The Weekly best of Indymedia April 25 - May 2
Compiled By Z (E) contributor to Portland Indymedia
REPORTS ON THE REVOLUTION IN BOLIVA
Reported on Indybay website: translated into English from Spanish
Bolivian Social Movements Break Calm, Prepare for General Strike May 2
The government of President Carlos Mesa has begun to lose what little control it had over the political and social situation in Bolivia. Monday, more than 5000 university students, who marched on foot almost a hundred kilometers, arrived in the city of La Paz, threatening to paralyze the urban center with marches and street blockades. [more (en/es)]
Tuesday, more than 20,000 workers marched in La Paz in opposition to the privatization and export of gas, the key issue in last October's "gas war" uprising, which brought down the government of Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, now in exile in Miami, and left more than 79 people dead, nearly all of them at the hands of government forces. 5,000 more marched in Potosí, while in Santa Cruz labor leaders occupied the offices of transnational oil company Transredes. [report (es)] The Central Obrera Boliviana (COB) and other social forces across the country are promising to begin an indefinite general strike and road blockades on May 2[(es)] to bring down the government and its neoliberal policies and replace it with a Constituent Assembly [(es)]. Meanwhile, growing reports of a U.S.-Chile backed coup-in-the-making have been confirmed by both the popular sectors and (obliquely and defensively) the president himself.
First Regional Indymedia Meeting in Africa
The first Indymedia Regional Meeting in Africa took place from the 1st to the 14th of March 2004 in Dakar the Capital of Senegal "To embolden participants of Alternative media to participate in the indymedia project.
Delegates from Dakar (Senegal), Independent Media Centre Germany, Independent Media Centre Estrécho, Independent Media Centre Switzerland, Independent Media Centre Ambazonia/Cameroon, Kinshasa (DR Kongo), Luanda (Angola), Mombassa (Kenya), and Nairobi (Kenya).on the IMC Africa outreach conference agreed on this final communiqué:
The Indymedia Africa conference March 2004 has opened a new perspective for independent media reporting for Africa. Indymedia is a world-wide support network of independent communication on political, social, and cultural issues. It is an open source, open society project, that offers a possibility for independent journalists and activists from all over the world to build up a network of information flow and to promote a voice for the voiceless.
The Indymedia Africa conference was attended by delegates from Africa and Europe. Workshops on Indymedia techiques and methods were held, and a wide range of topics discussed. Delegates welcomed the idea to set up international cooperation following the form of Indymedia.
Future activities will aim the following:
1. Establishing local branches of Indymedia and spreading the idea of the network
2. Horizontal and open information exchange;
3. Multiple-way communication;
4. Exchange of experiences between social movements concerning human rights;
5. Networking between human rights activists in Africa and world wide;
6. Using traditional media to reach people with limited access to modern information technology;
7. Improve the transmission of information from traditional into modern forms and vice versa;
8. Motivate people by discussing political, social, and economic issues to play an active role in the civil society;
9. Support communities to raise their voice and play an active role in social change.
May this lead to better understanding, so we can find joint solutions to our interconnected problems and open new ways of cooperation.
News from Jakarta Indymedia
WORLD NAKED BIKE DEMONSTRATION
by Radio Topo Apr 22 '04
GLOBAL ACTION DAY - CICLONUDISTA (WORLD NAKED BIKE DEMONSTRATION)
SATURDAY JUNE 19, 2004
¡NAKED BEFORE THE TRAFFIC! ¡JUSTICE ON THE STREETS!
Justice on the streets, this is what we claim with a strong conviction and in earnest, but cheerfully as well, having a good time. Cars impose their law and order on us: speed, high-handedness, fumes and violence. That is why when we move day by day on our bikes we transform our mobility into an everyday disobedience act. If, on top of that, we demonstrate naked on our bikes we turn disobedience into an exemplary protest.
The Cyclenudist Group Committee (Coordinadora de Colectivos Ciclonudistas, CCC) in Aragón (Spanish State) makes a call to organize Ciclonudista (Naked Bike) demonstrations in the cities all over the world, on Saturday June 19, 2004, with an aim to extend those already held in Zaragoza to your home town.
We denounce that our streets have been kidnapped by privately used cars which collapse cities and degenerate these into a hostile and dangerous land. Cars kill and we are shocked at their impunity. If we question them, so many transnational war interests in petrol and car industry are at stake. We propose a model of a city where people get back their space, where moving needs are reduced and where there is a commitment to pedestrians (all of us are) and to less polluting and more effective means of transport.
Why cycling? The bicycle is a reliable, healthy, ecological and amusing means of transport. It is an icon, a symbol of freedom and a practical instrument to transform society. It does not pay taxes, does not waste oil, does neither cooperate with a destroying development nor with global war.
Why naked? Because we feel we are naked before the traffic owing to the drivers' lack of respect and the apathy of our rulers. Thus we make it visible that our bodywork is fragile. Moreover, we show our body naturally, not feeling ashamed, toppling taboos regarding our physical appearance which are imposed by fashion and the greediness of the textile transnational industry. To sum up, we face urban traffic with our naked body on our bikes as the best way of defending our dignity and of living the social struggle.
href="http://www.ciclonudista.net" title= Visit our website at ciclonudista.net Contact us for more information.: email@example.com Coordinadora de Colectivos Ciclonudistas de Aragón (CCC) New : the day for demonstration was settled for june 12th in www.worldnakedbikeride.org , but that is the day for european parlament election.
FROM PORTLAND INDYMEDIA
Portland Oregon citizens develop way to keep track of the areas most notorious and brutal cops: THE LOADED DECK.
Citizens in Portland Oregon have created a deck of cards with pictures of the most notorious and brutal police officers found in the Portland Area. The deck of cards has both a picture of the cop and profiles on each officer
The deck of cards, intended to help save citizens from attack and oppression, has been uploaded to the Portland Indymedia website. Portland citizens are at least a year away from being able to legally force the Portland police bureau to give up photographs of these cops, but many of these cops are known to indymedia readers and pictures of them beating and spraying people have been collected by indymedia activists throughout the last couple of years. Also included in the deck of cards are pictures and profiles of two cops who have shot and killed defenseless African American Portland community members. The cops were found to be innocent of murder by police boards.
Citizens have taken to the street on several occasions to try to bring an awareness of the level of violence these cops are capable of.
A recent public inquest into the shooting death of a young African American citizen found the officer guilty of homicide, however a court hearing found him innocent. Community activists and citizens of Portland realize that they cannot count on the court system to defend civil rights or prosecute criminal behavior in police and other law enforcement personnel.
FROM ARGENTIA IMC
Terror alert: Benetton in Argentina BR>by Bust Benetton 5:42pm Wed Apr 21 '04
Translated into English by Jakarta Indymedia
Benetton evicts Mapuches, intl. day of action.
The multinational Benetton owns massive amounts of land in Argentina, more than 900.000 hectares. Most of this land is situated in the south, in Patagonia, and used to be land of the indigenous inhabitants (Mapuches) that lived there long before Benetton or the Argentine State even existed.
Some Mapuche families have been trying to fight back and to live and work on the land. They have been evicted by force. At the moment Benetton is starting a court case against one Mapuche familie that refuses to be thrown off their own land. Extensive information can be found on the website http://benetton.linefeed.org
An article in English
The court case will start on May 7th.
The power of Benetton relies mainly on their international advertisement campaign, that somehow gave them a progressive image. There is nothing progressive about Benetton, they are an aggressive multinational trying to make as much profit as possible.
Solidarity is needed. An effective way that people can become active at any place on this planet, is by using their own advertisements. Benetton is present in many places, on billboards, in the subways and at the bus stops. And they have some 5000 shops (see: http://www.benetton.com/storelocator/storelocator.jsp)Those are the places where the true face of Benetton can be exposed, by everybody who wants to get involved.
We want to appeal to everybody who does not accept business as usual to get into action. We also would like people with creative ideas to use their skills to produce new advertisements that comment on Benetton's real practice. Start making them, and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org They will appear on the website, where people everywhere on the world can download them to use them locally.
Multinationals like Benetton do not own this world, they only think they do. Together we can stop them.
We propose the day of May 7 as global day of action against Benetton. Many different forms of action can be prepared and take place. Of course everybody who wants to, can also do actions on earlier days already. The original inhabitants have to be defended against the multinationals. Neoliberalism is steadily expanding, how long are we going to accept this?
NEWS FROM INDYMEDIA United Kingdom
International TV Turn Off Week
United Kingdom Indymedia site
What happens during a seven-day experiment in life without TV? A whole new space to think emerges. You find yourself passing time in ways you never expected. And you start to wonder: when I reach for the remote, who is really in control?. Last April 5 million people switched off.
April 19-25 2004 marks this year's annual TV Turnoff 2004, a seven day celebration of tube-free existence. What will you be up to? Meeting neighbours, smashing up TVs, or just opting out? Maybe you could just switch to Manchester's Beyond TV and London's Pirate TV. Whilst you decide you could have a look at these action ideas, or to some related website links, or even you could download and distribute these MP3's and spots 1 + 2.
Fewer and fewer people control the media that shapes our worldview. And nowhere does this play out worse than on our televisions, where the corporate agenda reigns supreme. The media's role seems to primarily be that of feeding society with one-way stories, infotainment and mind-numbing hype. To keep us amused, but rarely informed or inspired. How can we move past this malaise, beyond the hollow din of reality shows and celebrity news, and back to a life that matters?. TV Turnoff 2004 is no ordinary social ritual, it is a statement against the dead-end couch culture. And when millions of people let the screen fade to black this year, they will also be helping to build the Media Carta movement, a campaign for the right of all citizens to access society's most powerful forms of communication.
White Dot - The International Campaign Against TV | TV Turnoff Network
NEWS FROM PRAGUE INDYMEDIA
RADICAL ART ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Portland, Oregon's Red76 Arts Group In Prague Feb 7 - 10
by Red76 arts group
In February of 2004 Red76 arts group and friends will set off on a tour of Eastern Europe: Croatia, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Germany. Carting along most of the members of Red76, as well as numerous co-conspirators (many among them from U.S. arts groups such as the Lab Lecture Series, Pacific SwitchBoard, Collective Jyrk, and Dynamite!), the tour will be the culmination of a question posed years ago by Red76 members Sam Gould and Matthew Yake: Why don't artists tour like bands?
Over the past half decade artists have been joining forces in ever increasing numbers to form collaborative platforms to display and distribute their ideas. What makes these situations different from past displays of collective group action within the art world is that the focus is less on collectivity and exclusion and more on collaboration and connectivity.
Many artists today have grown up through the DIY/Indie music scene and are now taking that community's framework and applying its practices into the realm of the art world. Slowly but surely they are creating viable alternatives to the perceived notions of what the "art world" is, as well as circumventing the road to the "art market" in general. These artists are getting off the beaten path, building new roads more to their liking and leading the way towards their chosen destination rather than one predetermined.
While in Eastern Europe, Red76 will tour a presentation/performance evening as its centerpiece. Consisting of lectures, slideshows, films/videos, music, and more, the presentation will set out to inform the viewers of a slice of what is taking place in the US today. This planned presentation is only one aspect of Red76's tour though. The goal of the trip is to establish communication and to create a shared dialogue between the arts communities of America and Eastern Europe. It is a goodwill mission. The group will set up formal as well as informal talks with artists and members of arts organizations while on tour, as well as enact small public projects focusing on sharing and communication. All the while, they will document the journey, hoping to create a tour guide of sorts for other artists to make the same exchanges of thoughts, ideas, and hopes within their own communities, both at home and abroad.
More information regarding other area dates, the tour, and Red76 may be found on their site at: www.red76.com
FROM SAN FRANCISCO AND WASHINGTON DC INDYMEDIA PROJECTS
A MARCH TO SUPPORT WOMEN'S RIGHTS
More than 1 million people reportedly participated in the March for Women in Washington, DC Sunday.
A live bilingual broadcast from the March for Women was aired on Pacifica Radio. Report from the Radical Cheer/Anti-Fascist block.
Also on Sunday, a pro-choice rally was held in Fresno and Bay Area Women in Black held a Solidarity Vigil in San Francisco.
4/24/2004: On Saturday there was a local rally for women's lives in San Francisco. Photos:1|2
"The time is right for a public demonstration of historic size in support of abortion rights and reproductive freedom for all women. Our rights are under attack as they haven't been in over a decade, and Roe v. Wade hangs by a thread in the Supreme Court." For these reasons, a variety of organizations sponsored The March for Women's Lives (formerly the March for Choice) in Washington, DC on Sunday, April 25th, 2004.
Call for a Radical Cheer Bloc at the March in DC.
Details about the March
Women of Color Contingent
There was a time in America's history when self-identifying radicals fought tirelessly to end government occupation of the womb-they succeeded. Many of us owe them our lives; all of us owe them our respect. But now, after spending 30 years ignorantly blanketed by the comfort of having the law on our side, the radical community gradually forgot that the freedom we consider a human right is seen by others as a "privilege." After winning Roe v. Wade, we moved on to new issues and failed to see that the responsibility of our reproductive freedom was left in the hands of a few bureaucratic organizations. Such liberal organizations have come to depend greatly upon reformist action; placing all hope in expensive lobbyists and political campaigns. It has become clear in recent months that the Bush administration has used these organizations' petitions as toilet paper-they are failing and the struggle needs our help.
The extreme right anti-abortion movement has done nothing to promote the health and welfare for children and families in this country. The bush regime has systematically removed support for children including: healthcare, education, daycare, housing, programs to remove lead, mercury and other pollutants from the environment of children, and livable wage jobs for their families.
The Bush regime has not only destroyed programs and funding for women's health initiatives in the U.S, it has blocked funding for programs that would bring supplies and education to women and children in other countries. Without the right to control their own bodies, women cannot control the number of children they have, often die in childbirth due to depleted bodies from too many pregnancies. These women cannot adequately nurse or feed their children and 1 in 5 children die before they are 5 years old. In some countries such as Africa, 2 in 5 children die before they are 5. When women do not have access to birth control and condom's they often die of AIDS and other STD's. Women cannot depend on the men of their cultures not to rape them or force them to have a child a year until they die of depleted bodies. Women need to help themselves. Women need access to birth control and other means of keeping themselves healthy so they can care for their children and their communities.