Thursday, February 17, 2005

Students studying at Stirling University, involved with the group People and Planet, today protested at the Army Recruitment Centre in Stirling.

Students studying at Stirling University, involved with the group People and Planet, today protested at the Army Recruitment Centre in Stirling. They were demonstrating against the way that people are recruited for the army and say that the army concentrate on those with financial difficulties such as students or the unemployed, even going as far as to recruit inside Job Centre's, and that this was an unacceptable way of persuading people to take a potentially life and death decission. The vigil also condemned the war in Iraq where hundreds of civilians have died and violence still continues.
When the students arived the big tough army boys ran in, locked the door and called the police. After a while the cops came and were slightly rude and took everyones name and address. Then, they kindly f**ked off and left the students to get on with it. There was much support from locals (as well as the disgruntled look on the odd Torry) with one young lad going as far as to chant "no more Bush! Shave your fannies!"

The above is from "Stirling Army Recruitment Protest" by Stiling Uni People and Planet and you can view it and the photos at Scotland's Independent Media Centre.

From Brasil Indymedia Collective, check out "Violent Eviction in Goiania, Brazil:"

A large military policy operation with 2,500 men has started this morning (February 16) for the eviction of the land occupation Sonho Real (Real Dream) in the city of Goiânia, Brazil. Two people got killed, over 800 people got arrested and several people are wounded (five were very seriously wounded). Among the arrested, two Indymedia volunteers, one from Goiânia and one from Indymedia New York.
The occupation started in may 2004 in an area which has been abandoned for years and quickly gathered 3,000 families. In January, Justice ordered the eviction of the families and since then police have been terrifying the families with death threats and sudden attacks. In February 11, police showed up suddenly and shot gas and concussion bombs and fired rubber bullets against the people. One child got hit by a concussion bomb. On February 15, in another attack, police shot bombs and fired with guns. Two people got hurt. After pressure from social movements and human rights groups, state of Goiás Governor Marconi Perillo committed himself not to send police to evict people in a violent way (you can hear his commitment in this
recorded audio. Today's attack and the so far confirmed death of two people showed he did not stick to his words.

Over at Ireland's Indy Media, "Here We Are" is James R. Thursday's attempt to make sense of the IT economy:

"We are hireable on demand . . . exploitable at will and firable at whim" - from Precarity The Film
Hands up who remembers back in the day, at the height of hype on the IT economy, when every half witted career guidance counselor in the country did their best to pilfer leaving cert students of their dreams by forcing them into dead end computer courses in preparation for a career in call centers? The mass media cheer led us into a new millennium and we awaited the collapse of work as we knew it Jim, ready to lap it up in the leisure society, with dreams of flexible working from home wearing headsets and tapping keyboards. Then the repetitive drone of the dot com boom was suddenly slapped aside and the realization dawned that while Gates may have got his millions - millions of others were left with nothing but repetitive strain injury and flexiploitation. It's admirable the myriad of ways they make us swallow their bullsh*t. They repackage it every once and awhile in a never ceasing effort to make old lines of conflict and tensions once spotted, less obvious.
Douglas Coupland coined the achingly appropriate term 'McJob' for the monotonous dead end short-term employment that so much of Generation X fell into and we now take for granted. He presented the McJob as a slacker lifestyle choice that facilitated an escape from the cage of traditional career choices allowing us to define ourselves as something other than our job descriptions that'd see us all going the Willy Loman way. As a result he certainly fell for the worst excesses of post-modernity as a method taken on by power and capital to impose a frightening new method of work discipline and organization on us. This increasingly obvious face of work in advanced capitalist countries has had a number of different terms attached to it by arse-hole academics each vying for position to create the latest 'post-whatever the f**k' trend in the ivory tower. While simultaneously turning themselves into supposed experts on the reality the rest of us live. The best term for the McJob phenomenon is the most obvious - precarity.

From Melbourne Indymedia, Ben Moxham has "East Timor: A Tiny Half Island of Surplus Humanity:"

Last Monday, 7 February, the East Timorese newspaper Suara Timor Loro Sa’e reported that at least 53 people had died of starvation in the village of Hatabuiliko since October 2004. "There is absolutely nothing to eat," reported Domingos de Araujo, the sub-district secretary, and "those still alive are looking for wild potatoes in the forest." Reports from the districts continue to filter in: 10,000 people are staving in Cova Lima; 10,000 households are going hungry in Suai; and Los Palos, Baucau, and Manufahi districts are all reporting a food crisis. The government's National Disaster Management Office has quickly counseled against overreaction because this is not "starvation and hunger like in Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan and elsewhere." Instead, what is happening "is known as FOOD SHORTAGE" (their capitalisation) and this "happens every year". And there lies the deeper tragedy: this is not extraordinary news. Regardless of whatever definition the government is playing around with, hunger is so common in East Timor that November to March is referred to as the "hungry season". Last year, food aid was distributed to 110,000 people in eleven out of the country's thirteen districts and in a 2001 survey, 80 per cent of villages reported being without adequate food at some time during the year. While a tough drought shares some of the blame, the question that screams to be asked is why is a nation of just under one million people, which is supposed to have received more donor funds "per capita" in the last five years than anywhere else, starving?

Troy e-mails from Portland Indy Media, "Happy Birthday Huey" by PDX anti-imperialist:

Happy birthday Huey! This is one man who did not, for any reason, hesitate to take direct action against the racist power structure. Yes he was human. I am not trying to mold a golden god here. But this history has been vulgarized and falsified into oblivion and the consequence of that is what we are choking on today. This man and a massive army of others opposed the things that we should hate and the things that are killing us. Let us explore and help unearth history, cleanse and liberate ourselves and take the next step toward true freedom for all. On October 15th, 1966, two brothers stood up and took the next step toward civil rights, social justice, survival and revolution.

While Seattle Indymedia Center has Ethan Schaffer's "Hugo Chavez at the World Social Forum: A Personal Account:"

Chavez was cheerful and witty as he answered the questions in true South American politician style, rambling into long speeches about topics he felt were more important than the questions asked. Here are some of the salient points that Chavez made:
· The role of the military should be that of "liberators", an anti-imperial force that protects the people. He stressed the need for the people to be more involved in the defense of the country. In addition the military should be more involved in society through civic and education projects.
· The world is in the middle of a severe environmental crisis. He referred to the planet as a living body that has, "a pulse, temperature and equilibrium." He said, "If we don't transcend the capitalist, neoliberal model, the planet cannot resist anymore." He stressed that is necessary to join with the people of the North the fight for a better world.
· The people of the USA are victims of a "media dictatorship". The media is controlled by a few large corporations like CNN, FOX, etc.
· Chavez described his visit earlier that day to a settlement of the MST (Landless Workers Movement). He was pleased with their regard for the local ecology. He described their polyculture method of farming rice using organic fertilizer. Carp that swim in the rice paddies do the tilling by burrowing into the soil and eat parasitic insects. He was impressed with the MST seed saving program and signed a paper showing his intent to start a seed trade with Brazil. He spoke against genetically modified crops.
· Chavez defined the free market neoliberal thesis as, "Privatize everything, wait twenty years and when everyone is dying of hunger. . . the economy will magically begin to flourish." He is opposed to free trade agreements like the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). He explained that his version of the FTAA would be neighboring countries trading resources they are rich in for resources they badly need. As an example he said Venezuela sells Cuba oil at a 20% discount. They pay the discount back by providing social services in Venezuela. Thousands of Cuban doctors are working in Venezuela and Cuba is helping them develop a sugar industry.

In The Boston Phoenix, Steve Vineberg offers a review of the works of Arthur Miller.

Check out Nüz in the Metroactive News & Issues for a story on how campus activism caused a response but not a response in full:

February is BLACK HISTORY month, a date apparently not penciled in on UCSC'S THEATER ARTS DEPARTMENT's planning calendar. Nüz says this because UCSC won't be staging the AFRICAN AMERICAN THEATER ARTS TROUPE's Urban Transitions, Loose Blossoms until March, and then not at the main stage, but at the Experimental Theater, a space DANE DIAMOND ERRISSON, a lead in Urban Transitions, says "isn't a good fit for the show."
For Errisson, this space lack isn't exactly unexpected. "The theater arts department has never devoted enough attention to diversity," he says, noting that next quarter is the first time there will be AFRICAN AMERICAN THEATER and RAINBOW THEATER classes on campus, classes Errisson fears will be cut if they don't fill up, though he's hopeful that won't be the case, since DONALD WILLIAMS is teaching them.
Readers may recall that the layoff last summer of Williams, one of the most popular instructors on campus and founder of AATAT and Rainbow Theater, triggered protests during finals week--a time when students typically chug vats of coffee and hunker down in library cubbyholes for last-minute cramming. Evidently, the school felt the effect of this exam-defying protest. Interim UCSC chancellor MARTIN CHEMERS quickly found Williams another job as special events coordinator--but not fast enough for the theater arts department to save AATAT stage space in February 2005.

In the San Francisco Bay Guardian, don't miss Robert Haaland's "Privatization doesn't work:"

LAST MONTH THE conservative, downtown business-advocacy group the Committee on Jobs announced a poll of San Francisco voters. The poll asked about voters' support for requiring city workers to make contributions to their pensions from their paychecks, restricting comp time, capping vacation, using merit over seniority (which often leads to cronyism), and contracting out public sector work (a.k.a. privatization).
Should we care about another political poll? You betcha. It's part of a national and statewide Republican effort to starve the public sector, dismantle social programs, and take away workers' rights and protections. The poll is the committee's first step toward finding a way to make all of this more palatable to San Franciscans.
Moreover, the committee recently boasted (in an internal memo that was leaked to the press) that local government turns to it for guidance on the budget, city jobs, department structure, and taxes. And the committee is planning to put an initiative limiting public sector employment and benefits on the November ballot.
The Committee on Jobs will argue that the city faces a $110 million budget deficit, and that the private sector can provide the same level of service as the public sector. And that, since the workers are paid less and have fewer benefits, the costs are lower in the short term. Political blogger Chris Nolan, who often comments on S.F. politics, suggested that social service advocates may join the committee in arguing for civil service reform. For example, Nolan noted that longtime progressive nonprofit executive director Randy Shaw has already publicly argued for "progressive civil service reform." San Francisco's public employees are on the defensive, from the left and right.

Martha, Maria, Ben, Kara, Brad & The Third Estate Sunday Review crew (Dona, Ava, Jess, Ty and Jim) have all seen WMD, Danny Schechter's amazing film. If you're a community member who hasn't, check out Lois Wadsworth's "Deceiving John Q. Public: With a war of images and words" from Eugene Weekly and see if that doesn't prompt you to seek out this wonderful documentary:

News is big business, and media critic Danny Schechter makes it his business to analyze what gets covered in print and electronically. In choosing to document coverage of the war in Iraq, Schechter shows there are essentially three different wars: the war we see and read about in the US, a commercial war; the war as it appears in Europe; and the war the rest of the world sees. His latest book is Embedded: Weapons of Mass Deception: How the Media Failed to Cover the War on Iraq.
Schechter's conclusions don't come from the haphazard network crawling I did during the so-called war but rather from "embedding" himself in front of the television and watching wall-to-wall coverage. I did some of that during the first Gulf War, in part because a family member was in Saudi at the time, and I was worried about her. Although I was a graduate student in the journalism school at UO, I had trouble detaching emotionally from images and words spoken on the screen. Unlike my experience, Schechter's viewing of this war was methodological. He earned the authority to call the media's lopsided coverage of the war Weapons of Mass Deception.
"There were two wars going on in Iraq," he wrote. "One was fought with armies of soldiers, bombs and a fearsome military force. The other was fought alongside it with cameras, satellites, armies of journalists and propaganda techniques."
If you've been to Schechter's web site -- -- you may have read some of the gazillion words he's written to show a staggering similarity of coverage across media outlets. In WMD the film, reporters outside the mainstream media such as Peter Arnett add their voices to Schechter's. Once an MSNBC correspondent, Ashleigh Banfield was chastised by her bosses at NBC and dropped by the network the following year. Her crime: She told the audience during a speech at Kansas State University the war coverage was "sanitized."
Language control is a subtle but efficient way to limit an argument, a device by which to define the terms and claim the high ground. Using words calculated to put U.S. actions in the best light, the mainstream media knowingly or inadvertently helps the Bush administration get away with murder every day. Maybe Schechter can wake up people who take literally words written thousands of years ago, but I doubt it. It takes an open mind to see how the public is manipulated by what Schechter calls the "militainment" of the post-journalism era.

Note: Weapons of Mass Destruction is playing in various cities.


Bijou Art Cinemas 492 East 13th Avenue
Eugene, OR 97401
Show times:
Nightly: 4:50pm
Fri/Sat/Sun: 11:45pm
Sat Matinee: 2:50pm
Please call to confirm times:

FEBRUARY 20, 2pm:

Manhattanville College:
Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action
Piusx Theater2900 Purchase St.Purchase, NY 10577914.323.7156
This screening is sponsored by No War Westchester Coalition and WMD director Danny Schechter will be doing a Q&A.

WMD will be featured in the Grassroots Theatre Network's national tour!

"WMD is a tremendous film. It was our Board of Directors' first choice to be included in our Grassroots Theatre Network screenings at commercial theatres across the country. Our screenings start in Bethel, Connecticut and Larkspur, California on February 9, and continue across the country during February and March. Supporters interested in seeing the film can inquire at to check for additional venues." -- Dr. Sandy Martin, founder of the Grassroots Theatre Network.
. . .

February 23
San Francisco
The Landmark Bridge Theatre
Reception at 6:45. Film at 7:15.
Film will be introduced by Professor John McManus of

Information about the film, interviews with Danny Schechter and reviews of the film can be found at the Weapons of Mass Deception web site.