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Two weeks against the WTO / Dos semanas de lucha contra la OMC

28.09.2003 08:27


Las movilizaciones en Cancun contra la Organizacion Mundial del Comercio comenzaron con el Congreso de Medios Alternativos "Huracan." Acudieron unos 120 personas de paises del norte y del sur que participaron en talleres sobre temas que variaban entre la construccion de emisoras de radio hasta la historia del centro de medios independientes.

The anti World Trade Organisation mobilisation in Cancun began with the Huracan Alternative Media Convergence. It was attended by 120 people from northern and southern countries that participated in workshops on subjects ranging from radio transmitter construction to the history of indymedia.

Read Entire Feature in English and Spanish

South Korean Farmers Continue Lee's Struggle

27.09.2003 04:50

On September 20, South Korean police confronted the funeral of Lee Kyunghae, the farmer who committed suicide in Cancun to protest the murderous policies of the WTO. After officers blocked hundreds of fellow farmers and mourners carrying Lee's bier from proceeding to the office of the President of South Korea, a fight erupted in which many on both sides were injured.

Free Speech Radio News (FSRN) reports, "Korean farmers say the fact that the Korean police repressed the funeral so cruelly shows the Korean government has no pro-active policies to boost local agriculture and is also evidence of the government’s complicity with the WTO in driving farmers off their land and to starvation. And as Eunji Kang reports from Seoul, farmers across South Korea are declaring they will follow the example of the late Lee Kyunghae and fight against WTO and neoliberalism to protect farmers' lives." (Korean videos from media act 1 | 2 Real Player)

Largest Ice Shelf in Arctic Fractured

26.09.2003 10:21

Ward Ice Shelf The Artic Circle's largest ice shelf has fractured.The huge mass of floating ice, which has existed for at least 3,000 years, is now in pieces, bringing up questions of how global warming will affect the Earth's ecosystem in coming years. The majority of the scientific community has come to accept the reality of climate change, citing it for contributions to impacts from declining plant and animal populations to a devastating effect on people. Some of those scientists will be meeting in Moscow in the next few days to discuss the issues relating to climate change.

Each major weather related event like the heat wave in Europe or hurricane Isabel is not proof of climate change by itself, but taken all together, the probability that such catastrophic incidents would be happening now without climate change is extremely unlikely. This week's event in the Arctic, when viewed in the context of similar events in the Antarctic should be sobering news to those who doubt so-called global warming.

In the meantime, some environmental activists are calling for an end to the carbon age. They continue to campaign on issues of climate change, make individual efforts, or take more radical action.

Edward Said, Great Intellectual &amp; Passionate Advocate for Palestinian Cause, Dies at 67

26.09.2003 03:40

Edward Said, one of the world's leading public intellectuals, a tireless advocate for Palestinian freedom, and a professor at Columbia University, died yesterday in New York City. He was 67.

According to a post on the NYC IMC Open Newswire, "Edward had been very ill for the past couple of weeks and last night he was re-admitted to the hospital ... For us -- and we know for the entire academic community as well as everyone who had believed in Palestinian sovereignty, not to mention the self-determination of oppressed and exploited people worldwide -- this is a loss that will never be overcome."

In a February 2003 speech at UCLA, Said argued that ""Palestine now is the progressive cause in the world today." Referring to Israel, he noted that "no power, no matter how horrific its past, should be exempt from censure if it practices starvation, torture, forced transfer. We live in a secular world--there simply is no way to legitimize bombing and maiming people because they don't belong to the correct race."

[Read More and See More Pictures] || Roadmap to What and Where?

U.S. Attorney General barnstorms the country in support of the expanded Patriot Act

23.09.2003 03:17

US Attorney General John Aschcroft has spent the month of September touring the United States ridiculing critics of the Patriot Act and seeking support for the expansion of its powers under the Victory Act, known as Patriot II. The first Patriot Act, passed shortly after September 11, 2001 already gives the US government sweeping authority to investigate activities it deems to be related to terrorism. A key part of Ashcroft's propaganda blitz is to deny the extensive reach of either bill, calling critics "hysterical" and enlisting the aid of corporate media outlets to "portray the Patriot Act accurately".

The Patriot Act has been the target of over 160 protest resolutions from city and state governments nationwide. Arcata, CA has gone so far as instruct its city employees to disobey unconstitutional federal requests.

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Quagmire Drags On in Iraq

22.09.2003 12:06

As U.S. veterans and military families speak out about the Bush regime's quagmire in Iraq, and the chickenhawks who manufactured it, they are joined by a growing number of people around the world demanding no more war, no more lies! For the US such a quagmire, "a situation from which extraction is very difficult" is not happening for the first time, but bears connotation to the US war in Vietnam.

The ongoing occupation of Iraq is taking more political heat in the Washington as the body count grows higher and European leaders ,as well as a growing number of U.S. citizens, continue to resist the Bush regime's lies and arrogance. While the heat is turned up on the Bush regime, Whitehouse operatives are making desperate moves at damage repair and retribution, perhaps the best example being the Ambassador Wilson Affair.

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El Gringo Asesina, El Pueblo Resiste<br/>The Gringo Kills, The People Resist

21.09.2003 00:58

Marzo de 500.000 Bolivianos en | es: Durante el día de hoy un operativo conjunto de militares y policías asesinó a por lo menos 5 campesinos aymaras en Achacachi, cuando la denominada "caravana de rescate", comandada por el Ministro de Defensa Carlos Sánchez Berzaín, intentó romper los bloqueos que se registran desde hace días en la región del altiplano. Este hecho se produjo en el contexto de convulsión nacional provocado por los planes del primer mandatario, "el gringo" Sánchez de Lozada, de entregar el gas a las empresas trasnacionales.

Read Entire Feature in Spanish | English

[ IMC Bolivia | IMC Argentina | Bolpress | Econoticias Bolivia ]

CAFTA: One Month Out

21.09.2003 00:13

CAFTA, the Central American Free Trade Agreement, is a proposed trade agreement between the United States and five countries in Central America: El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Costa Rica. It is modeled after the now-infamous North American Free Trade Agreement, and is anticipated to have many of the same negative effects caused by NAFTA--such as the devastating impact on working people in the United States, Canada, and Mexico --are expected to occur to many people living in countries participating in CAFTA if an agreement is reached. CAFTA encourages privatization of basic necessities like water, which has led to disastrous effects in other countries, like Bolivia, in the past.

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Judges Charge Police Involved in Genoa Violence

18.09.2003 13:18

On Monday September 15 prosecutors sent notices to 73 police informing them that investigations against them had been closed. The investigations were part of a two-year inquiry into the events that took place in the Diaz and Pascoli schools and in the Bolzaneto police barracks during the G8 summit. The Diaz raid ended with almost all of the 93 activists inside the school being injured. 30 police from the Diaz and Pascoli school operations have been charged, the other 43 charges relate to Bolzaneto barracks. [One account of the Diaz Raid]

Included in the 30 accused are the most important chiefs of police who are charged with slander, false arrest, assault and battery, and abuse of authority. The charges also relate to the fabrication of evidence such as two molotov cocktails that had been brought from corso Italia into the school, and the cutting of the jacket of agent Massimo Nucera in order to fabricate evidence of a stabbing.

For Bolzaneto which became the registration center for those arrested during the G8, seventy more notices were sent. 43 people received charges including the directors of penitentiary personnel, as well as the medical personnel. The charges are of abuse, infliction of injuries and wounds, verbal abuse, omission of official facts and omission of reports.

More at Italy IMC

Feds Surround and Raid Environmental Co-op; Arrest an Activist and then, following Show of Solidarity, Release Him

18.09.2003 01:26

Regen V Co-op It was a hectic weekend for the RE-GEN CO-OP in Pamona, California; though all-too-familiar in Ashcroft’s America, where racial profiling, FBI raids, and other restrictions on civil liberties have become commonplace. At aproximately 12:30AM, Friday, September 12, unmarked law enforcement cars swarmed the intersection of Bradford and Alvarado in Pomona and arrested Josh Connole, 25, on multiple counts of arson and felony vandalism relating to the firebombing of an Hummer SUV dealership in West Covina, CA. A joint task force consisting of the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the West Covina Police Dept. kept Connole's residence (the RE-GEN house) under tight surveillance throughout the rest of the day, eventually forced the residents out, and raided the building, leaving lives torn apart in their wake. By Monday midday, following an outpouring of support, Josh was released from custody; they didn’t have enough evidence to hold him.


Some recent commentaries on U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft: 1, 2, 3

Appeal on Peltier Parole Denial - Call for Solidarity

16.09.2003 21:04

American Indian activist Leonard Peltier has been unjustly imprisoned in the U.S. for twenty-seven years, despite clear examples of misconduct, including the falsification of evidence, by various U.S. officials that lead to his conviction. The facts of the case point to a racist vendetta on the part of the FBI and other government players against Peltier and the American Indian Movement. A long, agonizing series of legal actions in the U.S. have failed to win his freedom. He is now nearly fifty-eight years of age and his health is beginning to deteriorate.

In their appeal, Leonards legal team will contend that the U.S. Parole Commission erred because its ruling that Leonard had been involved in an ambush of the two FBI agents on June 26, 1975, and had executed them at point blank range "is not supported by Leonards convictions or decisions addressing post-conviction petitions; is not supported by the evidence before the Commission; and is undermined by the material evidence the government improperly withheld at Leonards trial." They go on to state: "The Commissions denial of parole to Leonard Peltier constitutes a violation of law, as well as being inconsistent with its own congressionally mandated guidelines." It is hoped that an immediate parole will result.

Supporters are being asked to join in a Day of Prayer and Solidarity for Leonard as well as sending messages to various government officials.

Developing countries pull out, WTO talks collapse

15.09.2003 00:10

VICTORY! In a significant victory for the global justice movement, the WTO Cancun Ministerial meeting has collapsed as delegates from developing countries called the bluff of the EU and US, and pulled out. The scene at the convention center where the meetings were being held was jubilant, and both delegates from developing countries and NGO representatives are regarding this as a victory for the developing world.

The developing country members of the WTO refused to accept the EU's demand to expand the WTO by including negotiations on new issues including investment, government procurement, trade facilitation, competition, resulting in talks collapsing in Cancun. The EU had linked the expansion negotiations to agriculture even though the Doha Declaration delinked these two areas and required "explicit consensus" to launch the new issues.

The collapse followed a night of Green Room meetings in which the EU and US used high pressure tactics, bribes, and threats to force less powerful countries in to submission. This was a tactic used at the WTO talks in Seattle and every other WTO meeting; it was strongly resented by delegates from developing countries.

A primary factor in the collapse was the disagreement over the new "Singapore Issues," which threaten countries' ability to legislate and enforce their own domestic investment laws [more background].

The developing nations hope to send a clear message to rich nations that their bullying tactics will not intimidate them. The G-21+ grouping was called a "grouping of the paralyzed" by the United States Trade Representative, "with rhetoric but no ability to negotiate." The G-21+, however, put forth many alternatives rebuking the US claim of mere "pontification." This has proven that the power balance within the WTO has drastically shifted. The powerful and rich nations have faced a defeat.

Much is still at stake, however, as U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick threatened that the US will now concentrate on regional and bilateral trade agreements like the Free Trade Area of the Americas to get what it wants. Critics of global capitalism everywhere are already preparing for the Miami FTAA ministerial.

Civil society is celebrating the victory of democracy and the power of the people -- "This victory is for you, Lee Kyung Hae!"

Coverage at Cancun Indymedia is extensive. Keep checking there for the latest news.

Human Rights defenders threatened by president Uribe

13.09.2003 22:37

Colombian human rights activists are in danger of death after president Uribe stated that they are linked to "terrorist organizations". Under the war situation of Colombia this declaration means that human rights activists could be killed by right- wing paramilitaries.

The declaration was a response to the publishing of El Embrujo Autoritario" (The Autoritarian Charm). This is a book launched during Semana por la Paz (Week for Peace) revealing a dramatic increase of human rights violations, poverty, and erosion of democracy under the rule of President Uribe.

read the whole article

Korean Farmer Suicide to Stop WTO

11.09.2003 08:52

The World Trade Organization began meeting in Cancun on Wednesday as thousands took to the streets in protest of the WTO's environmental, economic, and other policies. Protesters began actions September 9 with a festive march that ended at "kilometer zero", which is the entrance to the now off-limits hotel zone [video].

Police repression has been high; Mexican president Vicente Fox actually ordered a police-led campaign of misinformation and barricades to prevent a teach-in organized by the International Forum on Globalization.

Earlier today, a Korean farmer committed suicide in protest of the plight of farmers around the world facing the WTO's devastating policies. The suicide occured at a protest organized by Via Campesina, a international network of groups in struggle for farmers' rights.

September 11: Bloody coup remembered 1973 -2003

11.09.2003 01:41

In 1970 Chile elected to power leftist President Salvador Allende. President Nixon, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and the CIA set about a campaign of destabilisation of Chile's economy, and gave support and encouragement to the military uprising and coup d'etat on September 11, 1973. More than 10,000 people were tortured, murdered, or disappeared in the ensuing months and years of military terror. While Chile has returned to parliamentary democracy, justice is still being sought against the torturers and murderers of the dictatorship, including General Pinochet. These people have been granted impunity to prosecution for their crimes in Chile. First actions (es) in commemoration of the 30 years of the military coup have been carried out in Chile. Chileans in Melbourne, Sydney, Belgium, Netherlands and around the world will commemorate this anniversary with protests.

[Chile IMC (es) | The other September 11 | US responsibility for the Coup in Chile]

Students block streets in Salvador, Brazil

11.09.2003 01:21

For more than ten days thousands of students in Salvador, Brazil's third largest city have been blocking streets downtown to protest the raise on bus fairs. After the August 28 announcement of a 15% rise on bus fairs, hundreds of high school students left school and blocked the streets.

The success of the actions on the first day took thousands of others to the street the following days. Several thousands have been protesting daily since then. Most of the city traffic has simply stopped in downtown areas. The blockades are descentralized and organization has been spontenous and horizontal. Most students come from poor areas and complain that the raise on bus faires will significantly affect their family income.

After 5 days of protests, representatives from student unions made an agreement with Salvador Major giving students discount fairs during weekends (they already have on weekdays), but students who organized without the union simply ignored the deal and kept protesting "until the raise is recalled".

In the past days, police have begun to violently repress the students, even though many of them are only ten years old. On September 7, Brazil's Independence Day, two thousand students protested and blocked the parade which had to be canceled. One kid was run by a car and died at one of the blockades.

[full article (pt)]

9/11: Two Years Later

10.09.2003 20:57

Two years after the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City and on the Pentagon in Washington, DC there remains many unanswered questions such as the U.S. Air Force's lack of response to the initial airplane hi-jacking. The September Eleventh Families For Peaceful Tomorrows reply to a Congressional Joint Inquiry Report on the incident describes various concerns about missing information. Also, 9/11 Investigators have complained about Whitehouse obstructions to their investigation. Now, some are calling for the creation of the international 9/11 Truth Alliance.

Of course, such catastrophic events attract a great deal of attention and speculation. Some critics find the Bush regime's behavior around 9/11 highly questionable, while others reject the notion that U.S. neo-conservatives could have either encouraged or actually planned 9/11. Some observers fear such speculation will go on forever like with the Kennedy assassinations. What do you think?

Battle Against 'Prepaid' Water Erupts

09.09.2003 03:36

Phiri is becoming South Africa's Cochabamba. It is here, in a section of Soweto, that the battle against 'prepaid' water meters is being waged in earnest. 'Prepaid' meters are devices which stop all water supplies unless water is paid for in advance. Under the name 'Operation Gcin'amazni', the Johannesburg Water Company (JOWCO) has been installing these in Phiri.

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US Labor Relations - 40 hour week

08.09.2003 17:23

A US Senator from Iowa, Tom Harkin is leading the fight against the US Bush administration's latest attempt to gut the hallmark piece of US labor relations, the 40-hour week. The Bush Department of Labor wants to allow employers to reclassify nearly every employee who has any degree of eduation a "professional" and therefore exempt from guarantees that employees who work more than 40 hours per week receive overtime pay overtime. The Bush Department of Labor has also been mulling over changes that would allow employers to force their employees to accept compensatory time instead of cash for working more than 40 hours. The US Senate is expected to take action on Tuesday, September 9th, to make a "pre-emptive strike" against these regulations, before they take effect. Journalist Paul Almeida is calling the proposed regulations, "the biggest pay cut in US history." Most US workers have been guaranteed a work week of no more than 40 hours since 1938. US Labor Unions are marshalling support for Harkin's move and even some corporate media sources have weighed in editorially against this radical change in US labor relations

WTO : Enemy of the Earth

07.09.2003 21:35

Mother Earth Its broad reaching threat to planet Earth is one of the many reasons to oppose the World Trade Organization. As the global economy consumes more than the Earth can yield, issues of trade and the environment become all the more critical for all life on planet Earth.

WTO actions and policies affect air quality, desertification, toxic waste handling, water quality and its privatization by corporados such as Thames, Suez and Vivendi,oceans and their inhabitants, as well as other ecological issues such as endangered species.

Despite the fact that some mainstream enviro groups have succumbed to the WTO Charm Offensive, most ecologically conscious groups and individuals believe that such power belongs with the UN, nationally, or with local autonomous groups. Stay tuned to Indymedia for updates on the WTO and the environment, as well as links to other things you can do .

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