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Anti-WTO protests in Cancun and around the World

07.09.2003 17:42

As the WTO-summit in Cancun is coming closer, more and more activities are planned with the aim to actually derail the WTO. In what some already hopeful refer to a second Seattle, as protests might reinforce opposition in the inside, numerous actions and gatherings will take place in Cancun and Mexico, as well as around the world, such as in Australia, the US, Mesoamerica, South-America, Asia and Europe.

In Cancun there will be a Peasant and Farmers March on September the 10th (es), and on the 13th there will be a march against the WTO, as part of the Worldwide Day of Action Against Corporate Globalization and Militarism. Numerous fora organised by, among others, fishers, farmers, women and students will be held. Other activities in Cancun, such as a fairetrade-expo, just two busstops away from the WTO Conference centre, and various (sponteneous) actions are to be expected as well. On the border from Tijuana to San Diego, where at least fourthousand human beings already died due to migration-controls, there is a week of action (es) to highlight the links between militarism and "free" trade.

[ Mexico Solidarity Network Cancun Page | PGA page Cancun | 4th News Bulletin Cancun part I, part II ]

WTO - GM crops, food aid and the Biosafety Protocol

06.09.2003 20:20

Biotechnology and genetically modified (GM) crops will be high on the agenda at the WTO meeting. On 18 August 2003, the USA, Canada and Argentina officially introduced their requests to the WTO Dispute Settlement Body, stating that the EU moratorium had restricted the imports of agricultural and food products. EU consumers and farmers are adamant that they want GMO-free food and agriculture, but powerful agribusiness interests (en, es) including Monsanto and the American Farm Bureau Federation have been pressuring (pdf) the US government to use the WTO to force Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) onto a hostile EU consumer market.

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Listening to Protest, Court Halts FCC

04.09.2003 14:31

Following widespread popular protest of the Federal Communications Commission's proposed rule changes, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a temporary injunction yesterday blocking the pro-corporate measures that would have gone into effect today. The court was acting on a petition filed by Prometheus Radio Project and the Media Access Project. The stay is in effect until the court hears full arguments in the case.

In the meantime, continued popular pressure is needed - in the form of phone calls to Senators - to force a rollback of the FCC rules. The Senate Appropriations Committee is voting today on this issue.

Worker exploitation at the US-Mexican border

04.09.2003 06:24

In open complicity with the owners of the maquiladora Industria Fronteriza, the president of Tijuana's labor board has threatened that the legal demand of the workers vs. the company will be nullified in three days. This is an absolute transgression of the Mexican labor laws and workers' rights. Urgent Help is needed for Industrias Fronterizas workers.

A group of about 30 people protested in front of the Mexican Embassy on Labor Day in solidarity with Mexican workers fighting for pay they deserve. There was a picket march and strong chanting. Numerous corporate news sources were there to take our message of "Pay your workers now!" right to the rich factory owners who live in San Diego.

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Censorship meets Manu Chao

03.09.2003 17:37

Manu Chao and basque musician Fermin Muguruza's tour has been suspended after a campaign against the basque artist was taking place. Some reactionary politicians from the governing party in Spain, the conservative and post francoist Popular Party together with the association in support of the victims of terrorism, claimed Fermin Muguruza was a Basque Separatism supporter and militant in now illegal party Batasuna.

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No WTO a Go-Go

03.09.2003 08:03

Fair Trade instead of WTO As the World Trade Organisation prepares to hold its fifth ministerial meeting in the resort town of Cancun, Mexico, hundreds of thousands of people will be converging around the world to resist the WTO's agenda of corporate globalisation that results in privatisation of public resources, attacks on working people and the poor, degradation of the environment and the homogenisation of culture. Already actions have occured in Switzerland where on Monday activists occupied the offices of the Economics Ministry (es) (de, photos).

Hundreds of media activists will be providing coverage from both Cancun and around the world. On Monday the Tidal Wave alt.media convergence kicked off in with nearly 100 participants from across the globe. Media activists from as far away as Kyrgyzstan, Australia, Slovenia, Ireland, the UK and from across the Americas converged on Cancun with the intention of skill- sharing, networking, resource-sharing and of course, having a good time.

Read: Entire Feature | En Castellano | Web guide to Cancun-WTO

Record Labor Day Gas Prices Not Really Record Prices

01.09.2003 16:50

Gasoline prices have recently hit almost $2.00 per gallon across the United States. For a consumer culture that drives gas guzzling sport utility vehicles (SUVs), that $2.00 price tag makes many people believe that prices are at an all-time high. These recent price spikes have led to renewed calls for government regulation.

While the mass media is out to tell you the same story over and over, that gas prices are too high -- especially for labor day when Americans traditionally set the yearly record for travel by car -- the reality is that gas prices are nowhere near record levels. When adjusted for inflation, 1981 set the most recent record at $1.35 which is $2.69 adjusted to year 2000 prices (the most recent year for which numbers are easily available). In fact, the all-time high was set in 1918, which would be $3.00 per gallon in 2000 prices, and prices have been falling ever-since. For the "official" industry numbers visit the pro-Petrol American Petroleum Institute, and download this PDF.

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Mass demonstration and massive repression

01.09.2003 08:13

A general strike and a mass demonstration of a hundred thousand people in Bogota against the American free trade contract ALCA paralyzed Colombia on the 12th of august during the visit of Bush's trade delegate Zoellick to Colombia. [timeline of events] At the demonstration and from then on, repression in Colombia has increased, consisting of mass arrests of trade unionists, community and social workers and assassination attempts [AI statement]. Moreover, Juan Carlos Benavides, a journalist at the community radio Manantial Stereo in Putumayo, was murdered on the 22nd of August at a road-block set up by the guerrilla organization FARC. "Juan Carlos was a well known community communicator in the region, always trying to support community participation and social journalism. He was an active member of the CRIS campaign, coordinated in Colombia by the local NGO Planeta Paz." From a statement of the camapign Communication Rights in the Information Society.

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Netwide Protests Against EU Software Patents

30.08.2003 10:13

The cream of Europe's politicized programmers took to the streets in Brussels in a protest that counted over 400 protestors [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4]. On Wednesday 27 August, at least 2700 websites from the world's Open Source / Free Software community had been voluntarily shut down or had replaced the frontpage with a protestpage in a symbolic protest against proposed European Union software patents legislation. Some IMC's were involved in this online protest as well, such as Germany, Easkalherria, Italy, Madrid and Belgium.

The patents directive is seen by its opponents as an attempt to introduce U.S.-style software patents into Europe in order to protect multinational corporations from innovative small software companies, Open Source / Free Software developers, and the file-sharing habits of the vast majority of internet users. The patents directive was scheduled for a vote on 1 September 2003, but the vote has been delayed due to the unprecedented concern in the programming community. Software patents opponents vow that they will use the extra time to organize even more effectively.

[Read features in Dutch 1 | 2 | French | German | English | Spanish | Euskera | Italian] ]

American Embassador Pied

29.08.2003 10:40

On August 28, an anti-FTAA activist pied American Embassador Peter Allgeier, co-president of the FTAA, during a press conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. [photo | video] The activist, a member of Bakers Without Borders, released a note protesting the negotiations of the FTAA. The FTAA will concentrate wealth, increase poverty, and destroy labor, consumer and enviromental rights, said the note.

The protest also focused attention on the disregard Brazil's government has shown for a September 2002 unofficial plebiscite in which over 10 million people voted "No" to the FTAA. Last month, President Inacio Lula da Silva said at a meeting with George Bush that negotiations will proceed and should finish by 2005. Brazilian social movements and NGOs protest the continuation of negotiations. The pieing comes just two weeks ahead of a WTO meeting in Cancún, which will be met with massive protest.

More pictures
Full video
Video Interview with activist

US Police State

29.08.2003 10:28

In the wake of a massive fire set by the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) in San Diego, activists are receiving intense harassment from the FBI. Two activists have had their homes raided in the last two weeks. One on Thursday August 28th and one on August 13th. They have also been detained by the police and have had their homes photographed by agents sitting in SUV's. Still, they are resisting. Last Saturday, there was a rally and press conference held in Balboa Park to speak out against police state repression. The Activists in San Diego will not be silenced by this war on dissent.

27.08.2003 12:17

Sometime Thursday morning, this page and other IMCs on this server will see a short "downtime." It's for work we've planned ahead and we hope to have it back up pretty quickly.

"Please make a note of it," and we thank you for your continuing to be the media!

Camp for juvenile refugees de-fenced

27.08.2003 10:52

A group of 60 activists took down the fences by which juvenile refugees are kept apart from the rest of the Dutch society (en | nl). About 100 meter fence was dismanteled. The children where happy with the action and the support, while the police only watched.

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Week Of Heightened Violence Against Transgender Community Of D.C.

25.08.2003 08:36

This past week Washington DC saw a pandemic of violence directed against the transgender community resulting in two deaths and one critical hospitalization. The violence began shortly after a fragile community marked the one year anniversary of two transgender women in Southeast when Bella Evangelista, a 25 year old Latina, was found murdered in the Columbia Heights neighborhood. This tragedy was followed on August 21st with one transwoman dead and another in critical condition.

In response, the DC-Radio-Coop audio program "Voices With Vision" produced a special dedicated to human rights for transgender people. In this show you'll hear:

  • From Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth in DC getting support from the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL) as they struggle with everyday discrimination.
  • How Washington DC is mourning the recent deaths and brutalizations of its transgender residents.
  • Queer activists of color strategizing to build a robust social justice movement at a panel entitled "Queering the Color Lines: LGBT Communities of Color & Allies Organizing for Justice". The panel was organized to coincide with 40th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington in continuation of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who fought for justice, human rights and dignity for all people, 40 years ago in 1963...

"Voices With Vision" is a special progressive mix of voices, coming usually every Monday and Friday 11 to 11:30am on WPFW 89.3FM, Pacifica in DC. It is produced by the DC-Radio-Coop, a Community News Reporting Training program at WPFW done in collaboration with WBIX.org-Exiles & Refugees Radio Network, Free Speech Radio News and the DC IMC.

Historic decision in Argentina

24.08.2003 09:45

Last Wednesday the Argentinian Senate nullified the "Due Obedience" and "Full Stop" laws, which guaranteed impunity for the murderers of more than 30,000 opponents of Argentina's bloodthirsty military dictatorship (1976-1983). Most of the victims were students, blue-collar workers and social activists.

When the decision was announced, the people took to the Plaza de Mayo, the civic center of the nation, to celebrate and pay homage to the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, a group of women who have been struggling for a quarter of century to recover the bodies of their sons and bring the murderers to justice. Many of these mothers suffered the same fate of their sons, being tortured and disappearing in the hands of the military henchmen, who learned techniques of torture in the infamous School of the Americas .

New IMC's join the Indymedia Network...

21.08.2003 21:39

Welcome to new Indymedia Centers in Puerto Rico, New Orleans, and Belgrade. While there is the joy of new indymedia centers springing up, we regretfully have recieved word that Indymedia Finland has decided to disolve itself.

Looking forward to the next several weeks Indymedia Mexico City and Chiapas have launched cancun.mediosindependientes.org to cover the upcoming WTO protests. Before the protests, Indymedia is co-organizing the Tidal Wave Media Convergence, a week long alternative media encuentro [ website - pagina de web ] register. The imc and media convergence are very short on money. We urgently need your help. If you can't make it to Cancún in person, please support by donating online.

Radio Frequency ID (RFDI) tags stopped

21.08.2003 11:33

the chip is the black dot After protests against the trial of RFID tags by Gillette at a Tesco store in Cambridge (UK), increasing press coverage, a boycott, and the growing mobilisation of campaigners against the intrusive use of the technology, Gillette have withdrawn their trial. RFID (Radio Frequency ID) tags are small tags containing a microchip which can be 'read' by radio sensors over short distances (for background see SchNEWS Feature / 2 part Guardian Article).

Read: Entire Feature

This issue will also form part of the discussions at the World Summit to the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva in December (see also Polymedia Lab proposal), and it fits in with a broader discussion on nanotechnology (Greenpeace report pdf).

&quot;Just say no to Dick and Bush Tour&quot;

20.08.2003 06:13

All along the west coast, as Bush travels around to raise funds, people are organizing to stop him. Some are calling it the "Just say no to Dick and Bush Tour". People are coming out for a myriad of reasons.

Major demonstrations have taken place in San Diego ( photos) and Los Angeles ( photos ) already. Portland and Seattle are gearing up for massive protests next week.

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300 Afghan hungerstrikers in Brussels

18.08.2003 17:41

On the 24th of July, 300 Afghan refugees started a hungerstrike in a church in Brussels. They wanted to protest against the decision of the Belgian government to send them back to Afghanistan. Although human rights reports keep on pointing at the dangerous situation in Afghanistan, the Belgian government says there is no reason to give asylum to Afghan refugees. The Belgian minister of Internal Affairs Patrick Dewael added that he wouldn't surrender to blackmail and insinuated that the action was misused by human-smugglers. But the hungerstrikers didn't give up. A few hundreds of locals set up a supporting assembly and cooked for the children, collected donations and organised a manifestation. 22 days and 4 negotiators later there is finally a solution. The Afghan refugees don't get a collective regularisation as they initially asked for, but they can stay in the country till next year and they can be regularised on an individual base. The agreement contains points that are valid for all refugees in Belgium.

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Kafka pays a visit to Los Angeles Activist

18.08.2003 09:08

Two days after webmaster Sherman Austin was sentenced to one year in federal prison and three years probation after linking www.RaisetheFist.com to another website with explosives information (Sherman agreed to a plea under the threat of facing 20 years if he lost in trial); two members of the Los Angeles Independent Media Center met with Sherman and his mother to hear their side of the story in Ashcroft's America....Read the Entire Feature

Listen to the new Agit-Drop Radio interview with Sherman - San Diego Benefit Show for Sherman on August 29 with Special Guest Zach De La Rocha - German feature and translation of articles

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