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Direct Actions Shake Blair

04.03.2001 21:43

More than a thousand farmers laid blockade to the House of Commons, protesting about their perilous financial situation, forcing Blair to enter the parliament via a back door under police escort. Police lines were torn down, riot squad & cavalry deployed and now a BBC agricultural TV presenter, Robin Page, appears to have been arrested. The government have made clear their intentions to smash the farmers like Thatcher did the miners in 1984

Settler Attacks on Palestinians Increasing

04.03.2001 21:43

Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have been steadily increasing in the past few weeks. These settlers have generally acted with impunity, as the Israeli military and court system historically have been reluctant to arrest, try, and punish settlers for violence they commit against Palestinian civilians. As a result, settlers are virtually free to carry out intimidation, assaults against people and property, and even murder against the Palestinian population.

Nazis Murder Activist in the Netherlands

04.03.2001 21:43

On Saturday 9 dec. 2000, Turkish human rights activists held a hunger strike next to the town hall of Rotterdam, The Netherlands, to protest against torture of political prisoners in Turkey. They were attacked by a violent gang of "Gray Wolves", Turkish extreme Rightists with links to the government of Turkey, who stabbed to death one person and severely wounded another one.
[ read more | belgium.indymedia.org ]

Riot Cops Beat Human Rights Activists

04.03.2001 21:43

The crackdown began hours after King Mohammed VI gave a televised address to coincide with UN Human Rights Day, in which he promised to build a constitutional and democratic monarchy. Batons were used to disperse hundreds of protestors from a banned Islamic group who had gathered outside parliament to mark United Nations Human Rights Day. A BBC correspondent in Rabat is reporting that dozens of protestors were beaten before being herded into buses where they were beaten again. Hundreds of arrests have been reported. This follows on the heels of violence used agaist people demonstrating for democracy on Saturday.

Micro Radio on Clinton's Desk

04.03.2001 21:43

National Public Radio and the National Association of Broadcasters failed to stop the FCC from implementing its modest Low Power FM service. But after months of intensive lobbying, NPR and the NAB convinced Congress to quietly kill the service, and prevent schools, libraries, community groups and local government from operating low watt stations. The extent of Congressional meddling into the technical affairs of the FCC is unprecedented, and proves that the public has indeed lost all control over the "public" airwaves.
[ read more | center for democratic communications | prometheus radio project | free radio berkley ]

Time Drawing Tight for Peltier

04.03.2001 21:43

President Clinton has publicly confirmed that Leonard's clemency petition has reached his office, and that it will be decided one way or the other in the very near future. A decision must be made before Clinton leaves office- with Bush Jr. taking the office, Peltier stands no chance of Clemency. Amnesty International considers Peltier to be a political prisoner who should be immediately and unconditionally released. The FBI demonstrated and worked against his request for clemency. A former FBI agent opposed the FBI's overt politicking. Marches in support of Peltier occurred around the country, including New York City. Listen to a Twin Cities IMC produced audio documentary on the Minneapolis actions here. Supporters are urging every one to call the White House at: 1-202-456-1414
[ freepeltier.org | fbi marches | imc-minneapolis ]

Nuclear Accidents Continue

04.03.2001 21:43

The near reactor meltdown aboard Britain's submarine HMS Tireless, its spill of radioactive cooling water into the Mediterranean, and a risky, experimental and possibly illegal repair operation in a densely populated area, have brought thousands of outraged Gibraltar and Spanish residents into the streets. read more

Earlier this week, a leaky valve at the Beaver Valley Power Station, PA, USA, spilled highly radioactive water onto a concrete floor Monday, forcing the shutdown of the plant's No. 2 reactor and prompting a low-level emergency. The approximately 6,500 gallons of water remained within the four-foot thick walls of the reactor containment building, according to a spokesman for the plant's owner. The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump, where all nuclear waste in the US is supposed to be stored, is still on track, despite environmental and safety concerns. All this comes as operators shut down the Chernobyl nuclear power plant with the flip of a switch Friday, closing the facility for good 14 years after it spawned the world's worst nuclear accident.
[ read more ]

Polish Police Attack Nurses

04.03.2001 21:43

Today about 1000 nurses, who were blocking one of the main streets in Warsaw, were violently attacked by police. Nurses are fighting for an increase in their low wages. Nurses took to the streets today, forming several blockades, occupying the Ministry of Health, and starting strikes throughout Poland.

Bush Claims American Presidency

04.03.2001 21:43

After more than a month of election uncertainty, George Bush Jr. has finally announced himself president. With the decision by the US Supreme Court on the vote counting, and Gore's concession, questions about racism and Jim Crow Justices have been pushed aside. Jesse Jackson and other Black leadership are calling for a radicalization of the Black Vote. Others are pointing to this process is the final indicator that, indeed, our notions of just what democracy looks like are becoming clear. The effects of Bush's presidency are far beyond the partisanship that plagues US politics. There is fear that the Green Party might face greater struggles because of this election cycle. Some are calling to look at the bright side of things, suggesting that there may be a silver lining. Mobilization for the inauguration protests has already begun.

Palestinian Refugees: Israeli Hypocricy

04.03.2001 21:43

by Irit Katriel of IMC-Israel
It is almost ironic that the Israeli demand for a renunciation of the right of return comes up at a time when a new flow of Palestinian refugees is created, and that the alleged offer to evacuate the Gaza strip is made while great efforts are underway to enlarge the existing settlements at the expense of Palestinian homes and lands...

Cineak Cultural Center Faces Eviction

04.03.2001 21:43

Eight days ago, the inhabitants of Amsterdam squatted the building left vacant for over a year by the departure of the local franchise of the "Planet Hollywood". An autonomous cultural center, Cineak, was established in the newly reclaimed space. Today, the center held the first event of its planned program of free cultural activities, but the public screening of two films was marred by the announcement that Cineak is slated for eviction in the morning.

Deaths at the Hands of Chinese Police

04.03.2001 21:43

Paramilitary police have opened fire on a crowd of angry Muslims in eastern China, injuring dozens of protesters and possibly killing some. The clash, in a small town in the province of Shandong, followed riots by several hundred members of the Muslim community there. In Muang district, Hundreds of protesters ended a four-day road blockade yesterday after authorities agreed to consider demands made after the fatal shooting of a teenager by naval officers. On Tuesday, more than 200 angry villagers from the Cape Panwa area began blocking a road in front of the Third Fleet headquarters in protest over the death of Madas Hasap, 16, who they said was shot by four non-commissioned officers from the Third Fleet.
[ road blockades | chinese paramilitary ]

G8 Environment Ministers Meet Amid Protests in Triste, Italy

04.03.2001 03:45

Protests surround the G8 Environment ministers in their first meeting since the US scuttled COP 6 in The Hauge last November. 10,000 activists took to the streets demanding real substantive measures be taken to curb global climate change before it's too late. They were met by over 3,000 police who blocked many streets to protect the elite gathering. The protesters demands for a proactive global environmental policy included rejection of polution quotas and radical change in the multinational financial institutions and corporations which have become the dominate power brokers in the era of globalization. IMC Italia partner Radio Fragola in Triste has coverage of the protests. There is also coverage from vaikuttava tietotoimisto (IMC Finland).

World Economic Forum Under Fire Again

01.03.2001 17:00

The World Economic Fourm was met by demonstrations once again, this time in Cancun. From the S11 protests in Austrialia to the ski-town of Davos and now in Cancun, everywhere that the WEF tries to meet, they encounter intense protest.

Buses carrying the protesters to Cancun were stopped at a checkpoint. Some passengers were held for five hours and had their belongings thoroughly searched. The police stopped one of the buses that was traveling alone and confiscated everything on board: banners, paints, and masks for the artistic carnival; tires and helmets to be used as protection against police brutality; and the travelers' food and clothing.

Until shortly before 16:00, the demonstrations had experienced little confrontation with the police. Protestors effectively blockaded a main road to the hotel strip where the WEF was meeting. But when locals started mixing with the protesters, the police moved in on the surprised crowds taking 10 to 20 (maybe even more) prisoners, firing gas and beating people who were laying on the ground covered in blood.

Zapatistas Begin Caravan to Mexico City

25.02.2001 15:51

From February 25 to March 11 a delegation from Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) and hundreds of supporters from all over the world are marching from Chiapas to Mexico City, bringing the seven years of Zapatista struggle to the center of Mexican political power.

The EZLN has decided to send a delegation to Mexico City to meet with the new Mexican adminsitration. The EZLN has announced its intention in several communiques. 24 Commandantes from the General Command of the EZLN left Chiapas for Mexico City on February 25, in order to bring the agreed legislative proposal which reflects the San Andres Accords to the Mexican Congress. The 'caravan' will cross through the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz, Tlaxcala, Hidalgo, Quere'taro, Michoaca'n, the State of Mexico and Morelos, and ending in Mexico City. A delegation of up to 600 Italians and group from the US, Switzerland, Spain, Argentina and France, amongst others, will be accompanying the EZLN commanders.
more background information in french

Tanzanian Government Worried Unrest May Hurt Reputation With Global Donors

22.02.2001 06:15

The last month has been tense and violent on the semi-autonomous Tanzanian island, Zanzibar, as thousands of Zanzibaris have taken to the streets to question the legitimacy of the nation’s October 29, 2000, elections. On February 11, ten thousand supporters of the Civic United Front, opposition to Tanzania’s ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party, which holds power on the mainland and in the islands of Zanzibar, rallied on Unguja, Zanzibar’s largest island, to call for a new constitution. The rally followed a bloody January 27 protest on the island during which government troops massacred over sixty participants in an "illegal" demonstration. Most recently, on February 19, machete-wielding assailants killed Rashid Omar Ali, local secretary of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi party.

President Benjamin Mkapa, who was attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, supporting a proposal by several African leaders to work in equal partnership with international lending institutions in order to economically develop the African continent, at the time of the January 27 massacre, has expressed public concern that the actions of his government will arouse the attention of human rights organizations, which in turn may threaten Tanzania’s chance of obtaining international loans. He is especially concerned with the country’s reputation because on February 23, he and several other African heads of state will begin a three day summit in Dar Es Salaam with Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Horst Köhler, and World Bank President, James Wolfensohn. According to the International Monetary Fund, Tanzania has been a successful example of its ability to increase economic growth (up to a rate of 4.7 percent in 1999) while eliminating poverty through "Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility" plans and debt reduction. Critics accuse the IMF’s loans and Structural Adjustment Programs of turning the East African nation into a country that must reduce public expenditures to its 32 million citizens, nearly sixty percent of whom live on less than two US dollars a day, in order to maintain a business environment that continues to attract multi-million dollar loans and international investment.

South Korean Workers Struggle Against Layoffs

22.02.2001 06:02

South Korean workers face riot police Daewoo Motor workers clashed with police in South Korea this week, as 1,500 protesters outside the Daewoo plant in Bupyong - about 30km west of Seoul, tried to force their way inside to join a sit-in of three hundred workers. Approximately 2,000 riot police blocked the entrance of plant but several outside protesters did manage to slip in. The sit-in began after the bankrupt business notified 1,751 workers that they were fired because of a restructuring plan intended to make the ailing auto maker an attractive purchase for General Motors. The clash is yet another in a series of violent episodes between police and Daewoo workers that has occurred since Daewoo collapsed during the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis. In Seoul on Monday 34 Daewoo Group executives and accountants, including Chang Byong-joo, former president of Daewoo Corp., were indicted for being involved in a multibillion slush fund. According to the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KTCU), a militant umbrella group of trade unions that together boast about 600,000 members, "Daewoo Motor's mass layoffs, which was the largest-ever, was the result of the Kim Dae-Jung government's neo-liberalistic economic restructuring that demands sacrifice only from workers.”

The continuing Daewoo struggle represents the fundamental shift in Korea’s economy since it crashed in 1997-98. To soothe the crisis, the International Monetary Fund offered to loan South Korea approximately USD $21 billion. In exchange, the government of former dissident Kim Dae-Jung agreed to the IMF’s economic restructuring program. The IMF has since heralded its South Korean loans as a stunning success. Currently the South Korean economy is growing at approximately 9%, but analysts worry that South Korea is still not streamlining its economy enough, even though unemployment has soared to at least 4%, a number well above pre-crisis levels, when South Koreans used to be able to rely on lifetime employment. KCTU officials predict the nation will face several hundred thousand layoffs if the government continues to follow IMF prescriptions; the union pledges to fight those layoffs, and the international globalization ("segyehwa") they represent, through strikes, protests and by whatever means necessary. In the words of union leader Kim Il-sup, "We've nothing more to lose, what can we do but protest?"

Activists in Istanbul Face G20 Finance Officials

22.02.2001 05:53

Turkish anarchists face G20 summit Earlier this week Turkish anti-globalization critics struggled with police outside of the Hyatt Hotel in Istanbul that was hosting a meeting of finance officials from twenty of the world’s industrialized nations, as well as representatives from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Turkey’s Anatolia News Agency reported that protesters shouted "No to globalized capitalism and the IMF!" before being arrested by police. Turkish police detained forty demonstrators.

The protesters called the world’s attention not only to the broader issues of globalization, but to its devastating effect on the Turkish economy. This week Turkey’s Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit announced emergency measures in order to save the nation’s economy, which has been nearing collapse. As recently as December IMF Managing Director Horst Köhler lauded the IMF’s USD $11 billion loan package to Turkey, praising Ecevit for his "resolve and leadership in overcoming Turkey’s current economic and financial problems," by developing a program that "builds on the achievements made so far in disinflation and fiscal consolidation and moves forward decisively the country’s structural reform and privatization agenda." Human Rights Watch condemned Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, in office since 1998 as head of a coalition of the extreme right wing National Action Party (MHP) and the center right ANAP (Motherland Party), for his lack of resolve and leadership by not fulfilling a promise to improve the nation’s dismal human rights record.

Human Genome Mapped . . . and Sold to the Highest Bidder?

17.02.2001 13:26

DNA for sale? Earlier this week geneticists from the Human Genome Project, an international research initiative funded by an array of government and foundation sources -- (the British wing, for example, was substantially funded by The Wellcome Trust, which claims independence from, but has a 4.7% holding in, the Glaxo Wellcome pharmaceutical company) -- announced that they have mapped the approximately thirty thousand genes that comprise human DNA. Scientists and the media are trumpeting the achievement as a milestone in human genetic science, likely to result in genetic cures for an infinite number of diseases. Biotechnology corporations are salivating over the money they hope to make from the sale of those cures.

In the last 20 years the United States government has consistently affirmed the corporate right to ownership of genetic sequences. During the 1980s the U.S. government removed all legal barriers to patenting human genetic information, and in the '90s pushed similar policies through international trade bodies like the WTO. Under the TRIPS</ A> agreements - long criticized for their deadly limitations on the use of patented medications - other countries must recognize many biotech patents or face penalties for restricting free trade. During the '90s research teams from biotech research corporations ("biopirates") scoured remote parts of the globe for patentable genetic material, which they found primarily in indigenous species and indigenous peoples. Many of these donors did not suspect their bodies were being exploited for profit. The cruel irony is that, while the goal of such research is to develop drugs to treat diseases to which these peoples are susceptible, the TRIPS agreements ensure that such drugs will never reach them. Critics of genetic profiteering, such as the those who participated in the 1999 "Biodevastation" conference in Boston, USA, covered extensively by the Boston IMC, have begun to publicly challenge governments' and corporations' appropriation of human material for financial gain.

US Imperialism in Colombia under Guise of Drug War

11.02.2001 19:56

Colombia has one of the worst human rights record in Latin America U.S. government leaders portray Plan Colombia, the $1.3 Billion United States military aid package to the South American country of Colombia, as essential to winning the "War on Drugs." To eliminate the supply of drugs, they contend, the U.S. military must support the Colombian army so it may increase attacks in the regions under control of the FARC rebels – eliminating the rebel forces to "stabilize" Colombia and make it "safe for democracy" -- and it must also embark upon massive chemical and biological warfare campaigns such as spraying with a Monsanto herbicide glyphosate, "Roundup," and fumigation with the potentially devastating fungus Fusarium Oxysporum to eradicate any crops that could be made into illegal drugs. Critics contend that the Plan has little, if anything, to do with eliminating the supply of drugs. Rather, they accuse the Plan of being a plot to ravage the Colombian population while bolstering the nation's elite, keeping Colombia's politicians under U.S. control so they will continue to give U.S. corporations easy access to Colombian natural resources. The Plan also supports corporations like United Technologies, Sikorsky and Rockwell that produce the high tech weapons, such as forty-two Huey and eighteen Blackhawk helicopters the Plan will require. According to Doug Morris, co-director of the David Anderson Center for Peace and Justice, "Drugs are not the problem in Colombia. The problem is poverty, inequality, insufficient land reform, corruption and violence, much of it rooted in longstanding U.S. economic, political and military policies."

From IMC-France:
Financé par le FMI, le Plan Colombie est un programme de guerre "anti-drogue" et de "renforcement de l’Etat" dicté par le gouvernement des Etats-Unis. Ceux-ci offrent $1,6 milliard en armes (américaines évidemment). L’Europe est sollicitée pour apporter $4 milliards en aide "civile" (camps pour les populations déplacées, etc.). La part des Colombiens seraient de $4 milliards. La Colombie étant déjà hautement endettée, la somme sera prêtée par le Fonds Monétaire International en échange d’un nouveau “ plan d’ajustement structurel ” (privatisations, etc.) ! Les Colombiens devraient ainsi vendre leur pays pour financer sa mise en pièces. [suite]

-- Indymedia va suivre pas à pas l'évolution du Plan Colombie et sa contestation :
-- Le Plan Colombie des Etats-Unis, stratégie pour livrer une guerre aérienne du style Kosovo. Les Etats-Unis créent un réseau de bases militaires pour leur hégémonie militaire... [suite]
-- Sous couvert de lutte contre le narcotrafic, les Etats-Unis préparent une attaque en règle contre les organisations armées et de la gauche colombiennes, ainsi qu'une mise en œuvre musclée des programmes d'austérité dictés par le FMI. [suite]
-- Dans une interview exclusive, le célèbre Noam Chomsky commente l'intervention des Etats-Unis en Colombie ... [suite]

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