The Weekly Best of Indymedia World wide: Stories of resistance, community-building and sustainable action.
From Nigeria IMC
BEHOLD! OUR MOTHERS VS CHEVRON
Februray 19th, 2004
Nigeria Indy Collective
Hundreds of Nigerian women left ChevronTexaco pumping stations in canoes and on foot after ending a siege to demand more jobs, business loans, schools and hospitals for their communities.
The occupation began July 17 just as the siege of Escravos by a separate group of village women ended after ChevronTexaco promised jobs for their sons and electricity for their village.
The peaceful, all-woman protests were a departure for the oil-rich Niger Delta, where armed men frequently use kidnapping and sabotage to pressure oil multinationals into giving them jobs, protection money or compensation for alleged environmental damage. Hostages generally are released unharmed.
Alas, the battle is on! Didn't just start now. It started decades ago. Dated back to early 50s. Men, youth and children have fought in time past. Even for this same cause were elders, chiefs and even activists killed. Some died by hanging, others by assassination and even very many got missing in action. I mean..No trace. There have always been lots of cases where women, mothers and wives have to bear the agony of loosing their husbands and children fighting for a better and healthy Niger-delta community. Their environment and the people have always gotten compensation from TNCs not as cash or development, but as pollution, unemployment, degraded farming land, dirty water, murder, destroyed culture/ tradition and above all complete neglect of host communities all in the name of business. But at last, the Nigeria women and mothers actually took the bull by the horn (Can't leave it all for the men alone) and went into the street and straight to the killer -CHEVRON, Demanding for an END to injustice and indiscriminate looting of their only resource (source of livelihood) without care and respect for the people and their environment. They fought...they struggled and they won! A huge victory of local people over TRADE. For Full Coverage go to http://nigeria.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=782 ---------------------------------------------------------------
News from South Africa IMC
They come to take the water... what next?
***On March 22, 2004 police opened fire with stun grenades on members of the Gauteng Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF) who were protesting against water privatisation and the installation of pre-paid water meetings. Fivety-two APF members were arrested, including 6 children, on charges of violating the Gatherings Act.
Many poor South Africans are still denied their constitutional rights to water and other basic services.
We DEMAND fair labor practices **Workers at Metro, Supercare, Eco and KKS - all companies contracted by the University of Cape Town to provide cleaning, gardening and other services - have united to launch a charter demanding fair labour practice. Since the late 1990s, UCT has used outsourcing to hand off the "problem" of working conditions to whichever company promises the "cheapest deal". After ten years of democracy in South Africa, workers have seen workers democracy steadily eroded as UCT management pretends that working conditions at UCT are not their problem.
We demand NO VIOLENCE TOWARD WOMEN
In December of 2003 women of South Africa organized 16 days of "NO VIOLENCE TOWARD WOMEN" and for 16 days levels of violence dropped. However since that time as women organize themselves, the local police have said they would not respond to "Domestic Violence". Women are organizing again to educate the police. Already one police chief is talking about more education of officers in his precint.
Captain Wilson of the Delft police station said a lot of improvements need to be done at his station. As for officers being rude and offensive to the victims, he said they were busy with a process of training officers but can't say anything more at this time. My question is: "If you can't rely on the police to give you that protection you need, who can you turn to?"
Front page of http://southafrica.indymedia.org/ ---------------------
News from Canada
Author: John Milton and Hamilton IMC collective
In Hamilton Canada, the city council has voted to privatize drinking water and sewage treatment. This was done without public hearings. The vote asked for a choice between a continuation of the P3 system by putting a ten year contract out for bids by large outside contractors such as "American Water corporations" or a resumption of the previous system from 10 years ago, in which the water and sewer systems were run entirely by City staff as a public service. The vote will allow large American Corporations to control water in Hamilton.
Corporatization of private water systems has been allowed since the signing of NAFTA's Chapter 11.
In Victoria, British Columbia activists from all over the bio region are asked to provide jail support for Tre Arrow. Tre is being held in the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Center in Victoria awaiting possible extradiction to the US. Arrow was charged with arson in Oregon in 2001 after four logging and cement trucks were burnt in protests over logging around Mt. Hood. He disappeared two years ago and has been on the FBI most wanted list ever since.
Manilla - The Phillipines
Author: Manilla IMC reporters
Manilla will host the Firefly Brigade on April 18th -The Tour of the Fireflies is an annual critical mass bike ride that first started in April 1999 and was organized by Firefly Brigade- a diverse group of bike enthusiasts and critical mass activists that is united for a goal to achieve an ecologically sustainable transportation in the cities. The 50 Kilometer ride will last 3 to 4 hours and is expected to attract thousands of bicyclists.
http://www.gdrc.org/uem/sustran/stran-40.html - Ecological sustainable transportation in cities project
MORE WATER WARS...
Outrage about water company's bailout agreement (03/24/2004) Quezon City, Philippines (Indymedia QC) -- The Water for the People Network, a coalition of consumer activists and organizations, has condemned the bailout agreement between the wealthy Lopez clan and the government. Together with the French water giant Suez, Lopez-owned Benpres is controlling Maynilad, one of the two private concessionaires that are distributing water in Metro Manila since the privatization of the service in 1997. While the company has raised water rates by 226 percent and both Benpres and Suez have milked the company dry, Maynilad accumulated a debt of P8 billion to the government. Under the current bailout agreement, the government will not collect these unpaid concession fees and assume almost P11 billion in outstanding obligations of the near-bankrupt company in exchange for shares. While this deal obviously favors Benpres and Suez instead of the consumers, the latter will have to bear a new rate increase of 32 percent.
From Victoria, Australia
March 24, 2004
VICTORY IN VICTORIA!
The Victorian Government has just imposed a four-year moratorium on commercial crops of genetically modified (GM) canola. The current three-year GM moratorium expires in May. But the new legislation will allow for scientific and research trials of GM crops.
Victorian Premier Steve Bracks said "Our clean, green image in accord with what happens in the rest of Australia primarily will continue in the future as well. I think that's a great benefit. Yes, it's a cautious approach, but why wouldn't you be cautious with $3.5 billion of export."
Victoria is Australia's largest dairy exporter and exports more than $1 billion of grain each year. http://melbourne.indymedia.org/news/2004/03/65196.php
Flash Mobs: a new protest strategy?
A discussion on Sydney Australia IMC
Author: Sydney IMC collective
Aug 12th 2003
Flash Mobs are the latest Internet craze circling the planet. They are examples of smart mobs, a term coined by writer Howard Rheingold, which describes the use of modern technology to quickly mobilize people for spontaneous creative gatherings. It is only a matter of time before flash mobs are utilised effectively as part of a swarm protest strategy. There's been discussion in geek circles about using the idea of flash mobs in protests, including at Sydney Indymedia recently.
The concept of Flash Mobs can be traced to Science Fiction, the critical mass cycling phenomena, and the Situationists as psychogeographers who encapsulated the idea of the flash mob as the dérive, who created 'situations' for cultural subversion. The short history and updated developments of Flash Mobs can be read at the cheesebikini? blogsite, which also contained some principled advice: "Don't be a sheep! Consider the consequences before following any flash mob instructions. Avoid purchases during, after, or on the way to a flash mob.." -----------------
From Ireland IMC
The corporate media is fueling hysteria about Ireland's upcoming MAYDAY Protests. Early copies of Saturday's Independent reveal that Ireand's biggest selling daily has compounded the media hysteria that is building up around planned protests for Mayday. The Independent is only the latest paper to join in the frenzy, in the wake of an anonymous smear campaign in the tabloids which sought to link protestors to terrorism and football hooligans.
Riot police have been called in hopes of scaring off protestors.
The Mayday NO BORDERS weekend is being planned as leaders of the EU (European Union) gather to talk in Dublin. These days of action will focus on symbols of all that is wrong with the EU as it currently stands: militarism, neo-liberalism, fortress Europe and the EU police state. http://www.indymedia.ie/index.php
Magpie Collective resists eviction
Author: K Magpie
A Dublin collective of housing activists known as the Magpie Collective find old empty buildings to "squat" and they fix them up for low-income or no-income housing. Squatting is a direct action that calls into question the anti social practice of property speculation. Developers (and in this case, the city council) allow buildings to sit empty while a housing crisis exists. They fall into disrepair and crumble, which eventually leads to someone making a huge profit further down the line.
The Magpie collective is currently fighting eviction of the Leeson Street Squat. The Dublin City Council has ordered all people out of the abandoned buildings which currently house about 12 activist. They have been there for 9 months and have caused no trouble to any of the neighbours. The squat is being used as a social center, a library, a meeting place for political groups and as a base for the activist group food not bombs (who cook and distribute vegan food to homeless people and peace activists for free)
The House had been empty for about a decade and was recently re-possessed by the council (thought there are possible legal problems with this, the house does not appear on the list of property registered as in public ownership.)
Quote found on a squat wall in Dublin
"We take back the tongues that were cut out with a dull blade And sew them back into our mouths So that we may scream Through the quiet of those dead to the world"