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Bush Bashers Celebrate the 4th of July

04.07.2003 15:28

While many Americans are marking Independence Day with traditional fireworks and backyard barbecues, others are having a good time bashing what may be the most rightwing president in U.S. history. Thousands of protesters are gathering in Philadelphia today where George W. Bush is scheduled to open the new National Constitution Center. Also, The Indypendent has just hit the streets with a special 4th of July issue that explores Bush's double-speak, uncovers his weapons of mass distraction, looks back on the erosion of civil liberties over the past 22 months and profiles a small town in northern California that is openly defying the USA PATRIOT Act. || Full Menu of Stories || PDF of the July 4 Indypendent || Subscribe to The Indypendent || Map of U.S. Terror Infrastructure.

The Bush regime's Orwellian newspeak may mask some of the neo-conservative agenda in Washington, but as President Lincoln said: "You can't fool all of the people all of the time". Many U.S. citizens today are Declaring Independence from The Empire and updating the Declaration of Independence for these troubled times. In Philadelphia, a massive protest is being held against Bush, wars at home, and abroad. In San Diego, as part of Revolution Summer, a funeral for democracy is being held on the beach. And,in Wellington, New Zealand, demonstrators crashed the US Ambassador's party. || Atlanta || Rockville, Maryland

Asylum seekers detained

03.07.2003 20:38

A boat carrying 50 asylum seekers, believed to be Vietnamese nationals, came within kilometres of the Australian coast on Tuesday, before the vessel was intercepted and its occupants detained. It is the first interception in Australian waters since 2001. The asylum seekers are being taken to Christmas Island where their claims for asylum will be "processed".

Read entire feature

[ Refugee Media Space | Baxter Watch | Children Out Of Detention | Inside Port Hedland ]

Critical Mass Hits Worldwide!

03.07.2003 15:04

Last Friday, in cities around the world, thousands of bicyclists took to the streets for their local Critical Mass bike rides! Automobile drivers in Melbourne found their evening commute taking a little longer than usual as reportedly over 500 Critical Mass riders took Burnley tunnel with minimal police interviention. In Portland, however, there's a Call for support for activists arrested during a memorial Critical Mass ride for two bicyclists killed by an automobile driver last week. Despite heavy police presence hundreds continued to participate in the two-wheeled protest. In New York 800 cyclists began Bike Summer with a Critical Mass ride thorugh the middle of Manhattan. There was one arrest. Critical Mass was not just taking place in major cities. In Ithaca, NY just over a dozen participated in a peaceful Critical Mass ride around the city, while in Richmond, VA a reported 20-30 Critical Mass riders were assulted by police with chemical sprays and chased by police cruisers.

Asian Developement Bank VS. Anti-Capitalist Action

03.07.2003 07:52

As the Asian Developement Bank (ADB) holds it's 36th Annual Governors meeting in Manilla, anti-capitalist protestors have occupied the bank's three main entrance gates, showing fierce resistance against the proposed multi-national imperialist projects and programs financed by the ADB and IMF-WB.
According to SANLAKAS, the proposed projects and programs initiated by the ADB is crucial to the horrors of local industry privatization that is currently causing long-term misery for the Filipino people. [ 1 | 2 | 3]

Read: Entire feature

Direct Action in Europe to Protect Woodlands

03.07.2003 04:16

While one forest camp got evicted in Belgium (nl,fr,en), two other direct action camps to protect forests from destructive projects, have recently just been set up, one in the Netherlands (nl, en) and one in the UK.

The activists in the forest of d'Hoppe in Belgium, organised in the action group patdagach, got evicted on Tuesday 1st of July ( 1). A helicopter was even used to evict one person lying in a hammock on a walkpath, 20 meters high between two beechtrees. The protesters have now moved to a nearby camping spot to keep protesting a local garbage-maffiaboss who controls a little town next to the forest and who wants to destroy the forest for profit's and garbage sake. [1 | 2 | 3 | 4]

In the UK, a protestcamp has been set up in West Sussex, England, to protect a 5.2 kilometre area of ancient woodland from a new road bypass. Tens of thousands of trees could be lost.

In the Netherlands, protestors of the direct action network GreenFront! have occupied a forest which is under threat from new hotel plans (nl, fr, en) from a popular themepark. The forest under threat, now being called the magical Entwoods (nl, en), is an important gateway for the animals between two protected natural areas. [ 1 | 2 | 3]

Read more on IMC Belgium, IMC Netherlands and IMC UK

Some Gains, Many Challenges Ahead

01.07.2003 01:31

On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Texas sodomy law that made it a crime for people of the same sex to engage in "deviate sexual intercourse." Lawrence v. Texas gives Gay rights advocates a major victory, and Gay people everywhere cause for celebration. But the struggle is not over. Radical Queers, in the spirit of the great Harry Hay, continue to push the bounderies of liberation beyond mere identity politics, and to raise class consciousness among people everywhere, not just in the Gay ghetto.

In Pittsburgh queer revolutionary group RESYST brought Gay Shame (Queer As Fuck 2003) to PrideFest, invading the Gay Pride parade [ Photos 1 2 3 ]

Gay Pride wasn't exclusive to major cities. Ithaca, NY had several hundred participate in their first ever Gay Pride parade and rally.

In Sao Paulo Brazil, more than a million people joined the gay pride parade which was held on the 22nd. Across Brazil this month, gay pride parades were held in Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, Goiânia, Belem, Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Manaus, Campo Grande, Bahia, Curitiba, Fortaleza and many other cities.

Further coverage: Gay Shame | Pittsburgh Indymedia | San Francisco Indymedia | Ithaca Indymedia | Uruguay

World Air Quality Goes Down Tubes While Corporados Fiddle

30.06.2003 05:49

50 years ago the planet had half as many people on it and air pollution was still a problem in metropolitan areas. Today, while some improvements have come about in various major cities, the problem has spread across the globe and has been exacerbated by the increased use of the petro-driven combustion engine. In Asia ,Europe ,and metropolitan areas of the U.S., air quality is deteriorating. The health effects of breathing heavily polluted air are devastating. Additionally, The destruction of the "lungs of the Earth" in the Amazon is speeding up, leaving the Earth less capacity to supply oxygen to her inhabitants.

As the summer heat arrives in the northern hemisphere and the air quality drops, people once again ask: what's being done? In the U.S., the recently released EPA Draft Report on the Environment does acknowledge air quality problems like ground-level ozone, but its' "global issues" section barely mentions global warming! Reportedly, the Whitehouse edited the report heavily in keeping with its pro-corporate agenda. As if adding insult to injury, the Whitehouse had already gutted the Clean Air Act. What's being done? Not much in Washington, but people in the real world ARE taking action!

Thousands Demonstrate Against Bush During California Fund Raisers

28.06.2003 20:29

Late in his second term, Lyndon Johnson was only able to make public appearances on military bases because of fierce public opposition to the Vietnam War. Currently, a similar situation is developing with George W. Bush -- though Bush also ventures out for $2,000 per person fund raisers for his re-election campaign. The absurd notion, propagated by the mainstream media, that 70% of the American population adores the pResident; is clearly belied by the throngs of protesters that appear whenever he travels anywhere in the country that is not a reactionary stronghold. Such was the case on June 27th outside two California fundraisers. First, demonstrators greeted Bush during lunchtime in the Bay Area (photos: 1, 2, 3); then, come suppertime, a larger crowd, estimated as high as 10,000, protested against the Bush oiligarchy in LA, where Code Pink succeeded in dropping a massive banner (a "pink slip") from a balcony of the hotel where Bush was fund-raising (photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14). Similarly, thousands of outraged New Yorkers greeted Bush when he stopped off in Gotham to raise $4 million on June 23. Mass Dissent is alive and well in the belly of the imperial beast!

READ: LA IMC's Feature - An IMCista's Report from Century City - CODEPINK on the Day's Events

30 years after the coup, struggle and resistance

27.06.2003 19:21

On 27th of June 1973, the fraudulently elected president of Uruguay joined military officers in a coup. They dissolved congress, abolished all civil rights, and declared both unions and political parties illegal. It was even illegal to say that there had been a coup or to call the dictatorship a dictatorship. In eery resemblance to the USA today, the government said it needed to slash civil rights and eventually dispose of democracy to win a "war on terrorism." For 15 days following the Coup in 1973 the Uruguayan people rose up in a general strike. The military broke the strike through a wave of arrests, killings, and disapearences. In the 12 years of the dictatorship many activists were assassinated, one in every 50 Uruguayans were jailed, more than 300,000 fled into exile, and approximately 170 were disappeared. In an truly Orwealian act, the military named it's prison for political prisoners 'Libertad.'

To mark the anniversary activities ranging from workshops, conferences, protests, and direct action to remember the atrocities, demand justice, and revive the history and culture of resistance. 30 years later, Uruguayan activists are still struggling for justice and against a political and economic system imposed by violence.

Reviving the Memory:
The years before the coup [es] - The Pacheco Dictatorship [es] - The dictators have never left [es] - The other coup [es] - The case of Elena Quinteros [es]

Aboriginal Tent Embassy Under Threat

27.06.2003 02:30

heritage under attack A call has been put out for all indigenous Australians, Australian supporters of indigenous sovereignty and the international community to come to Canberra and show support for the Aboriginal Tent Embassy as soon as possible. This urgent SOS comes following the firebombing of a heritage-listed cultural centre at the Embassy.

Read entire feature.

Actions, Demonstrations Against EU Summit in Greece

26.06.2003 12:32

Saturday the 21st of June saw up to 100,000 people take to the streets of Thessaloniki, Greece, participating in various demonstrations in opposition to the EU policies on immigration [1|2|3], war, pension reforms and a European common army.

The black block clashed with the police who responded with an extremely intensive use of gas and dozens of arrests. Most of the demonstrators returned safley to the university grounds where police in Greece are forbidden to enter by law. However more than 100 people were arrested and 29 of them, including 8 foreigners, have been charged. 7 people have already been imprisoned and face sentences of between 7 and 25 years. In opposition to the repression the Greek embassy in Berlin was occupied, and there were solidarity actions in Graz, Milan, Barcelona, Vienna and Denmark.

Friday 20/6 saw mobilisations against the red zone of Marmaras, on the Sithonia peninsula. About 5,000 demonstrators arrived after a joint rally and two big blocks attempted to break through the red zone:

  • The Antiauthoritarian Movement Salonica (some 800 people) and an autonomous disobedient block of about 300, moved through a countryside road towards the summit and the latter tried to break through police lines blocking a bridge. The police responded with massive use of gas. As the people retreated to the village sporadic clashes with the police continued.
  • The Struggle Initiative (more than 1,000 people) tried to break into the red zone through the beach road, but also had to retreat after the vast use of chemicals by riot police.

Photos (1, 2, 3)

At the same time, a no-border action was taking place on the border between Greece and Macedonia, where about 700 Roma people are being denied entrance to Greece. The aim of the activists was to give people goods and demonstrate their solidarity. The demonstration was allowed, but not the passing of the collected materials to the Roma.

Thursday 19/6 was an immigrant solidarity day, with two separate demos taking place. The anarchist/antiauthoritarian demo was attended by more than 5,000 people and lasted for about three hours, running through the city's neglected neighbourhoods - many of which have large migrant populations. [1, 2 , 3] The second demo was co-organised by the Antiracist Initiative of Thessaloniki and left-wing organisations/coalitions, with more than 10.000 participating [1 , 2 , 3]

Summaries of the actions of all days [1|2|3]

Thessaloniki Legal team: urgent appeal for eye witnesses and visual material.
Update on the condition of the prisoners (ca)

What Caused the Uprising in Benton Harbor?

25.06.2003 12:25

uprising in Benton Harbor Last week, citizens of the small, western Michigan town of Benton Harbor responded to the death of a motorist during a police chase with two days of street battles against police. The context in which this uprising occurred has been lost in much of the corporate media's coverage. Closer analysis of the situation in Benton Harbor reveals a history of racism and oppression within the city's criminal (in)justice system, and extreme segregation from the neighboring city of St. Joseph. Understanding these sources of people's anger in Benton Harbor is necessary if we are to understand why they rose up after this deadly police chase.

Sacramento WTO Mobilization, Day 4: In defense of food, trees, and each other

25.06.2003 07:28

Fewer people were protesting in Sacramento on June 24 than on the previous three days, and the police were more demanding, but energy was still high, and solidarity was stronger. The first action of the day was a creative, if somewhat quixotic, convergence on the Convention Center, where WTO delegates were meeting. Protesters danced, sang, decorated the sidewalks, and briefly took the streets. Police struck brutally, splitting the crowd and squeezing it between horses and motorcycles. Eventually, people moved on to the jail to show solidarity for an imprisoned comrade. At least two were arrested en route. Food Not Bombs served at this lively rally, where the protester-to-police ration was 1-to-1+. Afterwards, the crowd was escorted back to the Welcome Center along a police-chosen route from which no one was allowed to stray. Elsewhere, black bloc kids were harrassed but still had fun. Police also seized plastic noisemakers and indymedia flyers from a ten-year old boy (with an IMC press pass) and refused to give them back.

Meanwhile, activists supporting organic, non-GE food staged a costumed educational event at a local Safeway grocery store. Their goal was to educate the population on the issues in a creative way. A dog was given a choice between two bowls of food -- one GE and one organic -- and chose the right one. Then, in nearby Davis, California, on the University campus, the spirit of Cascadia manifested itself in three activists who made a direct statement against the genetically-engineered trees studied at the facility by locking down on and beside a two story sculpture of DNA. All three were removed and arrested. The day in Sacramento ended with a fundraiser for the Mobilization.

Swan Valley Nyungah tribe evicted from their land

25.06.2003 01:10

Australian aboriginal elder , Robert Bropho , is over a week into a hunger strike protesting the eviction of his people from the sacred Swan Valley Nyungah encampment. Mr Bropho , elder of the Swan Valley Nyungah Community, has been charged with offences relating to sexual assault allegations, which he strongly denies.
Noting that these charges where laid at the peak of his hunger campaign, many activists are asking if the charges are a political smear campaign rather than a genuine criminal complaint .
Mr Bropho is calling for an enquiry into the taking of his peoples land, and called for Premier Geoff Gallop to begin talks as to the future of his people who are now displaced and homeless.
Mr Bropho has also given the Gallop Government of Western Australia 7 days to vacate government and leave the land
The Nyungah people are indigenous to the south west of Australia, and many anthropologists believe that the religious system they practice, based on the Wagyl dreaming and a strong connection to the land, may be the oldest practiced religion on earth.
Audio : [ Streaming interview (16k, fine for modems) | MP3 format (2.2mb) | Transcript ]
Reports: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ]

Beauty and fear mark Day 3 of Sacramento WTO Mobilization

24.06.2003 12:57

Day 3 of the WTO Mobilization in Sacramento was a day filled with beauty and fear, marked by high energy, resistance, and police brutality and intimidation. Activists released from jail that morning from direct action the night before told their stories [ 1 | 2 ] and a call went out for solidarity with those still jailed [ 1 | 2 ]. Cops were everywhere.

Over 3000 people rallied and marched [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ] around the Capitol building in the center of the city, protesting against biotechnology and the genetic engineering of lifeforms. Members of the crowd decked themselves out with colorful costumes, signs, and props creating what was described as a Mardi Gras spirit. Response by Sacramento citizens was mostly positive. Police were outfitted with riot gear and armed with rubber bullet guns and tasers, and lined the route like a solid wall, not letting anyone onto the sidewalk. As the march wound down, officers began dividing the crowd, and became violent against many individuals without provocation [ 1 | 2 ]. The people, however, were undaunted, and spirits remained high as cops who surrounded one group of activists were in turn surrounded by the crowd, which successfully unarrested the activists who had been trapped in the middle. The police violence escalated; reports came in of beatings, tasering, and blood on the street.

Over the course of the afternoon, groups of activists were harrassed and intimidated all over the city wherever they went. Central Sacramento was a police state. A few arrests occured as people slowly headed back to the Mobilization Welcome Center. A ribbon-cutting ceremony that was to occur as part of the WTO meetings was moved inside, to the delight of protesters. As darkness fell, word spread that police would be following any group of activists of 10 or more, and the Welcome Center began to feel under siege. All evening long and into the night, protesters walking home were detained, intimidated and in some cases arrested. Indymedia Biotech provided up-to-the-minute coverage. Helicopters with search lights buzzed the neighborhoods constantly as protesters eventually fell into fitful sleep.

That so many resources -- riot cops, bike cops, motorcycle cops, weapons, airplanes, and over time -- were spent on so few people speaks to the growing power of the anti-biotech and anti-corporate movements everywhere.

[ Photo overview Day 1-3 | SacMob, contro le biotecnologie del WTO (it) | Audio from March ]

Moveon.org Primary Nudges Democrats to the Left

24.06.2003 10:23

More than a million U.S voters are expected to cast ballots today and tomorrow in the first /a> of the 2004 presidential campaign. However, the voting won't happen in Iowa or New Hampshire but through the web site of liberal-leaning Moveon.org. Nine Democratic candidates will be vying to win 50% + 1 of the vote and the Moveon.org endorsement which could be worth /a> in the coming months. Moveon.org hopes its primary will shake up the corporate-financed centrists who have controlled the Democratic Party since the early 1990s. Former Vermont governor Howard Dean, Congressman Dennis Kucinich and Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) are considered the frontrunners for the Moveon endorsement.

Dean and Kucinich both opposed the war on Iraq. Kucinich also called for establishing a Department of Peace. Kerry first burst into the public spotlight as a fierce critic of the Vietnam War before abandoning his youthful activism for establishment politics that included a pro-war vote last fall. The candidates' answers to Moveon.org's questionnaire can be found here. Which candidate do you prefer? Or, are electoral politics (including the Democratic Party) too sold-out to matter? Join the debate!

Day 2 in Sacramento brings direct action, arrests

23.06.2003 08:18

Sunday, June 22 was a hot one in Sacramento, California. The day started with an attack on activists provoked by corporate media, the detaining of a protester bus, and the launching of Sacramento Resistance Radio. In the afternoon, over a thousand people descended on downtown and executed roving, decentralized actions converging on the Convention Center, where the WTO trade show was happening. The building was briefly surrounded and all traffic in and out halted. Fences were pulled down, dumpsters pushed into the street, and political messages tagged on walls and windows. Police became violent during arrests outside an IMAX theater where WTO delegates were planning to attend a showing. By late afternoon, most people had gathered at a local community garden that is threatened by private development. Twelve activists locked down around an apricot tree and were eventually removed by police using pain compliance. After midnight, the legal team announced from the Elk Grove Correctional Facility in suburban Sacramento that 15 men and 9 women had been arrested, but would hopefully be released soon. Some people felt that the day was a victory, and others that it lacked solidarity. Throughout everything, up-to-the-minute reports were filed on Biotech Indymedia.

Other articles: [ A Chicano Perspective on the Activism in Sacramento, CA 2003 | Fascists, Foam Trees and Unitarians | a day in the streets | The Arrest of Jose Bove]

Photos: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 ]

Mobilization Begins in Sacramento - Day 1

22.06.2003 06:23

A GE tree protest at an International Paper corporate subsidiary kicked off the Mobilization at the WTO biotech ministerial in Sacramento, CA/USA Saturday. The frankentree action was preceded by an ironic action [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] on the part of the Sacramento police, as well as other incidents of senseless harassment.

The local media in Sacramento has been covering some organizing efforts for the Mobilization and looking at some issues,but the dynamics of truly sustainable agriculture like organic farming,and the problems with food irradiation, food safety, GMOs and globalization, world hunger, and GE trees aren't issues usually covered by your local media. Even the corporate regional and national media pays scant attention to such stories as the breakdown of talkson GMOs between the Bush regime and the EU or U.S. House of Representatives corporate agribiz operatives attempting to gut the 2002 Farm Bill, a move that will further threaten family farms and the environment. Watch for additional updates.

Sacramento Resistance Radio, streaming: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ] | 5 ]

Revolution Summer

20.06.2003 21:55

Activist groups from San Diego, Mexico, and around the country are coming together to create a powerful summer of resistance.

Throughout the summer months of 2003, thousands of people people are planned to gather in San Diego, CA to protest and take direct action against the many issues and facets of the system that maintains a world based on power, class, race, sex, and species. Activists from all over the world are invited to come to San Diego for the events of this summer, as well as for an international solidarity protest against the WTO. The international protest will be held on the Mexican border, just a few miles from San Diego, and will coincide with the Cancun WTO protests.

Revolution Summer San Diego is an attempt to promote the revolutionary spirit in San Diego, in order to also promote that spirit nationally and globally. The organizers see the many activist struggles as the same struggle: a struggle against the order that is currently imposed on the world which places more importance on the wants of a few, at the expense of the lives and freedom of the people and animals of the earth, and of the earth itself.

In an effort to strengthen and intensify the many activist struggles, Revolution Summer San Diego will consist of educational events and related nonviolent protest actions, all summer long. It will kick off with an activist fair, a march against police brutality and a vegan picnic on Saturday, June 21st.

Bush Regime Out of Control

20.06.2003 06:23

A lot of international observers are wondering what is happening in America since the Bush regime took power. From the doubtful "election" to its' environmental toxic legacy, to its assaults on civil liberties, to the WMD debacle, various indicators point to repeated breaches of the public trust. In what reads like a laundry list of rightwing partisan sins and irresponsible actions both nationally and internationally, the Bush regime has earned the condemnation of the world. The invasion of Iraq and the appearance of conflicts of interest related to corporations like Halliburton, Bechtel, as well as the Carlyle Group are recent examples of the ongoing neo-con capitalistic feeding frenzy and shady business dealings made infamous by outfits like Enron. Related to the invasion and The Empire's belligerent foreign policy around the world, is the shadowy Defense Policy Board, a who's-who of the military-industrial complex former Republican President Eisenhower warned everyone about. These are the players who formulated the so-called Project for a New American Century, a roadmap for world domination that may have Iran in its sights as we speak.

The Bush regime and its friends in Big Oil have gotten so far out of control that even their operatives in the corporate media can't overlook all their sins and have started interviewing critics of the administration. But the privatization of public airwaves makes such coverage less likely as the U.S. approaches the next presidential elections, the validity of which is already being questioned. Citizen and non-citizen alike, many people are asking how Bush can be defeated?

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