Thursday, March 17, 2005

Indy Media roundup -- peace rally in Austin this weekend, Genoa G8 Trials, Scotland's Arms Trade Protest, Joe Higgins T.D. on Brazil

Two computers of a Genvoa Legal Forum consultant and an activist of Supporto legale, the group which helps lawyers of Genova legal forum building up the databases for the Genoa G8 trials, have been seized.
Two computers of a Genvoa Legal Forum consultant and an activist of Supporto legale, the group which helps lawyers of Genova legal forum building up the databases for the Genoa G8 trials, have been seized. The event happened at the end of a trial against two activists previously charged of agression and robbery for an action against a group of fascists which were provoking a group of people going by train to an anti-fascist demonstration.


At Scotland's Independent Media Centre, note
"Scott Monument Targeted in Arms Trade Protest" by EU Tibet Society:

On March the 10th members of the Edinburgh University Tibet Society (EUTS), with the support of Chris Ballance MSP (Green), padlocked a 1000sq ft banner to the Scott Monument on Princes Street. The missile-shaped banner read ‘No Arms to China’ and was unfurled to protest against the proposed lifting of the EU arms embargo on China and to mark March 10th as Tibetan Uprising Day. Police arrived and the banner was removed by EUTS after half an hour. No arrests were made.
"China has one of the worst human rights records in the world; the increased sale of arms to this Chinese government will provide them further tools for oppression and invasion," said Iain Thom, President of EUTS. "China executes more people each year than the rest of the world put together. The torture endemic in Chinese prisons, the continued oppression in Tibet and Xinjiang, the repression of dissent and free speech, and the threat to Taiwan of invasion are all examples that justify the embargo."
Jack Straw has voiced his support for the lifting of the embargo by June 2005 after pressure from France and Germany. Washington strongly opposes this move. EU arms technology will increase the current range of China’s army allowing the possibility of invasion across the Taiwan Straight. America has pledged its support to Taiwan if their independence is threatened.
The embargo was imposed in 1989 after the killing of hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square. It would be replaced by an EU Code of Conduct that is not legally binding and open to interpretation by individual governments.
"Before the Embargo is lifted we want to see real improvements in human-rights for all the peoples of China," said Thom. "Fourteen people are still in prison as a result of their involvement in the protests at Tiananmen Square and the government still refuse to admit accountability"

At Indymedia IE, Joe Higgins T.D. has
"Account Of A Visit To Indigenous Communities In The State Of Mato Grosso Do Sul, Brazil" :

Brazil is known as one of the countries with the greatest inequality in ownership of wealth on the face of the earth. It is one thing to read or hear this statistic. It is however quite a shocking experience to be confronted with the reality of what this means.
Mato Grosso do Sul is one of Brazil’s 26 states, situated in the southwest of the country. It is four times the size of the island of Ireland but has a population of only two million. It has millions of hectares of very fertile land, home at the moment to 24 million of the fattest cattle you will find. It has some of the richest ranchers on earth, some owning farms of up to 40,000 acres. Yet a report published in January 2005 by a state health organisation, FUNASA, found that children in some indigenous Indian villages were dying of malnutrition and related diseases.
Before going on to the World Social Forum in Porto Allegre this January 2005, I spent six days visiting remote Indian villages discussing with the inhabitants and seeing at first hand their conditions of life. My guides and interpreters were members of a small but very dedicated Indian support group, The Technical/ Juridical Educational Institute (ITJE). They work to assist the Indians reclaim their fundamental rights including advising the Indians on their land rights and assisting them in the process of trying to reclaim lands from which they or their ancestors were expelled.
The well-known film The Mission, portrayed how the Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors annihilated the Indian Guaraní and Kaiowa communities in an area that is now shared between Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. In one form or another, this process continued through the centuries. In the 1940s the Brazilian government pushed a programme of extensive colonisation of Matto Grosso do Sul by people from other areas of Brazil and in the process, the lands and rights of the Indians were simply walked over.
Apart from the human cost to the lives and culture of the Indians, the result is huge environmental degradation. The forests and natural vegetation and wildlife have been destroyed and replaced in much of Matto Grosso do Sul by millions of hectares of cash crops in the form of soya and sugar cane and huge numbers of cattle and sheep for export outside the State.

In Austin, Texas this weekend, there will be a (peace rally on Saturday):

Saturday, March 19
Not Worth the Loss
Not Worth the Cost
12:30 pm - Gather on the Federal Building plaza(9th & San Jacinto)
1:30 - Memorial procession to the new City Hall
2 pm - Concert and rally for peace on the City Hall plaza
(City Hall located on Cesar Chavez, between Lavaca and Guadalupe)
For a complete list of Austin area events, visit: (