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ADB Threatens Aloha Spirit

05.05.2001 02:10

Honolulu, Hawai'i is holding a meeting with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) from May 7-11. Protesters of this meeting believe that through the combined policy plans of the ADB, World Bank and the Japanese government, the ADB has also played a major role in promoting deregulation, economic liberalization and privatization in the region over the last 34 years. Protestors also fear that the increasing domination of the ADB's vision of the world has narrowed opportunities for the emergence of local, nation and regional development alternatives and that their presence in Hawai'i will threaten the "aloha spirit".

Hawaii Tourism Authority has indicated its intention to help fund the city's efforts to prevent "illegal mass demonstrations or protests on public sidewalks, streets, or other public areas" and Assistant Police Chief Boisse Correa has indicated that the Police Department is "planning for the worst case scenario."

US Loses UN Human Rights Position

05.05.2001 01:43

The United States of America's reign on the top U.N. human rights commission has ended after it failed to amass enough votes to preserve the seat it had occupied for over 50 years. The three nations chosen through secret vote for the Western group of the commission were France, Austria and Sweden.

Already, diplomats have begun the process of pointing fingers at potential causes for this upset. Some claim it is due to the U.S.'s recent votes against several issues relating to human rights such as making AIDS drugs available to everyone and banning land mines. Statements have even gone so far as to say that the world is returning the favor to the United States after years of using the Human Rights Commission as a method to enforce its own international policies. Others, not desiring to lay blame on the U.S.'s own human rights record, accuse the U.S. of having been lax in its lobbying for votes. To quote an article: "Many countries vote for candidates after their delegates have been courted rather than along strict ideological lines." Still others claim that the United States' huge, and still unpaid, monetary debt to the UN was punished by embarrassing this nation which boasts the righteousness of its democracy.

No matter the cause, the U.S. is out of the commission, and to many, this comes as a symbolic statement of disapproval towards the U.S.'s policies coming from outside the country's borders.

May Day

01.05.2001 11:14

http://la.indymedia.org/index.php3 Mayday actions took place throughout the world. Over 100 "black bloc" activists marching in Long Beach, California were brutally attacked by the police, and an estimated 60 were arrested. In Russia, a street party was held. Workers at the JeffBoat factory, in Indiana USA, staged a wildcat strike. Critical Mass and major demonstrations were held in London. Hundreds marched New Zealand. In Sydney, protests were staged outside the stock exchange. In Phoenix, USA, demonstrators were arrested. In Bolivia, a general strike was held. In Chicago, a solidarity rally for political prisoners took place. In Pittsburgh, Mayday took the form of reclaim the streets. A march in Vancouver turned nasty. In Sri Lanka, thousands gathered in the streets. In Greece, demonstrations centered on the social security system. Rawalpindi saw demonstrations as well. Moscow had thousands in the streets. Wellington,South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Berlin, London, San Francisco, Portland, Minneapolis and more!

Crisis intensifies in Vieques

29.04.2001 16:25

Police have arrested over 100 demonstrators on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques -- including a sitting U.S. Congressman who was then physically abused -- as opposition to U.S. military bombing on the island intensifies. Opponents of U.S. occupation of the island are rallying support across the hempisphere in response to the Navy's decision to push ahead with bombing.

IMC in Free Speech Battle Following FBI/Secret Service Visit

27.04.2001 14:17

On Saturday, April 21, as tens of thousands demonstrated against the FTAA in the streets of Quebec City, the IMC in Seattle was served with a sealed court order by two FBI agents and an agent of the US Secret Service. The terms of the sealed order prevented IMC volunteers from publicizing its terms. This morning, the gag order was lifted, enabling the IMC to finally break its silence about these events, which Lee Tien of the Electronic Frontier Foundation characterized as "a threat to free speech, free association, and privacy."

Indymedia coverage of the FTAA protests

23.04.2001 22:33

As the corporation-state's mass media networks churn out misinformation, Indymedia will be providing a voice for a diverse group of people mobilizing across the hemisphere against the FTAA and Summit of the Americas. Extensive IMC coverage is listed at indymedia.org/ftaa. Audio, video, photos and written accounts of the news as it happens will continue to be updated.

Protesters forced to scramble down 150 foot cliffs

21.04.2001 02:47

Reports coming in from the CMAQ media center state that 200 activists were chased onto a blocked highway by riot cops, and forced to either scramble down the 150 foot cliffs bordering the higway or to jump 25 feet to an underpass below to esape being gassed and beaten. It is unknown how many were arrested in the process, but many appear to have escaped.
200-300 people are now reported to be below the underpass where a sound system is playing. The cops have not moved in on them as of yet. Protesters are regarding this as a safe space for now.

Victory Declared

21.04.2001 00:08

From every corner of the world, organizations and activists involved with Anti-FTAA organizing have called the first day of protests against the Summit of the Americas a total success. Despite rubber bullets, tear gas, dogs, and direct physical violence, demonstrators managed to delay meetings before they could even begin.

One activist who managed to get inside the Summit meetings described them as "nothing going on." Brazil had many reservations about the agreement, even before its president arrived in Canada. And the corporate press is beginning to realize that there is tremendous opposition to free trade economics.

First Day of Summit Ends In Chaos
April 20, 2001, Quebec City: Intense demonstrations continued to escalate throughout the day. Teargas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and direct physical violence were used by police against demonstrators protesting the Free Trade Area of the Americas. After massive clashes in the streets, it appeared that demonstrators had the upper hand. As night fell on the city, chaos loomed. Police lines were undefined, and areas declared as "safe zones" were attacked.

A lone underpass houses a temporarily safe space for activists. People gather, eat, and dance together. How long they will be safe there is unknown.

FTAA Protesters Face Off Against Montreal Police State

18.04.2001 14:58

anarchists in montreal Over 500 riot police came out to intimidate 75 protesters who blocked traffic and delivered caskets to a pre-FTAA cocktail party at the Conférence de Montréal. Transnational elites, including Vicente Fox, boozed it up while discussing plans for worldwide capitalist domination. Outside, a substantial police presence protected them from democratic dissent. The mood of the demonstration was somber, as protesters laid down the coffins in front of hundreds of riot cops.

While the Summit of the Americas has symbolic importance for the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) negotiation process, it is at private, off-the-record meetings such as this conference that privatization deals are negotiated and the true goals of the FTAA are advanced.

In addition to the protesters, other conference-goers include Vincente Fox, Pierre Pettigrew, and the president of La Conférence de Montréal, Paul Desmarais Jr. (also the CEO of Power Corporation), who owns over half of Quebec's daily newspapers. Also present were some secret agents taking pictures of protesters.

Palestinians, Israelis Demonstrate in Face of Israeli Escalated Hostilities

17.04.2001 08:54

On April 14 2001, Palestinians, Israelis and International activists staged a protest at the Bethlehem (Gilo) Israeli Roadblock, between Bethlehem and Jerusalem. The demonstration took place as the Sharon government escalated hostilities, both in Palestine and in Lebanon.

Approximately 200 Palestinians, along with many internationals from Europe and the United States, marched from Beit Sahour near Bethlehem towards the Gilo Checkpoint to meet an equal number of Israeli peace activists on the other side The two groups intended to join together and march in solidarity to Jerusalem, but were prevented from doing so by increasingly aggressive Israeli forces.

Instead, major Palestinian, Israeli and International peace activists made statements at the checkpoint, including Rassan Andoni of the Palestinian Centre for the Reapproachment of People, Gila Svirski of Bat Shalom, Uri Avneri of Gush Shalom, and Louisa Morgantini, Italian member of the European Parliament. The march ended peacefully with promises that "We will be back and we will go through this evil checkpoint next time nonviolently and on to Jerusalem". The roadblock was targeted because the system of checkpoints, combined with power blackouts, arbitrary water stoppages, and other human rights violations, amount to a state of siege in the West Bank and Gaza and has led to massive suffering.

Read more about the demonstration and other recent actions.. Meanwhile, the Sharon regime continues to escalate its campaign of destruction in Palestine, following up the April 10 razing of Khan Yunis with more bulldozing in Rafah, bombings near Bethlehem and a raid into Lebanese territory.

The biggest action on a nuclear weapons base in history of peace movement

16.04.2001 20:39

bombspotting Kleine Brogel [Belgium] April 16 2001: On Easter Monday a non-violent WAR CRIMES INSPECTION was organized by Forum for Peace Action (the Flemish branch of War Resisters International) and For Mother Earth. 850 activists non-violently entered the nuclear weapons base of Kleine Brogel and tried to inspect the nuclear weapons deployed by the USA. This was done without permission from the Belgian or US authorities. About 1500 people were present.

Cincinnati Curfew Finally Lifted

12.04.2001 21:46

After 1 week of turmoil in Cincinnati a city-wide curfew has finally been lifted. The people of Cincinnati rose up in reaction to police corruption and murder. Unarmed Timothy Thomas, 19, was shot and killed by an officer of the Cincinnati police department during a brief chase. Thomas was the 5th black man since September to be killed by the Cincinnati police. The unrest spread to other parts of the city and the mayor declared a curfew effective from 8pm to 6 am. Police reported 82 arrests on Wednesday night, 153 on Thursday night, 201 Friday night, and 187 Saturday night. Police actions have hospitalized many during the week of protests, including the unprovoked shooting of peaceful seven-year-old children.

The Ohio Valley IMC has coverage of the protest and police response. There are discussions of the role of white anti-globalization activists, a statement of solidarity from white activists in Cincinnati, commentary, and links to corporate news articles. You can also check out the police scanner and webcam.

Audio interviews from Cincinnati:

  • A Laywer and resident of Over-The_Rhine talks about legal issues and continued police racism during the curfew. [ 24:22 - real audio | mp3 ]
  • Interview with an activist who was arrested, and then re-arrested durring the protests. [ 11:45 - real audio | mp3 ]
  • An activist talks about a group of anarchists who were stopped, searched, and had their money stolen by the cops, and then about the white activists who were hospitalized on tuesday. [ 30:40 - real audio | mp3 ]
  • Citizens gather and pray in the park after unprovoked police shotting of little girl with a 'bean bag' (with lead pellets) shotgun. [ 5:52 - real audio | mp3 ]
  • Hundreds march away from the funeral, includes interviews from the crowd. [ 18:31 - real audio | mp3 ]
  • As curfew sets in an Over-The-Rhine resident talks about what she has witnessed in the past few days, and a little background on protests. [ 45:18 - real audio | mp3 ]
Communities have been fighting racist and corrupt police in southern Ohio for years. A few years ago, action by Columbus Copwatch prompted a federal review of police brutality in Columbus, Ohio. Copwatch has been active (and kept underground) in Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati and other parts of southern Ohio. Despite the race baiting in the corporate media groups like ARA - Anti-Racist Action of Cincinnati have been working against racism and sexism in Cincinnati. Police state that activists anti-globalization TBAD protest last November are paticpating in the current protests.

An anonymous reader has posted the police department and city hall phone numbers.

Buenos Aires Ministerial Summit Faces Massive Demonstrations

05.04.2001 18:51

UPDATE: This evening more than 10,000 people assembled in the streets of Buenos Aires to march from the National Congress building to the Sheraton hotel where the 6th Business Forum of the Americas is being held and the interest of international capital will be presented to the FTAA/ALCA negotiations. Over 10,000 mobilized and took action - diverse unions, farmers, student and parties of the left had converged without any hindrance at the fence surrounding the hotel. Here where the diverse columns of people met, the police began their repression, armed with tear gas, rubber bullets and water canons. The demonstrators were pursued and divided by the streets of the city, while the mounted police, assault cars and riot squads waited for opportunities to attack the protesters. Currently the numbers of arrests are unknown.

Compañer@s from Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Chile and elsewhere took diverse actions and were united in declaring "NO to ALCA/FTAA".
Updates will follow in the Argentina Indymedia newswire

As trade and finance ministers from 34 American governments gathered in Buenos Aires to finalize the text of the FTAA, activists prepared to confront them en masse at demonstrations planned for April 5, 6 and 7.

Activists oppose ALCA/FTAA, a thinly-veiled extension of NAFTA, which has given North American firms not only a giant market in which to sell their products, but also an inexhaustible supply of cheap labor, all supported by forms of semi-slavery (as in the "maquiladoras" of northern Mexico) and combined with brutal repression. All week they have been organizing info sessions, seminars, demonstrations and diverse actions, which will culminate in a grand March tomorrow. Large numbers of activists from other countries are expected as well, including several thousand from Brazil and Uruguay, where solidarity demonstrations will also be taking place. In addition, some groups and collectives will attempt to block the summit, they include Anticapitalistas de Lomas de Zamora, Bloqueoalca, Contraimagen, En Clave Roja/Jir-CI, Primavera de Praga OSL.

Marching Against the SOA

05.04.2001 11:59

School of the Americas Watch supporters marched to the Pentagon Parade Grounds Monday morning where they planted crosses in the ground while other supporters shut down seven of eight turnstiles spilling their own blood inside the Pentagon. "We were able to kneel in or behind the blood," said Briana Binkerd-Dale of the SOA Watch National Office, DC, "for about 15 minutes, speaking out to the steady stream of Pentagon workers on their way inside. Another member of our [affinity] group leafletted." She said that all were arrested and processed but two were not charged because their arresting officers failed to make an arrest report.
Other SOA Watch supporters blockaded two other entrances by linking arms and staging a mock die-in at the "Tunnel Entrance" using water-soluble red soy ink. Of the dozens risking arrest four were charged with "creating a hazardous condition". [ video ]
Monday afternoon, six Oberlin students disrupted the opening session of a Sikorsky Corporation suppliers conference by locking their arms together inside pipes in the conference room and refusing to leave. They were also arrested. Sikorsky manufactures Blackhawk helicopters which are used by the Colombian army to fight the civil war. Jeff Moebus will begin a 40 day fast in front of the Fort Benning Gate tomorrow, April 6.

Activists Resist Biotech Worldwide

03.04.2001 07:21

In an odd change of events, Italian police raided a Monsanto warehouse last week to seize 112 tons of genetically-engineered maize and corn. Ever since the introduction of transgenic organisms, biotech companies have been tightening their grip on world agricultural production. In the North, concern tends to focus on the dangers of consuming Genetically Engineered Organisms (GMO's) -- the unknown health risks that genetically modified foods might pose [cf. GSR's recent article on allergies]. But at least since the late 1980's, ecologists have pointed to the risks GMO's pose to ecosystems, especially given increasing evidence that genes can jump from one organism to another with much greater ease than was previously believed. And indigenous peoples all over the world have identified biotech patents as a threat to their way of life. By taking out patents on traits found in indigenous crops, biotech corporations appropriate thousands of years of indigenous knowledge for themselves and get the protection of the WTO in the bargain. This theft of knowledge is part of the ecological debt

But activists and indigenous peoples have come together to put a stop to biopiracy. In a recent development, Quechua people in the Andes condemned the patent on a traditional bean, the nuña, as "immoral and [a violation] of the rights of all indigenous peoples." Meanwhile, eco-activists across the North have taken it into their own hands to destroy dangerous crops, like the hybrid poplar trees this activist helped to destroy at an Oregon laboratory last week. The Oregon action "set back research 15 years," according to the lab's founder.

Activists demand to see the text for FTAA (Free Trade of the Americas Agreement)

02.04.2001 19:29

In Canada and the US activists demanded that the full text of the FTAA be released. In Ottawa on April 2nd, SalAMI and a coalition of activist groups attempted a search and rescue operation to retrieve the trade texts, which are not available to the public, at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). Over 80 activists were arrested in Ottawa durring the protests which unfortunately did not result in a sucessful liberation of the text.

In San Francisco, activists shutdown the pacific stock exchange to deman release of the full ftaa text.

On April 6th in Buenos Aires protesters will confront the meeting of finance ministers in a lead up to the big ftaa meeting in quebec city on april 20th. Check out argentina.indymedia.org for more coverage of that action.

Anti-Nuke Protestors Persist Against Police Crackdown

29.03.2001 06:49

Thousands of anti-nuclear waste protesters have severely delayed a train transporting nuclear waste from the French reprocessing plant La Hague to the repository at Gorleben, Germany. A variety of actions, from sit-ins, to tractor blockades, to direct confrontations, succeeded in halting the train for one day and raising the costs of the transport to unprecedented levels. The train finally reached its destination in Gorleben on Thursday morning, March 28.

The Castor train had arrived in the Wendland region on Wednesday with only a few hours delay, but plans to proceed the remaining 50 kilometres went into total disarray, despite the deployment of 30,000 police. Several actions by groups such as x-1000, Robin Wood, Greenpeace, other environmental groups, 'Autonomen' and local farmers temporarily forced the train to retreat in the early morning. At Sueschendorf, it took police 20 hours remove five Robin Wood activists who had chained and cemented themselves in between the tracks. Thousands of people blocked the tracks along the final miles of the route and police could only remove them through the use of excessive force.

Organizing Against Displacement Created by Tech Companies in San Francisco

29.03.2001 05:20

City Without Art This week in San Francisco, protesters and media activists are teaming up to challenge community and cultural destruction by technology companies. Following a direct action, there will be a week of film/video at the Whose City? and Bulldozed! festivals.

The dot-com economy has created a class of newly-rich people who were in the right place at the right time. For everyone else, there are the devastating effects of this increasing gap between rich and poor. In San Francisco, ground zero for this new phenomenon of the global economy, dot-com companies and their employees have decided that their young and radical corporate image is best served by locating in the Mission District, an area which is largely Latino, and home to artist co-ops, collectives and non-profits. Capitalizing on the Mission's diverse and subversive history, technology companies are waging cultural warfare against residents and driving rent prices sky-high, displacing thousands of working class people, Latino families and non-corporate organizations. Aside from economic pressure, dot-com companies in the Mission, like Zing.com, are renting housing that has been zoned for live-work residence (fought for by artists and community organizations) and illegally converting them to commercial office space. Community opposition in San Francisco is fighting forced displacement electorally and through direct action. Protesters blockaded the entrances/exits to Zing.com for hours as employees watched from the roof. Zephyr Real Estate, called the worst slumlord in San Francisco, was vandalized with smashed windows and spray paint.

The displacement of regular people by the rich is happening everywhere in the San Francisco, Oakland, the Bay Area, and throughout the United States. As the momentum against globalization grows, people worldwide are bringing the energy home to fight the corporation-state as it affects their everyday lives and communities.

View the trailer for "BOOM!," an upcoming video about gentrification in San Francisco's Mission, by Whispered Media.

Over a thousand call for the repeal of Rockefeller drug laws

28.03.2001 20:02

Young Protestors at Drop the Rock! Rally in Albany, NY (US) Over a thousand people gathered in Albany (the capital of New York state) on March 27 to call for the repeal of the state's harsh Drug Laws. Called the Rockeller Drug Laws after the Senator who introduced them in 1973, they take away judicial discretion in sentencing, routinely resulting in 12, 20 or 25-year minimum sentences for minorities possessing even small amounts of controlled substances or marijuana (which are classified differently under NY State law). Though it is believed that the majority of drug users are white in New York, 94% of its drug prisoners are Black or Latino.

Hundreds Arrested in Germany

27.03.2001 09:40

A train filled with 85 tons of deadly nuclear waste pulled out of Le Havre early Monday morning, crossing the French-German border at Lauterbourg-Woerth around midnight on its way to the storage site in the rural village of Gorleben. In response, activists all across Germany mobilized in a wave of actions focussed along the train's planned route. In the Wendland area around Gorleben, thousands of demonstrators engaged a force of some 15,000 police in a variety of actions. Today's struggles, many of which were characterized by extremely heavy police deployments, ratcheted up tensions towards the major confrontations that are expected tomorrow. The train is due to arrive in the Wendland Tuesday at midday, but sabotage efforts and human blockades are almost certain to lead to delays.

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