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Community Activists Fighting New Round of Evictions

20.06.2003 02:50

Vrygond, Cape Town A few days short of a wet and icy mid-winter, over a hundred households in Vrygrond are threatened with eviction on Friday.

The community is making last minute appeals to the judge in the case, the mayor and the city manager to delay the evictions until clarity can be sought from the High Court as to how to proceed. The Vrygrond Anti-Eviction Campaign has asked that letters be sent to three different places: Housing Manager Rob Johnson, City Manager Wallace Mgoqi, and Cape Town media including the Argus newspaper.

Meanwhile, between one and two thousand supporters of the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign marched through the streets of Cape Town on Wednesday, June 18 to protest against the continuing threat of evictions, water and electricity disconnections and repossession of the goods of the poor.

30 thousand workers protest pension reform in Brazil

19.06.2003 12:54

Wednesday, June 11th, over 30 thousand workers held the largest demonstration against the reform policies of Brazilian newly elected federal government in the city of Brasilia. Most of the demonstrators were workers from the public sector who were protesting government's pension reform which will raise the retirement age, impose taxes on retired workers, and diminish subsidies for retired workers and pensioners. The Government claims the pension system is broke and reform is inevitable. Workers argue that the system has a surplus of over 10 billion dollars but most of the money is diverted to pay for public debt according to guidelines provided by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. This is not just a Brazilian issue, rather pension systems are being reformed at expense of workers in a number of countries including France and Austria.

Photos 1, 2. 3
Áudio com chamada para rádios a favor da previdência social pública | Relato da Fenajufe sobre a manifestação | Conheça os principais pontos da reforma | Veja tabela elaborada pela ANFIP demonstrando o superávit do sistema de seguridade social

Depleted Uranium - Weapon of Mass Destruction

19.06.2003 06:34

As used by the USA in Iraq, Afghanistan, Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Puerto Rico, Okinawa, Scotland and testing ranges on mainland USA. Professor Doug Rokke outlines 'Depleted Uranium: uses and hazards'. It has caused political foes to unite. Extreme Birth Deformities have resulted from the Gulf War 1991. In 2003 the Pentagon and UN have estimated up to 2,200 tons of depleted uranium were used in Iraq, much of it in urban areas. For example, each round fired by an Abrams tank is over 4,500 grams of solid uranium. It is likely that hundreds of thousands of civilians will be affected in future by depleted uranium in the environment. It should be seen as the new nuclear threat. Recent studies of civilians have shown the US used nuclear weapons in Afghanistan.

Professor Doug Rokke, the Army Reserve Major and Health Physicist in charge of DU cleanup after the Gulf War (1991) exposes the lies by the US Army. He has been campaigning against depleted uranium munitions since the first Gulf war, touring the world giving lectures. He openly says the US has used it despite warnings and impact on people and environment. ( Audio links)

U.S. Congressional Battles to Reverse the FCC

18.06.2003 14:40

media concentrate As reported, on June 2 the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 with Michael Powell to relax media ownership rules--favoring corporate monopolies at the expense of locally accountable programming, diverse viewpoints and competition on the public airwaves. The vote became the most unpopular decision in the history of the FCC. Many in the US Congress are now pursuing steps to reverse parts of the decision. Tomorrow, June 19, the Senate Commerce Committee is expected to vote on a bill restoring the 35% national TV ownership cap. Perhaps more importantly, the bill may be amended also to restore the broadcast/newspaper cross ownership ban.

This bill may or may not pass the Senate and the House, where an identical bill has also been introduced. In either event, it is only the beginning in what will be a long-term struggle to reform U.S. federal media policy on equitable terms. Media activists say it is very important that people let their Senators and Congressmen hear from them now. Their message is: Reverse the Powell Decision and Stop Media Monopolies!

Days of Resistance in Thessaloniki

18.06.2003 06:45

From June 19-21 the self-declared bosses of Europe will gather on the Sithonia peninsula, Greece, to confirm their pre-taken decisions regarding the expansion of Fortress Europe, the continuation of repression and the post 9/11 witch hunt.

They will not do so without a fight though! Already thousands of protestors have gathered in the city of Thessaloniki (125 km from the summit site), which together with Chalkidiki will be the epicenter for the mobilisations. The city is already buzzing with thousands of people from accross Greece and the world; and the independent media center is up and running.

Many groups and individuals have squated buildings and spaces at the University of Thessaloniki.

  • The Anti-authoritarian Movement Salonika 2003 have squated the Theology Department and are running a four-day festival. Indymedia, 1431 AM independent radio and the medical team are housed in the squated building of the Law School, whilst various anarchist/anti-authoritarian groups and individuals are squating the Philosophy department. The camping of Thessaloniki Resistance 2003 is also hosted on the university grounds.
  • The Greek Social Forum is planning a series of actions, including a counter summit at the grounds of EXPO, in the city center. [whole schedule]
  • Action Salonika 2003 are organising an anti-summit, which will take place in various spots around the city.
  • Thessaloniki Resistance 2003 are organising a week long camp in the Epanomi area.

On Thursday the 19th of June there will be a solidarity demonstration with immigrants. The majority of groups and individuals are planning to travel to Chalkidiki on the 20th in order to try and actively block the summit. Finally, on Saturday all groups will gather for a massive demonstration in the city center.

Info in fr | de | pr | es |
Legal info [fr | de | esp | it | tur | campus map

Itoiz is being evicted to build a water reservoir

16.06.2003 19:27

Itoiz After 15 years of non-violent resistance against a proposed hydro-electric dam, 30 residents of Itoiz are refusing to leave their village today and are being arrested by the Guardia Civil, Spain's paramilitary police. Itoiz lies in the heart of the Longuida Valley in northeastern Spain. Both the Spanish government and the regional government of Navarre want to flood the valley in spite of strong local opposition. The arrests in Itoiz follow an eviction two months ago in Nagore in which a family and its cattle were kicked off their land and had to watch bulldozers destroy the home they had inhabited for generations. Those being targeted today are a new symbol of resistance to neoliberal land reforms and the displacement they cause.

Mobilizing in Sacramento for Global Justice

16.06.2003 12:23

From June 23-25 in Sacramento, the US Department of Agriculture, the Agency for International Development, and the U.S. State Department are hosting government ministers from 180 nations and transnational corporate reps to lay out the US government and agribusiness' vision for the future of the world. A major grassroots mobilization and convergence is planned to confront the corporados. The event has been referred to as "a showdown for people to say no to a genetically engineered future, and to voice instead a living world vision, rooted in social justice and ecological sanity. It is also a chance to stand in solidarity with the people's movements and hundreds of peasant farmers groups from around the world that have called on social movements in the US to denounce and protest this meeting." Sacramento is the most important destination at the moment for anyone concerned about genetically engineered trees, foods, and fish, the rights of small farmers, and the environment and corporations controlling and commidifying the world's forests and food supply.

Organizers in the U.S. note: "The Sacramento mobilization is time to show that we understand it is not enough for those of us who live in the US to turn out in hundreds of thousands at the outbreak of a military invasion - we need to be looking for strategic opportunities to confront Empire on an ongoing basis to turn this nation 180 degrees and walk together in a radically new direction."

Afghanistan, Human Rights and Afghani Women Since the &quot;Regime-Change&quot;

15.06.2003 23:28

The Bush Administration's "Liberation" of Afghanistan has left a country heavily under the rule of warlords, where women continue to fight for basic human rights. IMC NYC Sound working group interviewed RAWA member Tahmeena F. and Anne Brodsky, author of "With All Our Strength: RAWA" (Routledge) in late May. Listen Here (51 mins)

Women's News website article | Saving Women's Lives Fact Sheet | March 29, 2002 In These Times Article | NYC's Women for Afghan Women includes photo essay

Who will act to prevent a genocide in the Congo?

15.06.2003 13:39

French Soldiers, under a UN mandate as a European peacekeeping force, have begun patrols in war torn Congo. Troops from England and Germany have also been committed. But it seems the Congo Peace is Short Lived. Various atrocities have been reported. It has been estimated that the Congo War is the World's Deadliest Since World War Two. The sale of rough Diamonds and gold fuels these wars, enriching arms dealers and the Western Nations who sell arms to countries in the region such as Zimbabwe and Uganda.

Brazilian Indigenous Movement Fear Political Bargain Over Land Demarcation

15.06.2003 02:03

A plan for the government of Brazil to recognize the indigenous Macuxi people's right to nearly 4 million contiguous acres of land in the state of Roraima is under threat. Mainstream magazine "Isto é" reported in January that the governor of Roraima switched party affiliations to the ruling Workers' Party in exchange for scuttling the plan. Local land owners and businessmen say the territory is too vast and would negatively impact Roraima state revenues, saying that part of the Macuxi area has been invaded by miners and farmers who would have to cease production.

The Macuxi people, supported by local movements and NGOs, are demanding the demarcation of their full and contiguous 3.95 million acres, which they call Raposa Serra do Sol. They ask for international solidarity to pressure Brazil's federal government to approve the plan. You can write Justice Minister Márcio Thomás Bastos and Brazilian President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva.

Weapons of Mass Deception

13.06.2003 09:27

Bush's War for Oil Not surprisingly the Bush regime's many claims about Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction appear to be baseless. Even U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz admits the WMD pitch was just a convenient excuse for the invasion. However, Secretary of State Colin Powell, in the face of conflicting information, continues to standby the "evidence" of alleged Iraqi WMDs he presented to the UN Security Council last winter. Ironically, the U.S. has put up roadblocks against UN actions on such weapons, even as it tried making its case against Iraq. Interestingly, some observers are speculating that the present lack of discovery of the phantom Iraqi WMDs could be a ruse!.

A lot of questions about the alleged WMDs and related U.S. charges against Iraq remain unanswered. What about discredited Bush regime claims that Africa was the source of nuclear material for the Iraqi military? Some efforts are underway to have a congressional investigation about the Administration's dubious allegations, but Republicans are blocking such action.

Strikes, Demonstrations, Occupations Against Government Plans

13.06.2003 09:15

Workers in France have staged major strikes for the last three weeks affecting the transport, teachers, postal, sanitation and other public sector industries. 1 million people demonstrated May 26 in response to a call for a general strike. The strikes have continued since then and street demonstrations have grown more confrontational. The uprising is in response to the government's proposed restructuring of the public sector which would force the privatisation of many schools and universities and increase the retirement age to recieve a full pension.

Read the Entire Feature

Indymedia in France: Paris | Lille | Nantes | Nice

Brutal Repression Against Indymedia Activists in Argentina

12.06.2003 15:12

During the repression, Alejandro "Ruche" Goldín, an 18 year old photographer from Indymedia, was heavily beaten by several police angrily and with full knowledge that he was a journalist.

Shouting "Que botoneas?" (What do you think you're showing?) the police tried to break his camera, hit him in the head with a shotgun, and then several police officers continued to beat him while he was on ground with kicks and truncheons. Not content with that, the police line advanced and continued beating him. Our compa–ero was only trying to defend himself, wielding his badge that identified himself as a member of the press. It should be noted that at the moment he was beaten Alejandro was clearly and visibly carrying his press credential and was simply working as a journalist.

Alejandro was the only compañero that was treated urgently at the Ramos Mejia hospital, where he recieved three stitches on his head and had a swollen leg examined. This time it can't be said that this was about "collateral damage" or a mistake. It was a deliberate and treacherous attack against a reporter from one of the few media present at the time of the repression.

Although workers in the press are used to receiving this type of violence from the federal police, what we experienced today completely stuns us and makes us think that as journalists we have become moving targets.

The editorial collective of Buenos Aires Indymedia, denounces that once again the press suffers persecution, repression, and that these facts are doubly serious when they are about a police station that already has a previous record of repression against press workers such as what occured during the incidents on April 21 at Brukman when several compañeros from the media were attacked.

We want to make clear that this repressive action isn't going to stop our work. For each camera silenced, ten more will rise up to continue showing the reality that police like sub-deputy Mario Bravo, today in charge of the repression at Brukman, want to hide like in the worst years of the dictatorship.

Articles about the attack in: French, German, English, and Italian

Surprise! Iraq Media Coverage Horrible…

12.06.2003 13:48

Even as mainstream media finally realize that Bush lied about Iraq's weapons, media watchdog Fairness and Accuracy Reporting is rolling out the most detailed study yet on how mainstream TV channels are slanting the Iraq story.

FAIR found that the nightly news on the six main TV channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN and PBS) relies heavily on government officials and other pro-war sources to report the news to American viewers, marginalizing dissent. Viewers were 25 times as likely to see a pro-war guest as one who was anti-war during the first three weeks of the Iraq invasion. Read More

With reporting so slanted, it's not difficult to understand why Americans are misinformed. A recent study by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) finds that 41% of Americans don't know that weapons of mass destruction haven't been found in Iraq. Another 31% believe Iraq actually used WMDs against American troops.

Amongst all the star-spangled coverage, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rolled back media ownership limits on June 2, paving the way for even less diversity in news sources for Americans in the future. [More analysis from the NYC Indy]

Expose the American Enterprise Institute

12.06.2003 13:44

"[no think tank] has been more influential than the American Enterprise Institute, " Ronald ReaganToday, June 11th, the Bush is Taking the Shirts Off Our Back to Pay For This War (Shirts Off) Coalition opens a campaign against the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), with a press conference to expose this far-right think tank. AEI's current fellows include former Republican government officials, as well as many corporate executives, such as Newt Gingrich, Richard Perle, and former fellow, Ken Lay, of Enron. Twenty former AEI fellows are now employed by the Bush Administration. Richard Behan, Alternet, wrote, AEI and 2 other right-wing think tanks "crafted or influenced virtually the entire agendas of both domestic and foreign policy for the George W. Bush Administration."

AEI literally "houses" the notorious Project for the New American Century (PNAC), and the Defence Policy Board, making for lots of "family ties" in the Bush administration. AEI founded the pro-Iraq war NGO, "Committee for the Liberation of Iraq" and holds open forums on world domination. AEI has a "race desk" charged with popularizing unscientific and biological determinist racial "theories" from AEI fellow Charles Murray, "Bell Curve", (genetic explanations for poverty in communities of color), and Dinesh D'Souza, "The End of Racism" (African-Americans should stop using institutional racism as an 'excuse' for their 'failure' to be on par with whites and Asians.) AEI promotes Oriana Fallaci's post 911 rant, The Rage and the Pride: "They breed too much... At least half of the Moslem women you see in our streets are pregnant or surrounded by streams of children." Additionally, AEI held a seminar against funding for education, called "Are Teachers Paid Too Little... or Too Much?", concluding that teachers are paid too much.

The Men Who Stole the Show | The Neocons' Plan For World Domination | Comment

Four new IMC's join the Indymedia Network

11.06.2003 15:19

We'd like to welcome the indymedia centers in Andorra, Perth, Australia, Puerto Rico, and Tennessee, USA. And also this week, Indymedia Palestine is back online.

10.06.2003 10:42

Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender community awaits Supreme Court ruling

What business does the government have in your bedroom? Can gay celibacy be imposed by law? The Supreme court is deciding a Texas Sodomy case. The GLBT community prepares to celebrate or protest. Transcript of Oral Arguement

On September 17, 1998, John Lawrence and Tyron Garner were having sex in the bedroom of John's apartment in Houston. They were adults and the relationship was consensual. They left the front door unlocked. Police officers, responding to a false call and looking for an armed intruder, entered the apartment with their guns drawn. John and Tyron were arrested for violating the Texas sodomy law – a relic of our intolerant past that no modern nation should tolerate still. The two men spent the night in jail, were fined $200 each, and are now considered sex offenders in several states. more

The state should not have the power to go into the bedrooms of consenting adults in the middle of the night and arrest them, but that’s only the beginning of the damage done by this law and others like it around the country. These laws are widely used to justify discrimination against gay people in everyday life; they’re invoked in denying employment to gay people, in refusing custody or visitation for gay parents, and even in intimidating gay people out of exercising their First Amendment rights.- Ruth Harlow, Lead Attorney, Lambda Legal

In a related story, there's been a little hub bub over a couple of gay men kissing on national television to celebrate their winning a Tony.

Maharashtra Government Accepts NBA Rehabilitation Demands

09.06.2003 00:27

The Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) withdrew its 12 day Dharna (sit-in) and the seven-day indefinite fast by Medha Patkar, at Nashik (Maharashtra), on June 6, 2003, after the Government of Maharashtra agreed to almost all demands of just rehabilitation of the Sardar Sarovar Project-affected tribals in Maharashtra. The immediate follow up meeting with the government will take place on June 11.

The NBA has been fighting for the rights of the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the Indian government's big dam projects, begun in the 1980s and still being built today. These dams were supposed to benefit the people of India by irrigating farmland and supplying water to dry areas, but these results were never seen. The Sardar Sarovar dam, the largest is India, was recently granted a permit to raise its height by 100 meters. [read more and comment | brief background | Friends of the River Narmada]

Allied Media Conference 2003

08.06.2003 16:49

The Allied Media Conference is coming up this weekend, June 13-15, in Bowling Green, OH. If you were there last year, you know that it just might be the biggest, most enjoyable weekend of cross-media collaboration there is. It's a chance to learn new skills, share your experiences, and build networks. The emphasis is on making our own media, not reforming the mainstream system.

Indymedia will be well-represented there, as will the communities of zinemakers, newspapers, videographers, microcinemas, radio, culturejammers, cartoonists, hip hop, street artists, and radical cheerleading. Last year, people from 36 states and Canada showed up. Now it's your turn to represent.

[Allied Media Conference 2003]

Activists Shut Down Bechtel World Headquarters in San Fransisco

08.06.2003 13:32

Several hundred protesters gathered at Bechtel headquarters in San Francisco at 7 AM Thursday and blockaded the entrances. The citizens targeted Bechtel for its billions of dollars in postwar 'reconstruction' contracts. While over a hundred police managed to open the building after a few hours, many Bechtel employees were told by their employer to take the day off.
Reports: 1 | Photos: 1 2 3 4 5

It would be easier to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq these days than any shred of democracy. The U.S. has imposed a repressive occupation on the people of Iraq, where they shoot to kill at peaceful protesters and seek to destabilize any popular political group which gains support. Iraq is now a colonized land, with US-based corporations like San Francisco-based Bechtel leading the rape-for-profit charge. Many of the higher-ups at places like Bechtel are ex-military or somehow in bed with the Bush/Cheney cartel.

[Corpwatch Bechtel Dossier]

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