown Army in front of Te Papa which lasted for about two and a half hours, and also a blockade in front of an armoured vehicle. Twenty people in all were arrested, with charges ranging from obstruction, trespass and assault of police officers. [Initial Report | Full Report | Photos 1 | Photos 2.

Aotearoa IMC | Peace Action Wellington | No WARP

Southern African Social Forum kicks off

15.10.2005 18:27

The Southern African Social Forum in Zimbabwe kicked off with enthusiastic speeches, solidarity messages from all over the southern African region, and cheerful slogans and songs. Trevor Ngwane from the Anti-Privatisation Forum in Gauteng started out with a wish that the Forum would provide a space for activists from the whole southern region to develop their struggle against capitalism, and he was pleased to see COSATU at the Forum, as he hoped labour and communities could join together in struggle back home in South Africa. In the end, he repeated the Social Forum slogan that Another world is possible!

Stanley &quot;Tookie&quot; Williams Faces Execution in 2006 if Clemency Not Granted

San Francisco Bay Area, 12.10.2005 04:37

On October 11th, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Stanley "Tookie" Williams' appeal to investigate the racism and discrimination at the heart of the case, as well as Tookie's innocence issues. The prosecutor in Tookie's original case removed all of the Black jurors from the jury, leaving an all-white jury to deliberate the case. During the trial, this prosecutor made racially-coded remarks during his closing argument, comparing Williams to a Bengal tiger in a zoo, and stating that a black community - South Central Los Angeles - was equivalent to the natural "habitat" of a Bengal Tiger.

original story | Read more about the October 11th decision | Past Indybay Coverage of the Williams Case

Paris : resistance to police controls and expulsion grows, a street riot

07.10.2005 13:51

In a worrying move for the Sarkozy police, opposition grows far beyond the circle of activists. A street riot erupted on tuesday when police started again to embark "sans papier" ("illegal" immigrants) at "Chateau-Rouge" in central Paris. As this had been going on for weeks [photographs], alerts were again promptly posted on Paris Indymedia, but this time, activists who had been able to go there to protest were happily surprised to find support from the local population, who joined in action, so much so that the police could only retreat.

[ A photographic report on '20 Minutes' ]

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