Saturday, October 15, 2005
THE FOLLOWING IS TAKEN FROM ONE PEOPLES PROJECT
You know things are interesting when they are being covered on the news live! Here's the deal: all HELL broke loose in Toledo! We will have more on this shortly, but the one thing we can confirm is that there was no march. The National Socialist Movement (NSM) actually fled the scene as things got raucous. Now normally when that happens, that means the police end up getting into a huge battle with the assembled counter demonstrators. Why should today be any different? We are getting word of a number of cars being vandalized and at least six arrests. The police brass is saying they are expecting about 40 arrests before all is done. The mayor imposed a 8 PM curfew for today because everything is going insane! Bill White is pissed, by the way. He is on Hal Turner's radio show to discuss what happened - and he is saying the cops, pretty much double-crossed the NSM! Whatever. Note that this is all just coming to us now. We will have more as we get it. We have some people on the ground that are giving us the story as it develops, and the police should have a press conference soon. In the meantime, to all of those who are dealing with the situation out in the Buckeye State, keep your head up. Unless you are a Nazi. In that case, keep your head down. You shamed yourselves today!
By One People’s Project
TOLEDO, OH—According to reports, the march planned through North Toledo by the National Socialist Movement was cancelled after over 200 antifa came out to oppose them in a situation that exploded into a full-blown riot. At the time of this writing, one arrest was reported in the midst of a confrontation between police and those who came out to oppose the NSM.
Reportedly, there was not one moment of peace. The Associated Press reported that two dozen Nazis came out for the NSM march against gang violence, while antifa only counted twelve. Whatever the real count was, it was dwarfed by the large numbers that came out against them. Four to five chapters of Anti Racist Action (ARA) were represented, as was the International Socialist Organization (ISO), but the largest group were community members themselves. Larges still were the number of police officers that were deployed for the march. At a certain point about one-quarter of a mile away along the planned route on Mulberry near Central, the cops reportedly charged the antifa. When this happened, the assembled Nazis, fearing they were now vulnerable ran off, and authorities announced via loudspeaker that the march was cancelled. By this point, however, things were so out of control that rocks were being thrown and tear gas was deployed. Media and police vehicles were damaged as well. One police car reportedly ran into a parked ambulance after a rock went through the vehicle’s window.
Although one arrest was reported, it is likely that there were others. Police were supposed to report on the day’s events early Saturday afternoon. The NSM meanwhile have not been heard from since they fled the scene. Overthrow.com, a website maintained by NSM Spokesman Bill White, has not been updated since Friday afternoon.
Friday, October 14, 2005
Numerous sources have reported that scores of Chinese workers were injured, with more than 20 taken to hospitals, after police broke up a 10,000-strong protest over lay-offs from a state-owned steel factory in the northwestern city of Chongqing several days ago.
Details of the incident are just now becoming more widely available.
On October 7, over 1,000 police officers seized Chongqing’s Shuangbei Garden, where several thousand sacked workers of the state-owned Chongqing Special Steel Co. Ltd. had been peacefully protesting, demanding unpaid wages, severance payments, and investigation into the company’s corruption. Eye witnesses say the police savagely beat the protesters, and many were seriously injured. They say that at least two women and a child of 7 or 8 years old died afterward.
The Australian reports that a 40-year-old protester with a bleeding and disfigured chin, who gave his name only as Cao, said another worker had his spine broken.
Cao said the medical records of those taken to hospital were confiscated so "if we come back to complain about what happened, there is no record".
Many of the protesters' families had worked for the 70-year-old factory for three generations. In July it was announced that the factory would be made bankrupt with debts of Y4.6billion ($758 million).
But the workers say it is a "fake bankruptcy". They say the profitable operations are being split off into a new company for the benefit of factory leaders. The new operation will employ only 1000 people, compared with the 18,000 employed by the Tegang plant at its peak.
The Epoch Times says that before it went bankrupt in July, the Chongqing Special Steel Co. Ltd. was a 70 years old huge state-owned enterprise. At its prime, the company had as many as 18,000 employees and was called “the mother of all industries in southwest China.” The company’s financial crisis was first exposed in early 1997 when it failed to pay its workers for five consecutive months. Until that time, the workers were told that the company was making profits.
In the following years, workers were laid off without compensation; those who stayed were often paid late or not given reimbursement for their medical bills.
The workers believe that the Chongqing Special Steel’s bankruptcy was mainly caused by corruption and corruption-related mismanagement. In 1990, the company spent over 200 million yuan (about US$25 million) purchasing a second-hand machine, which was broken and useless three years later. Another expensive machine was brought from Germany around the same time and was never put in service.
Many of the company’s transactions are questionable, say the workers. The company frequently purchased materials at prices higher than the market rate or sold its products at surprisingly low prices.
AsiaNews quotes a 41-year-old woman who said corrupt senior managers were to blame for the factory's failure. "These cadres spent 50 per cent of the company's revenue on their salaries and welfare," she said. “My family has worked for the factory for more than 50 years. We all joined the company when we were kids but now we've got nothing at the end."
The protests have been on going since August.
On 12 August, more than 2,000 laid-off workers barricaded one of the main city streets, bringing traffic to a standstill, to demand severance wages. The company managers said “they did not want to negotiate anything” with the workers who had lost their jobs and who were asking for 2,000 yuan (around 1,000 euros) per head.
The steel workers' main demand was an extremely modest one: that the factory should pay them 2,000 Yuan each in severance payment for their loss of employment.
The workers had originally planned to continue their protest on 10 October outside the venue of the Asia-Pacific Mayors' Summit, held in Chongqing on 11-14 October, but the police crackdown prevented this protest action from going ahead.
It seems that it is no coincidence that the police assault happened just one day before the fifth plenary session of the 16th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was to meet in Beijing, and four days before the fifth Asia Pacific Cities Summit was to be held in Chongqing.
Years of preparation went into the summit which is the largest international event ever hosted by the municipality. The Chongqing summit played host to 932 guests from 124 cities in 41 countries or regions, as well as 255 corporate representatives. It seems apparent that Chinese officials didn’t want a bunch of angry workers messing things up. Sources: AsiaNews.it, Epoch Times, The Australian, China Daily, China Labor Bulletin
The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign is calling on the Puerto Rican movement,
our friends and allies, to come out to an emergency protest at the Federal
Building, 26 Federal Plaza, City Hall, this Friday, October 14, 2005, at
5:00 p.m. Take the 4,5,6 to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall!!
Former Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Antonio Camacho Negron, arrested for
being a part of the MACHETEROS in the late 1980s, communicated this evening
that an arrest warrant has been issued for him and that the FBI is searching
Antonio is asking that an urgent protest be organized demanding that his
life and physical integrity be respected.
He is also asking that the Venezuelan Consulate be contacted and asked to
request of the U.S. Government that his life and physical integrity be
WE NEED PEOPLE TO COME OUT AND SUPPORT ANTONIO CAMACHO NEGRON!! NO MORE
PUERTO RICAN POLITICAL PRISONERS!!
Todo Boricua Machetero!!
Hands Off Antonio Camacho Negron!!
Stop Repression Against the Puerto Rican Independence Movement!!
Stop The FBI Assassinations in Puerto Rico!!
Free All Political Prisoners!!
Free Puerto Rico!!
The following is a note from One People's Project about an upcoming national television broadcast on which the organization appears. As described at its group site, "The One People's Project is about one thing: disseminating information. We are a collection of people across the country and in Canada the UK that are active in gathering that information about any and all persons involved in racist/right-wing activity. We may participate in the organization of an action from time to time, but our primary mission is to be an online resource for those fighting fascism." I consider the One People's Project's web sites to be one of the best and more signficant out there.
One People’s Project will be featured on the newsmagazine show "A Current Affair" on Oct. 24, 25. I taped my interview for these segments in mid September, and according to the producer the programs are going to be about the collapse of modern neo-nazi movements. In addition to myself, the segments will also feature Shaun Walker of the National Alliance, Bill White, and Erica Hardwick, who as many people might know used to run in those circles but is now working with us.
We should note that "A Current Affair" is Fox, but there were other factors other than our concern about the political questions surrounding that network that weighed in our decision. We thought that this was an important thing to do for several reasons, the absolute biggest being the fact that Bill White, who is getting a lot of play these days as spokesperson for the NSM, is a trust fund baby who has been purchasing homes in black neighborhoods and kicking tenants out for bogus reasons, in a effort to create a whites-only living space. A number of tenants have suffered because of this, yet even though the FBI and HUD are investigating him, the public has paid (no) attention to this, save for the local NAACP. That needs to change, and we need to get more people involved so we can shut this idiot down. He has recently been slapped with a $800K lawsuit from one of those tenants, so that's a positive step in that direction.
Frankly, I am glad we did this considering how a WNWO-24, a Toledo, OH television station attempted to slam us regarding Saturday’s march in that town. They didn’t particularly like our tagline, but screw it. Yes, WNWO, hate DOES have its consequences! It doesn't mean what we are going to be some reckless morons fighting neo-Nazis and the like, but it is not going to go unopposed or any further if we have anything to say about it. Imagine how pissed they would have been if they saw our old one about how we are an organization for folks who didn’t play nice, but I digress. Anyone that has had any issues about who we are and what we are about has never had any problems contacting me to ask about them - including the WNWO reporter, who when he called me yesterday afternoon seemed like he was going in a negative direction to begin with. The Toledo Blade reporter however was willing to listen, and I hope her story is a lot more informative than her television counterpart.
The fact remains that it is important that we define ourselves and not allow anyone else to do so. People have questions about what is going on, and what we can do about it. We should be able to provide answers.
Anyway, I just wanted to let heads know about the show. I will be putting an announcement on the site on Monday. "A Current Affair" is cancelled, and this will be one of the last shows to air. Incidentally, this will be the first time we have been profiled on national television. Hopefully they got my good side.
Daryle Lamont Jenkins
One People’s Project
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Tens of thousands are in the streets of the main cities of Colombia today protesting a proposed free trade pact with the United States and accusing President Alvaro Uribe of selling out the country.
Thousands of state judicial, transport and education employees walked off the job, forcing the closure of public schools and notary offices in Bogota.
"Four more years of Uribe and we'll be in a coffin," chanted the demonstrators, who urged Colombia's highest court to strike down a measure that would allow Uribe to seek a second consecutive term in office during next year's presidential elections.
Hundreds of riot police erected road blocks across the capital to keep the protesters, some of whom wore Uncle Sam outfits, from straying off the planned march route.
The demonstrators are mainly trade union workers, students, and Indians.
Trade union leaders charge a free trade deal with the United States - expected to be signed within months - will make it impossible for Andean growers of sugar cane, rice, corn, potatoes and cotton to compete with heavily subsidized U.S. agricultural products. Further, they say the pharmaceutical patent protection clauses sought by Washington, that would make local production of generic medication illegal, will lead to a surge in the cost of medicine i the country.
"We are against the pact because we don't think that selling the country to the gringos is the best thing," said Oscar Mora, a teacher marching through Bogota.
Before the protests began Unitary Workers´ Central (CUT) President Carlos Rodriguez told Prensa Latina that more than a half million people would be at protests throughout the country to demonstrate against the negative effects resulting from the FTA´s implementation.
The CUT, along with other labor unions, students and social organizations plus the Colombian Federation of Teachers, called for a strike today to show the government people’s rejection of the commercial treaty with Washington.
“With this strike and rally we want to reject immediate presidential reelection of president Uribe as it is neither logical nor ethical that the Republic’s president be simultaneously a presidential candidate and head of state and use the nation’s budget for his campaign,” emphasized the CUT president.
The community protest coincides with an indigenous protest that started Sunday and was suppressed Monday by members of antiriot squadron, where one person was killed and more than 40 injured, among them seven minors.
Some 8,000 Indians embarked Monday on what was to be a weeklong march in western Colombia to protest the trade deal that they say would only worsen Colombia's unemployment woes.
Alberto Wazorna, a protest leader, said violence erupted after police provoked the marchers when they reached a major highway near Viterbo, 130 miles west of Bogota. "It was not necessary for the police to confront us, we were walking peacefully," he said.
The pact has been the target of other demonstrations in other countries in the past as well. In fact, popular protest broke out in most of the nations involved, led by farmers and labor organizations.
For example, on July 14 of this year some 500,000 people—construction workers, teachers, students and many others—marched in seven of Peru’s regions to protest the Andean free trade pact. The protests were organized by the General Confederation of Peruvian Workers (CGTP). A day earlier, July 13, some 4,000 people marched in Lima in another protest against the Andean trade pact, this time organized by the Association of Pharmaceutical Industries of National Origin and Capital (ADIFAN) and the National Convention of Peruvian Agriculture (CONVEAGRO).
“The Peruvian negotiators seem to be gringos, since until now they have achieved nothing for the country. On the contrary, they have given up 50 percent of the national market to the U.S.,” said CONVEAGRO president Luis Zúñiga at the time.
In September Peruvians took to the streets again.
A year ago, in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s main commercial city, negotiators from Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and the U.S. (as well as Bolivia, which has only observer status) held the fifth round of talks over a free trade agreement (TLC). At the same time, members of indigenous, campesino and grassroots organizations from Ecuador and other participating countries gathered in Guayaquil to protest the negotiations and strategize against the pact.
On October 25, the first day of the talks, five women activists from the group Ecological Action (Acción Ecológica) managed to sneak past heavy security into the reception area of the Hilton and pull out anti-TLC protest signs which they had hidden under their clothes. They shouted slogans (including “We don’t want to be a U.S. colony”) as guards grabbed them and threw them out.
On October 27, some 5,000 people protested the TLC by marching from the State University of Guayaquil coliseum to the Colón Hilton hotel, where the talks were taking place. The “March for Sovereignty and Life” was organized by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), the National Campaign Against the TLC-ALCA and other groups. The same day, October 27, the groups participating in the “social round” issued the “Andean Declaration of Guayaquil,” reiterating their rejection of the TLC negotiations and announcing their intention to deepen and expand their struggle against the trade pact.
In Bolivia, too, indigenous farmers have protested and blocked roads. Today, with the volatile situation in that country, the government there would just as soon not even talk about such a deal with the US.
Back in Peru, Miguel Palacin, a leader of Peru’s Agricultural and Communities Front, which groups together more than a dozen associations of small-scale farmers warns, "The free trade agreement is going to destroy traditional agriculture in Peru. Millions of farming families are going to be pushed deeper into poverty by tariff-free imports."
The front, as well as Peru’s largest umbrella union, the General Confederation of Peruvian Workers, wants an eventual free trade agreement to be put to a referendum, in which voters and not Congress will decide if the trade pact should be ratified.
Peruvian economist Humberto Ortiz, who coordinates the Humanization of the Global Economy project for the Latin American bishops' council, known by its Spanish acronym CELAM says, "For nearly 20 years, our countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have been implementing a so-called development model that has led not to development, but to greater inequality and the loss of opportunities for the majority of people. What we need is a more humane model."
Riordan Roett, director of Latin American studies at Johns Hopkins University speaking of the popular opposition to the Andean trade pact, told the New York Times there was more than just a backlash against market reforms and the perceived trade agenda of the United States. "It's almost a wholesale rejection of what people believe they were fed by the folks in Washington," he said. Sources: Global Exchange, Fundacion Solon, Prensa Latina Seattle, Post Intelligencer, New York Times, bilaterals.org, Resource Center of the Americas
On October 17th (Monday) 1968 Olympic gold and bronze medal winners and San Jose State University (SJSU) student activists Tommie Smith and John Carlos will be honored with the unveiling of a 20-foot sculpture, located in the Sculpture Garden.
Designed by artist, Rigo 23, the sculpture depicts the pivotal moment in history when Smith and Carlos took a stand for human rights on the victory podium at the Olympics, a silent protest that was seen around the world.
Australian Peter Norman, the silver medalist who was with Smith and Carlos on the victory podium and supported their stand, will be at SJSU for the day-long celebration.
Smith and Carlos became one of the symbols of the civil rights movement of the 1960s when, after winning the gold and bronze medals for the 200-meter race in the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, they put their fists in the air as a gesture of protest against the racist treatment of African Americans in the United States. For doing this, they were stripped of their medals.
SJSU President Don Kassing noted recently, "(Smith and Carlos) put everything at risk. Their medals were taken away from them. They were pushed out of the Olympic Village. They came back to San Jose and were treated terribly."
An entire day of activities is planned to honor these men and to commemorate student activism. Beginning at 10:30 a.m. to noon, in the Student Union, Smith, Carlos, Norman and gold medalist Lee Evans will join a panel discussion to talk about their roles in the historic 1968 Olympics. From 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the same location, a second panel discussion on Student Activism in the 60s will feature the above athletes and special guests. At 5 p.m., the special ceremony to unveil the sculpture will begin in the Sculpture Garden.
In addition to the above activities, the documentary, "Fists of Freedom," that portrays this courageous moment in civil rights history will be shown in the Mosaic Cross Cultural Center in the Student Union throughout the morning at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., and noon.
The sculpture is the result of nearly three years of work by Associated Students to design and raise funds for the Tommie Smith/John Carlos Project. "The Tommie Smith – John Carlos Project teaches students that they can become active today and should not wait until they reach a certain age to address the issues that are important to them. The Project is more than the erection of a monument; it is the recognition of the sacrifices made by many students during the torrid civil rights era."
The initial fund raising effort supported the design and construction of the sculpture. The remaining funds will support the ongoing Project initiatives that include developing and delivering social awareness education for students; supporting student activists’ initiatives; and supporting those students who choose to get involved in the issues they believe in.
Earlier this year, the California State University and San Jose State University presented honorary doctorates to Smith and Carlos at the university's 148th commencement ceremony. At that event Smith said, "A lot of people have died for the freedom I was able to express in the 1960s." Sources: Associated Students San Jose State University, Spartan Daily (San Jose State University), Ascribe, San Jose State University
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
During the course of the last week I'd been watching reports from Canada on the growing number of deaths at a Toronto nursing home. For days, the cause was said to be unknown, but the situation was described as "under control." But the deaths mounted. Then the government said not to worry the whole thing was probably caused by Legionnaires'disease. Anyway, health authorities said, the dead were old. "Some people are fragile enough that they may still succumb to this," David McKeown of Toronto's healt department said at a briefing that included Toronto Mayor David Miller and Dr. Donald Low, medical director of Ontario's Public Health Laboratories. "There is not and never was a threat to the general public," Toronto Mayor David Miller, said. He didn't add but we know he was telling everyone, "just a few old folks in a nursing home." Governmental officials seemed more concerned with tourism then the death of the residents of the nursing home. Toronto Coun. George Mammoliti said he feared the coverage could "scare the living daylights out of people" and cause long-lasting damage to the city's tourism industry. "SARS killed us economically," said Mammoliti. "We really don't need this." One newspaper brought the "thank God they're just old" together with bring on the tourists line as it without shame reported, "Earlier this week, local government officials and business owners took a collective sigh of relief when it was revealed that the mysterious deaths of 17 elderly people in Toronto, Canada was actually due to Legionnaires' disease, a non-contagious form of pneumonia that typically only affects the elderly or immunocompromised."
The following is taken from the Ocotber 8th Toronto Star...
Nothing normal about 17 dead in a week
Politicians focused on Toronto's image
Now that the "mystery virus" that killed 17 residents of a Scarborough nursing home has been tentatively identified, everything in Toronto is business as usual.
The tourists can keep coming; the hotels can continue to boom. The city's media, which for reasons best known to themselves chose to downplay this rather astonishing public health story, can deliver a smug "I told you so" to the doomsayers.
Did foreigners refer to Toronto as "ground zero" of a mystery disease? Fie upon them. As it turned out, the pathogen that health officials originally called a mystery virus is neither a virus nor a mystery. It's a well-known pneumonia-causing bacterium that goes by the name of legionnaires' disease.
Or, to be more accurate, it is "likely" legionnaires' disease, according to Toronto's chief medical health officer David McKeown
As such, it's both treatable and non-contagious. So relax. Don't sweat it. There's no problem.
Except for the fact that 17 people died in one week.
Now, let us assume, for the sake of argument, that a disease has just killed 17 infants at the Hospital for Sick Children and caused 38 more people, including nursing staff and adult visitors, to be hospitalized.
Assume further that for a week or more public health authorities have no idea what this disease is or how to fight it.
In fact, they initially misidentify it as a virus.
How would you expect the public and government to react?
I would expect outrage. I would expect parents to demand that something be done to prevent similar outbreaks at other hospitals, child-care centres or schools.
I would expect political leaders to be on the hot seat.
I would expect Torontonians to be more concerned by the outbreak's immediate human cost than its effect on the city's tourist trade.
And I would expect this story to dominate the front pages of the newspapers.
But replace 17 infants with 17 nursing home residents and, for some inexplicable reason, everything changes.
The provincial government response, for instance, has been to say that old people die.
Such things, Health Minister George Smitherman said on Wednesday, are "regrettably not a new story."
In fact, Smitherman is wrong.
It is true that old people, like infants, are susceptible to disease. It is true that people get sick. But in the Toronto of recent memory, it is unprecedented for so many to die in such a short period of time from the same disease.
In the winter of 1997-98, a particularly virulent strain of influenza ravaged one Scarborough nursing home.
But the 16 deaths then occurred over a month, not a week. And not all deaths were attributable to the same cause.
Even during the Toronto SARS outbreak of 2003 — one that ultimately claimed the lives of 44 — there were never 17 deaths recorded in one week.
And while it is true that 12 of those who died this week were more than 80, one was in his mid-50s.
So, why exactly was Toronto so cavalier about this remarkable event?
At first, I assumed it was because most people simply don't value the old, that once a person is consigned to a nursing home, he or she is assumed to be of no value and less interest.
This was certainly the subtext of statements from officials and politicians who, in effect, said the 17 were doomed to die anyway.
(We are all doomed to die anyway — but this is a larger story.)
But then the Lake George tragedy occurred, the one in which 21 elderly Americans aboard a New York cruise boat drowned.
That garnered great attention here. It made the front pages of all the Toronto dailies and dominated the television newscasts.
Yet, of the four major city papers, only the Star and Sun bothered to give front-page coverage to early reports of a mystery illness that was killing Canadian old people.
And after that, even as deaths mounted, governments focused not on the outbreak itself but on making sure that news of the mysterious illness didn't hurt the Toronto tourist trade.
The message from authority, dutifully reported, was that everyone was doing a great job and everything was under control.
In spite of the inconvenient deaths, Smitherman told reporters, it was "business as normal" in Toronto.
But is it really that normal when 17 people in a provincially licensed institution die during a one-week period?
Are we really supposed to just shrug it off and order another latte?
Foreign students in the central Russian city of Voronezh rallied twice Tuesday in protest of an incident where a Peruvian student was murdered in a racist attack earlier this week. Two other students were beaten in the same assault.
According to the Moscow News around noon on Tuesday, some 300 students set out from the Voronezh State (University) to the main square in the town where they encircled a monument to Vladimir Lenin for the rally.
The rally and another held the same day was organized by the group “Nashi (Ours).”
“We want to draw attention of the general public to the problems of racial and national discrimination,” the organization’s press centre told Itar-Tass.
Prosecutors in Voronezh, a city of 1 million located 580 kilometers south of Moscow, called the Sunday evening attack an act of hooliganism, and the region's governor concurred that it could not be considered a hate crime because a Russian student was also injured. The Russian student suffered minor injuries but was not hospitalized.
The foreign students were walking with a Russian student near the Olimpik Sports Complex on the outskirts of Voronezh at around 6 p.m. Sunday when they were attacked by 15 to 20 young men carrying knives and "blunt metal and wooden objects," Galina Gorshkova, a spokeswoman for the Voronezh regional prosecutor's office, said Monday.
Killed was Peruvian national Enrique Arturo Angeles Hurtado, a first-year student at the Voronezh State Architecture and Civil Engineering University.
Peruvian national, Alexander Manuel Navarro Ayala, 18, was hospitalized with a concussion and was in stable condition Monday, said Egorov Ramirez Hinojosa, consul-general at the Peruvian Embassy in Moscow. He said Ayala had arrived in Voronezh about a week ago.
Ilyas Altavil, who lived in the same dormitory as Hurtado, said on NTV television that the slain student had been considering leaving because of fears for his safety. "He asked me: 'Is it too scary to live here? Should I go back and live with my friends?'" Altavil said.
Sunday's attack was the latest in a series of apparently racially motivated attacks in Voronezh. Over the past five years, 13 foreign students have died in racially motivated slayings, said Gabriel Kotchofa, president of the Foreign Students Association in Russia.
Human rights activists say the practice of classifying such crimes as hooliganism rather than racially motivated has only encouraged an increase in similar attacks. "These crimes are not punished seriously, meaning the perpetrators face no consequences," Alexander Brod, head of the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights told the Moscow Times.
Brod said Voronezh was one of the top five cities in Russia in terms of skinhead and extremist activity, along with Moscow, St. Petersburg, Volgograd and Rostov-on-Don. "The difference is that in cities like St. Petersburg, local authorities are trying to take active measures to combat xenophobia," Brod said. "In Voronezh, regional authorities are doing almost nothing."
Foreign students in Voronezh mounted a wave of protests last year after the stabbing death of Amaro Antonio Limo, a 24-year-old medical student from Guinea-Bissau. Limo was stabbed a few hundred meters from his dormitory in central Voronezh on Feb. 21, 2004. Police detained three suspects the next month, and they were convicted in September 2004 and sentenced to prison terms ranging from nine to 17 years.
According to a report from the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights, “The level of xenophobia remained constantly high in the first half of 2005. According to different sociological surveys the percentage of supporters of xenophobic viewpoints fluctuated between 50 and 60 percents. Among the nations - top targets of population's dislike and hostility are, first of all, Chechens (14.8%), Azeri (5.1%), Armenians (4.1%) and migrants from the Caucasus in general (6.0%). Gypsies are also on the list (5.1%). Jews are mentioned less often (2.5%).” There was no information in the report concerning foreign students.
There are about 100,000 foreign nationals studying in Russia’s colleges and universities. Students from the CIS countries — the former Soviet republics — account for approximately one-third of them.
With attacks on foreign nationals on the rise across the country many of them are considering leaving Russian out of fear for their personal safety.
A 40-year-old Chinese national — a student at the St. Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov conservatoire — was severely beaten by unidentified attackers recently. He was hospitalized with a head injury and brain concussion.
In a separate incident, an Angolan national — a former student of the Agricultural University — was attacked and wounded in the Northern capital.
Last March students at Kuban State University in Krasnodar staged a picked at the university urging authorities to protect them from skinhead attacks. That protest was held in the wake of a March 26 attack on two foreign students of the Kuban University and Medical Academy — nationals of Syria and Lebanon. Both suffered numerous injuries.
Arab students have also been attacked in St. Petersburg. Gannam Mohamad, representative of the Union of Arab Students told the Moscow Times earlier this year, “We no longer have any trust in the law enforcement agencies, while protest rallies are, apparently, useless.” Sources: RIA-Novosti, Itar-Tass, Moscow Times, Xinhua, Moscow News
Monday, October 10, 2005
A Venezuelan delegation is carrying out a working visit in the Saharawi Republic (Western Sahara), in the context of bi-lateral agreements signed in October 2004. The delegation led by the general director of the administrative management of the Ministry for Health, Dr Alberto Randon, will evaluate needs in the areas of health and training. "I come bearing a message of support and solidarity from the President Hugo Chavez and all the people in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the Saharawi people and their heroic struggle for self-determination and independence", Randon declared during a reception.
It was a year ago that Venezuela announced its plans to cooperate with Cuba to provide humanitarian aid for the people of the Western Sahara. "Venezuela and Cuba will join forces to give humanitarian aid to the Saharan Republic ... Spain, too," Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jesus Perez said in October 2004.
At that time Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said, "We strongly support Saharawi people's struggle for their self-determination and dignity." Chavez made the statement during a meeting on his plane with a delegation of Saharawi ministers of state. Chavez reaffirmed the commitment of his Government to back Saharawi people's struggle against the foreign occupation and for a full exercise of their legitimate rights to self-determination and independence, before declaring the signing of accords of cooperation between the two Governments, Saharawi and Venezuelan.
In a speech last week at the United Nations Cuban alternate permanent representative to the UN, Ileana Nuñez expressed concern for the paralysis of the process for the Western Sahara region, and said that Cuba supports creation of a referendum to find an honorable solution to the Saharan situation, including the right of the Saharan people’s self-determination in the solution of their case. Sources: All Africa, SPS, Western Sahara Referendum Support Association, Prensa Latina, Alert Net
Navajo Nation officials claim El Paso Natural Gas Co. (EPNG) is manipulating the facts and attempting to bypass the tribe's sovereignty by going directly to the Interior Department in an attempt to get a better right-of-way deal for its pipeline across tribal land.
The Arizona Republic reports EPNG wants the U.S. Department of the Interior's approval of a pipeline right-of-way easement that would allow the Houston-based company to continue shipping natural gas throughout the Southwest. The move is unusual because EPNG has yet to strike a financial deal with the tribe, typically a required step before the feds consider such an application.
EPNG officials told the Arizona Republic that the tribe's demands have been unreasonable and could result in higher bills for customers such as Southwest Gas, which supplies natural gas to a half-million Arizona homes.
Navajo Nation Attorney General Louis Denetsosie says EPNG is trying to scare consumers into thinking the Navajo Nation is profiteering from scarce energy supplies in its bid to renegotiate a better rights-of-way deal for itself.
“If anyone is profiteering at the expense of customers, it is El Paso,” Denetsosie said
El Paso has employed a variety of avenues to obtain rights to Navajo Nation land for inadequate consideration, Denetsosie said. For instance, in the recent federal energy legislation, it sought unsuccessfully to get Congress to violate solemn promises of the United States in its treaties with the Navajo Nation.
“It is now apparently seeking to obtain a 20-year renewal of its rights-of-way without Navajo Nation consent using the Navajo Nation’s federal trustee, the Secretary of the Interior,” the attorney general said. “Its most recent gambit is a public relations strategy to scare consumers and regulators alike.”
Denetsosie said consumers have no reason to be concerned. He said the Navajo Nation has offered reasonable terms for a 20-year renewal of EPNG’s rights-of-way. If accepted by the company, the effect would be “utterly insignificant from the consumers’ perspective,” he said. “EPNG’s competitors have accepted comparable terms,” Mr. Denetsosie added. “El Paso simply wants to return the Navajo Nation to the earlier times when rights-of-way over Native American lands were granted by the United States for nominal consideration, thus gaining a competitive advantage over other gas pipeline companies.”
Denetsosie emphasized that the Navajo Nation is willing to agree on reasonable terms with EPNG. “But we will not willingly submit to the type of predatory behavior that El Paso has visited on other groups in recent years, most notably California and Arizona consumers,” he said.
Keith Harper, attorney for the Native American Rights Fund, said the tribe has a right to negotiate its own terms and doubts the federal government would become involved in the negotiations. ''I think if the Interior gets involved in undermining the decision-making right of a sovereign nation, they are treading on very shaky ground,'' Harper said, according to The Associated Press.
Furthermore, Harper said studies have shown that Native Americans historically have been short-changed in right-of-way negotiations with utilities and oil companies.
A 2003 study of such transactions showed individual Native American property owners were reimbursed an average of $25 for every 3 yards of pipeline, compared with the non-Native rate of $135 and up for a similar-sized stretch of pipeline.
Denetsosie points out that under a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) settlement in March 2003, El Paso agreed to pay more than $1.7 billion to California customers to settle lawsuits claiming El Paso manipulated the natural gas markets.
Denetsosie says, "El Paso is currently seeking higher tariffs from FERC over its western pipeline system and, in lieu of settlement payments, is offering favorable rates to California customers, placing the burden of the higher rate adjustment on east-of-California customers." Sources: Arizona Republic, Arizona Central, Navajo Nation, Indian Country Today
Disgusted by the anti-abortion antics of Wichita's Spirit One Christian Center, students from Wichita’s West High School showed up at the Center in protest. In particular, the students were ticked off about that anti-abortion protest the church supported earlier this week at the high school.
The West High students were joined by students from North, Northeast and Southeast high schools and Wichita State. There also were supporters from the Peace and Social Justice Center and others.
It started as a peaceful protest, but the two sides got pretty heated throughout the morning.
Louis Goseland, a senior at West told the Wichita Eagle the anti-abortion group, at the school demonstrations, had lashed out against Muslims and homosexuals in addition to abortion. "We will not tolerate their intolerance," Goseland said.
“Basically, we're wanting to respond to them, and let them know their hate speech wasn't appreciated at West," said Goseland.
On October 3 through 8, Spirit One embarked on a campaign called 'Operation Save America. OSA is an out-growth of the well-known Operation Rescue only OSA chose to specifically targets high-school and college students for protests and demonstrations.
George Harper, a student at West said the OSA anti-abortion people who showed up at his school, “…were harassing students and not allowing them to leave until they took a paper.” Harper also said that the protesters disrupted classes, "They were there for about an hour after school started. They had their speakers aimed at the school."
One brochure passed out at West read, "The bible and the 10 commandments have been outlawed, illegal, made contraband, in your public school. Your Christian rights are being denied you."
Another brochure had to do with Mark Tiller, a local doctor who specializes in abortions. This one stated, "Following the shedding of their innocent blood, he then places the children he has slaughtered on his altar to burn them as an offering to his god. This makes him a priest of Satan." Below this message is a picture of a lady handing a baby to a priest. In the background is a cackling horned demon, his hands dripping with blood. Sources: Blogcritics.org, KBSD (Dodge City), Wichita Eagle, KAKE (Wichita)
The following is just in to me from sources in Northern Ireland...
'Love Ulster' welcoming of loyalist paramilitaries must be condemned by DUP if they are serious about tackling North Antrim sectarianism
For Immediate Release:10/10/2005
Ballymena Sinn Féin Councillor Monica Digney has said that she is appalled at remarks from ‘Love Ulster’ spokesperson Willie Frazer about welcoming loyalist paramilitaries to the ‘Love Ulster’ campaign. Cllr Digney’s comments come after Mr Frazer addressed Ballymena Borough Council at the invitation of Unionist Councillors.
Cllr Digney said:
“Willie Frazer has said that loyalist paramilitaries are welcome in his campaign as individuals - in other words those involved in the pipe-bombing of Catholics in Ahoghill and the attacks on Catholic businesses throughout the Ballymena area are welcome to attend any future rallies and meetings of this group. Mr Frazer, in no shape or form, asks these people to stop their anti-Catholic attacks before they will be accepted into this campaign. They are quite clearly acceptable to the ‘Love Ulster’ campaign in their present form.
“These comments have again shown the ‘Love Ulster’ campaign up as having strong links with the UDA, UVF and other loyalist paramilitaries. From Day 1 we saw UDA men unloading the campaign’s newspaper at its Larne launch, which was also fronted, by local DUP man Willie Wilkinson.
“This campaign is more about sectarian hatred than ‘Love’ and I would hope that no Unionist party endorses the campaign in the wake of Mr Frazer’s words of welcome for UDA and UVF members. If the DUP is serious about opposing those who are attacking Catholic homes and property in this borough then they should not be standing shoulder to shoulder with loyalist paramilitaries at this group’s march in Belfast at the end of the month. This will be a litmus test of their commitment to tackle the loyalist paramilitaries within their community.”
The following are the stated goals of "Love Ulster" as noted on their web site:
LoveUlster is a campaign for Unionist unity.
LoveUlster calls for the democratic rights of the Unionist community to be recognised and respected by government.
LoveUlster calls for an end to government concessions to Irish nationalism/republicanism
LoveUlster gives people a voice and encourages them to have their say.
LoveUlster is a peaceful and democratic initiative by a range of organisations across the Province, including the Shankill Mirror, victims support groups and the Orange Institution.
The following is taken from the International Relations and Security Network which is run by the Center for Security Studies based in Zurich:
'Love Ulster’ campaign sparks criticism
ISN SECURITY WATCH (30/08/05) - A new grassroots campaign dubbed “Love Ulster”, on Monday began disseminating newsletters across Northern Ireland aimed at denouncing nationalist dominance over the political process.
The Love Ulster campaign will disseminate 200,000 free newsletters across Northern Ireland, highlighting unionist concerns at political concessions granted to Sinn Féin and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) since the latter’s statement that it was ending its nearly four-decade campaign of violence against British rule.
In the days after the statement, the British government announced radical plans for demilitarization in Northern Ireland - a move unionists view as premature at best and a betrayal at worst. They see the disbandment of the British army’s Royal Irish Regiment as a move that will harm unionist culture.
William Wilkinson, a spokesman for the Love Ulster campaign, told ISN Security Watch that unionists were “shocked at the speed of the [British] concessions [after the IRA statement]”.
Wilkinson, who works for a support group for victims of IRA violence, said he believed there was a reason for unionists to distrust the British government, which he accused of “negotiating aspects of the current process behind our backs and over our heads”.
The head of the exclusively Protestant Orange Order has backed the campaign, which says Northern Ireland is at a crisis point, with a clear need for a movement to oppose the creation of a unified all-Ireland state.
Wilkinson feels that the Irish government is being given an increasing role in Northern Ireland, and notes that the British government, as far back as 1991, had said it had no “strategic or economic interest” in remaining in Ireland.
Now unionist activists are taking matters into their own hands, without confronting or criticizing mainstream unionist politicians. “We are not pointing the finger at our politicians, but seek to complement them,” Wilkinson said, adding that “both parties [the Democratic Unionist Party and the Ulster Unionist Party] have voiced their opposition to the current process of appeasement”.
The Love Ulster pamphlets were landed at the port town of Larne in a symbolic re-enactment of the 1914 landing of guns at the port, intended for use by the old Ulster Volunteer Force to resist pre-World War I plans for devolved government or “Home Rule” for Ireland.
Wilkinson insists the re-enactment is merely symbolic. However, the reported participation of loyalist paramilitaries in distributing the pamphlets may cause nationalists to see differently.
Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) vice-president Alasdair McDonnell said the involvement of loyalist paramilitaries in a “phony campaign against a united Ireland” was “utterly disgraceful”.
The SDLP said the campaign was a disgraceful attempt to spread fear and a sense of crisis.