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(en) Daybreak #3 - [sample of old] International News

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>(http://free.freespeech.org/mn/daybreak!/article5.html)
Date Mon, 18 Nov 2002 05:51:58 -0500 (EST)


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WSSD Ends in Failure Amid Growing Dissent

Johannesburg, Africa- The World Summit on Sustainable
Development which met in Johannesburg Africa to come up with
concrete ways to reduce environmental devastation and global
poverty, ended on September 5 with delegates failing to agree on
any substantial policies. Protests in opposition to government and
corporate corruption of the summit have persisted throughout the
meetings, and involved 10,000s of people.

On Monday, September 2, protestors from the Palestinian
Solidarity Committee were blasted with police water-canon for
demonstrating at the Johannesburg College of Education against
Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. Meanwhile, PSC member
and Freedom of Expression Institute academic Salim Vally were
arrested while supporters staging a sit-down protest were beaten
by police with batons and fired on with rubber bullets. Fifteen
more people were arrested, with activists and reporters suffering
injuries.

On Tuesday, about activists from the landless peasants movement
and World Coalition Against Water Privatization stormed the
"Waterdome" in Johannesburg where Water Affairs Minister
Ronnie Kasrils was discussing the privatization of water, which
has been a key issue mobilizing the poor against the African
National Congress regime and remains relevant to millions of
people worldwide, as corporations ruthlessly try to exploit this
resource necessary to survival.

On Wednesday, a walkout was staged by NGO delegates from
countries as diverse as Brazil and China in disgust at the summit's
failure to move beyond the Rio meetings of 1992. A crowd of
international journalists followed the delegates in order to
interview them. Both groups were attacked by dissidents who
angrily derided the Summit as another meeting for the benefit of
the rich and powerful, and neither a solution to poverty or
environmental problems. The same day, a speech by Colin Powell
was heckled by US and UK environmental activists.

The final agreements were essentially useless, examples to many
of how corporations and politicians are colluding to maximize
exploitation of both the environment and the worlds poor, for their
own benefit. The Social Movements Indaba concluded, "Instead
of a lift out of poverty and a healthier environment, the world can
look forward to a deepening of poverty on a global scale, and to a
further deterioration of the environment."

5,000 Greeks stage anti-government rally

THESSALONIKI, Greece - Clashes broke out between
demonstrators and police during an anti-government rally
Saturday, as Premier Costas Simitis visited this northern port city.

The rally was attended by various groups - including farmers and
anti-globalization protesters - who gathered to protest against the
Socialist government economic policies and their resulting
capitalist globalization. Chanting "No to the prime minister of
poverty," the more than 5,000 protesters marched through the
center of this northern Greek port city. Anarchists broke away
from the rally to challenge a 2,500-strong police detail. They also
confronted biased corporate journalists and cameramen, driving
them off the streets.

The demonstrations, which started Friday, have prompted the
government to consider switching the venue of a European Union
summit due to be held in Thessalonica next June to an isolated
peninsula.

Farmers Declare Town Autonomous

SAN SALVADOR ATENCO, Mexico - Radical farmers have
declared this town outside Mexico City to be autonomous, two
months after they forced the government to abandon plans for a
new airport that would have repossessed their land. If Tuesday's
declaration in San Salvador Atenco holds, it would be one of the
first "autonomous municipalities" outside of the southern state of
Chiapas, where Zapatista rebels run some towns.

"We are aware that that the government will not recognize this
action by the people, but they have no choice but to respect our
decision," a new, 14-member People's Council said in a statement
read at their swearing-in ceremony. Council members said
Tuesday's declaration meant that police and government officials
would no longer be allowed to enter the town. They said the
decision was approved by voice-vote in neighborhood assemblies.

Federal and state authorities have been kept out of San Salvador
Atenco since machete-wielding farmers erected barricades to
protest the low price the government offered for their land to build
a new international airport. In July, the farmers clashed with
police, seizing 15 and launching a five-day standoff that forced the
government to cancel plans for the airport. Since then, radicals
have seized almost any government vehicle that comes near town
and have protected themselves with security patrols armed with
machetes and steel pipes.

Resident Victor Manuel Mata said the majority of the town
supports the new council. "They try to scare people with the word
autonomous, but what it means that the people's will is
respected," the 33-year-old said. "It doesn't mean we want to
close ourselves off. The people are just going to decide how to
police the town."

The Woodwards Squat in Vancouver, Canada, an insurrectionary
anarchist analysis

On Saturday, September 14, 2002, a group of homeless people
and community members occupied a huge department building in
Vancouver's Downtown Eastside that has been vacant for 9 years.
During that time various different community groups and agitators
have fought to have the building converted into social housing,
only to have the government agree, and then go back on their
promise. The old ³Woodwards building² takes up an entire city
block.

The Downtown Eastside is the poorest neighbourhood in Canada,
and with the current Liberal government's cuts to social services,
social housing, welfare, and the lowering of the minimum wage,
poverty and homelessness are growing; class contradictions are
deepening.

Out of this desperate situation, a group of people have squatted
the enormous old department building and plan to stay there until
it becomes social housing. Many people have set up camp outside
the building and donations of food, mattresses and other essentials
have been pouring in. Banners have been hung from the windows,
the sides of the building, and the large ³W²on the rooftop.

Woodwardıs is owned by the British Columbia Housing, and the
government is threatening to get an injunction to evict the
squatters because of "safety issues".

³We have moved into what we consider to be our building,² said
one of the squatters.

In our analysis, this action has become possible not only because
of the growing divide between the rich and the poor in this
province. The determination of the squatters to finally take action,
at risk to themselves, cannot be undermined. The Woodwardıs
building has been fought for year after year. A range of more
conservative community groups as well as direct action
organizations have struggled, using various tactics, to force the
government to convert the building into housing. After 9 long
years, the building is occupied. The potential is enormous.
Hundreds of homeless people could occupy and use the building.
An autonomous social center could develop. The nature of this
action, in finally squatting this landmark building, will surely lift
the morale of the community and hopefully, spread an insurgent
attitude among the exploited and excluded.

Currently, security concerns, experiments in self-organization,
and the instability of the situation mean that everything is still ³up
in the air².

In our view, the fact that this action was not taken exclusively by
³career activists² is very positive. At the same time, an
organizational structure must develop which is informal,
egalitarian, and confrontational to the State. It remains to be seen
whether this will occur. It largely depends on the ability of
different social sectors to unite around this struggle in a
decentralized way. The task for anarchists, as always, is to
contribute their own methods and tactics of resistance to the
larger body of the exploited.

Insurrectionary Anarchists of the Coast Salish Territories
(Vancouver)


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