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(en) US, Minneapolis, DAYBREAK #6 - Uprising in Ecuador! 'Que se vayan todos!' - Indymedia Ecuador

Date Mon, 30 May 2005 10:11:53 +0300


Lucio Gutiérrez, who was elected President of Ecuador with the
support of the social movements and the indigenous CONAIE
(Confederation of Indigenous Nations of Ecuador) but
subsequently turned his back on them, has been forced out by the
Ecuadorian people after a week of massive protests in Quito,
Cuenca, and elsewhere. Gutiérrez abandoned campaign
promises of broad social reform in order to kiss up to the IMF, back
'free trade' agreements with the US, allow increased US military
presence, and generally sell out the Ecuadorian people to
neoliberalism. Many in Ecuador, including the CONAIE, see the
removal of Gutiérrez as the first step, not the end goal; they are
urging the mobilizations to continue until the entire corrupt
political class, neoliberalism, the Free Trade Agreement, Plan
Colombia, and multinationals are all gone. They have taken up the
cry of the Argentinean social movements, 'Que se vayan todos!'
(They all must go!).

Vatican City

The pope died!

Police Stand Aside as Anarchists Raid Italian Supermarkets

When 300 "shoppers" poured into a busy Rome supermarket and
loaded their trolleys with fine wine and food, it was not because
there were any special offers.

Instead the crowd, led by anarchist protesters who swigged
champagne as they swept down the aisles, demanded a 70 per cent
"discount" on everything they wanted.

They ignored the manager's refusal and police, who feared a
riot, stood by as the protesters wheeled trolleys laden with goods
past the tills and on to the street, to distribute their contents to
anyone who would take them.

The raid on the giant Panorama supermarket, on the eastern
outskirts of Rome, was the most spectacular of 40 similar swoops
on Italian stores in recent weeks by mobs claiming they were
"reappropriating" the goods. There is considerable sympathy for the
protesters among Italians who are fed up with high unemployment
and economic austerity.

One pensioner who witnessed the Panorama raid, complained
that after paying his rent he only had €250 (£173) a month to
live on. "There's nothing wrong with what they're doing," he said.
"Bravo," said a woman. "I can only go shopping once a month, and
when the money runs out I have to tighten my belt."

Nor are supermarkets the only target. Last week anarchists
extracted autoreduzioni, or "self-imposed discounts", of 60 per cent
from bookshops in Bologna and Florence.

Squatters Day of Direct Action in France

In the last few years France has seen the development of many
independent political squats, where collective living experiments
and public political activities of various sorts are attempted. These
spots usually host anti-capitalist and pro-anarchist actions and
events, "free-zones" where goods and material are exchanged,
squatted vegetable plots, hacklabs. These are places where
alternative hardware and software is developed, information, books
and brochures printed and brought out within "infokiosques",
where people work on alternative medicine, recycling, bicycles,
mechanics, wood and metal craft, silkscreening, DIY building,
sunflower-oil recycling for vehicles, organic seeds exchange,
groups for feminist, queer or transgender thoughts and action,
"food not bombs" street meals, free vegan restaurants, bars,
concerts, film-projections and theatre performances.

The "400 Couverts" is one of these projects. Little street located
in Grenoble's city centre, squatted for over three years, the 400
Couverts houses 20 inhabitants and hosts a public space, filled with
activities. The local "Socialist Party" council, owner of the place,
intends to evict and raze the 400 Couverts alley. A local campaign
to prevent the eviction has been launched, soon to be broadened
with a day of decentralised solidarity actions elsewhere.

On the 25th of February, 2005, everywhere in France, squatters
stood up to protest against evictions, with a particular focus on the
"400 Couverts" and the french "Socialist Party"'s repressive
politics. Occupations, banner-drops, wall paintings, rubble
dropping, demonstrations, squat openings, confrontations with
officials and miscellaneous other actions took place in Grenoble,
Dijon, Paris, Toulouse, Lyon, Reims, Montpellier, Nantes, Ales,
and Strasbourg among others.

I-69, Plean Puebla, and Capitalist Globalization by Road Block
Earth First

In the years since it has been instated, NAFTA has brought about
job losses in the U.S. and increased exploitation of persons and
resources in Mexico, as well as a loosening of environmental
policies throughout the free trade area. I-69 would only serve to
augment NAFTA's capacity for destruction by providing a straight
shot for job migration and movement of capital.

While Mexico's low wages and labor standards grant it preferred
status as a center of production within the free trade area, the
inclusion of the rest of Central and South America in the free trade
zone through the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas
(FTAA) would threaten this position. Workers in countries with
even lower wages and labor standards would be made all the more
available for corporate exploitation. To counter this threat, Mexico
has thrown its support behind the Plan Puebla Panama, a highway
connecting the Mexican state of Puebla directly to Panama,
making Mexico additionally attractive to corporate investors. The
combination of I-69 and Plan Puebla Panama would create a direct
highway system from the Canadian border through the entirety of
Mesoamerica.

Plan Puebla Panama is hailed as a way to foster economic growth
in rural Mesoamerica, not only as a transportation project but as a
"development" project. The facts prove otherwise: Of the $20
billion projected cost, 90% is specifically directed towards
transportation infrastructure. The governments and corporations
pushing Plan Puebla Panama are not concerned with sustainable
economic development, but with the creation of a system of roads
to replace the increasingly obsolete Panama Canal and allow the
quick transportation of commodities produced in the sweatshops of
Mesoamerica to consumers in the Global North. Whatever
"development" does come with Plan Puebla Panama will address
not human needs, but the whims of the global capitalist economy:
hydroelectric dams being built on indigenous lands in southern
Mexico and Guatemala will not power indigenous communities,
but rather additional maquiladora sectors; the biological reserve
promoted as the "greener side" of Plan Puebla Panama is not being
designed to counteract the environmental devastation that
Mesoamerica will experience as it is forced to industrialize, but is
rather being underwritten by the Grupo Pulsar, a multinational
biotech firm that hopes to pirate the genetic diversity of the region;
Plan Puebla Panama is not promising open borders with its
highways, allowing people the same freedoms accorded to capital,
but rather the militarization of borders, allowing Mexico to protect
the privileged status it gained with NAFTA, even as the free trade
area is expanded by the passage of the FTAA.

We should hold no illusions that I-69 will benefit people in the
Midwestern U.S.: after all, building more roads does not decrease
traffic congestion, but encourages additional use of cars, thus
causing an equivalent level of congestion but a raised level of
pollution. Building more roads will not improve the quality of life
for poor people in Central America: it will further their exploitation
by facilitating the creation of maquiladoras and corporate robbery of
natural resources. Roads are the veins of capital, the life support
system for corporate globalization. They should be a primary target
as we confront capitalism and strive to create another world.

CIW Wins Taco Bell Boycott

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is a community-based
worker organization that has been kicking ass since it formed in
1993 out of the agricultural fields of Immokalee, Florida. The
workers, mostly Latino, Haitian, and Mayan Indian immigrants,
toil for long hours picking tomatoes and citrus fruit for giant
corporations. Their employers are shady labor contractors who pay
them by piece for what they pick, which is often barely one cent per
pound. It adds up to less than __ a day, definitely below the
poverty line. Many of the workers have also been held in slave-like
conditions, in which they were kept physically from leaving
Immokalee and beaten severely if they tried. The workers have
also been prevented from unionizing, receive no overtime pay, and
are not allowed any sick leave.

But, thanks to the CIW, conditions in Immokalee are improving.
In the past five years, they’ve busted six slave rings! In 2001,
they launched a boycott against fast-food giant Taco Bell, which
purchased most of their tomatoes from Immokalee suppliers. The
boycott spread like wildfire throughout college campuses and
protests were held against Taco Bell all over the country. In 2003,
over 75 workers, students, and other allies staged a 10-day hunger
strike outside of YUM Brands (parent corporation of Taco Bell,
KFC, Pizza Hut, and others) Headquarters, in Louisville,
Kentucky. Finally, this March, in Louisville, right at the
culmination of the Taco Bell Truth Tour, Taco Bell caved in and
agreed to use their capitalist powers to influence tomato growers to
better the wages and the working conditions of the Immokalee
workers. Now, the official boycott is over (that doesn’t mean
you can eat there again) but there’s still a hell of a lot more
room for improvement. Taco Bell agreed to fund a one cent per
pound raise for the workers. Woop-dee-doo! That’s better
than nothing, but c’mon TB! You’re a giant corporation!
Your CEO makes more money per year than any of the Immokalee
workers will make in a life-time. But Taco Bell is just one rotten
tomato in a field of hundreds! Fast food giants are all stinky,
gaseous, rotten, mold-oozing tomatoes. Join the CIW as they
target the rest! Visit www.ciw-online.org.

New York: Anti-Bike Barrier Dismantled by Bicycle-Riders
Freedom Front

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, April 26, 2005, members of
the Bicycle-riders Freedom Front (BFF) dismantled a section of the
recently installed anti-bike barriers on the Brooklyn side of the
Manhattan Bridge. These barriers prevent cyclists from taking a
direct exit off of the bike path and force them to follow a lengthy
dangerous detour to the unlit underside of the Manhattan Bridge.
Below is the anonymous communique sent out by Bicycle-Riders
Freedom Front members in NYC about recently taken action.

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, April 26, 2005, members of
the Bicycle-riders Freedom Front (BFF) dismantled a section of the
recently installed anti-bike barriers on the Brooklyn side of the
Manhattan Bridge. These barriers prevent cyclists from taking a
direct exit off of the bike path and force them to follow a lengthy
detour to the unlit underside of the Manhattan Bridge, where
several cyclists have reported incidents of harassment.

These barriers are just another hazard of living in a city designed
and shaped by car-worshipping ideologues. For years, cyclists in
New York City have believed that they have had no choice but to
live with inadequate bike lanes, inconsiderate and aggressive
drivers, and poorly designed and maintained bike paths and
bridges. Every day cyclists are the victims of hit and run drivers
who are rarely held culpable for their actions. Every day cyclists are
forced to compete with car traffic because their bike paths-- if they
are lucky enough to be on one of the few roads

with a demarcated bike path-- are blocked by idling and
double-parked vehicles, including police vehicles. Every day
cyclists injure themselves and damage their bikes on bridges built
without any consideration for bicycle and pedestrian safety.

If moderates continue to fail to win changes, we will take direct
action. We want the dangerous bumps on the Williamsburg Bridge
bike path removed by the city or we will remove them ourselves.
We demand that lights be installed on the Willis Avenue Bridge
and that a stop light and crosswalk be constructed on the Bronx
side of the bridge, where pedestrians and cyclists are presently
forced to cross multiple lanes of fast traffic.

We are pedestrians and bicyclists who refuse to submit to the
tyranny of car-centrist urban planners who design and build OUR
city for the convenience of the automobile. We call for other
walkers and riders to pick up the wrench and help us to dismantle
car culture one bolt at a time.

-BFF
===================================
Daybreak is an anarchist tabloid put out from Minneapolis.

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