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Palestine Solidarity Activist Released, but Others Languish in Jail

25.06.2002 15:37

In a stunning reversal from an earlier position, on June 21 the INS dropped its call to bar the press and public from the immigration hearings of Illinois-based Palestinian solidarity activist Ahmed Bensouda, and agreed to allow him to post bond while his case winds through INS court.

The INS, which had detained Bensouda since May 30, had originally asked the court to close Bensouda's immigration hearings, citing 'national security' concerns, and to deny Bensouda bond. Meanwhile, the INS continues to detain other pro-Palestinian activists, in what supporters have charged are politically motivated attacks designed to derail Palestinian solidarity work. Palestinian-born Boston anti-war activist Jaoudat Abouazza was arrested by federal authorities on the same day as Bensouda, while the well-known New York based activist Faruk Abdel-Muhti of the Palestine Aid Society continues to languish in poor health in detention in New Jersey, where he has been held since April 26.

Read the full report on Bensouda's case, listen to the FSRN report and an interview with Bensouda before his release,and view photos [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] of the rally in Chicago.

Colombia Again Most Dangerous Nation for Union Members

25.06.2002 12:05

Map of Colombia According to an annual survey, Colombia was the most dangerous nation for union members again last year, with 201 killings or disappearances reported. This is 90% of the reported worldwide total. Public sector union members in Colombia were targeted the most, accounting for about 65 percent of those killed or missing. The ICFTU (International Confederation of Free Trade Unions) attributed that to their opposition to privatization of state-owned industries.

This is part of the dark side of corporate globalization, which attempts to paint a humanitarian face on its agenda. However, if it were truly a better way, it would not need to intimidate, torture, and kill union workers around the world to achieve its aims.

The Colombian union SINALTRAINAL, the 'National Union of the Food Workers Industry' has issued a call denouncing kidnapping attempts, while assasinations continue in Barrancabermeja and Tame.

[Violence Against Colombia Trade Unions Bulletin] [Global Unions] [ICFTU Survey] [Colombia IMC]

Demonstrations Continue Against 'Europe of Capital and War'

24.06.2002 23:59

Demonstration in Seville From the United Kingdom IMC:
Saturday, day of solidarity with immigrants
Two major events occured on June 22. The Sevilla Social Forum held a mass demonstration this afternoon against the 'Europe of Capital and War', while the 'Disobedient Laboratory' held actions in support of 400 immigrants that are resisting their deportation and currently locked in the Sevilla University campus.

About 100 activists are locked inside San Salvador Church in solidarity with the immigrants, at which point riot police encircled the building. More detailed information is available at the breaking news report and this photo gallery.

Friday, day of disobedience
Actions were held throughout Seville on June 21. Police surrounded and blocked entrance to both the action center and the press center. People were consistently searched, identified, and prevented from moving freely around the city by police, while material and personal belongings were confiscated. Squatted social centers and action spaces were evicted as well. More information is available at the breaking news report and the following photo galleries [1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 ].

[IMC-Madrid] [IMC-Barcelona] [IMC-Euskal Herria] [La Haine]

Dutch Court Orders IMC-Netherlands to Remove Links

22.06.2002 11:29

More than five years ago, the German zine 'Radikal' published instructions on preventing nuclear-waste transport by rail, which have since been placed onto the internet. Deutsche Bahn, the German rail operator has responded with lawsuits against the original host, search engines, and Indymedia-NL.  Indymedia-NL had links to mirrors of the zine, indirectly linking to the instructions, which were published as a comment on its open-publishing newswire.

On June 20, a Dutch judge ordered Indymedia-NL to remove the links, requiring "Indymedia immediately after receiving this sentence to remove and to keep removed the hyperlinks, which are placed on (a) website(s) under the control of Indymedia, if those hyperlinks lead directly or indirectly to the Radikal article."

Indymedia-NL has responded with a press release, stating that they consider "the ruling a dramatic limitation of the possibilities of the Internet and the freedom of speech."

Repression, Tensions High Before World Bank Meeting in Oslo

22.06.2002 11:26

In June 2001, despite the cancellation of  World Bank ABCDE meetings in Barcelona, protests were held in the city, and were notable for police provocation.

This year, the ABCDE meetings are being held in Oslo from June 24 -26.  Various groups, including Oslo2002 and a Norwegian RTS are organizing a response to the meeting from civil society.

Currently, repression and tensions are running high in Norway due to planned protests. Schools have been closed for demonstrators, while the police and corporate media have increasingly drawn a picture of expected "riots". Due to this, a rift between moderate and radical activists there is growing.

More information is available at Indymedia Norge.

EU Summit in Seville Sparks General Strike

21.06.2002 05:30

demo in seville From the Euskal Herria IMC:
Strike in the Basque Country

From the United Kingdom IMC:
Timeline of events for Thursday 20th: IMC UK Breaking News

Seville is the host of the EU summit of 20-21 of June, marking the end of Spain's EU presidency. The main subjects of the Seville summit will be the armour of Europe and the toughening of the immigration laws. Two days of action against the Europe of Capital and War have been called by the Sevilla Social forum, unions and many groups of Spanish civil society.

Trade unions across Spain have also called for a General strike today, to coincide with the EU summit and in protest of the Popular Party government's reform of unemployment and workers rights laws. The newly introduced laws aim to change radically the fundamental human and labour rights in the Spanish constitution.

Thursday 20th - Stop Press:
The General Strike is currently being followed all over the Spanish State affecting most areas of the manufacturing, transport, private and public sectors. The CGT union estimates a stoppage of up to 85%. The beginning of the strike was marked with many 'cazerolazos' in the streets of Spain's major cities. Informative picket lines were set up in front of most distribution and transport centres. Early hours of this morning saw riot police attacking several pickets in Madrid and Barcelona with the result of dozens of injured (20 confirmed cases of severe injuries) and around 40 arrests. Later in the day saw many demonstrations taking place in different Spanish cities.

Photos here.

For more information see: Campaign against Europe of Capital and Sevilla Social Forum.

Government Minister Resigns In Protest

20.06.2002 13:19

Fernando Rospigliosi, Peru's Interior Minister, quit his government post following a week of protests over the auction of two state-owned electricity companies, Egasa and Egesur. Mr. Rospigliosi was opposed to the state of emergency decreed in Arequipa, Peru’s second largest city, and the dispatch of 1700 troops to the city to repress the demonstrators.

Over one hundred demonstrators were injured and one was killed during the demonstrations.  In Lima, there was a two-day strike by the public transport workers in protest of the actions taken by the government. Tractebel, the Belgium Company which won the bid for the utilities, has responded by halting the sale.

The protests erupted out of a fear of layoffs and because President Alejandro Toledo had promised during his campaign for the presidency that he would not privatize state-owned companies.  Less than a year into his presidency, Mr. Toledo faces approval ratings of 20 percent.

In a live speech on television, delivered just hours after the government unveiled a deal with local leaders in Arequipa to halt the protests, Mr. Rospigliosi said that his resignation was "irrevocable."

Read Arequipa: El diálogo, la única salida

More Coverage from IMC Argentina, IMC Uruguay and IMC Brasil

Indymedia Network Continues Growth Across the Globe

20.06.2002 03:59

IMC logo The Independent Media Center, or Indymedia, network, is continuing to grow explosively throughout the world. The first center, opened in Seattle in November of 1999 to cover the WTO Ministerial, has been joined by nearly ninety others operating in various localities on every continent except Antarctica. While almost half of the Indymedia centers are based in the United States, more are being formed in Asia, Africa, and particularly Latin America. Many of these media groups have grown from covering single protest events into independently-operating local sources of ongoing news and information.

IMCs accepted into the Indymedia network within the last month include Euskal Herria (Basque), Qollasuyu, Bolivia, Ottawa, Jakarta, Rochester (NY), North Carolina, Michigan, Tijuana, Ithaca (NY), and Central Florida.  Moreover, IMCs are in the process of forming in many other localities and regions, particularly in South and East Asia.

For more information on forming new Indymedia centers, please consult our New IMC Infospace. To contribute to an existing IMC or global working group, consult the Indymedia Lists, and acquaint yourself with IMC Process.

Drop the Rock Hits Harlem

18.06.2002 15:17

Drop the Rock! From the New York City IMC:
Miguel Acosta, a 37 year old Harlem resident, knows New York state's harsh drug laws firsthand. "The Rockefeller laws are no joke. I'm living proof of that," he said in an interview during Saturday's Drop the Rock rally in Marcus Garvey Park. In 1988 Acosta was arrested for possession of four ounces of cocaine and sentenced to 15 years to life. It was Acosta’s first offence of any kind. "The judge had no choice but to sentence me [to fifteen years]," he said. Acosta served 14 years in a New York State prison and was released earlier this year. His twin son and daughter, two years old when he entered prison, are now in high school. [Read More]
See Photos of the rally.

Over 30 Arrested At G7 Finance Ministers Meeting

17.06.2002 21:54

From the Maritimes IMC

G7 communique [Day One], by Jon Elmer
Friday night rally and march: video clips, photos1, photos2, photos3, photos4 - by Islander


Blue Bloc Runs Amok at G7, by Jon Elmer
Legal Update
First round of tear gas: video, photos, photo 2, photo 3 - by Islander
Audio clips of Saturday's protest, by dem
Discussion of tactics, privacy, and the media
Reported arrests at G7 protests, by antifa resistance

Activists and Journalists Arrested

17.06.2002 17:57

Seven people were arrested including an octopus puppet yesterday following a successful Cities For People march from the Capitol to the UW Library Mall, a contingent of protesters traversed the Mall to stand in front of the Memorial Union, where a USCM social event was underway. Police had erected a flimsy fence on the street surrounding the Union and manned it with a phalanx of Wisconsin State Troopers. As with previous events this weekend, the crowd was under heavy surveillance by both uniformed and undercover officers.

Predictably, the police have attempted to paint the protests as potentially violent, claiming that activists were "carrying sharp objects" and "waving banners in the face[s] of officers."

See Madison IMC for more details.

Opposed utility sales go forward, igniting protests

16.06.2002 20:50

A state of emergency has been imposed on Arequipa, Peru's second largest city, following days of protests over the privatization of two state-owned electricity generators, Egasa and Egesur. The martial law measures will restrict people from leaving or entering the city, and a curfew is also likely.

Protests erupted in southern Peru on Thursday when the Peruvian government, led by President Alejandro Toledo, reneged on campaign-pledges made last year to not sell the state-owned companies. See Photos 1 | 2

Local authorities have claimed that seven were injured in protests on Sunday, including one activist suffering gunshot wounds, but recent reports reveal that more than a 100 protestors may be injured from the day's events.

Demonstrations Beginning in Wisconsin in Support of Cities and Civil Liberties

14.06.2002 17:13

Reverend Al Sharpton From the Madison IMC: As the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Mayors Business Council meet in Madison, Wisconsin, activists throughout the Midwest U.S. are mobilizing in defense of civil liberties and against the extension of neoliberal policies to the municipal level.

The role of corporate influence at the city level and the growing attack on civil liberties have prompted demonstrations from Creative People's Resistance and Cities for People!

In Madison, a "soft perimeter" has already been instituted downtown amid police and media hype about incoming demonstrators.  Meanwhile, civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton led a kick-off rally before a weekend of marches, rallies, and counter-conferences.

The Madison IMC has opened coverage of these events, and will be running an internet radio stream for the duration. Stay tuned throughout the weekend.

West Papuan Resistance Leader Arrested by Indonesian Forces

14.06.2002 16:17

Benny Wenda From the Melbourne IMC: On June 8, Benny Wenda, Secretary-General of Koteka Tribal Assembly, was arrested last Saturday and charged with being behind an attack on the Abepura Police Post, being an organiser of various meetings to attack military posts in West Papua and for having two passports with two nationalities (Papua New Guinea and Indonesia). Wenda was taken by force without anyone showing him a Letter of Order or telling him why he was being arrested. His arrest comes after Papuan resistance leader, Dortheys Hiyo Eluay was kidnapped and assassinated last year, allegedly by Indonesian Special Forces (Kopassus).

In response to this assault, on June 14 Free West Papua protestors disrupted Indonesian President Megawati's visit to the United Kingdom.

Indonesia gained control of West Papua in 1963 from its Dutch colonisers. An estimated 300,000 Papuans have been killed or disappeared under Indonesian rule. A struggle for independence from Indonesia and against multinational mining corporations, has been long and ongoing.

German Company takes Indymedia.NL to Court

13.06.2002 03:04

banner that reads http://www.xs4all.nl/~tank/radikal/ Netherlands Indymedia stands in court to face a lawsuit brought by German railway company Deutsche Bahn. Deutsche Bahn demands that Indymedia delete an archive page with links to sites that link through to two notorious articles on blocking nuclear transports. The articles give instructions in German on how to sabotage nuclear rail transports and were published in the 90s in German magazine Radikal. The links Deutsche Bahn wants to see removed from Indymedia.NL are part of reactions to an article on a previous lawsuit by the same company. It then forced internet provider XS4ALL to take down the original Radikal site, because it included the two articles which according to Deutsche Bahn "damaged their interests." In an attempt to limit traffic to the many mirror sites of the Radikal site that sprung up after the XS4ALL case, Deutsche Bahn is now targeting hyperlinks to these mirrors, because it knows it will not be able to remove the articles from the internet.

In the court hearing of June 4, Indymedia.NL argued that linking to sites outside its domain and server does not damage the business of Deutsche Bahn, let alone publishing links that are three clicks away from the 'damaging' content and require knowledge of the articles' whereabouts. The use of links is a basic principle of the internet and prohibiting them would lead to complete censorship of the internet community.

Verdict will be given June 20. Financial support to Indymedia.NL is very welcome.

More info and updates on IMC Netherlands

Worldwide Protest Meets ExxonMobil in Texas

13.06.2002 02:01

Stop Exxon banner The USA Campaign to Stop ExxonMobil kicked off with a festival of resistance at the corporation's shareholders' meeting in Dallas and a highway banner drop in Houston. Participants in the protest included Dallas-based Uproar, national organization Pressure Point, and the United Kingdom's Stop Esso group. There was also a counter-demonstration organized by the ExxonMobil-backed Citizens for a Sound Economy.

FBI LOSES: Jury Awards $4.4 Million To Bari and Cherney

12.06.2002 16:19

Victory outside Courthouse! The FBI loses! As Ashcroft plots the expansion of the American police state, a jury in Oakland has found the FBI at fault for attempting to frame environmental/labor activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney. Three senior agents from the FBI's terrorism squad, which worked with the Oakland Police Dept. collecting files on local political and activist groups, as well as three OPD officers were found liable for violating the Bari and Cherney's 1st and 4th amendment rights. "This verdict shows that activists are the target of the FBI and that reasonable people can see that, and they've awarded us huge damages because of that," says Earth First!er Alicia Littletree. Full details | Press release

The 10-person federal jury reached unanimous verdicts against 6 of the 7 defendants, but remains undecided on the claim surrounding Cherney's arrest and found no liability for the conspiracy claims, perhaps because evidence of COINTELPRO-style frameups was withheld by Judge Wilken. "We have more to appeal than they do," says plaintiff's attorney Dennis Cunningham, referring to withheld evidence and the six FBI agents dismissed from the case. Cherney summed it up to the press, "We argued this case with our hands tied and the jury blindfolded and we still won." Judi Bari v. FBI coverage from the San Francisco IMC.

Campesinos Demand Justice and Freedom

12.06.2002 02:35

Following the massacre of 26 peasants on May 31 in the municipality of San Pedro, the State Police of Oaxaca arrested 17 peasants from Las Huertas. The police did not restrain the violence, damaging and looting the houses. The operation caused great upheaval and the local community is protesting with vigils in front of the governor’s palace in the center of the city of Oaxaca. The community is demanding justice: "We came to the Governor's Palace to demand an accurate investigation by the government into the murders instead of arresting innocent people," said one of the demonstrators. This Sunday, June 16, the prisoners will start a hunger strike with no end date. Meanwhile, the community is organizing a march to Mexico City.

Le parlement européen impose le contrôle des communications

12.06.2002 02:27

Dans un retournement attendu, le parlement européen a voté (après avoir refusé deux fois au nom de la préservation de la vie privée) le project de directive concernant la rétention des données de communications téléphoniques et Internet. En clair, les opérateurs de télécommunication des 15 pays de l'Union devront conserver pendant une durée non précisée (et remettre à la police sur simple demande, SANS MANDAT JUDICIAIRE) TOUTES les informations concernant vos communications.

Anarchist Sit-In Keeps Fascists Out

12.06.2002 02:22

Smash Nazis On Saturday, June 8, anarchists and left groups sat-in in front of the statue of Alexander the Great in Thessaloniki at 14:00. At that area, the fascists of Golden Dawn were planning to do a happening. There were about 60 fascists, and 250-300 people in the preemptive group with the sit-in.

The city was full of police, which had surrounded the area around the statue and had also blocked central city streets. At the bookfair (which is next to the statue), some nationalistic book stands did not operate. The fascists finally met at a separate location and left under police protection at about 20:30. With their objective achieved, the antifascists moved through the city centre, in a demonstration.

During the demonstration, the police's special forces (MAT) attempted to provoke by pushing the demo, but they were forced back. During both the demo and the sit-in, many slogans were heard: «people don't forget; they will hang the fascists», «cops-TV- golden dawn- all bastards work together» «greek and foreign workers united, greek and foreign fascist hanged».

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