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Journalism Under Siege

24.04.2003 19:47

Ad for justice In spite of the U.S. corporate media's biased pro-war coverage, outrageous examples of media manipulation and the actual targeting of journalists by the U.S. military in Iraq is mirrored regularly in the Occupied Territories of Palestine. In the West Bank city of Nablus on Saturday 19 April, another journalist was murdered by the Israeli military. Such incidents, as well as the limiting of access to the Territories for journalists who might report these atrocities, appears to be standard policy for the forces of repression and empire.

Given the inordinate number of journalists killed or wounded as well as missing in Iraq, the Pentagon's lack of concern, and identical circumstances in Israel and the Occupied Territories ,journalists both corporate and independent may have to actually advertise for justice. Of course, there are existing events and outlets [1], [2], [3] for supporting journalistc freedom that anyone can access.

U.S.-led Invasion Morphs into Occupation

23.04.2003 23:50

Although the bulk of the fighting in Iraq has subsided, the aftermath of the war is only beginning. The civilian death count has yet to be reported, and the Pentagon announced that it "has no plans" to determine how many civilians were killed or injured during the war.

US forces remain firmly entrenched in Iraq, where they are likely to remain for a long-term occupation. But last week, as Iraqi civilians looted hospitals and archaelogical museums, US troops were busy protecting the Ministry of Oil building.

The US military continues to impinge on the freedom of the press in Iraq, banning from the Palestine Hotel members of the human rights group Voices in the Wilderness. This occured after VITW released a press release outlining US failures in Iraq.

Postwar plans for a democratic Iraq have been revealed to be fraught with hypocrisy. Many have questioned whether the US is interested in a real representative democracy or simply colonialism in the region.

There has been much talk lately of the new global role that the United States is playing. Some claim that the United States used the war on Iraq to send a message to the rest of the world: don't stand in the way of US economic and geopolitical interests, or else face brutal consequences. There is already evidence that the US intends to continue its foreign policy in this fashion. Leaked on 22 April, a secret memo written by Donald Rumsfeld calls for "regime change" in North Korea, and the US seems to have moved on quickly from its task in Iraq, as it now threatens Syria in familiar tones.

Most independent reporters have returned home from Iraq, and there is little if any independent reporting coming out of Iraq.

Repression In Brukman Factory

22.04.2003 02:43

workers runing towards the factory as the repression starts The Infantry division of the Argentine Federal Police showed its true face today in a brutal repression of the 7000 people who had gathered around the Brukman factory to help the workers reclaim what is theirs. After 4 days of waiting in front of the factory and after the Government repeatedly refused any real negotiations the workers attempted to peacefully enter the factory by moving the barricades the police had formed. The workers however where met by a shower of tear gas and rubber bullets, to the point where the whole city block was turned white in tear gas. The people defending themselves as best as they could where chased by the police who continued to shoot at them, in some cases following them over 25 blocks to a children hospital and then shooting tear gas into the hospital itself.
Motorcycles belonging to police roll on the street of Balvanerra neighborhood, persecuting demonstrators who run away from their repression, even inside hospitals and universities. Journalists are also being blocked from visiting and counting the detainees. On Balconies outside the factory and near the Police station, in an act of solidarity people have begun to bang pots and pans to support the demonstrators.

The night ends with over 100 arrested, and 32 wounded one of them by live ammunition; the fact that police forces where /a> had been previously denounced by the Argentina IMC. The wounded also included 2 IMC journalists injured by the police while in visible possession of their press credentials and equipment. Workers are expected to mobilize tomorrow once again to the factory (es).

There is a call to action tomorrow, April 22nd at 11 in Plaza Miserere.
Donate to support imc argentina
Reports : [ 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 ]
Photo: [ 1 - 2 ]

Read earlier features: 20 April, 18 April

Help support indymedia and social movements in South America!

21.04.2003 17:27

Computers for south america Indymedia was founded with the goal of democratizing the media and putting the tools of communication and media making in to the hands of activists who are struggling to make another world a reality. As part of our mission for activists to 'become the media' we have setup indymedia centers in over a hundred cities around the world. But in the global south, IMC's and social movements they work with desperately need equipment. The indymedia tech solidarity project is about repairing donated computers from ACCRC in Oakland, FreeGeek in Portland, and other donars, installing a spanish debian GNU/Linux OS on them, and then recycling them into the hands of imc's and activists in the global south.

In November we shipped 240 computers to Ecuador to support indymedia and a broad coalition of anti-globalization groups. Read the salon.com article or watch a video about the first shipment. As a followup we are shipping about 250 computers to argentina, uruguay, brasil, and chile. To do this we need $7.000 that we are trying to raise through a grassroots fundraising campaign. That's less than $30 a computer.

We need your support!
Please support this project with your donation, or you can organize a fund raiser in your community contact the project at the imc-tech-solidarity mailing list.

Tension Builds Around Brukman Factory

20.04.2003 11:18

Brukman eviction Since Thursday night thousands have gathered around the Brukman factory in Balvanera, Buenos Aires to support the workers that where evicted on Thursday at 11 PM. The Federal Police has deployed a massive operation which includes some 2000 officers in and in front of the factory and hundreds more in the neighborhood around the factory; Human Rights groups are calling it a militarized zone, while the police has paraded live ammunition strapped to their chest (sp) (red cartridges). The workers and those who support them however are standing firm and will not leave until the factory is controlled by the workers once again. On Sunday at 3pm the workers have called for a massive gathering (sp) to be held in front of the factory. The Brukman factory was taken over by it's workers in the year 2001 after the owners went bankrupt. It has since been ran and controlled by it's workers. The factory has been along with Zanon examples of the workers struggles in Argentina to reclaim bankrupt factories and having them be reopened by their workers; Workers have recovered and control now over 200 businesses and factories in Argentina.

According to Pagina 12 (sp), the eviction of Brukman is part of a larger wave state repression through coordinated evictions which have also included the indymedia offices.

[ Report on April 19th events | Report on April 18th events ]

Machine guns at the Baxter camp

20.04.2003 10:23

baxter The first day of protests at the baxter detention centre began with hundreds of people arriving at the city square park in Port Augusta where they were given an indigenous welcome and were joined by the local aboriginal radio station, Umeewarra Aboriginal Media Association. That afternoon 500 protesters broke through a police roadblock 2km from the detention centre in an attempt to set up camp as close as possible but were forced back by police despite much resistance.

On the second day, 300 people downed a small perimeter fence and moved closer to the making as much noise as possible in an effort to be heard by those inside. A text message from detainees later that night confirmed that they had been able to hear. Detainees were locked in their compounds and under intense surveillence during the protests.

In the morning of Day 3, police entered the camp armed with semi-automatic weapons in search of what was supposedly a "rifle". Around five Star Force police raided the camp after seeing the "rifle" from their helicopter. It turned out to be a protestors tripod. Protestors challenged the police chanting "take your guns and go". After viewing the protestor's own video footage and assertaining there was no weapon, police agreed to withdraw from the camp.

Day 1: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Day 2 1 | 2 3 | 4
Day 3: 1 | 2 | 3

Syria Outflanks U.S. Warmongers

19.04.2003 09:06

Map of Mid-east Even before the smoke has cleared in Iraq, Bush regime operatives began threatening Syria about having alleged weapons of mass destruction(WMD) and lending support to Iraq. In concert, the Sharon regime in Israel is making other demands. These events were, of course, foretold.

But Syria responded with an olive branch rather than a rebuke, proposing a WMD-free zone in the region to be presented as a resolution in the UN Security Council. Given that Israel probably possesses most such weapons in the Mid-east it's unlikely they and their sponsor, the U.S., would support such a measure. Not surprisingly,the U.S. corporate media has given Syria's proposal minimal coverage, focusing instead on U.S. propaganda and bellicose remarks by Bush and Secretary of War, Rumsfeld.

Squatted Factory Brukman Evicted

18.04.2003 15:51

On Friday 18 April, around midnight local time some 200 police officers evicted Brukman, a suit factory under worker control. The 55 workers, mostly women took over the factory in December, 2001. This is the third eviction that the workers have experienced. Within hours thousands of supporters were on the streets to to send the message that this eviction will not continue and that Brukman will continue to produce under worker control. "We don't want eviction, we don't want repression - we want dignified work for the workers of Brukman and Zanon," sing many supporters. [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6]

Burkman is one of the factories in Argentine that is run by the workers themselves, a major factor in Argentina's crisis-ridden economy.
With only ten days to the upcoming election, strong repression are the answer to economic problems and to the resitance of the people. Squatted factories and house, as well as cultural and social centre are in danger of being forcefully evicted. It started on 25 February, with the eviction of the squat "el Padelai" in which about 500 people lived since 20 years. On 14 April, the ex-Mayo bank building located in the Buenos Aires neighbourhood of Barracas has been evicted. The building was recovered in 2002 by the "Lezama Sur" popular assembly and has since been a major cultural and political center for the people of Barracas. Among others it also housed the office of IMC Argentina

People in Argentina are urgently asking for all kinds of support: "It's very important to get some kind of action, virtual of any way, of solidarity. the main thing is that we are playing the future of all the movement in argentina today."

See IMC Argentina for updates in Spanish, English, German, Italian and French.

Militant Anti-War Demonstrations at EU Summit

18.04.2003 14:22

As 20,000 police guarded the EU meeting in Athens, Greece, up to 8,000 anti-war protestors began smashing shops and burning banks. Police responded with tear gas and savage beatings, and were met with stones, bottles and Molotov cocktails. Several undercover police and agents provocateurs were beaten by protestors and expelled from the demonstration. The British, Italian and French embassies were all attacked, and British Airways' office was occupied.
The ministry of Public Order prohibited "any public assembly, concentration or march from April 15th at 15:00 to April 17th" in various streets of Athens, due to the arrival of 41 European leaders for the signing of the Accession Treaty of the European Union, that now numbers 25 member-states.

The day ended with 106 arrests, with many arrestees reporting police violence in custody. [ 1 | 2 | 3 |

Iraqis Protest American Occupation

17.04.2003 11:43

Baghdad It appears the Iraqi people have discovered what modern 'democracy' looks like as US troops opened fire on protestors in Iraq. Crowds in Mosul started throwing rocks in response to a speech by new-governor Mashaan al-Juburi, who some accuse as being a US-'Puppet' like Saddam Hussein originally was. American troops then reportedly fired on the crowd, possibly after receiving small arms fire from nearby. Dr. Ayad al-Ramadhani at the city hospital said that "there are perhaps 100 wounded and 10 to 12 dead" following the shooting near the local government offices in the city's central square. To further silence any opposition, the city was buzzed with F-14s, reminding people of the devastating bombings that have killed hundreds of Iraqi civilians since "Operation Iraqi Freedom" began.

Earlier in Nasiriyah, 20,000 people from the Shia Muslim majority which was brutally oppressed by Saddam Hussein, chanted, "No to America. No to Saddam." "This is no freedom," chanted protesters in Baghdad as armed US occupation forces watched and tried to prevent the media from covering the event.

Read: Entire Feature

Israeli Army Continues Targeting Activists

17.04.2003 06:30

Israeli snipers shot another ISM activist in the head on April 12th. 22-year old, Tom Hundall from Manchester Britain is in critical condition. The activists were being shot at while protecting some children from Israeli gunfire. Tom was in plain view of the sniper towers and was wearing a bright orange fluorescent jacket with reflective stripes.

In the wake of the previous shooting of Brian Avery, 23, a US ISM activist shot in the face by Israeli Forces in Jenin on 5 Apr and the murder of Rachel Corrie, 23, who was killed on 16 March when she was crushed twice by an Israeli army bulldozer, the increased targeting of human shield activists seems obvious. The U.S.-led war on Iraq has emboldened the Sharon regime in its lawlessness.

Eviction of IMC Argentina

14.04.2003 10:25

The IMC Argentine office in Buenos Aires has been evicted.

For details see: IMC Argentina and the feature from the 2nd of April.

Baxter Detainees Placed in Solitary in Preparation for Protests

14.04.2003 10:21

Whilst 2000 Australian troops are busy assisting the US and UK "liberate" Iraqis, in Australia the government continues to lock up those who move without papers fleeing poverty, war and persecution, including more than 130 Iraqi asylum seekers.

This Easter, people will converge at the site of Australia's newest asylum seeker detention camp to take action in solidarity with detainees own planned and ongoing resistance. Baxter is a militarised compound surrounded by electric fences about 3 hours north of Adelaide, South Australia.

In preparation for the protests, on Sunday 6th April authorities forced eight detainees into solitary confinement. The detainees were told they were "trouble-makers" and considered likely to escape, so they were being removed until after the protests. It is alleged that they were beaten by guards, handflexi-cuffed, foot flexi-cuffed and had tape placed over their mouths.

Read: Entire Feature

For upcoming coverage of the protests starting April 18 go to Melbourne IMC

Barcelona Against The War: Protests And Strike

13.04.2003 10:40

General strike in Spain The city of Barcelona was shaken on Thursday 10th as thousands of people took to the streets in a day of protest against the killing in Iraq and the permanent war. Many businesses were closed, following a call by several anarcho-syndicalist unions [CGT | CNT | SO] for a general strike of 24 hours. Actions continued until the late evening.

Read: Entire Feature

Military transports stopped successfully

12.04.2003 16:16

Oostende While the media states that Baghdad is fallen to the US troops, and why the US and UK military superiority in the region has be established, new transports of tanks and helicopters from US bases in Germany are still on the way in the golf region via the harbours Rotterdam (Netherlands) and Antwerpen (Belgium).
Activists locked themselves to the rails (nl) near Venlo (NL), and the train returned to Germany because it was to wide to wait there without blocking the oncoming traffic.

Earlier in the week, planespotting took place at the Belgium airport Oostende>. Oosteinde is used for civil flights with military material and the change the crews, but one of the companies recently decided to fly via the UK (nl) instead. A few days later, a group of activists walked on the runway (nl, fr) and hung up a banner (nl) with "No war for oil. Resist" over the windows of the controll tower.

Activists Shut Down U.S. Senate to Protest War Spending

11.04.2003 21:47

Code Pink at the Capitol As if a prelude to this weekend's demonstrations in Washington, DC a group of activists with the Ferrel Collective, including 4 University of Maryland students, brought Thursday's session of the Senate to an abrupt halt. The group was protesting massive military spending being passed while critical social services such as affordable housing, education, health care, and drug addiction treatment are underfunded and/or experiencing budget cuts. "We are concerned that corporate powers continue to control this country over the will of the people. The unjust and dangerous war in Iraq is part of an expanding corporate agenda to put profit interests over our interests as communities. Our government is not hearing us, so we have to make our voices heard. We must retake the space that is being run by dollars and greed," said Chris D. (of the Ferrels) in handcuffs. ... During the commotion, the voting on the Senate floor ground to a stand still. The crowd of Senators grew to between 65 and 80, all of whom were giving their undivided attention to the protestors in the gallery while C-Span cameras aired the commotion.

German journalists kept and interrogated during US transit flight

10.04.2003 03:51

On 7 April 2003, the German journalists Peter Nowak and Jens Klinker wanted to fly from Berlin via Italy to Caracas to report about the aborted overthrow of the left-reformist Chavez-government in Caracas/Venezuela in 2002. Because the Berlin-Milano flight was cancelled the airline provided another with transit stops in London and Miami (USA). At a passport check in Miami, a custom officer saw an Iraqi visa in one of the passports.
As consequence, the two were held in prison for 24 hours, interrogated about political activities in Germany in recent years, they were denied a translator, and in the end sent back to London, without a copy of the interrogation protocol and without all their flight tickets. One of them was issued a notice prohibiting him to enter the USA for 5 years.

Unclear is how far the cooperation between German and US authorities went in this case. Since March 2003, all foreign airlines (de) are obliged to grant US customs online access (de) to data about flight passengers. Of interest to the US authorities are not only the flight data, but also information about further travel plans and rental cars, credit cards, and the kind of food ordered for the flight .

Read Entire feature (de, en)

New Level of Repression

08.04.2003 12:43

Oakland 7 April The US antiwar movement launched a nationwide direct action initiative on Monday. In efforts to repress the movement, police in Oakland used concussion grenades and wooden bullets to disperse a peaceful demonstration while police in New York City arrested nearly 100 people who were engaged in a legal protest. These tactics represent a significant escalation in the police response to the nonviolent antiwar movement.

Read the entire feature.

Peace-activists enter besieged Baghdad

07.04.2003 20:08

Human Shields With an ever more distorted media-image from the war in Iraq, peace-activists are still in and around Baghdad handing out medicines for the Iraqi's and bits of information back home by satelite-phones. With the siege of Baghdad underhand the humanitarian condition is becoming worse every day with water supplies under siege and overcrowded hospitals all over the country [1 | 2 ]. But the war does not stop doctors and Human Shields from entering Baghdad. On Wednesday 2nd of April, new Human Shields arrived in Baghdad with one thousand kilo medicines for hospitals in Iraq. They were coming from India, Portugal and Greece [Human shields (update 4 april) en, es ]. Sunday the sixth of April two Belgium medicine-docters arrived in Baghdad safely as well. While Wade Hudson as well decided to stay in Baghdad, other Peace-activists like Jo Wilding from Bristol, several Human Shields and members of the Iraqi Peace Team [1 | 2 ] have returned. The International Red Cross has daily updates on the overall humanitarian situation in the country.

[ Photoreports: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10]
Check these websites for daily updates: News from Baghdad (en, es, it, nl, fr) | Reports from Baghdad (en, fr, du, it) | Electroniciraq | Chronicles of the brigadistas (es) | reportes de guerra (es) | International Red Cross in Baghdad]

Activists Target Pro-war Media

07.04.2003 03:34

Faux News poster by Daniel Shays Activists are targeting the mainstream media for its pro-war bias on the invasion of Iraq. In the U.K., on April fools Day in Manchester, thirty people occupied the News International Office, which runs the Times and the Sun. Once inside they handed out literature to the staff before being painfully removed. In London, a protest outside the BBC was met with a line of police preventing access. The above actions followed a demonstration outside the Manchester BBC offices which saw two marches converge on the Headquarters. Earlier last week, BBC deputy Editor Mark Damazar was confronted with a barrage of questions at a public discussion organised by Media Workers Against the War criticising the pro-government war led agenda.

In the U.S., Faux News and CNN's New York City bureaus experienced their own April fools joke. In Washington, DC, "Code Pink" also protested the faux news of Fox News. In Los Angeles, thousands came out to protest CNN's pro-war cheerleading. There were also actions in San Francisco, in front of CNN and the Chronicle, as well as a pie-in-the-face for a local talking head.

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