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Activists Vow to Halt Waste Shipments, End Atomic Power

25.03.2001 02:39

Thousands gathered today in the German town of Lueneburg to protest the transport of nuclear waste to the nearby storage site in Gorleben, scheduled for Monday night. The demonstration, undampened by a cold rain and massive police presence, kicks off a direct-action struggle to prevent the so-called CASTORs from reaching their goal. Already Greenpeace and other groups have initiated direct actions, and a broad coalition stretching from local farmers to radical "Autonomen" will join them in the coming days, facing the water cannons and brutal tactics of the police. Gorleben has been the great symbol of anti-nuclear resistance for 24 years, but these transports, the first since 1997, mark a new phase in the movement: the Green Party, which rose to power on an anti-nuclear platform, is part of the government shipping the deadly waste. As more and more activists gather in rural camps scattered throughout the surrounding forests - in defiance of high-ranking Greens who have called for compliance - the fate of the party may hang in the balance.

IMC Video Producers Launch Pilot for National TV and Screening Series

21.03.2001 13:27

INDYMEDIA - NEWSREAL, a collaborative IMC Satellite TV team effort, will premiere Thursday, April 5, on Free Speech TV (DISH Network Channel 9415) and in local screenings across the country. To subscribe to the DISH Network and get a satellite dish for yourself or your community center, visit freespeech.org and click on the store banner.  

Each program will cover local communities taking action to address critical issues: air and water pollution, reproductive rights, homelessness, for-profit prisons, sweatshops, racism, police brutality, indigenous struggles, and more.

Activists Denounce e-goverment forum as ruse for globalization

17.03.2001 13:11

Denouncing the Global Forum: Fostering Democracy And Development Through E-Government, activists organized a counter-summit, protested in the streets, and delivered a net strike against online trading. The demonstration in Naples ended a few hours ago with heavy clashes between the 20,000 people who took the streets to protest the global forum and the 6000 policemen committed to defend the summit. More than a 100 people were wounded or injured.
CorrectionThe url for the fourm is globalfourm.it, the ocse.org is a parody site.

EZLN Demands Indigenous Rights

15.03.2001 14:39

The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) began marching to Mexico City on February 24, 2001. They embarked on their journey to Mexico City to demand from Congress the constitutional recognition of the rights of Mexico's indigenous peoples. They passed through cities all over Mexico, staging rallies to mobilize the citizenry. On March 11, they arrived in Mexico City (see NYC-IMC feature story on this). According to the NYC-IMC , the EZLN recently reversed a decision to return to Chiapas, following a close vote in Congress in which a resolution was approved to enter into a dialogue with the Zapatistas on the San Andrés accords . IMC UK closely followed the march and posted daily coverage. Also, visit IMC-Chiapas for ongoing coverage from Mexico, and IMC-Belgium's coverage in French, Spanish and English.

Thousands March Against Drug Multinationals

10.03.2001 01:46

At 11am on Monday, thousands of protesters marched from Pretoria's Church Square to the city's High Court where they picketed to show support for the government in its court battle against the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Association - a group which represents multinational drug companies. 39 pharmaceutical companies are currently engaged in an international legal battle with the South African government to stop local firms producing cheaper generic drugs stating that their "patent copyright" is being violated. Drug companies make billions of pounds in profits annually through the sale of drugs such as AZT. The marchers included members of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), the African National Congress, the SA Communist Party, the Treatment Action Campaign, and other unions. Read full story London action March 7
Find out more from: Treatment Action Campaign Voluntary Service Overseas Action for Southern Africa

10.03.2001 01:45

G8 Environment Ministers Meet Amid Protests in Trieste, Italy
Protests surround the G8 Environment ministers in their first meeting since the US scuttled COP 6 in The Hague 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 gathering elite. The protesters demanded a proactive global environmental policy, including the rejection of pollution quotas and the implementation of serious restraints on the multinational corporations that have become the dominant power brokers in the era of globalization. IMC Italia partner Radio Fragola in Trieste has coverage of the protests. There is also coverage from vaikuttava tietotoimisto (IMC Finland).
[ Radio Fragola in Trieste | Indymedia Italia | Comitato G8 di TRIESTE ]

10.03.2001 01:44

World Economic Forum Under Fire Again
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.

10.03.2001 01:43

Zapatistas Begin Caravan to Mexico City
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
[ chiapas.indymedia.org | EZLN | imc uk coverage ]

Tanzanian Government Worried Unrest May Hurt Reputation With Global Donors

10.03.2001 01:42

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\222s 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="http://www.jubilee2000uk.org/final/index.html" target= "_blank">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.

[ Read more | Jubilee 2000 on Tanzania\222s debt | More about Tanzania ]

South Korean Workers Struggle Against Layoffs

10.03.2001 01:41

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.\224

The continuing Daewoo struggle represents the fundamental shift in Korea\222s 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\222s 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?"
[ Read more | See photos ]

Prisoners Attacked by Turkish Police

04.03.2001 21:43

UPDATE: More than 20 political prisoners are reported dead
The Turkish security forces, which directed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, have attacked the political prisoners who were on death fast in 20 different prisons in Turkey at 4:30pm local time.Various protests all over the country, mainly in Y´stanbul and Ankara have taken place, the police attacked every protest demonstration, wounding 24 people, and arresting a total of 500. Sevgi Erdogan has been killed by the Security Forces in Usak Prison. Because of this attack, Fidan Kalsan has burned herself to death in an attempt to stop the attacks in the Canakkale Prison. Human Rights Association of Turkey released their demands. The resistance of political prisoners is still continues in 16 prisons. Many statements have been made against these actions.

Cops Crackdown on Anti Haider Protest

04.03.2001 21:43

Italian riot police fired tear gas late yesterday to dispel thousands of demonstrators protesting a meeting between Pope John Paul II and Austrian far-right leader Joerg Haider, who helped light the Vatican's Christmas tree. Haider did little to quell the tension, at one point issuing what some interpreted as an anti-Semitic remark. Ironically, in a season reputed to be about peace on earth, the pope's embracing of proto-fascism sparked one of the most intense physical confrontation with the forces of the police during John Paul's 22 years as Pope.
[ read more | picture 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ]

Israel’s Execution Policy Hits Known Palestinian Peace Champion

04.03.2001 21:43

Yesterday, an Israeli killer squad hit and killed a well-known Palestinian peace champion, the director general of the health inspection department of the PNA health ministry, Dr. Thabet Thabet, who was also the local secretary of the (Arafet led) Fatah PLO branch in Tul Karm on the Western border of the West Bank. This assassination is in line with a policy of execution of death sentences without trial.

Walden Bello Looks Back on the Global Protests

04.03.2001 21:43

The last year will probably go down as one of those defining moments in the history of the world economy, like 1929. Of course, the structures of global capitalism appear to be solid, with many in the global elite in Washington, Europe, and Asia congratulating themselves for containing the Asian financial crisis and trying to exude confidence about launching a new round of trade negotiations under the World Trade Organization (WTO). What we witnessed, nevertheless, was a dramatic series of events that might, in fact, lead to that time when, as the poet says, "all that is solid melts into thin air."

Testimony on the Situation in Hebron

04.03.2001 21:43

A conference was held on Dec. 14th at the Tel-Aviv University entitled Testimonies: Reports on the Al-Aqsa Intifada. Testimony on the present situation in Hebron was given by Ms. Kauthar Salaam, a journalist who works for the UN and lives in Hebron. Her report was given in English. Listen to her testimony in Real Audio format.

Prisoners Strike Against FIES

04.03.2001 21:43

On December 1st 2000 more than 50 prisoners in different prisons in Spain have started an indefinite hunger strike. Another 150 prisoners are taking part by solidarity actions. The prisoners have three central demands: an end to the FIES and isolation, an end to the dispersion of prisoners and the release prisoners with incurable sickness. F.I.E.S. (Fichero de Internos de Especial Seguimiento) is a coercive measure of illegal character, which has been unsuccessfully denounced on various occasions, even though it is contrary to the Spanish Constitution as it restricts fundamental rights.

15,000 Protest Against Layoffs

04.03.2001 21:43

UPDATE Police have broken up the sit in by thousands of workers this morning. Unions are calling for more walkouts tomorrow. read more
15,000 union workers at two major commercial banks struck Friday in South Korea to protest plans for a merger of the banks that will result in mass layoffs. The workers camped out in tents and other makeshift dwellings at a bank institute outside Seoul, ringed by 2,000 riot police who let demonstrator's relatives through with food and blankets on Christmas. Ignoring a police helicopter ordering them by loudspeaker to disperse, strikers vowed to continue to fight until the merger, planned for June, is scrapped. Workers wore surgical masks to conceal their faces while guarding the institute's main gate against an anticipated police action charge.

27 Dead, Fasts Continue

04.03.2001 21:43

Turkish security forces stormed 20 prisons on 19 December at about 4.30am, to end hunger strikes by political prisoners. At least 27 prisoners have died in the course of the assult, which is still under way in two of the prisons. More than 1,200 political prisoners have been on hunger strike since 20 October, in protest at plans to move them to new prisons where they will be housed in small cells, rather than dormitories that hold up to 60 prisoners. They think that they will be locked up alone or in small groups in these new prisons, and therefore isolated and at greater risk of assault or torture. Some 200 of the hunger strikers were on death fast- (taking water, but no sugar), and many of them were reportedly close to death at the time of the raids. Personal accounts of the attack indicate it has been much worse than previously reported.

Reclaiming History: The Autumn of Praha

04.03.2001 21:43

We all know what the 'official history' will say about protests that happened during last year, don't we? But do they know that we too have the means of media production & distribution! The history will not be one sided story any more. Here's latest from Belgium activists, shouting out loud from the streets of Praha during the protest in September against The World Bank and IMF. Respect! (copyright - copyleft) Watch a web version of the video.

WBAI Lock Out

04.03.2001 21:43

Tensions are rising high at community radio WBAI where a management ?coup? has occurred over the past 24 hours, according to station listeners and activists, resulting in a new interim station manager and the dismissal of the program director. At 1:48 a.m. Saturday morning Utrice Leid, broke into the regular scheduled program to announce that she had become WBAI?s new interim station manager. It was also reported today on WBAI that program director Bernard White had been unexpectedly fired. Allegedly White learned this morning via a letter sent to his home that his personal belongings would be mailed to him and that he would be arrested if he set foot on WBAI premises. Watch Amy Goodman locked out of WBAI this morning as she tried to enter the studios. Updated news as of Sunday afternoon.

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