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Bolivia Burning

13.02.2003 00:18

Bolivia arde!! When today the President Sochez de Lozada announced the application of a tax law on basic salaries as ordered by the IMF, his words resulted in a popular rebellion, that continued all day long and will have its follow-up in tomorrow general strike.

Since the morning of February 12, hundreds of mutinied policemen clashed [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] with military police in the main square of La Paz, in front of the Government Palace. This has resulted in 18 persons killed and more than 90 people injured by the use of live ammunition. In the afternoon, while riots were still taking place, thousands of people went spontaneously to the streets, sacking banks and burning political party and governement offices.

Civil war erupting throughout the country as people are asking the President to resign. The government was forced to cancel the economic measures it had announced, but tension have not lowered. As nightfall came, sacking is occuring throughout the city while the Army patrols the streets.

Read: detailed report | Bolivia arde (es), guerra civile (it), Aufstand in Bolivien (de), and La Paz, Bolivia is About to Explode (en)

Government Clamps Down, But Resistance Blossoms

12.02.2003 19:48

&quot;New York City - February 15&quot; New York City is leading the build-up to this Saturday's "World Says No To War" global day of action. City University students occupied the office of their College President overnight Monday, demanding she speak out against the war and cuts in education spending, a result of increased military expenditures, the students say. Other antiwar activists chained themselves together in front of an interstate tunnel, blocking traffic during the Tuesday morning commute. While a permit has been granted for Saturday's rally at the UN, a judge recently upheld the Police Department's denial of a permit to march, citing the recent "Orange Alert." New Yorkers have responded by planning dozens of unpermitted feeder marches.

Though this rally is expected to be one the largest of the day, over 300 other rallies are planned for cities across the globe, including Montreal (fr), Atlanta, and Rome (it). Post information about plans in your city here.

Return To Sender

12.02.2003 05:24

&quot;Return to Sender&quot; All over the nation, Australians are marking as "return to sender" the anti-terror kits being sent to them by the Howard Government and popping them back in the post-box.
The campaign started with the Mayor of Brisbane's suggestion that "Australians who did not support the Howard government's backing of America's war should simply return the package to sender. " The package contained information about what to do if terrorists attacked and many Australians see this as US-backed government scare-mongering. Many critics suggest the package contained nothing of real informative value.

Another grassroots action consists of sending small bags of rice per post to US President Bush, Australian Prime Minister Howard, UK PM Blair and others.

Wall Street Journal Makes News... Literally!

11.02.2003 23:13

&quot;Corporate media is mind control&quot; Last week the line between news reporting and news creation in the corporate media became all the more thin. It was learned that the letter of support written by leaders of eight European nations (three of them not part of the EU) for the Bush regime's war in Iraq that appeared on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) was actually solicited from signitories by the deputy editorial editor of the Journal's European edition. Upon publication, the letter suddenly became "news", appearing in WSJ's news pages, The New York Times, and throughout the corporate media.

Initial reports of the story's manufacture seem to have come from Spain. WSJ editors, unabashedly pro-war and allied with the far-right regime in Washington, published a brash defense of their practice that avoided the ethical issue of turning their own editorial initiatives into news. That practice is a regular feature of many mainstream papers in the US.

Read: entire feature | Janurary 23 feature

Anti-Privatisation Activist Murdered, Attacks Continue

10.02.2003 05:19

Early in the morning of February 8 in Orange Farm (an informal settlement of 1.5 million people south of Johannesburg), 61 year-old Anti-Privatisation Forum APF) and Orange Farm Water Crisis Committee (OWCC)activist Emily Nengolo, was shot dead in her home by two unknown assailants in what appears to be a politically motivated attack. Over the last year, the OWCC has been actively and effectively involved in resisting water and electricity cut-offs and evictions in their community as well as building community organisation and struggle for meaningful socio-economic development in response to the neoliberal policies of the South African government.

Read: entire feature

No-NATO Protests

09.02.2003 05:04

No NATO rally 7/8 February 2003 in Munich Some 25,000 people demonstrated peacefully against the NATO Security Meeting in Munich, Germany on Saturday, 8 February for various reasons (multiple languages), even as the German government opposes the war. Nevertheless, the police raided the Converence Center (de) on Friday night. 22 people were arrested, including journalists [ 1 | 2 | 3 ].

Read: entire feature

Queer Anti-Capitalist Protestors Attacked by SFPD

08.02.2003 04:09

Local activists were given a taste of what to expect from Police in the case of war as Police bashed Gay activists outside the local Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Center in the predominantly Gay Castro district in San Francisco. Gavin Newsom, a local supervisor favored by the Police and City Politicians was in the center to buy up Gay votes as he prepares to run for San Francisco Mayor. Members of queer anti-capitalist group, Gay Shame gathered to protest his anti-poor policies and were beaten by the Police.

Read: entire feature

F15 Taking Off

06.02.2003 19:42

F15 Taking Off February 15 looks to be a huge day of protest against the Bush/Blair war machine. The British government recently caved in to public pressure and granted a permit for that day's demonstration in Hyde Park. In contrast, in New York City, the Police Department continues to obstruct efforts to hold a peaceful rally and march at the United Nations, despite reports of many thousands of people making plans to come to the city for the event. The growing list of cities preparing actions for February 15 suggests this may be the largest global protest yet.

Other cities are not waiting. A group of 60 people rallied in Albany, NY, this past Tuesday. And Urbana, Illinois, just became the 64th US city to pass an antiwar resolution.

Read: Feb 2 feature

Escape and Capture at Woomera

06.02.2003 09:09

Welcome to Woomera Six asylum seekers have been recaptured by police after breaking out of Australia's Woomera detention centre with the help of outside activists. Four others have also been arrested and charged with aiding, abetting and harbouring the escapees.

The break-out occurred on the morning of Monday, 3 February when two cars drove up to the centre and used a car jack to break through fences. According to authorities two guards were injured in the get-away. On the run for two days in the desert, all were eventually captured by Wednesday night.

In a video release, one person involved in the break-out stated: The physical and psychological abuses that has been occurring in these detention centres has led ordinary Australians, like us, to take extreme measures.

Read: entire feature | full statement

Homes Demolished, Squatters Evicted

06.02.2003 05:08

While the right to a roof is a fundamental human right the process of corporate globalization has left no room for the basic right of each individual for a space as people die on the streets. Recently, in occupied Palestine homes were demolished by Israeli bulldozers, and in San Francisco, 30 people were evicted from the Mansion Squat. Direct Actions were engaged in to defend the squat which is now under continual police custody as capitalists pay the police to deny housing to the cities homeless. The resistance to capitalist hording of resources grows as Palestinians and American Activists each in their own way fight back against the hording of land by the powerful and wealthy.

Independent Reporting Continues from Iraq

06.02.2003 04:48

As the corporate media continues to conflate Saddam Hussein with the entire population of Iraq, reports about the daily experiences and opinions of Iraqis continues from independent journalists from the US and elsewhere. Reports come from the multimedia Iraq Journal, as well as from email correspondence. The Austin IMC recently covered a speech by veteran Middle East journalist Robert Fisk. The following reports are from independent reporter Ben Granby from Madison, Wisconsin:

[ Jan 25 | Jan 25 | Jan 26 | Jan 27 | Jan 27 | Jan 28 | Feb 2 | Feb 3 | Feb 3 | Feb 3 ]

Michigan Takes Street From Bush

05.02.2003 22:05

On Wednesday, January 29, around 750 people from across the state gathered in Grand Rapids, MI, to greet George W. Bush, in town to present his health care plan. What started as a fenced-in demonstration turned into an unpermitted march that snarled downtown Grand Rapids in a spontaneous reclamation of the streets that lasted over two hours. 10 people were arrested. That day saw numerous other protests across the country in response to Bush's state of the union address the evening before.

Read: entire feature | analysis of local media coverage | Jan 30 feature

Masivos cortes por trabajo genuino

05.02.2003 19:02

gente marchando en dock Con 35 cortes frente a fábricas, el corte del Puente Pueyrredón, y escraches a las empresas privatizadas se llevó a cabo este lunes 3 el principió de un plan de lucha en la cual están participando y cordinándose de distintas formas las organizaciones piqueteras que no adhieren a los consejos consultivos y a la tregua con el gobierno de Duhalde.

En los días previos declaraciones de los voceros del Estado sobre la "defensa al derecho a circular" y la prédica de los medios más reaccionarios pidiendo que no se permitan los cortes crearon un clima parecido a los días previos al 26 de junio. A pesar de esto un sólo hecho represivo sucedió, cuando dos prefectos durante el corte a Repsol en Dock Sud golpearon brutalmente a un compañero de la Coordinadora de Unidad Barrial, teniedo este que ser atendido en el Hospital Fiorito por serias lesiones.

Monday, February 3, saw more than 35 road blockades (piquetes) in front of industrial plants throughout Argentina, as various piquetero groups began a coordinated action to push for jobs and equal access to the country's wealth. The Duhalde government recently proclaimed its intention of a "defense to the right to circulate" and two military officers attacked a piquetero at the blockade of an oil refinery in Buenos Aires, sending him to the hospital.

The different groups presented a petition for a increase in unemployment benefits (currently 40 USD per month) and access to real jobs in the different industrial plants in front of which they gathered. The roadblocks also commemorate the anniversary of the assassination of piquetero Javier Barrionuevo by a ex-police officer and to request the investigation of the murders of Darío Santillán and Maximiliano Kostecki.

Irish Army Called in to Defend US War Planes from Protestors

04.02.2003 20:05

Peace Protestors invade Shannon Airport, Ireland Five members of the pacifist Catholic Worker Movement [ 1 ] cut their way into Shannon Airport [ 1 ] early on Monday. The peace activists poured human blood on the runway that has been servicing US military flights, deploying troop and munitions to US military bases in Kuwait and Qatar. They then constructed a shrine on the runway to Iraqi children killed and threatened by US/British bombardment and sanctions before damaging a US Navy plane with hammers, doing extensive damage.

Read: entire feature | Jan 31 feature | further coverage 1 | 2 | 3 ]

U.S. Race to Militarize Space Poses Many Dangers

04.02.2003 09:18

While the world media covers the tragic crash of the space shuttle Columbia over east Texas, little is said about the ambiguous and deepening relationship between NASA and the military especially under the leadership of NASA's new chief, Sean O'Keefe, a Dick Cheney protege who served as Secretary of the Navy during the first Bush Administration. The Space Shuttle, for instance, has been used in recent years for everything from repairing the Hubble Telescope to studying the effects of weightlessness on tiny insects to deploying global positioning satellites that provide signals for most of today's precision-guided "smart" bombs. On Monday, there was a small protest outside the opening of the 20th Annual Symposium on Space Nuclear Power & Propulsion in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Read: entire feature

Cops Obstruct International Peace Demonstrations

02.02.2003 18:54

It hardly seems a coincidence that police departments in London,New York,and Budapest are witholding permits and using obstructionist tactics to prevent massive international peace demonstrations planned for February 15.

The national governments of those nations and others are beating the drums of war frantically as the U.S. led invasion of Iraq looms near. Some even went so far as to proclaim themselves spokesmen for the New Europe in a letter to the hawkish Wall Street Journal. Yet, the majority of their citizens and even many local governments in the U.S. remain opposed to pre-emptive war. UN weapons inspector Hans Blix sees no reason for the U.S. to go to war. Even senior Pentagon officials have reservations! Apparently big city police departments no longer take their orders from city hall, or if they do, city hall isn't listening to the taxpayers who pay their salaries.

WSF Ends With Brutal Police Repression

31.01.2003 10:32

Naked Protesters Against Police Brutality Police violently attacked protesters and bystanders on the last day of the World Social Forum. It started when a Mapuche woman who was attending the WSF and staying at the international youth camp was arrested with charges of "obscene acts" for bathing nude in a river. Activists saw this and organized over 400 people to protest by nonviolently taking their clothes off in solidarity. When the nude protest left the youth camp to march downtown the police attacked. After injuring and arresting some of the the nude protesters the police lashed out at journalists and bystanders. An unknown number of people were hospitalized or arrested as a result of the police assault.

At the end of a week of rhetoric about international solidarity this is a disgraceful example of intolerance. Unfortunately, this police repression is consistent with past years whenever groups have protested without the WSF and PT's (Workers Party's) consent. The PT lost the latest elections in Rio Grande do Sul and no longer control the police in Porto Alegre. In protest of the PT's authoritarian dominance of Brasilian social movements and Lula's trip to Davos, a Brasilian anarchist pied the President of the PT during the WSF.

Video of the Protest [pt] | Deposition of a journalist wounded during the protest [pt] | Photos of the Nude Protest Against Police Brutality | Updates on the Prisoners [pt] | Video of people describing the attack [pt] | More Photos

Peace Activist Versus US Military Aircraft

31.01.2003 05:01

Mary Kelly As Ireland mobilises against war an Irish peace activist was arrested yesterday after attempting to disarm a US military plane parked at Shannon Airport in Ireland.

Mary Kelly (audio) entered the airport last night and succeeded in damaging the nose of the plane with a hatchet before she was apprehended. Mary said that she felt compelled to act after the statement last weekend from the Irish Transport Minister that he was allowing the transport of US munitions through Shannon and because the Irish police were not doing their job, investigating and preventing illegal military use of Shannon, properly. Her actions, while controversial, have been supported by the Shannon Peace Camp and by Irish Green Party leader Trevor Sargent and highlight the US military's use of Shannon airport in the buildup to war on Iraq.

Music and Wit in Response to Bush

30.01.2003 18:18

While Bush beat the drums of war inside the US Capitol Tuesday night, the music of opposition filled the freezing air on the steps outside in what may have been the first instance of protest during a presidential state of the union address. At one point, about 120 people left the permitted concert for an un-permitted march through the area, followed by an army of police officers. The whole thing rocked.

Natalie Johnson Lee, elected City Councilwoman for the 5th Ward in Minneapolis, spoke for the national Green Party on Tuesday night in rebuttal to the Bush speech. Her speech was witty and to the point, in contrast to the Democrats' continued meekness. Other people offered their suggestions of what Bush should have said [cartoon].

In Santa Cruz, California, the next day, approximately 300 people attended a peace vigil and anti-war demonstration in response to Bush's "MisState of the Union."

Kensington 87 Go to Trial

30.01.2003 18:14

On Wednesday, 22 January, the almost year-long case against the Kensington 87 was finally heard in the Jeppe Magistrate's Court in Johannesburg. The proceedings revealed that the entire case has, from the beginning, been driven by the ANC government's political agenda against grassroots activists opposed to its cynical, anti-poor policies. The trial, postponed three times, was originally set for 15 August, and then postponed again until 23 October, and partly because international protests took place on that day, postponed for a third time.

Read: October 31, 2002 feature | Aug 19

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