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Some Servicemen Say They Will Refuse to Fight

21.03.2003 17:23

While most American corporate media are reporting the willingness of the country's troops to fight and die in Iraq, some are reporting that there are soldiers ready to refuse to serve in what they view as an unjust war, if they are called to do so. Long-time conscientious objector support organizations say they are ready to help such soldiers obey the dictates of their individual consciences.

Read entire feature.

Emergency Response to War

21.03.2003 04:35

berlin As the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq began, people gathered in cities all over the world to voice their dissent, fear, frustration, and anger.

Read Indymedia reports from: Argentina | Australia (Melbourne, Sydney) | Austria | Belgium (West Vlaanderen) | Canada (Hamilton, Maritime Provinces, Quebec, Toronto ) | Czech Republic (Prague) | Ecuador (Quito, Galapagos) | Egypt, (Cairo) | France | Germany | Greece (100,000 in Athens, 50,000 in Thessaloniki) | Holland | India | Ireland (Belfast , Dublin) | Israel (Jerusalem) | Italy | Norway | Pakistan (Karachi) | Poland | Russia (Moscow) | South Africa | Spain (Barcelona, Madrid) | Sweden | 40,000 in Switzerland | Turkey (Istanbul) | United Kingdom (Bristol) | United States ( San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, New York, Chicago, Eugene, Portland, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Richmond, Boston, Urbana-Champaign, Milwaukee, Baltimore/Towson, Maine, New Mexico, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Madison, Atlanta) | Uruguay (Montevideo) | Yemen .

Post additional reports here.

Human Shields on Ground in Iraq: Anti-War Protests Rage Worldwide

20.03.2003 12:58

Bread &amp; Puppet in Montreal As the belligerent U.S. government, with assistance from Australia and the UK, begin their illegal war against Iraq, anti-war groups are calling all like-minded people to action. Continuous protests are planned across the country and around the world. Yesterday's demonstration in Sydney drew a large crowd as people are urged to maintain resistance now that hostilities have started.

Likewise, massive anti-war actions are taking place in the UK, Spain Barcelona, Madrid, Germany, France, Moscow, Norway, Holland, 100,000 in Athens, the U.S. Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, DC, New York, and around the world. Check your local Indymedia center (left sidebar) for actions near you.

3/20 Update from San Francisco: Hundreds of protesters are marching through the city as of 11:00PM with no sign of slowing down. Activists have held massive direct actions which shut down San Francisco all day. There have been 1500 arrests so far. A corporate media reporter was pied tonight. People plan to stay out on the streets late into the night. Actions are to resume early in the morning on 3/21. Live updates can be heard on Enemy Combatant Radio.

The Sydney IMC notes that five brave Australian's are still present in Iraq acting as human shields. Their lives and those of an untold number of Iraqi citizens are in grave danger.

A War of Lies - and of American Shame

20.03.2003 11:15

The new US war on Iraq has begun: arguably the greatest moral tragedy of a generation, an unprecedented failure of diplomacy and international order, and a profound crime against the principles of democracy. Tens of thousands of people may lose their lives as a result of US attacks. Hardly any of them will be Americans; most of them will be civilians. They will add to the already huge death toll of Iraqis killed by a decade of sanctions and years of missile attacks raining down from American planes patrolling the no-fly zones with ever-expanding target lists and “rules of engagement." People in many areas of the world - perhaps especially in the Occupied Territories, but also in Europe and North America – have new reasons to fear terrorism, as a result of this great act of American aggression. The Bush administration pushed relentlessly towards this war with a long series of incredible lies about virtually every aspect of the current conflict--US intentions, international law, weapons inspections, Iraq's likely military status and the amount of international support for Bush administration aims. Applauded by American corporate interests and cheered on by media institutions, the Bush administration’s unilateral drive to war has been actively opposed by most of the world’s people, governments and international institutions. Nobody on Earth will wake up safer tomorrow than they did today.

Please go to the IMC nearest you to read and write new related stories.

War! What is it Good For?

19.03.2003 10:18

While the Pentagon threatens reporters, orders body bags, and prepares for pre-emptive war against Iraq, activists around the world are preparing for massive anti-war mobilizations.

In the few nations that have climbed aboard the Bush regime's war machine, such as the UK, Spain, and Australia, major demonstrations and direct actions are already in place. In addition, other anti-war actions such as vigils, boycotts, impeachment,and legislative work are ongoing.

Meanwhile,in the belly of the beast where history may be repeating itself and mainstream media reports on polls misrepresent popular opinion, the chilling prospects for the Bush regime declaring martial law are apparently real. If planned actions in Washington, DC, Chicago, New York,San Francisco,[1],[2] and elsewhere are met with government repression what will be the toll in the "Land of Democracy"?

Another Day of Blood in the Gaza Strip

16.03.2003 17:17

IDF bullzoder On March 16, there were three more deaths in the Gaza Strip. An American activist that was with the International Solidarity Movement was killed by an Israeli bulldozer. One Palestinian man in Rafah and an adolescent in Khan Yunis were killed as well.

Read: Entire Feature

More coverage in: French, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch

Peace Activist Disables Military Plane

15.03.2003 09:34

Ploughshares activist Ulla Roder entered RAF Leuchars Air Base (UK) early Tuesday morning in north-east Fife and damaged a Tornado plane with a hammer, putting it out of action. The Tornado's at Leuchars are important in the UK's mobilisation for war against Iraq, and the base, whose motto is "Attack and Protect", is believed to have been involved in the bombing of Iraq since 1991. Also on Tuesday 11th, 9 'citizen weapons inspectors' cut through fences at RAF Lakenheath and cycled around the base, some locking on and obstructing the runway for 3 three hours.
Throughout the weekend actions took place at other military bases as well.

Read: entire feature | Sabotage - film about property destruction

Bailing Out of the Empire's War

13.03.2003 21:23

pledge Mainstream politicians, career diplomats and officers are bailing out of The Empire's war machine almost daily. The Bush regime and its operatives in other nations are starting to feel the heat of dissent from within over their bellicose scheme to invade and occupy Iraq. Today, Labour MPs called on Tony Blair to resign. That, in the heels of MP, Claire Short's recent protest.

In the States, U.S. diplomat John Brown has resigned in protest, as did another career diplomat before him. Even members of Bush's own party are protesting, the Missouri GOP Chairman's letter of resignation caused a stir in Republican circles and the Whitehouse is having trouble with Congressional Republicans as well. Another blow to Bush came when a high-profile FBI whistleblower warned FBI Director Mueller in a public letter about the unprecedented dangers posed by the Bush regime's war plans.

Read: entire feature

Women Protest Against Discrimination, Exploitation and War

12.03.2003 19:22

International Women's Day, Washington 2003 8 March was declared as International Women's Day by Clara Zetkin in 1910, to remember the 129 women textile workers on strike that were killed in 1857. In 2003, women were demonstrating against all forms of exploitation discrimination against them, as well as against war. In Washington (USA), thousands followed the call for a women led March to the White House. 23 women, including nationally recognized award-winning authors Alice Walker, Susan Griffin, Maxine Hong Kingston and Pacifica Radio's Amy Goodman, were arrested in front of the White House.

Read: entire feature

Scholars Call U.S. Plans for Iraq &quot;Historical Mistake&quot;

12.03.2003 07:54

Demonstrations in Japan against war As the world moves closer to a U.S.-British war in defiance of a likely French veto, not to mention world opinion, the anti-war movement has been increasingly active in Japan as well. As in much of the world, many of those participating in demonstrations [ & 1 | 2 ] are doing so for the first time, and a significant number are relatively young.

The demonstrators - including students, workers, families, Buddhist and Catholic priests - have recently been joined by 30 scholars of the post-war occupation of Japan who have called George Bush's planned "Japanese model" for a post-war occupation of Iraq a "reckless and self-serving misreading of history." The scholars, including professors John Dower, Toshiyuki Tanaka, Herbert P. Bix and Rinjiro Sodei have also struck out at the Japanese government for forgetting the atomic holocaust it experienced and violating its peace constitution by taking the side of the U.S. in its planned attack on Iraq. Unsurprisingly, the Japanese and foreign corporate press almost totally ignored this important statement, which was posted to the forming Japan IndyMedia test site in Japanese and English  under the title U.S. Plans For War And Occupation In Iraq Are a Historical Mistake (jp, en)

No More Business as Usual

11.03.2003 11:37

In spite of the Bush regime's faltering at the UN, many people believe that the Bush/Blair war machine's March 17 deadline for Iraq to disarm is actually the date for the start of the war. If that's the case, peace activists have only a few days left to try and stop it. Many are hoping the upcoming March 15 actions in DC, LA, San Francisco and elsewhere will have an effect. But what about the days leading up to that?

It's been suggested that people take their sick leave this week and get involved in any number of anti-war activities. Some may choose to sit-in at their local federal building, demonstrate at the appearance of some pro-war advocate, organize an ongoing vigil,a Bridges for Peace vigil, a general strike, or a march, even if there's only two of you.

Read: entire feature

Companies Stop Using Shannon Airport for Military Transports

07.03.2003 08:18

1March, Peace protests at Shannon Airport The Irish airport Shannon was one of the major bases for the US to fly soldiers and material to the Middle East. Now three of the four US companies that undertake those flights, have stopped all traffic (de) through Shannon for safety reasons. On three occasions in the last weeks, activists got on the airport and into the hangars, and demolished planes with hammers and colour, making them unfit to fly. Flights will now continue via Frankfurt Aiport in Germany.
On 1 March, about 1000 peace protestors attempted a mass trespass, but the grounds are now protected by a newly-erected razorwire fence [ & 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ].

Read: Feb 4 feature

Students Rise Up - Books not Bombs

06.03.2003 20:15

DC high school students protest war on March 5 College and University students across the United States as well as students in the UK, Canada and Australia took at least part of their day March 5th, to leave their studies behind and learn what the impending US invasion against Iraq might mean for them. The one day walkout was organized nationally by the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition. The event was called "Books Not Bombs" in partial imitation of the long-standing activist movement Food Not Bombs and to emphasize that education might be one of the victims of the Bush regime's plans for spending billions (some say trillions) of dollars on a war with Iraq.

Read: entire feature | listen to students protest | report on other student actions

IMC Norway Activists Report from Baghdad

06.03.2003 08:46

Human Shields in Baghdad Three persons from IMC Norway traveled to Baghdad acting as "human shields" and to report about the situation there. Instead of "threats" and "coercion," they say that they were able to choose between two alternatives: either defend important infrastructure for the civilians or leave the country. Instead of "escaping in the night," the peace activists that left did it without panic, as many were supposed to return home due for family and work obligations.

Read: entire feature | French translation | corporate media coverage

Defence Department Retreat After Advertisement Parody

06.03.2003 08:32

Military Adbusting from Australia The Department of Defence has withdrawn advertising from all student media around Australia because of an ' adbust' done by Vertigo, the student newspaper of The University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). The move comes in response to a controversial full-page parody (pdf) of Defence recruitment advertising, which features in the latest edition. Vertigos "adbust" satirically portrays the Department of Defence as a political tool of an Australian government intent on participating in an unsanctioned invasion of Iraq.

Vertigo had earlier rejected Defence Department requests for advertising space, a move that instigated a boycott of Defence advertising by a number of student publications at major Australian universities. The "adbust" subtly highlights the hypocritical nature of a possible invasion of another country being undertaken by the Department of "Defence". "We see it as a great victory that students are no longer being inundated with inaccurate representations of the Defence Force," said Vertigo spokesperson, Jano Gibson.

Read: Adbust pdf

150 Peace Activists Arrested Before a Trainstopping Action

05.03.2003 05:53

150 peace activists arrested in Belgium On 1 March, an action should have taken place to block the 18 military transports from German US bases to the Belgium harbour of Antwerpen. During the briefing, even before any action had started, all 150 peace activists were arrested (nl, fr, en and pictures) and deported to a police depot in Ghent, some 50 km away where they were kept for the legally maximum of 12 hours.
The Minister for Internal Affairs had ordered "Zero Tolerance". It was forbidden to enter an area of 50 m around the rail tracks as well as the harbour of Antwerpen. The arrests were taking place within a parrish centre, with a group of under six-years watching. The whole action was filmed by the police even though that is illegal in Belgium, and the activist noted numberous other irregularities as well (nl).

US Surveils United Nations, American Media Ignores Story

03.03.2003 16:29

On Sunday March 2, The Observer, Great Britain's oldest newspaper, released an exclusive report documenting the National Security Agency's (NSA) extensive spying campaign against members of the UN Security Council. According to the Observer, "the United States is conducting a secret 'dirty tricks' campaign against UN Security Council delegations in New York as part of its battle to win votes in favour of war against Iraq."

Read: entire feature

100,000 in the Streets Push Parliament to Block US Troops

02.03.2003 01:24

Crying "yankee go home," 100,000 peace demonstators protested in Ankara, the Turkish capital, on March 1. While the protesters were in the streets, the Turkish parliament was behind closed doors debating a measure that would permit the US to use Turkey as a base for its planned attack on Iraq. Earlier in the day, the Anti-War Platform, which organized the protest, presented a petition against war with a million signatures to the parliament. In the evening, the parliament failed to pass the measure. The 264 votes in favor did not achieve the required simple majority. 251 voted against and 19 abstained. The leaders of the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) were shocked by the outcome and by the large number of AKP Members of Parliament who defied them to vote against the measure. The AKP leadership may resubmit the measure as soon as Tuesday.

View photos of the march: 1 | 2 | 3

Farmworkers' Hunger Strike Reaches Fifth Day

01.03.2003 18:32

On Friday, February 28, over 1,000 people converged on Taco Bell Corporate Headquarters in Irvine California to show their solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. More than 70 farm workers and supporters, in one of the largest hunger strikes in US labor history, are pressing for what would be their first wage increase in 25 years. Protesters are asking Taco Bell to agree to pay one penny more per pound of tomatoes, and pass that penny on to the workers. That would effectively double the farmworkers' wages.

Working conditions in the fields are so bad that in the past 5 years the US Department of Justice has won conviction on six cases of slavery in Florida. Three of these cases were against tomato growers. While such cases are extreme, the sweatshop-like conditions in Florida's fields are a reality for the significant percentage of the farmworkers who pick the tomatoes that go into Taco Bell's products.

Read: entire feature

Repression Against Anti-Eviction Campaign Escalating

01.03.2003 02:29

In the evening of Sunday, February 23, Mandela Park Anti-Eviction Campaign (AEC) activist Max Ntanyana was abducted outside of his house after a community meeting. He was walking down the road when a black car with no number plates pulled up behind him. Three men jumped out, grabbed Max, and dragged him into the car. Police later admitted that the men in the unmarked car were acting on their behalf to arrest Ntanyana, after Mandela Park residents apprehended a woman seen speaking to the men at an earlier community meeting. In their attempts to search for the woman that the community was holding, police kicked down doors in the Andile Nose community centre.

The arrest of Max Ntanyana is the latest act in a campaign of criminalisation of the poor by the South African government. The issue that caused the formation of the AEC remains: the poor of Mandela Park are forced to pay unaffordable repayments on houses financed by banks. The houses are at best the basic minimum every person are guaranteed by the 1997 Constitution, yet Mandela Park, and other areas of Khayelitsha and beyond have seen the full force of the state imposed on them to evict people from their houses and to safeguard a "secure lending environment" for private sector banks.

Read: February 24 update | February 25 afternoon update | February 25 evening update

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