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Institute For Autonomy :: For a Life of Dignity Without Capitalism

United Kingdom, 19.03.2005 07:30

The Institute for Autonomy is a newly occupied social centre in central London. Created in a disused university building in a city where house & rent prices continue to climb far out of the reach of the majority, it has lain empty and forgotten for over 5 years.

The Institute for Autonomy aims to be an open space for daily development towards autonomy. It is organised by open assemblies, and it is formed by a collective of people of different backgrounds and experiences. They state that "it’s vital for us to create a space where a different reality can be experienced, where new paths can be walked, along which can emerge common action, interest and identity amongst people".

The Centre is at 76-78 Gower Street, London WC1 and opens Saturday 19th March - 7pm till 1am. There will be films, music, cafe, info-shop and kids space.

Other ongoing projects already planned for the centre include: a library, a printing workshop and banner making, fortnightly Precarity Info/Sharing, a solidarity kitchen that opens three lunch-times a week, and a Cafeteria Rebelde.

See also: Advisory Service for Squatters | Wombles Social Centres Page |

Americans for Safe Access Keeps Track of CA Dispensation Struggles

San Francisco Bay Area, 19.03.2005 07:30

Americans for Safe Access has been keeping track of the growth of medical cannabis "dispensing collectives" all over California. As more and more collectives open, cities, suburbs, and rural areas are finding new ways to scrutinize dispensing operations, and in many cases there have been calls for increasing regulation of dispensation. Dispensing collectives or cooperatives have in the past been called anything from "pot clubs" to "marijuana stores," but ASA sticks to language that reflects the intent of SB 420.

International Day of Protest on the second anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq

San Francisco Bay Area, 19.03.2005 07:20

March 19, 2005, is an International Day of Protest on the second anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. As on the first anniversary of the invasion, millions of people around the world are marching to say “No to War and Occupation from Iraq to Palestine to Haiti and Everywhere” in dozens of cities around the US and in other countries.

Blackademics and Authenticity in Hip-Hop

DC, 19.03.2005 04:02

WPFW 89.3FM (Washington, DC) Decipher: The Music, The Movement, The Message Weeknights 11p-12am

Politischer Prozess in Giessen

Germany, 19.03.2005 03:20

In einem umfangreichen Verfahren - mindestens neun Verhandlungstage f�llen M�rz und April - stehen zwei Aktivisten aus Giessen in zweiter Instanz vor Gericht. Hintergrund ist der regionale, kreative Widerstand der letzten zweieinhalb Jahre. Aufh�nger waren die Ende 2002 verabschiedete "Gefahrenabwehrverordnung" in Giessen, aber auch Wahlen und weitere Themenfelder. Die Angeklagten wollen sich im Prozess offensiv verteidigen und die Repressionsstrategien seitens Politik, Polizei und Justiz demaskieren. Das Verfahren wird durch eine gro�e Veranstaltungsreihe gegen Strafe und Repression begleitet. Teil davon ist eine Dokumentation zu Polizei- und Justizstrategien in Gie�en. Vorab ver�ffentlichte Ausz�ge sorgten im Vorfeld f�r �ffentlichen Wirbel um den der L�ge �berf�hrten CDU-Stadtverordnetenvorsteher Gail.

Berichte zum Prozess und zur Veranstaltungsreihe
Vorstellung der 2. Polizeidokumentation | Bericht zum ersten Prozesstag (10.03.05) | Hintergr�nde und Ereignisse kurz vor dem Prozess

Radical Performance Festival, March 18th-19th

San Francisco Bay Area, 19.03.2005 03:00

Cultural Links will sponsor the 8th annual Radical Performance Festival on March 18th and 19th in at the SomArts Cultural Center in San Francisco. The show on Friday night will include Sparlha Swa, Shailja Patel, the Brass Liberation Orchestra, Ashley Brockington, SoulOgraphy, Julia Butterfly, the Vietnamese Artists Collective, Arts in Action poets, and others. Saturday night's performance will include Sistas in the Pit, Copper Women, Colored Ink, Matt Gonzalez, Kreatibo, Blue Buddha, Samsara, Deep Dick Collective, Dancers Without Borders, Pick Pocket Ensemble, Art in Action Poets, and antics by the Big Tadoo Puppet Crew. The two shows will benefit Art in Action Youth Scholarships and the From Attica to Abu Ghraib Conference

On 2nd Anniversary Of Rachel Corrie's Death, Protesters Confront Caterpillar

San Francisco Bay Area, 19.03.2005 03:00

3/16/2005: On the second anniversary of the death of Rachel Corrie, killed by a Caterpillar D9 bulldozer while defending the home of a Palestinian civilian, around sixty people gathered at the gates of the Peterson Tractor Company in San Leandro, California. The activists, organized by A Jewish Voice for Peace, held a spirited protest against Caterpillar's continuing sales of bulldozers to the U.S. Department of Defense (which are then delivered to the Israeli military under a Foreign Military Sales Agreement).

Worldwide Protests Against Canadian Seal Hunt

San Francisco Bay Area, 19.03.2005 03:00

On Tuesday, March 15, In Defense of Animals (IDA) joined dozens of animal and environmental protection groups in a massive worldwide protest of the annual Canadian seal slaughter scheduled to begin just days from now. Every year, the Canadian Government sanctions the killing of 350,000 seals off the country's eastern shores, most of whom are just days or weeks old, and are shot, beaten, stabbed and often skinned alive. Many eyewitnesses have even seen hunters sadistically torturing seals with apparent pleasure and absolutely no regard for the animals' pain. Demonstrations were held in 50 cities in twenty-eight countries, including four Canadian provinces. Read More with Photos

Remembering Rachel Corrie

San Francisco Bay Area, 19.03.2005 03:00

From Santa Cruz Indymedia:

On 2nd Anniversary Rachel Corrie's Death Protesters Confront Caterpillar

San Francisco Bay Area, 19.03.2005 02:30

3/16/2005: On the second anniversary of the death of Rachel Corrie, killed by a Caterpillar D9 bulldozer while defending the home of a Palestinian civilian, around sixty people gathered at the gates of the Peterson Tractor Company in San Leandro, California. The activists, organized by Jewish Voice for Peace, held a spirited protest against Caterpillar's continuing sales of bulldozers to the U.S. Department of Defense (which are then delivered to the Israeli military under a Foreign Military Sales Agreement).

San Francisco Demands End To Occupation And War

San Francisco Bay Area, 19.03.2005 02:00

3/18/2005 A dozen Not In Our Name activists displayed banners over Interstate 80, Freeway 580 and in front of the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland between 6:30 and 8:30 am today. Police and highway patrol forced activists off a pedestrian overpass over 580 near Grand Avenue after one hour, claiming that though they were within their rights to hold a banner if it was not attached to the fence, that traffic was being slowed as a result of the action. Activists at a pedestrian bridge over I-80 were able to remain on the bridge for a full 2 hours. Photos

Worldwide Protests Against Canadian Seal Hunt

San Francisco Bay Area, 18.03.2005 23:30

On Tuesday, March 15, In Defense of Animals (IDA) joined dozens of animal and environmental protection groups in a massive worldwide protest of the annual Canadian seal slaughter scheduled to begin just days from now. Every year, the Canadian Government sanctions the killing of 350,000 seals off the country's eastern shores, most of whom are just days or weeks old, and are shot, beaten, stabbed and often skinned alive. Many eyewitnesses have even seen hunters sadistically torturing seals with apparent pleasure and absolutely no regard for the animals' pain. Demonstrations were held in 50 cities in twenty-eight countries, including four Canadian provinces. Read More and Photos

Green Bridge Base Camp Two!

Rogue Valley, 18.03.2005 22:22

Following the closure order issued by the Forest Service- the campaign to stop the massive Biscuit logging project has established a new base camp just below the closure line on BLM land along the Illinois River. The directions are the same- take Highway 199 from Grants Pass about 25 miles west- past Selma but not quite to Kerby- and take a right onto Eight Dollar Road- go a mile or so and turn left onto a dirt pullout and there our wonderful encampment awaits! If you go all the way to the closure and are turned around by grumpy feds in uniforms- simply turn around and take your first right!

Come one come all! Our momentum is still strong and morale is once again high! We are receiving a ton of community support from cooked meals to fire wood and maintain a high profile in the national media in newspapers, television and radio! Bring gear, food, donations, toys of all sorts and fresh minds and bodies to support the campaign!!!! We can win this one!

A Personal Conviction that War is an Unacceptable Means of Resolving Differences among Nations

Tennessee, 18.03.2005 22:02

I am a former US Army officer (mid-1980s). In my case, I signed up for 3 years of active duty service and 3 years in the Individual Ready Reserve. Enlistment contracts dictate the amount of time one will spend in active duty, National Guard or Reserve. It also specifies the amount of time one will then spend inactive, in the Individual Ready Reserves (IRR). Essentially, there are no weekend drills in the IRR, but you are required to call in once a year and keep the Army apprised of your home address. However, IRR soldiers can be called back into active duty under certain circumstances.


Scotland, 18.03.2005 19:22

Midlothian resident John Moore, backed by around ten supporters, stood up to the sheriff officers sent by the Pentland Park site owner to evict him from his mobile home at Loanhead, on 17th March.

From the Newswire

Perth, 18.03.2005 18:22


Minneapolis Saturday: U.S. Troops... Out Now!

Minneapolis/St. Paul, 18.03.2005 18:01

On the 2nd anniversary of the war in Iraq, Minneapolis to be among 575 communities in the U.S. to protest the war this weekend.

Georgetown Living Wage Hunger Strike - Day 4

DC, 18.03.2005 17:02



Barcelona, 18.03.2005 17:00

Orient Mitjà: motius per l'optimisme?

Als EEUU, el pols entre recolzament i rebuig a la invasió de l'Iraq continua centrant-se en el nombre de baixes i en el fantasma de Vietnam. Mentrestant, el nombre de víctimes civils iraquianes continua sent superior. Aquesta situació, juntament amb les acusacions de manipulació de les recents eleccions Iraquianes i la creixent inquietud sobre els plans per atacar l'Iran, poden estar empenyent la Casa Blanca a negociar amb la insurgència. No obstant, esdeveniments com ara el tiroteig de Giulana Sgrena no donen indicis de timidesa per part dels EEUU. A Palestina, les actuals negociacions es veuen amb excepticisme, mentre a occident es multipliquen actes de recolzament a la seva causa, com ara la Caravana per Palestina 2005.

No a l'ocupació de l'Iraq i Palestina MANIFESTACIÓ 19 Març 2005!

material per la mani de dissabte++octaveta

Notícies relacionades:EuroManifestacio a Brussels, 19 Març 2005 :::Signatures de cientifics contra la guerra :::contra la ruta del comerç la guerra ::: Desifectat el Saló de l'Ensenyament del virus antimilitarista ::: Educación Antimilitarista

+info:: >>>guerra

Debtors face new threat

Michigan, 18.03.2005 16:02

DETROIT — With the help of 18 Democrats, including Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the U.S. Senate passed a bankruptcy bill — the first in 27 years — that will make it difficult for consumers and low-income earners to wipe out debt through bankruptcy.

The bill, sponsored by the credit card industry, is set to go to the House for a vote where Republicans anticipate strong support.

But one of the country’s five largest legal aid providers in Michigan said the bill will hurt the poor.


Athens, 18.03.2005 16:00

2 years after the invasion in Iraq


Brasil, 18.03.2005 15:01

Movimento realiza atividades em todo o país. Em SC, polícia prende seis militantes “preventivamente”

Modi Denied U.S. Entry Visa After Intense Grassroots Campaign

NYC, 18.03.2005 13:01

(repost from the Times of India): "In a severe rebuke to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the United States has denied him entry to America. Taking a strong stand against the senior BJP leader and Hindutva icon, the US Consular division on Friday denied him a "diplomatic visa", apparently holding him responsible for the communal riots in Gujarat in 2002 which claimed over 2000 lives. In addition, his tourist/business visa which was already granted has also been revoked under a section of US Immigration and Nationality Act." The denial of the VISA follows an intense grassroots campaign by the Coalition Against Genocide and reports about the situation on NYC Indymedia and across the internet. On Tuesday, Congressman John Conyers of Michigan had introduced a House Resolution condemning Modi's actions in Gujarat. Modi has called the action "an insult" asked the Indian federal government to take up the matter with US authorities.


Colombia, 18.03.2005 12:01

Campesinos del Huila marcharon por Vida y Libertad

Papeis para tod@s!

Portugal, 18.03.2005 10:00

Papeis para tod@s!


Athens, 18.03.2005 08:20

Thousands of people demonstrated in Athens center

March 18th- SF Cops to Attempt to Get Charges Dropped in Sheila Detoy Death

San Francisco Bay Area, 18.03.2005 06:30

A critical hearing that was scheduled for the San Francisco Superior Court on January 28th will now take place on Friday, March 18th at 9:30am. The San Francisco Police Officers Association is trying to get officer Gregory Breslin, who is widely believed to have been the officer who fatally shot Detoy in the head, off on a technicality. In 2003 the San Francisco Police Commission decided they wanted to file charges against the officers, but things seem to be moving very slowly... Sheila Detoy's family and friends believe that the police are trying to get the Superior Court to dismiss the case against Breslin. Her supporters believe that he should be held accountable for Sheila Detoy's death. A personal account, by Shannon Altamirano

Peaceworks or Peacescam?

Michigan, 18.03.2005 06:01

Last year, Break the Silence held several successful actions to spread the word that the Ann Arbor Area Committee for Peace (AAACP) was undemocratic and doing the anti-war community a disservice by shutting down discussion about Israeli crimes in Palestine and the role that US support for Israel plays in global conflict. The AAACP is back this year as Michigan Peaceworks and we're back to let people know that Michigan Peaceworks is just as undemocratic and myopic as the AAACP was. We will be leafletting at the Michigan Peaceworks rally and march in Ann Arbor on March 20. Below is the partial text of our new leaflet. If you care about justice and peace then we urge you ask Michigan Peaceworks to democratize and to implement its own "Call for Peace in the Middle East."

Global Anti-War Weekend: Maritime Events - March 18th -...

Maritimes, 18.03.2005 04:00

On the second anniversary of the brutal U.S.-led Invasion and occupation of Iraq, Maritimers will join people of the world on the streets

Picketing Canada's Haliburton

Maritimes, 18.03.2005 04:00

Picket of SNC-Lavalin, NS Power Friday Afternoon
Picketing Canada's Haliburton

Anti-War Groups Squabble on NYC IMC Newswire

NYC, 18.03.2005 02:31

Has the broadbased local anti-war movement reached its breaking point?

As the second anniversary of the Iraq War approaches, two of the largest anti-war coalitions in New York are directing increasing vitriol at each other, rather than the Bush Administration.

On March 3, an open letter to United For Peace and Justice was posted to our newswire. It read, in part: "We, the undersigned, are activists from communities of color and from within the anti-war movement ... we are deeply disappointed to learn that UFPJ has announced it will not support nor participate in the March 19th New York City Central Park mass rally scheduled to kick off in Marcus Garvey Park, located in the heart of Harlem."

Yesterday, United for Peace and Justice responded in a second open letter. They pointed to original rally promotional materials that contained "language supporting the Iraqi resistance," a lack of organizational capacity, and difficulties working with the International Action Center (IAC) and International ANSWER as reasons why they chose not to support the M19 action in New York.

An anonymous anarchist weighs in with this message: "Some folks in the local anarchist community would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to ignore all the silly squabbling amongst the left-sectarian dinosaurs that goes on and on on the NYC-IMC newswire. The dinosaurs, a dying breed, at best wish only to recruit you to their parties (which are no fun I assure you) and at worst, well, do a little research and see for yourself."

Social Issues

Manila, 18.03.2005 01:23

March 18- Prison, Ecology and Reperessive Taxes

Issue 66 of the Indypendent Now Available

NYC, 18.03.2005 01:22

Issue #66 of the Indypendent is now available. Download the PDF of the new paper here, an issue that includes a two-page map detailing the nationwide counter-recruitment movement.

Guatemala fights with riots and strikes against the Free Trade Agreement

United Kingdom, 18.03.2005 01:21

For about one week the economy of Guatemla has practically been shut down by strikes. And there is no end in sight. Primarily the protests are against the ratification of the central american free trade agreement CAFTA with the USA. But many people in Guatemala want to also bring down the neo -conservative government.

More information:
mainstream media: BBC:

Guatemala CAFTA Protests: Two protesters killed as &quot;free trade&quot; trumps freedom

San Francisco Bay Area, 18.03.2005 01:00

3/16/2005 A national strike called by various social and popular organizations that are opposed to the ratification of the trade accords with the United States. During protests in Colotenango, Huehuetenango Tuesday March 15th, a group of campesinos and teachers were violently repressed by the military. At least two protesters were killed and over 10 were seriously injured. Reports confirm that one of the protesters, Juan Lopez, was killed by a bullet to the head. Three of the wounded who were in serious condition in the hospital were taken out by the National Civil Police (PNC) with the pretext of transferring them to the Institute of Social Security (IGSS). But it has been confirmed that the compañeros have not actually been taken to this assistance center. The protests and the National Strike in opposition to CAFTA in Guatemala continued into Wednesday. The administration of President Berger maintains its position against the protestors, citing the loss of 70 million Quetzales or the equivalent of almost $10 million dollars in exports and imports as a result of the roadblocks and national strike on Monday.

criminalització (ca)

Barcelona, 18.03.2005 00:00

Presons: Obrim la caixa negra

[14-26Mar] Pel reagrupament i el reconeixement de represaliats polítics: Presos i preses polítiques catalanes en Vaga de Fam!
[19 Mar 20h Pl Sants] En memòria de Xosé Tarrío i Paco Ortiz: Xerrada i marxa anticarcellera a la model

situació penitenciària: Xarrada [16mar 19:30 La Torna]: La vaga de fam torna a la Virreina:::Situació penitenciaria a l'Estat Espanyol(Tokata)::: Presó preventiva:::Suïcidis:::Dispersió i trasllats:::Presos i malaltia:::Increment del nombre d'interns

notícies relacionades: Llibertat per antunez::: El negoci de la por::: Jornades antirepressives a l'Hospitalet:::Tombant la repressio:::La vaga de fam a la Virreina: Un any després:::Inici de la vaga de fam indefinida del col.lectiu dels presos bascos:::Desemmascarar la tortura: Associació memòria contra la Tortura:::Criminalitzant els moviments socials: transgènics

+info:: >>>criminalització ::: rescat

criminalització (es)

Barcelona, 18.03.2005 00:00

Prisiones: Abrimos la caja negra

[14-26Mar] Por el reagrupamiento y el reconocimiento de represaliados políticos: Presos y presas políticas catalanas en Huelga de Hambre!
[19 Mar 20h Pl Sants] En memoria de Xosé Tarrío y Paco Ortiz: Charla y marcha anticarcelaria en la modelo

situación penitenciaria:Situación penitenciaria en el Estado Español(Tokata)::: Prisión preventiva:::Suicidios:::Dispersión y traslados:::Presos y enfermedades:::Incremento del nombre de internos

noticias relacionadas: Libertad para antunez::: El negocio del miedo::: Jornadas antirepresivas a l'Hospitalet:::Tombant la repressión:::La huelga de hambre en la Virreina: Un año despues:::Inicio de la huelga de hambre indefinida del colectivo de presos bascos:::Desenmascarar la tortura: Associació memòria contra la Tortura:::Criminalizando los movimientos sociales: transgénicos

+info:: >>>criminalización:::rescat

8. Maerz weltweit: ein Nachtrag

Germany, 17.03.2005 23:20

Weltweit wurde rund um den 8. M�rz der internationale Frauentag gefeiert. In Sao Paulo, Brasilien, gingen 35000 Frauen auf die Stra�e, etwa 110 Busse aus allen Landesteilen transportierten Frauen aus verschiedenen sozialen Bewegungen. Auch hierzulande fanden Aktionen statt, zum Beispiel in N�rnberg, Magdeburg, Frankfurt/Main und G�ttingen.

Global Women's Strike | Global Women's Charter (es: Carta Mundial) | Marcha Mundial das Mulheres

Pro-Choice Groups Avert 'Vague' Michigan Abortion Ban, For Now

Michigan, 17.03.2005 23:02

Mar 17 - A lawsuit brought by reproductive rights organizations in Michigan succeeded Monday in temporarily blocking a legislated abortion ban, which had been scheduled to take affect at the end of the month. The bill has come under fire from abortion rights groups who contend that it could result in a "virtual ban on abortion" in Michigan. The Legal Birth Definition Act takes a different approach to banning abortions than most measures of its kind. Instead of seeking to outlaw a particular practice, the bill seeks to redefine a "legally born person," and then criminalizes practices that harm any embryo or fetus that is "born" as defined in the act.

South-East Anti-G8 Assembly

United Kingdom, 17.03.2005 22:30

THE THIRD "Resist G8" South-East Assembly is being held on Sunday April 3. The venue is is RISC, 35-39 London Street, Reading and the Assembly will be taking place from 1.30pm to 6pm.

The Resist G8 South East Regional Assembly is a co-ordination of groups and individuals opposed to the G8 and who are mobilising towards the G8 Summit in Gleneagles, Perthshire, Scotland in July 6th-8th.

Norman Finkelstein Lectures in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, 17.03.2005 22:22

Norman Finkelstein Lectures at CMU

Two Arrested at Bush Protest

Pittsburgh, 17.03.2005 22:22

Two Arrested at Bush Protest

March 19th Planning

Pittsburgh, 17.03.2005 22:22

Pittsburgh: End the War, Rebuild our Communities


Uruguay, 17.03.2005 19:00

Un proyecto colectivo que debemos conocer y apoyar

Whose justice? Recent Court Verdicts Highlight the Ongoing War Against Women

Tennessee, 17.03.2005 18:02

The divergent verdicts rendered in the Peterson and Blake/Bakley spousal murder cases in California highlight the ongoing war against women. The evening news brings two very different results in two California courtrooms. Robert Blake is acquitted of all charges in the death of his wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley. He had been accused of shooting her to death after his attempts to hire a hit man were unsuccessful. Some of the hit men apparently testified at trial. Then there’s the conspicuously absent co-defendant who, after being cleared of charges, invoked his Fifth Amendment right to avoid testifying. Also on the news is the finding that Scott Peterson, previously convicted of killing his 8-months-pregnant wife, Lacie, will receive the death penalty for those convictions.

Nepalese Parliamentary Parties Back Maoist Call For Constituent Assembly

NYC, 17.03.2005 18:01

The People's War in Nepal is surging from one success to another. Since "King" Gyanendra's Feb. 1 decree of emergency rule, any claim to being the sovereign of the Nepalese people has been shown for the fantasy it is. The Maoists immediately launched a non-violence "siege" of Katmandu, called bandh, that stopped all traffic throughout most of the country without even blockading the roads. The wildcard in Nepal's civil war has been the marginalized parliamentary parties centered in the capital city. Up until today, they have respected the legitimacy of the monarchy and refused to recognize facts on the ground, including the censorship of their press, and the killing and jailing of their leaders by the isolated monarchy. The Congress Party, UML and the other main "legal" parties have declared in a New Delhi meeting that "This will be our last fight with the king. There will be no more compromise." They have accepted the Community Party of Nepal's main demands for an end to the monarchy, the establishment of a republic and the calling of Nepal's first constituent assembly.

Account Of A Visit To Indigenous Communities In The State Of Mato Grosso Do Sul, Brazil

Ireland, 17.03.2005 17:32

“Fome Mata Criancas em Aldeias” – (Hunger Kills Children in the Indian Villages) The following is an account by Joe Higgins of a week long visit to the indigenous Indian community in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Joe Higgins is a Member of the Dáil (Parliament of the Republic of Ireland) for the Socialist Party and of The Committee for a Workers’ International. Joe Higgins TD Writes: Brazil is known as one of the countries with the greatest inequality in ownership of wealth on the face of the earth. It is one thing to read or hear this statistic. It is however quite a shocking experience to be confronted with the reality of what this means. Mato Grosso do Sul is one of Brazil’s 26 states, situated in the southwest of the country. It is four times the size of the island of Ireland but has a population of only two million. It has millions of hectares of very fertile land, home at the moment to 24 million of the fattest cattle you will find. It has some of the richest ranchers on earth, some owning farms of up to 40,000 acres. Yet a report published in January 2005 by a state health organisation, FUNASA, found that children in some indigenous Indian villages were dying of malnutrition and related diseases. Before going on to the World Social Forum in Porto Allegre this January 2005, I spent six days visiting remote Indian villages discussing with the inhabitants and seeing at first hand their conditions of life. My guides and interpreters were members of a small but very dedicated Indian support group, The Technical/ Juridical Educational Institute (ITJE). They work to assist the Indians reclaim their fundamental rights including advising the Indians on their land rights and assisting them in the process of trying to reclaim lands from which they or their ancestors were expelled. The well-known film The Mission, portrayed how the Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors annihilated the Indian Guaraní and Kaiowa communities in an area that is now shared between Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. In one form or another, this process continued through the centuries. In the 1940s the Brazilian government pushed a programme of extensive colonisation of Matto Grosso do Sul by people from other areas of Brazil and in the process, the lands and rights of the Indians were simply walked over. Apart from the human cost to the lives and culture of the Indians, the result is huge environmental degradation. The forests and natural vegetation and wildlife have been destroyed and replaced in much of Matto Grosso do Sul by millions of hectares of cash crops in the form of soya and sugar cane and huge numbers of cattle and sheep for export outside the State. The result of hundreds of years of land theft and oppression means that many of the 60,000 Indians in the state of Matto Grosso do Sul are penned into small reservations, totally inadequate to their needs. For example, near the city of Dourados, the population of 10,000 Indians is living on a reservation of 3,500 hectares (1 hectare = 2.74 acres). This crowding in of people in such a way that they cannot grow crops to sustain their families, has led to extreme misery, malnutrition, sickness, a high degree of internal violence on the reservations, and to young people being forced to take badly paid work in alcohol distilleries and ranches in the region. An appalling trauma for the Indian communities has been the very high rate of suicide, mainly by young people over the last 15 years. It was during the week of my visit that a shocking banner headline appeared in the biggest circulation State newspaper, O Progreso: “Fome Mata Criancas em Aldeias” – (Hunger Kills Children in the (Indian) Villages). This was based on the FUNASA report and caused shock waves among ordinary people in Brazil. I visited a reservation in another town, Amambai, and saw first hand the squalid conditions in which the Indians are forced to live. They live in shacks, with the roof sometimes made of black polythene where they did not have enough of the native reeds to have the traditional thatch- like roof, which, at least, has a cooling effect in the burning temperatures of summer. There is no electricity and no sanitation. A cold water tap shared between families is the washing point both for people and clothes. Food is cooked over stone fireplaces, although finding firewood is an increasingly difficult problem. However, Indian communities in Matto Grosso do Sul are now fighting back with great courage and determination to reclaim traditional lands and to try and secure a better future for their children. I visited a number of villages where the Indians staked their claim to the surrounding land by occupation. In these areas you can see plantations of manioc, beans, potatoes, rice and bananas to sustain the families. One such area is Tacquara. This occupation was initially led by Marcos Verrão who once worked for the ranchers but then went on to play an enormous role in the Indian struggle for land. On a tour organised by Cafod and Survival International and assisted in Ireland by the Latin American Solidarity Centre, Marcos Verrão visited Ireland in 2000 to seek international support for their occupation at Tacquara. Tragically, in 2003, he was murdered by the ranchers’ henchmen. He was dragged from his home together with members of his family in the early hours, thrown into a truck, was badly beaten and then dumped on the roadway many kilometres away. Marcos died from his injuries. His son Ladio, who was also beaten, survived as did Marcos’ wife Julia and some other children. Ladio and Julia, with other members of the community, warmly welcomed us to Tacquara and as part of our dialogue with the community there, we paid our respects at the grave of Marcos Verrão. The Indians’ claim to the land at Tacquara is still not finalised and the community suffers routine harassment by the henchmen of local ranchers. Like many of the Indian villages we visited, Tacquara is in a very isolated location, 15 miles (24 kilometres) from the nearest town, Caarapó. The road surface is for most of the distance of red dirt that turns to a sea of mud in the rainy season, which was the case when we visited. There is of course no public transport and the Indians are not able to afford cars or jeeps. This means that getting supplies in is sometimes a 24- kilometre trek on foot. On our way into the village we met a nine-year-old boy, Walter, who had walked about 12 kilometres from Tacquara and had another 12 before him to Caarapó. While on our visits to the Indian villages, we got an urgent report that one particular community of Kaiowa were under threat of immediate eviction from lands they had occupied. This was in Cero Marangatu on the border between Brazil and Paraguay, but still in the state of Matto Grosso do Sul. In this area in 1988, ninety families, comprising about 400 people from the Kaiowa Indians, occupied a 26-hectare area of their traditional land. In 1999 the Federal Government of Brazil sent a research group led by an anthropologist to carry out a survey. This group declared the lands in question as belonging to the Kaiowa. In 2004 the Minister for Justice ordered the demarcation of the Kaiowa lands and demarcation posts were placed. However, according to Brazilian law, the President of Brazil must sign a crucial Land Transfer Document (Decreto de Homologação). This has not been done so far. Because the original plot of 26 hectares was completely insufficient for the 90 Indian families, they themselves were forced to move into part of their designated lands to sow crops for food. The Indians have sown manioc, beans, potatoes, rice and bananas, managing with great sacrifice to get resources to buy the seeds. These crops are now growing. However, a federal judge in São Paulo has issued an order to the families to leave their lands and Federal Police could be used to evict them. This would mean the destruction of their crops. The Kaiowa are desperate. They have waited too long while their lands were colonised. They have nowhere to go. The families at Cerro Marangatu decided to resist the eviction. They will stay on their land to defend their crops, their livelihoods and the lives of their children. We resolved immediately to visit this community, but first I wanted to see what political pressure I might be able to bring to bear on the Brazilian government by virtue of being a member of the Dáil (Irish Parliament). I asked the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs to make representations to the Brazilian authorities that this eviction would not be carried out and contacted the Brazilian Ambassador in Dublin to make a protest with the same demand. I also sent a protest letter to the President of Brazil, Luis Inácio da Silva, better known as Lula, who was elected as a representative of the PT - Workers’ Party (unfortunately since his election, rather than implementing a socialist alternative, he has implemented neo-liberal policies). I also asked other members of the Dáil to protest, which they did. Survival International, a London- based group that supports indigenous communities also got involved in attempting to exercise pressure. As a result of this, the various ministries in Brazil were alerted to the protests and information and explanations were sought from local authorities in Matto Grosso do Sul. When we visited the community threatened with eviction, there was a village gathering of men, women and children of over 100 people. I spoke to the meeting and promised that I would attempt to raise solidarity internationally with the struggle of the community and this was greatly appreciated. The next day I met with the Deputy Governor of the state of Matto Grosso do Sul Senhor Egon Krakheche and put the Indian demand to him. He insisted that he was not in favour of the eviction and would work to prevent it. But the eviction threat still hangs over the community of Cerro Marangatu. During the World Social Forum in Porto Allegre, there was a major conference of the new left party, PSoL, the Party of Socialism and Liberty. André Ferrari, a member of Socialismo Revolucionario, the Brazilian section of the Committee for a Workers’ International, moved a motion at that conference of opposition to the threatened eviction and to demand that the President of Brazil would sign the necessary forms to give the ownership of the land back to the Indians. This was passed with acclaim. While in Matto Grosso do Sul, I also paid a visit to a camp of the landless, the Sem Terra. This was composed of 200 families with about 1,000 people on the side of a busy roadway100 kilometres south of Campo Grande, the state capital. The shacks in which the people lived were almost exactly like those of the Indians except the roofs and walls in all cases were of black polythene or scraps of wood. In the stifling heat, it was impossible to be in these houses during the day. Facilities consisted of one or two points where piped water could be accessed and nothing more. In a dialogue with some of this community, I found a deep sense of disappointment with the government of Lula. The landless had hoped that the coming to power of the PT would very quickly result in the distribution of land to the landless, but the pace in reality has been torturous. Meanwhile the landless, whether Indian or otherwise, continue to live in the most abject poverty. The poverty in the countryside is mirrored of course in the lives of tens of millions of Brazilians in the working class favelas and shantytowns in the main cities. The Brazilian working class holds the key to a resolution of the poverty and homelessness. With their labour fuelling one of the ten biggest economies in the world, Brazilian workers have enormous potential power. Harnessed to a political programme for the socialist transformation of Brazilian society and in solidarity with the rural poor, the landless and the Indians, they would be able to deliver comprehensive land reform, providing land, decent living standards and security to those who are currently among the most marginalized people on earth. Postscript: March 2005: The Indians of Cerro Marangatu have been given an extension by a judge in until March 31st 2005 to leave their lands. Please send protest messages to the President of the Federal Republic of Brazil (President Luiz Ignacio da Silva, Gabinete do Presidente, Palacio do Palanalto, Prac a dos Tres Poderes, Brasília PF, 70150900; Fax: 00 55 61 411 2222) and make direct representation to the Brazilian Ambassador in your country that the threat of eviction be completely lifted. Contact: If you would like more information on the work of ITJE ot to assist them, you can contact: Michael Feeney, < > or telephone Michael at 00 – 55 – 673858996.

Scott Monument Targeted in Arms Trade Protest.

Scotland, 17.03.2005 16:22

On March the 10th members of the Edinburgh University Tibet Society, with the support of Chris Ballance MSP, padlocked a 1000sq ft banner to the Scott Monument on Princes Street. The missile-shaped banner read ‘No Arms to China’ and was unfurled to protest against the proposed lifting of the EU arms embargo on China and to mark March 10th as Tibetan Uprising Day.

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Set to Vote

DC, 17.03.2005 15:01

The U.S. public has until March 17th to comment on a plan that would allow oil and gas drilling in the wildlife area of Wyoming's Great Divide. Meanwhile in washington, dc the senate is set to vote on a controversial plan would allow exploration and drilling in parts of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Selina Musuta of the dc radio coop reports more from Washington, DC.

United Workers Association Making History At Camden Yards

DC, 17.03.2005 14:01

After two years of sweat, hard work, and committed leadership from the United Workers Association, we have won a significant victory fall all day laborers and low wage workers in Baltimore City. For the first time in the history of Baltimore and quite possibly in the United States, a corporation has been forced to recognize its relationship to its day laborers. Knight Facilities Management has signed an agreement with the United Workers Association, adopting a Code of Conduct. For the past 8 years workers have endured working without pay, sexual harassment, no breaks, blacklisting, and without any mechanism to voice these grievances. The Code of Conduct signed by Knight Facilities Management ensures that these abuses will no longer take place.

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