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Activists Reflect on Friday's Action

28.09.2002 19:18

As the second day of the World Bank/IMF actions in Washington D.C. takes hold, many activists are reflecting on yesterdays events. Was it a success? Was there too much emphasis on arrests? Isn't there a need for more constructive action and new approaches? While a proactive stance is an integral part the global justice movement, surely such actions draw new participants, and create deliberation in the community, as well as in both the dominant and independent media.

Of course, the corporate media's coverage was as predictable as what emanated from right-wing propaganda organs, but some activists felt they heard fair-minded reporting even from those quarters. Even so, how much actual analysis of international financial institutions does one find in the corporate media? Where does the public go to learn about the reasons their neighbors go to Washington to demonstrate? Will they find answers in satire?

As reports of a solidarity march in Boston, and statements of support come in [ 1 | 2 ], activists prepare for another day of struggle against the machine of corporate globalization.

ILWU Workers Barred from Ports

28.09.2002 07:38

Shipping bosses from the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) have locked out the International Longshore Workers Union (ILWU) from working through Sunday, September 29. This sudden move by the PMA goes against any semblance of honest bargaining, and is retaliation for the union's contract demands. ILWU negotiators consider this action as a deliberate attempt to attack unions and the U.S. economy.

"Miniace showed the same disrespect for the union he has since the beginning of these talks," ILWU International President James Spinosa said. "He is unilaterally taking the action of closing all ports and bears full responsibility for its effects on the American economy."

Shipping will come to a standstill as the ports become silent under the lockout. This will only further hurt working Americans that have toiled through unrelenting pressures from terrorism to an economic downturn, brought on by the policies of capitalist elite running the White House. The lockout comes during a record peak shipping season, made worse by the PMA's recommendation that shippers move up scheduled cargo deliveries, forcing the ILWU to push the limits of safety. Dockworkers are calling on other workers to come to their assistance, and provide solidarity and mutual aid, and Jobs With Justice is organizing protests at retail affiliates of the PMA in Portland.

More information is available from Portworker Solidarity 2002, Friends of Labor, and past global Indymedia coverage: [ Aug 12 | Jun 30 ].

Day One: Liberty Shackled in Freedom Plaza

28.09.2002 06:51

Photo taken of peaceful demonstrators during permitted demonstration in Pershing Square, shortly before their mass arrest. Notice the presence of legal observers and members of both the independent and mainstream media, who were amongst the diverse group "The Peoples' Strike" dawned early [ galleries 1 & 2 | individual shots: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 ] on the morning of Friday, September 27, and became an event marked by a stunning attack on the freedoms of speech and assembly upon persons voicing opposition to global feudalism and endless war. Through the course of the day, the DC Metropolitan Police Department detained and arrested 649 persons, including legal observers, medics, corporate and independent reporters, and general public. These illegal arrests, the vast majority pre-emptive in nature, were targeted specifically at silencing dissent, and represent another drop in the plummeting status of civil liberties in the United States.

Some 350 demonstrators were arrested in Pershing Square [ gallery | individual shots: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 ] after being pushed by police from Freedom Plaza without cause, while a 200 person snake march was enveloped [ gallery | 1 | 2 | 1 | 2 | 3 ] by police at Vermont and K Sts. Various other small groups of persons were collected in the sweeps, with most completed by mid-morning. The arrests were oftentimes conducted forcefully against protestors, with those arrested collected [ 1 ] into buses and oftentimes left for hours. Processing was conducted at numerous sites in the D.C. area, and many detainees conducted jail solidarity. Many persons have been released as of early Saturday morning, and plans have been made for a civil liberties protest in addition to the planned quarantine and other actions.

A minute-by-minute report of the day's events is available here: [ 5:30 am | 6:00 am - 7:15 am | 7:00 am - 8:30 am | 8:30 am - 9:45 am | 9:56 am - 11:30 am | 10:40 am - 8:40 pm | 6:40 pm - 3:12 am, Sep 28 ].

Further accounts of protest and arrest experiences on September 27:
Denied the Right to Dance
Father Tim Duncan discusses the protests as "a continuation of the abolitionist movement."
CKUT Radio: Confronting the World Bank & IMF
Pagan Cluster Arrested
Update from WB/IMF Protests
Photo gallery of snake march and Pershing Square mass arrests.
A View from Within
Proteste gegen IWF und Weltbank (de)

Further coverage is available from La Haine (es), IMC features from Portland, Richmond, Argentina (es), Italy (it), Brasil (pt), Germany (de), and past global Indymedia coverage [ Sep 27 | Sep 25 | Sep 23 | Sep 22 ].

Protests Against War in Iraq Building

27.09.2002 20:21

Stopping the war in London Saturday, September 28 sees the national 'Don't Attck Iraq - Justice for Palestine' demonstrations in London, with protestors converging from all points of Britain. Called by the Stop the War Coalition, the Muslim Association of Britain, and supported by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the march is expected to be the largest peace demonstrations in the nation since the 1960s, reflecting the widespread opposition to military action.

On September 26, as the peace camp [ 1 ] in front of the Imperial War Museum continues, activists took to the street of London in preparation for Saturday, touring the city with a large cardboard tank [ 1 | 2 ]. With masks of Bush and Blair, and carrying mock firearms and rocket launchers, they visited Parliament, Downing St., the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and an army recruitment exhibition. Meanwhile, reports have surfaced that the BBC has been pressured to limit coverage of anti-war events. Rejection of the Blair Dossier is spreading, as well, as there are more calls for Parliament to reject war.

Beyond the UK, protests against Bush and war in Iraq a continuing rapidly. A demonstration [ 1 ] in Portland, Maine against war in Iraq on Thursday ended in fourteen arrests. Meanwhile, Bush was met with protests again the same day in Houston, and on September 23 as he gathered campaign contriubtions for a Senate race in Trenton, New Jersey.

This swell of anti-Bush sentiment is building, as Bush was protested in Flagstaff, Phoenix, and by over 3,500 people in Denver [ 1 | 2 | 3 | audio ] today. Sit-ins for peace at congressional offices have been held in Seattle and the Twin Cities, while oil companies, the greatest beneficiaires of war in Iraq, are starting to get picketed. In Chicago, church parisioners are organizing for peace, while teach-ins and banner drops [ video ] build in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. Democracy Now! reports that Republican and Democratic Congressional offices are receiving overwhelming opposition to war from constituents. Large peace demonstrations are also planned for Saturday at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, while U.S.-wide peace actions are planned for the weekend of October 5-7.

More information is available from the Belgium and Seattle IMC features discussing more anti-war activism this weekend in the U.S. as well as in Rome, Paris, and Marseilles, and from past global Indymedia coverage [ Sep 26 | Sep 17 | Sep 14 | Aug 21 | Aug 16 | Jul 30 ].

Preparations Intensify on Eve of Protests

27.09.2002 07:49

Corporate Trojan Horse in front of World Bank building on September 26 Thursday, September 26 witnessed a broadening of the debate over the World Bank and IMF meetings and protests in Washington, DC, as well as police preparations for the weekend's demonstrations. Educational events were held across the city.

Activists from Chad, Cameroon, Senegal, South Africa, Colombia, Venezuela, Chiapas, Argentina, and elsewhere spoke all day to hundreds at a church to share stories of struggle and resistance to the two financial institutions. Panelists at the teach-in discussed what the IMF had meant to them personally as well as to their countries. Outside of the World Bank building in Murrow Park in the rainy morning, a Trojan Horse [ 1 | 1 | 2 ] was unveiled, representing the corporate invasion into developing nations in the guise of financial aid. Speakers at the rally denounced environmentally destructive oil, gas, and mining World Bank projects to the dripping and enthusiastic crowd. At the AFL-CIO headquarters, workers from the US and around the world offered personal accounts of working in a global economy that makes the world's rich richer while lowering the standard of living for working families. This Global Workers Forum was held in contrast to the global CEO summit meeting in conjuntion with the World Bank and IMF. Local anti-homelessness organizing is continuing, as well.

On the streets, there have been more signs that police are preparing to use force, possibly preemptively. Police are equipped with chemical munitions, fleets of vans have been deployed [ 1 ] and special rules are in place for the subway system, and fences [ 1 | 2 ] have been erected in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood around the institutions. More general police operations seem to be oriented around surveillance and the observation of assemblies of persons, including convergence spaces and meetings. There have also been reports of several arrests for minor offenses and random street questioning.

Corporate media coverage has been predictable, as one Wednesday column in the Washington Post was denounced as specious by activists, and juxtaposed against the 1773 Boston Tea Party. The IMF published a report on Wednesday forcasting continuing global economic woes, but continues to prescribe the same neo-liberal policies reponsible for the troubles. Preparations continue for futher protests and social forum programs [ 1 | 2 ] this weekend, while messages of solidarity from Canada and the west coast have been sent to activists preparing for the Peoples' Strike today.

More information is available en espanol and in previous global Indymedia features [ Sep 25 | Sep 22 ]. Full breaking coverage is available at the DC IMC.

Traditional Oneidas Fight Casino Kingpin to Remain on their Land

26.09.2002 19:45

Protest for Oneida Democracy As activists in the U.S. gear up for a weekend of protests against the World Bank and IMF, the continuing crisis at the Oneida reservation in central New York stands out as a story of homegrown neo-liberalism run amok. Since 1993, Harvard-educated Chief Ray Halbritter has usurped his people's traditional matrilineal political structure, installed an all-male governing council, closed the communal longhouse, built gas stations and casinos and hired an all-white private police force to terrorize traditional Oneida families who will not acquiesce to his vision of "progress". There's a diverse resistance movement as well fighting for Oneida democracy.

Meanwhile, capitalism's relentless assault on indigenous peoples also continues at Big Mountain, in Chiapas, and in Newe Segovia (Nevada), where Bureau of Land Management agents are cattle rustling and trying to confiscate vast tracts of mineral-rich Western Shoshone land for pennies per acre amid growing opposition. Meanwhile, after 510 years of conquest and plunder, organizers in Colorado are working to transform Columbus Day in several weeks into a celebration of resistance.

Opposition to War in Iraq Increasing in Britain

26.09.2002 12:09

'No War in Iraq' banner in front of Downing St. The Bush administration continues to pursue war with Iraq to secure a 'regime change' at any price. Military action is to be justified on the grounds of Iraq's supposed development of weapons of mass destruction, along with highly suspect allegations that the Iraqi regime has links with al Qaeda. Attacks on Iraqi military and civilian infrastructure by U.S. and British aircraft have increased in recent months, as well. Washington is rapidly finding itself isolated in this policy, aside from the unfailing support of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair who is himself increasingly isolated in the UK.

Protests against war in Iraq and years of sanctions [ video ] have been held in London for more than a month. On August 9, the Stop the War Coalition announced a broad-based demonstration in central London on Saturday, September 28 to oppose Blair's push for war, and organizing has been building since. In early August, the Westminster Council looked to evict a peace activist from his 11 month 'pavement protest' in Parliament Square, yet the vigil continues. On September 2, activists protested [ video ] in front of Downing St. A peace camp was set up [ 1 | 2 ] at the Imperial War Museum on Monday, September 23, and though threatened with eviction, will continue through the demonstrations on Saturday. On Tuesday, protests were held outside of Parliament against 'naked aggression' [ 1 | 2 ], and in support of MPs opposing Blair.

Beyond demonstrations, the peace movement in Britain continues gather momentum. Members of War Resisters' International are facing legal action over withholding the portion of their tax to be used to fund illegal aggression. Moreover, over 160 Labour Party backbench MPs have signed an Early Day Motion against attacking Iraq.

Iraq, via the United Nations, has promised unconditional access to weapons inspectors. The US, however, has dismissed the offer as a delaying tactic and remains determined to press ahead with military action, counting on pressuring international support. Inside the U.N. on Tuesday, delegates scrambled to slow the Bush Administration's seemingly relentless drive to war, but "in its efforts to adopt a new and responsive U.N. Security Council resolution, the U.N. is falling behind the U.S. schedule for [military] action." More are also concluding that oil [ pdf ] is the dominant factor behind the war drums. On September 24, Blair presented to Parliament a dossier (pdf) purporting justification for war. The dossier, however, contains very little new information, and has been criticized from nearly all quarters.

Direct action is planned at the forthcoming demonstration [ 1 ] on Saturday, and groups are making plans ranging from chants to an anti-captialist bloc.

Actions Begin as Police and Corporate Media Rhetoric Escalates

25.09.2002 15:57

IMF: Pack of Lies Protests have begun in DC as activists prepare for the major demonstrations against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on Friday and Saturday. At the same time, police and corporate media attention towards the event has emerged amid threats of preemptive arrests.

On the afternoon of September 23, the Washington D.C.-based corporate accountability organization Essential Action, held a press conference [ video ] outside the IMF headquarters. They presented their case against the deregulation of tobacco trade policies, which the IMF pushes upon developing nations such as Bulgaria, Mali, Djibouti, Peru, and Uganda among others, and leads to increased smoking rates and attendant health problems. The press conference was accompanied by a report detailing the IMF's disregard for the global public health. On September 24, a DC activist graced [ video ] a posh reception from outside the World Bank building. As the attendees ate and drank inside, she held up a sign reading "Eat the Rich" for attendees. Meanwhile, a Tent City in solidarity with the poor was established on Tuesday in NW DC.

The corporate media treats the grassroots opposition to global corporatism and U.S. foreign policy as a seasonal event, and has rarely reported that the movement originated in the "third world" decades ago. While airing clips of past demos and concentrating on specific points of violence quoted by police, it fails to address the specific grievances that demonstrators, NGO workers, and organizers present during their direct actions, teach-ins and lectures that frequently take place, peacefully, throughout the city during and leading up to major convergences. Though posted for months, DC media outlets and and global wire services have focused for several days on a web page hosted on a website edited by single individual. The page includes a mock scavenger hunt with points awarded for vandalism towards commercial property among other actions. This has been a long standing joke among some of the activist community and something seen in bad taste by many others. Meanwhile, in the face of the decentralized nature of the planned People's Strike on Friday, DC authorities have threatened preemptive arrests.

More information is available from previous global Indymedia coverage: [ Sep 23 | Sep 22 ].

Indymedia On Air This Week

24.09.2002 22:44

Indymedia On Air is a compilation show of IMC and allied audio from around the world, and is uploaded weekly to the global Indymedia newswire. The show is produced from the LA IMC. For the week of September 26, 2002:

Part One
- CKUT Montreal - Ibdaa refugee camp report
- Unwelcome Guests - Javier Sanchez and the Colombian community of San Jose de Portado
- LA IMC - Part 1 of Bronwyn Maldin's series of interviews with 3 African women on debt in the Global South

Part Two
- John Feelgood for Indymedia Netherlands and the Europe report
- IMC Houston reports on MOVE
- Community IMPACT with DC IMC, Youth Radio Documentary "The Way We Do" with youth on violence and police brutality

Part One of the show
Part Two of the show

Flotilla Actions Boosts Anti-Sellafield Organizing

24.09.2002 16:10

Nuclear Free Flotilla meets ships in Irish Sea On Monday, September 16, boats from Ireland, Wales, England and the Isle of Man joined the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior to meet two "lightly armed" British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) ships carrying 255 kg of Plutonium mixed oxide (MOX), enough to make 50 nuclear bombs. The two ships were completing an 18,000 mile voyage. The Pacific Pintail and Pacific Teal ended their journey from Japan where the fuel was rejected. With protest following the pair on every leg of the journey, they traveled via Australia's Tasmanian Sea, and around South Africa's Cape of Good Hope to the Irish Sea home to the Sellafield nuclear facility near Barrow.

The freighters were first spotted off the coast of Portugal while the flotilla [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 ] was assembling after weeks of preparation. After meeting in Holyhead, the flotilla split into two groups, one heading north to wait for the BNFL ships in Barrow, and the other heading south to meet the ships on the high seas. While the flotilla was preparing to deliver a message to the MOX ships, activists staged a land-based protest by chaining themselves to the roof of the Sellafield visitors center. Protestors contended that the ships were vulnerable to catastrophic accident or terrorist attack, which could lead to large-scale contamination of the marine environment and coastal communities, as well as high cancer rates around the plant. The Irish government condemned the shipment, and a group of forty persons organized by Gluaiseacht travelled to Sellafield to voice their opposition to the plant.

Recent weeks have seen huge difficulties for BNFL and the British nuclear industry. British Energy, Britain's main operator of nuclear power stations is effectively bankrupt, while BNFL's biggest customer for MOX, Tokyo Electric, was found to be falsifying safety data and has suspended its MOX program indefinitely.

The success of the flotilla action and the corporate media attention it generated has highlighted the problems that BNFL is facing and has boosted the spirits of anti-Sellafield activists. Further actions are being discussed and planned, and the struggle against Sellafield and the British nuclear industry is likely to intensify in the months ahead. More information is available in the global Indymedia June 8 feature.

Global Justice Movement Gears Up for D.C.

24.09.2002 01:05

Earth and Fist "What ever happened to the 'anti-globalization' movement?" has been a common refrain heard from corporate media outlets for more than a year. At the end of the week, activists hope to set the answer straight by staging another round of major World Bank and International Monetary Fund protests in Washington, DC. Some consider the protests an opportunity for the global justice movement amid the continuing corporate implosion.

Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and the subsequent war in Afghanistan and on civil liberties throughout the world, obituaries on the first planet-wide movement for human rights appeared consistently in the corporate media. Despite such pronouncements, the global justice movement has expanded in both breadth and depth over the last year, particularly outside of North America. In the last year, hundreds of thousands of persons have demonstrated against neoliberalism and war multiple times in Europe, the first stirrings of anti-WTO sentiment have begun in China, anti-corporate organzing has grown in India, the first global justice protests have been held in Russia, the WSSD three weeks ago in Johannesburg sparked the movement in South Africa, and there has been a wholesale rejection of neoliberalism across Latin America. Now, more than a year after the G8 protests Genoa, and months after their follow-up [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ] in Kananaskis, Alberta, the most visible expression of the global justice movement in the Global North will be in DC.

In late July, the UK Observer dedicated a special section on the future of global protest, noting many of the major protests in the Global North ignored by the dominant media, many of which are listed in Global Watch. Moreover, in the wake of the corporate implosion recently obscured by war talk from the Bush regime, a Seattle Post-Intelligence piece from July noted how "WTO Protesters Appear Prophetic". In that month's Indypendent, Starhawk offered a strategic vision of what lies ahead for the global justice movement.

Against the backdrop of a US administration jockeying for war on Iraq, the IMF and World Bank meetings will be met by global justice activists seeking to facilitate an end to the policies that have guided these institutions, resulting in poverty, ecological devastation and world wide war. In a "post-9/11 environment," many minorities and activist groups see their freedom of speech, freedom to associate and other rights are threatened by the very government created to protect and promote such freedoms. Some make it clear that they see a connection between authoritarian economic policy and the so-called wars on terrorism and drugs and the aid they bring to paramilitary groups and occupying military forces throughout the world from the United States. As drumbeats for war in Iraq coming from the Bush regime, most of Congress, and the corporate media grow louder, some activists are urging the global justice movement to fuse a strong anti-war message with its criticism of corporate globalization.

Annual World Bank and IMF Meetings to Be Met with Grassroots Opposition

23.09.2002 03:54

'Liberty' by Mike Flugenock The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be faced with demonstrators in one week, despite crack-downs on civil rights following 9/11 and dominant media parroting of status quo interests. The World Bank and IMF are holding their annual meetings in Washington D.C. on September 28 and 29. They will be discussing their development plans and global investment strategy for the coming year under shaky geopolitical conditions. A World Bank report prepared for the Johannesbug summit warns, "environmental problems and social unrest threaten international poverty reduction goals."

Protestors blame the financial institutions' support of unregulated transnational corporate investment for compounding the environmental problems, and say the social unrest is in direct response to "structural adjustment programs" and other austerity devices imposed by the institutions upon debtor nations. Both institutions are controlled by, and on behalf of elite wealthy interests, and operate though 'one dollar equals one vote.'

The meetings will be met with a local, national, and international response, coordinated very loosely through numerous groups. The Anti-Capitalist Convergence (ACC) [ Call to Action ], Jubilee USA [ Proclaimation ], 50 Years Is Enough [ Platform ], the World Bank Bonds Boycott group, and the Mobilization for Global Justice (MGJ) [ Demands ] are among the groups that have made calls. They are organized to effect opposition and educate persons regarding the effects the institutions' policies have on the planet's populations and resources. A variety of events, direct actions, vigils, teach-ins and lectures, have been planned throughout the city.

Demonstrators demand the dropping of Third World debt, the dissolution of corporate captured groups and agreements including the World Bank, IMF, and WTO, the subordination of international trade policies to democratic controls and transparency, and that local, native, and indigenous peoples regain sovereignty over their resources. A common theme is the desire for sustainable economies and social structures with genuinely democratic qualities that operate at a scale that the environment can sustain.

Vigilers Confront Former Union Carbide CEO Outside Long Island Mansion

21.09.2002 17:19

Diane Wilson confronts Warren Anderson and wife Eighteen years after Bhopal, a representative of Greenpeace following an investigation by a British newspaper, tracked down former Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson in mid-August. He has been in hiding, living in luxury in the wealthy Long Island community of Bridgehampton, which is about 75 miles east of New York City.

Anderson has been facing charges of culpable homicide and an extradition order from the government of India for the past 11 years for his culpability in the 1984 Bhopal plant explosion. He has never appeared in court to face charges for crimes in Bhopal or even to explain why his company did not apply the same safety standards at its plant in India that it did at a sister plant in West Virginia. On August 29, the Bhopal District Court rejected an application to reduce outstanding criminal charges against Mr Anderson and called on the Indian government in the sternest language to move immediately for the extradition of Anderson from the U.S.

Vigilers gathered on September 13 outside the U.N. to demand Anderson's extradition before journeying to the home of the elusive executive. Since then, Diane Wilson and others have held a vigil outside Anderson's home.  They have enjoyed global support for this action, as well as a mixed reaction in Bridgehampton. Besides confronting Anderson, they have been harassed by police and heckled by neighbors, including producer Don Hewitt of 60 Minutes.

More information is available from past global Indymedia coverage [ Sep 16 | Jul 9 ].

Evictions, Cattle Prods, and the New Apartheid

20.09.2002 20:18

Sebokeng has joined Khayelitsha and Thembelihle in the Cape Town area in the wave of evictions. On Wednesday, September 11, 6000 people were evicted from a privatized hostel - an Apartheid-era worker dormitory - in which families had been living since 1977. On Thursday evening, at a meeting attended by evicted residents and members of the Anti-Privatisation Forum, a decision was taken to reoccupy the hostel. During the reoccupation on Friday, one woman was shot in both legs by South African police. On Saturday, when 'Red Ants' from Wozani Security, a private firm, attempted to re-evict the families living in the hostel, four people were shot, including a security guard who guard died on the scene.

The eviction order came on the order of Vicva Investment, owner of the building. This opened the door for the deployment Wozani Security, specialists in mass evictions. Three Vicva Investment shareholders are also ANC local councilors.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, September 18, 100 residents of Mandela Park appeared at court to support Anti-Eviction Campaign and labor activist Max Ntanyana. Ten Mandela Park residents, some of whom are also activists from the AEC, appeared in court as well on charges of public violence and malicious damage to property. These charges came from July 8, when police and Mandela Park residents clashed after the sheriff repossessed a woman's furniture. Dozens of police were deployed, and during the standoff, another AEC member was arrested. Supporters were later beaten out of the packed courthouse with cattle prods. Disquiet remained in Mandela Park on Thursday.

The 'rainbow nation' has called on the same tactics as the apartheid state in suppressing dissent. Throughout South Africa, continuing legal and violent attacks, coupled with a high level of state surveillance on social movements after the WSSD are beginning to seriously strain [ 1 | 2 ] the country's social movements as the battle against neoliberalism builds in the Global South. There is a growing feeling among South African activists that by adopting similar strategies used against Apartheid, they will realize their goals. This means informing international civil society of the actions of the (post-)apartheid South African government, and inspiring an uprising of conscience in the Global North. Already, a solidarity [ 1 ] protest was held in Toronto on September 16.

More information can be found in past global Indymedia coverage : [ Sep 16 | Sep 13 | Sep 9 | Jun 29 ].

WEF Protested in Salzburg and Across Europe

20.09.2002 14:21

&quot;You Can't Lock Us Out Forever&quot; Protests were held across Europe over the last week, focusing upon World Economic Forum meetings in Salzburg, Austria. On Friday, September 13, a 'Battle at the Bridge' [ 1 ] was held in the center of the city. On Saturday, a rally was held [ 1 | 2 | 3 | video ] in support of migrant workers' rights. Under the banner of "No Person is Illegal", nearly 1,000 demonstrators marched through the streets of Salzburg. Beginning downtown at the central train station, the march proceeded to the Mozart memorial and park, where speakers denounced the WEF and its relationship to the growing political trend against "illegals", migrant and refugee workers forced from their homes by war and hunger, and traditionally welcomed in Europe. The protests were marked by an overwhelming police presence, intolerance of dissent, and a Schengen border clampdown caused [ 1 ] massive traffic jams at the German border and preventing the entry of hundreds.

On Sunday, September 15, the major protests [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | video ] were held, with about 5,000 people gathering to demonstrate. This march, sponsored by the Salzburg Social Forum, antiWEF.org and ATTAC had been declared a non-confrontational march, and march (en/es), after winding through the city, finished at the Volksgarten, and featured speeches and music [ video ].

About 100 demonstrators gathered on Monday [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] in the center of the city for street theater to show contempt for the policies of the WEF. As the summit began on Monday, protesters hoped summit participants would actually see the demonstrations, instead of hiding in the prohibited zone. They subsequently set off on an unscheduled and unpermitted snake march through the city.

Solidarity protests focusing on the WEF and threats of war were held throughout (de) Europe on September 14. Solidarity with Salzburg demonstrations were held in Bern, Switzerland [ 1 ] (de), while 40,000 marched [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ] in Cologne, Germany. Other protests were held in Berlin, Moscow, and 500,000 protested [ 1 | 2 ] Italian PM Berlusconi in Rome.

More information is available from reports from the global Indymedia September 13 feature, the Germany IMC [ Pre| Post ] (de), IMC Print reports [ 1 | 2 ] about the demonstrations, and numerous audio and print reports from imc.subnet.at.

As Mobilization Nears, Coverage in Six Languages

19.09.2002 21:17

El pueblo en las calles construye su... It has been 9 months since the revolt of December 19 and 20 [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ] (es) and Argentina is still dancing the tango of economic crisis and popular uprising.

The IMF continues to press the country to apply their economic rules. The politicians continue to be rejected by the people, and the call for presidential elections doesn't even convince 20 percent of the population. The economic crisis advances and more than half of the population now lives below the poverty line.

The people have sustained nine months of rebellion. The liberated factories are solidly administered by the workers [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ] (es). The "asambleas" occupy local buildings and continue to practice popular democracy [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ] (es). The jobless and landless "desocupados" block roads and build dining rooms and other projects to combat hunger [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ] (es).

On Friday, September 20, thousands will mark nine months since December 20 by again mobilizing in the streets. Preparing for that mobilization, Indymedia Argentina will offer webcasts in six languages: Francais, English, Italiano, Hebrew, Deutsch and Spanish. The transmission, organized by Indymedia Argentina along with Indymedia activists from several other countries, will be heard around the world. There will also be a chat channel to allow for questions and comments. For information regarding schedules of transmission in each language, to listen to the radio, or to participate in the chat, please go here.

Past global Indymedia coverage of the Argentine reversal of neoliberalism: [ August 28 | August 11 | August 3 | July 26 | July 10 | July 4 | June 26-b | June 26-a | April 28 | February 15 | December 29, 2001 | December 19, 2001 ]

Global Peace Movement Growing

19.09.2002 11:53

Hands holding candle at peace vigil in Washington Square Park, NYC, 09/10/02 More than a week after the one year aniversary of the September 11 attacks, the global movement for peace is growing. In New York City, peace actions were held leading up and through last Wednesday. On September 8, thousands gathered in Times Square and marched [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] down Broadway to Union Square. On September 10, a peace vigil [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] in Washington Square Park intended to continue through the night was shut down by police amid confrontation.  Numerous events for peace were held throughout the city on the aniversary itself amid 'official' commemorations [ 1 | 2 ].  A mass 'lie down' [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] was held in Union Square, the Surveillance Camera Players held a performance in Times Square, and a peace celebration was held at St. Mark's Church in the Bowery.

While Bush and the corporate media focused upon 'homeland security' and talk of war, peace actions were held across the U.S.  In California, over 1500 gathered [ 1 | 2 | audio | video ] in San Francisco, thousands gathered at UC-Berkeley [ 1 ], and elsewhere [ 1 | 2 | video ] in the Bay Area, while thousands gathered in Los Angeles [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 ].

Elsewhere, people gathered for peace in Ann Arbor, MI, Atlanta, Rochester, NY, Camden, ME, Eugene, OR [ 1 | 2 ], Ashland, OR, San Diego, Madison, Urbana-Champaign [ 1 | 2 ], Santa Monica [ 1 | 2 ], Baltimore, Fredericton, NB, and Wellington, New Zealand [ 1 | 2 ] among other places. Others reflected [ 1 | audio ] upon the aniversary of September 11, 1973, when Chilean President Salvador Allende was overthrown in a U.S.-backed coup, and thousands killed.

As Bush's push for war is stalling in the UN, momentum is growing, as peace actions were held on September 14 in San Francisco, Fresno, and Detroit, while Bush continues to be protested across the U.S., most lately in Nashville on September 17.

More information is available in an analysis of the 9/11 legacy from the UK IMC, a report on the growth of the peace movement in Australia, oorlog en vrede na 11.09 (fr/nl) from the Belguim IMC, reports from the NYC and LA IMCs, Indymedia on Air audio [ 1 | 2 ], and past global Indymedia coverage; September 11, 2002 in New York City and A Global Cry for Peace.

Media and Tech Activists in U.S. Spearhead 'Computers for Ecuador'

18.09.2002 12:49

Organizing computers in San Francisco Media and tech activists in the San Francisco Bay area and Portland, Oregon are collecting, assembling, and testing [ video ] 300 computers to be shipped to Ecuador in time for upcoming anti-FTAA/ALCA protests at a Free Trade Area of the Americas ministerial in late October. The computers and other resources have been donated by the Alameda County Computer Resource Center of Oakland, California and Free Geek of Portland.

The computers are machines that most people in the U.S. consider too old and slow, but with the Linux operating system installed, they will be useful for independent media centers, schools, labor organizers, and social and environmental groups. Additionally, this project is increasing the life of equipment that would otherwise become toxic waste in U.S. landfills or Asian villages. Plans are in the works for future shipments to Colombia, Argentina, and Brasil.

The Computers for Ecuador project still needs money to cover the cost of shipment. Donations can be made through a paypal account [ Donate ].

The Grand Chessboard and Black Gold

17.09.2002 21:30

Oil Pump History has shown that wars are, more often than not, fought over resources and territory. In the rhentoric of world dominance emanating from Washington, "national intrest" is often a code word for access to fossil fuels, the life-blood of the Western world.

While some observers deny that securing potential oil or gas pipelines was high on the Bush administration's agenda for invading Afghanistan (a position refuted by others and perhaps by common sense), there's little doubt that unfettered access to Iraq's rich oil reserves is one of the prime unspoken motives of the present campaign to invade Iraq. Some sources believe Iraq may actually have more oil than Saudi Arabia, another potential U.S. target.

Some Democratic U.S. congresspersons, and even members of the Republican party have made the point that oil is indeed part of the war scenario. U.S. plans to establish a presence throughout Eurasia have been on the drawing boards for some time. Behaving as if the planet was a Grand Chessboard, as described by former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, is nothing new to Washington. The military effort to invade Iraq and, in part, realise those dreams of world conquest will no doubt involve more blood for oil.

More information is available in past global Indymedia coverage on plans for war in Iraq [ September 14 | August 21 | August 16 | July 30 ], and on the role of oil in U.S. militarism [ Feburary 23 | January 14 | October 12, 2001 ].

Ice Mountan Plant in Central Michigan Shut Down

17.09.2002 13:02

Shut Down Ice Mountan! Over 150 people protested [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] the privatization of water and the exploitation of Michigan's natural resources at the Nestle/Perrier-owned Ice Mountain Bottled Water Plant in Mecosta County, Michigan, on Saturday, September 14.

Citizens marched from a carpool parking lot off Highway 131 down the road about one mile to the Ice Mountain building, chanting and carrying signs reading "Perrier: the taste of theft" and "Eagles can't drink bottled water" as part of the global struggle against the privatization of water. Plant officials were aware of the legal picket and rally and responded by shutting the plant down, canceling all shipments and deliveries scheduled for the day.

The Ice Mountain Plant, which has a maximum pumping capacity of 400 gallons per minute, is the only bottled water plant which permanently removes water from the region. All other water-bottling facilities in Michigan are not permitted to sell their products outside of the Great Lakes Basin, to ensure that the world's largest source of fresh water does not become depleted. Other recent actions have included a speech in Ann Arbor given by water activist Maude Barlow, and a 'No Shop' campaign.

More information is available from the Who Owns Water? report, and past global Indymedia coverage [ July 25 ].

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