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June 3 is Mabo Day in Australia

07.06.2003 02:03

On June 3, 1992 the High Court of Australia rejected the notion of "Terra Nullius", which states that Australia was not occupied before European colonisation. Eddie Mabo a Torres Strait, born on Mer in the Torres Strait and living in Townsville in Queensland, conducted a ten year battle through the courts that led to this historic judgement. The Mabo Judgement states in law that indigenous Australians have, because of their prior occupation, ownership of land where native title has not been extinguished.

June 3 1992 marked the beginning of a reconciliation process between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians that is based in law, not charity. It opened up a new chapter in the often difficult relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. The Mabo decision is arguable the most important decision that the High Court of Australia has made since Federation. It states Indigenous people have legal, not just symbolic, rights, to all Crown Land in Australia, as well as possible rights to pastoral leases.

Mabo Day marked the beginning of a new era for Indigenous people. It changed Australian's views of themselves and their rights to this land. It has forced mining companies and the corporate world to take stock of Indigenous peoples' claims. It has radically altered the relationship between Indigenous and non Indigenous people in this country.

Sydney IMC | read more and discuss]

FCC Approves Further Consolidation of Corporate Media

06.06.2003 03:36

In a further blow to the already stifled diversity of voices and opinions expressed in the mainstream media, the three Republicans on the Federal Communications Commission outvoted the two Democrats in approving new Broadcast Ownership Rules which will allow greater concentration of media ownership.

Reminiscent of the disgraceful deregulation of radio which allowed the "clear-channelization" of the radio airwaves, now the same corporation could control two television stations in the same market, and three in markets that already have a number of channels. The FCC also overturned the decades-old prohibition on a corporation owning both a newspaper and a television or radio station. Watch This Video RealVideo, 12:31

Despite overwhelming public opposition, including public comments which overwhelmed the FCC's voicemail and email systems, the three Republican commissioners cleared the way for even greater homogenization of the media environment.

But independent media activism continues. Although Congress has the power to overturn the FCC's decision, independent media activism remains a powerful and crucial tool in maintaining access to diverse news and information.

more | FCC's Review of Broadcast Ownership Rules | Reclaim The Media | Media Diversity Project ]

June 5th: International Day of Action for Justice in Palestine

05.06.2003 12:51

Palestinian, international, and Israeli peace groups are calling for an international day of action on June 5th to protest the escalating violence against Palestinians and international human rights workers in the Occupied Territories. The Thunder Bay Coalition for Peace & International Justice has organized a demonstration to draw attention to:
1. the 30’ high concrete apartheid wall being built around the Occupied Territories by the Israelis;
2. the theft of Palestinian water

This feature is from the Thunder Bay Indymedia Center.

U.S. / British Occupation Forces Devise New Iraqi Media Conduct Code

05.06.2003 12:42

<a href="http://www.warprofiteers.com/cards/diamonds/three.html">Grace News Network<br/>Christian Rightwing<br/>Media For Iraq</a> "How can they say we have a democracy?" asks Eshta Jassem Ali Yasseri, editor of a new Iraq satirical weekly Habezbooz. "That's not democracy. It sounds like the same old thing."

According to the AP, the "same old thing" in question is a new UK / US proposal to regulate fledgling independent media movement in Iraq.

The AP writes: "faced with a freewheeling Iraqi media, the U.S.-led occupation authority is devising a code of conduct for the press, drawing protests from Iraqi journalists." [Read More]

Meanwhile, one of the early participants in Iraq's "freewheeling media enviroment," the "unofficial" IMC-Baghdad Al-Muajaha continues its work; it is uncertain how the proposed new "regulations" might affect it.

This feature is from the New York City Indymedia Center.

Italian Activists Detained And Beaten By American Troops

05.06.2003 12:36

<a href="http://www.warprofiteers.com/cards/clubs/two.html">Paul V. Lombardi<br/>DynCorp Security</a><br/>War Profiteer Cards Over the course of the past four days, a delegation from Ya Basta, an Italian activist organization, was repeatedly refused entry into Iraq. Timed to coincide with the G8 Summit, the delegation was sent to establish links between elements of civil society in Iraq, Palestine, and Europe, including the Muajaha Newspaper - The Iraqi witness. Yesterday at 3:08 UK time, we began receiving text messages from the delegation: "They are going to shoot us...need pressures...we are at the border." Despite being told that they would be shot if they didn't return to Jordan immediately, the activists courageously staged a sit-down protest. The American soldiers then violently dragged them onto the rear of a lorry, injuring nine. Reports: 1|2|3|4|5

This feature is from the UK Indymedia Center.

Tear Gas, the Smell of Frightened Capitalists

02.06.2003 12:58

Latest reports from Evian are that Geneva is now quiet after yesterdays massive teargassing in the entire region (read a summary).
Local swiss people were attacked by German riot police

Two british men are currently in hospital. One of them, Guy Smallman, an IndyMedia volunteer, needed a two hour long operation (report). Both wounded are now stable.

UK Indymedia has breaking news from Geneva in English. You can also check out the indymedia dispatch site for the latest news.

A demo against water privatisation is planned for this afternoon. The IMC space in the L'Usine building was raided yesterday [fotos], and there will be a legal press conference and statement about it today.

No Roads Lead To Evian

01.06.2003 17:17

This Sunday June 1st, activists were out on the streets in the early morning hours, long before the G8 summit started in Evian. Crossroads in Lausanne, bridges in Geneva (map | pics 9am) and main access roads from Annemasse towards Evian (map, 8 am)were blocked as early as 6am, with rhythms, soundsystems, dancing and colour. Later the police moved in with increasing heavyness.
Martin, a British activist, who had abseiled from a motorway bridge near Aubonne broke was injured, when the police cut the rope he was hanging from. He fell 20 m deep and is now in hospital (report).

Indymedia UK has minute by minute updates of the G8 protests.

We have a summary of the raid and eyewitness account of the l'usine building where the indymedia center in Geneva is located.

Fire on the Lake! G8 Protests Spread

31.05.2003 10:21

In cases of panic, people at the lake Leman say "But the Lake will not be on fire" to calm down. Tonight, protestors will set fire to the lake, to show their disagreement with the G8 politics. People in the protest villages are engaging in discussions.

- Guide to Photos of Anti-G8 Demonstrations

Practical Info
- Maps of Lausanne | Geneva | Annemasse
| area
- Read about Lausanne tear gas policy.
- Read 'Order to Shoot' for the Swiss Army in Evian.
- Read manifesto about "violent direct action".

Indymedia volunteers as well as other media initiatives are providing grass roots coverage. Check IMC switzerland + IMC Paris and the multilingual G8 Global IMC reporting site. A video stream is netcasting live. Radiostreams from Geneva; and Lausanne are already running. For timelines of events in Spanish see LaHaine.org.

Participate! Add updates reports and links here, and help collect references to corporate media coverage here. F2F Independent Media Centers are @ L'Usine in Geneva and in Lausanne.

USA battling against the EU moratorium on GM crops

30.05.2003 10:51

Colombia has just ratified the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. So with just one more country, and the protocol will probably be in force by the end of the summer, allowing countries to demand proper notification and risk assessment of GM crop imports. Based on the precautionary principle countries are also allowed to deny such imports.
The USA have not even signed the Convention on Biological Diversity, but have been trying to stop all further implementations.

Now this efforts have grown more cynic then ever. The US Senate passed a bill tying relief plan on HIV/AIDS on a country's acceptance of GM food aid. Zambia's rejection of GM food aid in 2002 made not only a country's right to choose clear, but also renewed criticism of USAID's policy to use food aid as a market for US agricultural products instead of supporting local economies.

At the same time the USA and Canada filed a WTO case [1 | 2 | 3] against the EU, blaming the EU moratorium as being the case of African rejection of food aid. WTO threats (en, es) against countries wishing to impose bans or moratoria on GM crops, like Sri Lanka, Croatia and Bolivia have been documented since 2001. Egypt, the only other country backing the USA and Canada in the WTO case, now withdrew its initial support.

On Eve of G8 Summit, Bush Delivers Emergency AIDS Relief to Republican Allies

30.05.2003 01:41

Having signed a five-year $15-billion global AIDS relief bill days in advance of the G8 summit in Evian, France, George W. Bush is now asking Congress to skimp on the new measure by trimming more than $1 billion from this year's suggested funding. This is only one of many unusual features in an aid initiative that is meant to signal a return to a more "compassionate" U.S. foreign policy. Read More

Doctors Without Borders || Global Access Project || Global AIDS Fund || How the Bush Administration tried to scuttle a cheap drugs deal. But failed. And then announced its own "work of mercy".

Memorial Day Observances Highlight War's Deadly Toll

27.05.2003 18:11

Memorial Day began in Waterloo, N.Y. in May 1866 as a way to remember the lives of soliers killed in the U.S. Civil War. On Monday, a former Texas governor with a questionable military record led the nation in solemn Memorial Day observances. Meanwhile, one veteran asked that we remember all people killed in U.S. wars. Other veterans are asking how politicians can wrap themselves in the flag and then slash veterans' benefits to fund another tax cut for the super rich.

From The Indypendent: When GI's Say "No!" || Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors || Vietnam Veterans Against the War || Vietnam Veterans Against the War Anti-Imperialist || Veterans for Common Sense || Riverside Ploughshares || Song

Big Fish Being Wiped Out, Study Warns

27.05.2003 01:01

Industrial fishing fleets have scoured the world's oceans for the past five decades. A bombshell report released earlier this month by the journal Nature suggests results are worse than anyone expected: big fish populations have plummeted across-the-board by at least 90% since 1950. From the tropics to the poles, cod, halibut, flounder, blue marlins, sailfish, swordfish, dolphins and sharks are being wiped out.

"We have forgotten what we used to have," says Jeremy Jackson of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. "We had oceans full of heroic fish--literally sea monsters. People used to harpoon three-meter long swordfish in rowboats. Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea was for real." Read More

Industrial fishing is now carried out with hi-tech military devices. Albatrosses and giant leatherback turtles are counted as "collateral damage". So too traditional fishing cultures in places like India and Papua New Guinea. As fish populations decline, the free market perversely rewards those who track down the last of the ocean's dwindling catch. Organizations like the WTO make it difficult for non-economic considerations to take precedence. Instead of emphasizing sustainable fishing practices, government and industry are pushing forward with genetic engineering and capital intensive aquaculture. || More Info

EPA's Whitman Leaves a Toxic Legacy

26.05.2003 13:43

whitman Just two days after the Sept. 11 attacks, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Christie Todd Whitman told New York's downtown residents and workers that their air was untainted. "I'm glad to reassure the people of New York that their air is safe to breathe and their water is safe to drink," she said. Whistleblowers inside Whitman's department would later reveal that Ground Zero was one of the most toxic environmental disasters in U.S. history. (See past Indypendent coverage 1 || 2)

Whitman's handling of the Ground Zero cleanup would turn out to be emblematic of her 28-month stewardship of the nation's environment which saw the weakening (or worse) of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts and the Kyoto agreement on global warming. Last Wednesday, the former New Jersey governor stepped down from her position.

Read More

Hundreds of Free Radio Stations off the Air

25.05.2003 19:14

More and more free radio stations have to go off the air because the Dutch government has decided to sell (nl) as many frequencies as possible. Hundreds of pirate radio stations have to disappear (nl) because they are not recognized by the authorities, even though a lot of them have been in the air since the 1980's and fulfill important social functions (nl) in their neigbourhooods.

In protest (nl) radio makers demanded (nl) to keep more FM frequencies open for free local radio stations, to legalise up to 1300 pirate radio stations, and to stop the governmental project that is now actively hunting down pirate radios.
However, the authorities made their dislike of freedom of speech quite clear by stopping about 20 busses on their way to the manifestations on the motorways, and by closing the event earlier then planned because people were drinking beer during the concert.

Free radio stations are also closed down in other parts of the world like for example from Brazil or Ireland.

ISM and the Brazialian Bustian Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

25.05.2003 12:27

ISM and the Brazialian Bustian Nominated for Nobel Peace Price The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize of 2004 by Canadian MP Svend Robinson. In his letter of nomination, MP Robinson states that "The contribution of the ISM to advancing the cause of peace in the Middle East, to defending human rights, and to upholding international law is without parallel."

Before that, Brazilian diplomat Jose Mauricio Bustani had been nominated for the 2003 prize, for his work as former director-general the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). In April 2002, Bustani was overthrown in a conspiracy led by the US Dept. of State, because of his efforts to bring Iraq to the Organization and conduct inspections in that country. This conspiracy is considered one of the proofs that the US Government had decided to invade Iraq long before UN Resolution 1441.
The Nobel for Bustani may also correct what many Brazilians consider a historical injustice against their country. In the 103 years of the Nobel, no Brazilian has ever won the prize, although many writers, pacifists and scientists were nominated, among them physicists Mario Schenberg and Cesar Lattes, who made discoveries that later gave the Nobel to scientists of other countries.

Exhaustive Report Documents Media Concentration, FCC Influence

24.05.2003 19:00

Curious about who owns your local media, telephone and cable company? The Center for Public Integrity released a report today examining the entire US telecoms industry. It includes a database searchable by zip code and a report on how many hundreds of times the broadcast industry paid to fly FCC commissioners to Las Vegas and New Orleans. The report comes just 10 days ahead of the June 2 meeting at which the FCC is expected to drastically curtail media ownership regulations.

[ The Center for Public Integrity Report | NOW with Bill Moyers coverage | Reclaim The Media | Media Diversity Project ]

National Strikes and Police Repression Meet 'Latin American G8' G-Rio Summit in Peru

24.05.2003 12:24

Weeks of militant protests [es] and organizing have lead up to the Summit of the Presidents Rio Group of Latin American Countries in Cusco, Peru. The protests have included national strikes of both teachers and transporation workers. Between 10 and 20 people have been arrested and yesterday one teacher lost her eye as a result of police attacks on protesters.

Protesters are an alternative to corrupt neo-liberal 'democratic' governments, cuts in education and social spending, IMF imposed structural adjustment reforms, and the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) [es].

Local Elections in the Spanish State

24.05.2003 06:14

On Sunday 25th of May, local elections will be held in the Spanish State. Nearly 35 millions will vote for the configuration of their town halls and in some areas there will be also regional elections. It will be not the case in Catalonia, Galicia, Andalucia and the Basque Autonomous Community.

In the Basque Autonomous Community, voters will also have to vote for their province council an intermediary institution between the regional gouvernment and the local townhall, even though Basque politcal party and some 200 local political platforms are excluded from it.

Read: Entire Feature

Court Rules that Juanra can be Extradited to Spain

23.05.2003 17:33

juanra A Dutch Court has decided that a single statement given under torture is sufficient for extradition from the Netherlands. This opens the way to extradite Juanra to Spain.
Juanra Rodriguez is a Catalonian activist from Barcelona (Spain) engaged in issues like globalisation, squatting and antifacism, as well as singer of the band KOP. In January 2002, he was arrested (nl) in Amsterdam on the grounds of claims by the Spanish state that he allegedly provided information to a unit of ETA in Barcelona. Juanra has spent over five months in solitary confinement in a Dutch prison so far. In April 2003, the Juanra support group has filed a complaint at the International Criminal Court in Den Haag against Spanish prime minister Aznar and judge Garzon.

During the process it has become clear (n) that the reasons the Spanish state gave for the extradition are rather thin. As an activist, Juanra is in great danger of being tortured and has little chance to get a fair trial.

Action week "Breathtaking Spain": [ 1 | 2 | Interview 1 | 2 (nl) | Letter van Juanra]

War on Aceh

23.05.2003 14:25

war on aceh Police in Indonesia's Aceh province rearrested five negotiators on May 18 following the failure of peace talks in Tokyo between the Indonesian Government and the Free Aceh Movement. Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri has rejected a peaceful resolution to the 27-year conflict and has instead declared martial law on the provincelaunching a full-scale military offensive against separatist rebels of the Free Aceh Movement following the collapse of peace talks.

Indonesian Military forces (TNI) guard Exxon/Mobil plants and pipelines in the province and have been implicated in human rights abuses. There is evidence of terror campaigns by TNI backed militias similar to East Timor in 1999 after the local population voted overwhelmingly for independence. The people of Aceh are calling for peace, and for their own democratic right to a peaceful process of self-determination, through a United Nations-facilitated referendum. Emergency protests are taking place today across Australia.

Read Entire Feature

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