Friday, July 29, 2005

Indymedia roundup

From Elaine and Ciaran on the newswire: The point blank killing of Jean Charles de Menezes, the lack of charging or even suspension of those who killed him (1 shot to the shoulder, 7 to the head) and the New Labour rationalizations that lay a basis for more of these killings to come redefine what is considered as acceptable collateral damage in this war. Blair has decided that these Judge Dredd scenes are part of the price 'we' are willing to pay for his war on Iraq. Meanwhile, the Ahern led government has made us morally culpable in the indiscriminate killings in the U.S invasions of Iraq & Afghanistan and have of course transformed Shannon Airport, hosting 25,000 U.S. troops a month, into a soft and significant target.

The above is 1's "Remembering Jean Charles De Menezes And Ireland's Role In Unleashing Terror on Iraq" (Ireland's IMC) and was e-mailed by Lloyd.

Rita alerts us to William Hughes' "Did the Bishops Make 'A Devil's Pact' for Anti-Choice Judge?" (Baltimore Indymedia):

During the very close 2004 presidential election, the Catholic Bishops did everything but officially endorse the ultra-War Hawk, George W. Bush, Jr. I suspect, but I can't prove, that "a devil's pact" was hatched between the clerics and the Bush-Cheney Gang. The clerics would push for Bush's victory and he would oppose abortions and appoint an anti-choice judge to the Supreme Court at the first opportunity. Is John G. Roberts, Jr. that jurist?
[. . .]
Here is some background: On Aug. 3, 2004, only months before the presidential general election, the Knights of Columbus, (K of C), a Roman Catholic organization, held its annual convention in Dallas, Texas. (3) Despite the fact it is supposed to be a nonpolitical group, the guest speaker was none other than President George W. Bush, Jr., a candidate for reelection, who is also anti-abortion. He was then in a very tight race with the Democratic nominee, John Kerry, who was pro-choice on the abortion question. Many of the leading Catholic Bishops and Cardinals throughout the country showed up in Dallas to "bless" Bush at that event. Some had even spoken out before the Convention about denying Holy Communion to Kerry because of his liberal position on abortion. Oh, by the way, Texas is also the home base of Bush's chief of staff, and reputed brain, Karl Rove! Right after the K of C event, and only days before the Nov. 2nd election, on Oct. 21, 2004, another important political signal was sent to the Catholic community in America. Philadelphia's Cardinal Justin Rigali, a very influential prelate, met personally with Bush for a photo op in a church rectory, in Downingtown, PA. On Oct. 3, 2004, that same Cardinal Rigali had given a homily, which some observers read as a ringing endorsement of Bush’s candidacy. It was distributed to 1.5 million Catholics in the Philadelphia area. (4)

At that time, I remember raising this question: "Is the Church's silence on the Iraqi War a quid pro quo with the Bush-Cheney Gang for its pushing the Vatican's anti-abortion agenda?" At the K of C Convention, Bush announced to wild cheers from the gleeful prelates, that "religious organizations would receive part of $188 million in government grants this year for social service programs, the centerpiece of a White House 'faith-based' initiative." (5)

Levi e-mails to note Bruce's "Black Box Voting Board Member Arrested in San Diego" (San Diego Indymedia) (which appears to be a carry over from Black Box Voting):

Jim March, a member of the Black Box Voting board of directors, was arrested Tuesday evening for trying to observe the Diebold central tabulator (vote tallying machine) as the votes were being counted in San Diego's mayoral election (July 26). (- online discussion: http:/ -)
According to Jim Hamilton, an elections integrity advocate from San Diego, he and March visited the office of the registrar of elections earlier in the day. During this visit, March made two requests, which were refused by Mikel Haas, the San Diego Registrar of elections. 1) March asked that the central tabulator, the computer that tallies up the votes from all the precincts, be positioned so that citizens could observe it.
According to Hamilton, this would have required simply moving a table a few feet. 2) March also asked for a copy of the ".gbf" files -- the vote tally files collected during the course of tabulation ? to be provided for examination after the election. During the tallying of the election, the Diebold computer was positioned too far away for citizens to read the screen. Citizens could not watch error messages, or even perceive significant anomalies or malfunctions.
Unable to see the screen, March went into the office where the tabulator was housed. Two deputies followed him and escorted him out.
According to Hamilton: "He was not belligerent, not at all. After he went inside the tabulator room he came [was escorted] out and he said clearly 'I'm not resisting.' They handcuffed him, took him out of the building. They put him in a squad car. They're going to take him to the police station, book him and take him to jail," said Hamilton. "He's getting charged with a felony, 'interfering with an election official.'"

At Black Box Voting, Jim March offers more in "In His Own Words: Jim March on taking back his civil rights:"

"Arright. There’s been a LOT of discussion of this and it’s time I spoke up for myself...The CORE reason for doing this is to establish our civil right to observe elections. Right now a lot of county election officials in California and across America don’t believe in that right; they are dead set on taking it away from us piece by piece as elections become electronic and increasingly “automated” – and you can take that last term as meaning “in the control of the vendors”... I’ve said it to Diebold, I’ll say it to these clowns: bring it on. You picked this fight, not me. You don’t trample my civil rights without consequences. ...The real trick will be to try and make those consequences happen before November, establishing the principle of open access to this stuff statewide.

Gareth e-mails to note Scotland IMC's "Carnival for Full Enjoyment - What Really Happened:"

Edinburgh's Carnival For Full Enjoyment was roundly condemned by the police, Edinburgh City Council and the mass media. But what was this anti G8 action really about? And what really happened on the capital's streets on 4th July? Here for the first time the Carnivalistas give their own account of the day....
The Carnival for Full Enjoyment writes:
"The Carnival for Full Enjoyment took over the streets of central Edinburgh on 4th July. Despite a level of police violence rarely seen at demonstrations in Scotland, Princes Street - the capital's main street - was occupied and closed for the whole afternoon and till late in the evening. A significant number of local people were involved along with internationals.
"Despite heavy-handed police action, the day was an impressive show of what people can do to take back the streets."
The aim of the day was to encourage resistance to wage slavery, benefits slavery, debt slavery and army slavery. "This is a chance to link everyday struggles against the bosses and politicians here in Scotland with the struggles of working class people throughout the world. Let's tell the G8 and all rich bloodsuckers: we owe you nothing. You owe US. You have stolen the whole world from us. Now we are organising to take it back."

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