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(en) Australia, Sydney, anarchist zine Mutiny #30 - Brief News

Date Thu, 25 Sep 2008 12:00:19 +0300



Melbourne court: Four demonstrators involved in the G20 actions had their
sentences cut on appeal. Beth Nathan, Sofia Todorova and Rosalie Delaney had
convictions recorded against them overturned and Julia Dehm had a suspended
sentence reduced to community work.
`Serial protester' Ms Dehm had applied to have her conviction overturned so she
can still practise as a lawyer. But Judge David Parsons said her offence - of
throwing a barricade that was said to injure a cop - warranted a conviction. He
said that should serve as a special punishment and deterrent so he reduced her
seven month suspended jail term to 250 hours community work.

Judge Parsons said Ms Nathan, Ms Todorova
and Ms Delaney had committed offences against
symbols, like the police van, rather than the
officers.
David Nguyen, who threw a bottle at police,
unfortunately lost his appeal and a conviction
and 250 hours community work stands.
At a recent case conference three more people
informed the court that they would plead guilty
to riot charges in return for other charges being
dropped.
Sydney and Melbourne: After the announcement
that 550 jobs would be cut by Fairfax Media in
Australia and New Zealand, journalists at The
Age (Melbourne) and Sydney Morning Herald
newspapers went on strike until the following
Monday.
Fairfax, which owns many of the highest circulation
newspapers in both countries, increased its profit
by 46.8% in the year to June 2008, to AU$386.9
million, but is claiming it needs to reduce costs
to increase profits even further. Of the jobs to
go, 160 have been announced for New Zealand
(100 further redundancies, and non-replacement
of 60 staff who had recently left or been made
redundant) with the rest across the Australian
Fairfax stable.

"This was a motion that arose
spontaneously from the floor of the
meeting because people are angry
at the way the company has treated
them both in terms of Enterprise
Agreement negotiations and also the
redundancy announcements," said
Michael Bachelard, a senior journalist
at The Age.

On August 29th, wearing t-shirts reading "Fair Go
Fairfax" and "Don't Discount Journalism", about 80
Fairfax journalists picketed the offices at Pyrmont
in central Sydney. Additional security surrounded
the building, a move some picketers jokingly
dubbed Fairfax's "ring of steel".
Earlier that day, prominent columnist Mike Carlton
was sacked after refusing to cross the picket
line to write his weekly column for the Herald's
Saturday edition.
Aotearoa/NZ: The deposition hearing for the 20
people arrested in State Terror Raids in October
2007 began on September 1. Terrorism charges
were not successfully laid by police, but other
charges are proceeding in the aftermath of the
raids, known by police as `Operation 8'. These are
racially and politically motivated charges aimed
at people who were seen by police as supporting
Tino Rangatiratanga (Maori Sovereignty).
On Wednesday 10th, during the depositions
hearing 2 people were arrested outside - one of
the Operation 8 arrestees and his partner. His
partner is breastfeeding their newborn at the
moment and the cops wouldn't let their lawyer
bring the baby in to get fed while she was in
the cells for 4 hours. The crown tried to deny the
Operation 8 arrestee bail at all, but a judge let
him out.
A Global Day of Action calling for the charges to
be dropped saw rallies in Auckland, Wellington,
Palmerston North & Melbourne, & banner drops
in Germany.
Ongoing information can be found at: http://www.
october15thsolidarity.info
Minnesota, USA: In what appears to be the
first use of criminal charges under the 2002
Minnesota version of the Federal Patriot Act,
Ramsey County Prosecutors have formally
charged 8 alleged leaders of the RNC (Republican
National Convention) Welcoming Committee with
Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism.
They face up to 7 1/2 years in prison under the
terrorism enhancement charge, which allows for
a 50% increase in the maximum penalty.
Affidavits released by law enforcement which
were filed in support of the search warrants
used in raids over the weekend, and used to
support the arrest warrants, are based on paid,
confidential informants who infiltrated the RNCWC
on behalf of law enforcement. They allege
that members of the group sought to kidnap
delegates to the RNC, assault police officers
with firebombs and explosives, and sabotage
airports in St. Paul. So far, evidence released to
date does not corroborate the allegations of the
informants.
The Prosecution do not allege that any of the
defendants personally have engaged in any act
of violence or damage to property, but instead
seek to hold the 8 defendants responsible for
acts committed by other individuals. Searches
conducted in connection with the raids failed
to turn up any physical evidence to support
the allegations of organised attacks on law
enforcement. As a result, police sought to claim
that the seizure of common household items
supported the allegations of the confidential
informants. "Police found what they claim was a
single plastic shield, a rusty machete, and two
hatchets used in Minnesota to split wood. This
doesn't amount to evidence of an organised
insurrection, particularly when over 3,500 police
are present in the Twin Cities, armed with assault
rifles, concussion grenades, chemical weapons
and full riot gear," said Nestor.
During protests against the Republican National
Convention, over 800 people were arrested.
Those arrested included dozens of media
workers, both freelance and affiliated, as well
as volunteer street medics, who were on hand
to assist with unintended injuries. Moreover,
reports have surfaced of brutality and torture
and racial profiling by Immigrations and Customs
Enforcement Agents at the Ramsey County Jail
where protesters were being held.
Many of the arrestees were taken in "pre-
emptive" roundups the weekend before the
convention began. Many were also taken in mass
roundups during protests, such as a violent police
attack on people who had converged from the
Poor People's March and a multi-act outdoor
concert where Rage Against the Machine was
prevented from playing. This led to dozens of
arrests and "crowd dispersal" tactics involving the
use of allegedly "non-lethal" weapons, including
concussion grenades, tear gas and pepper spray.
Outside pressure and jail solidarity countered
these abuses of power somewhat, resulting
in improved prison conditions, including some
detainees receiving overdue medical attention.
Protests at the Democratic National Convention
in Denver saw about 200 arrests.
Peru: In August, Indigenous people in Peru held
a successful week of nationwide militant protests
against new laws that would have opened their
lands to exploitation for oil and gas. The laws,
supported by President Alan Garcia, were aimed
at promoting private investment in communal
territories, & were introduced as part of the
country's free trade agreement with the US.
A state of emergency was declared after
thousands of Amazonian tribespeople armed
with spears, bows and arrows took over main
roads, a hydroelectric dam, and oil and gas
installations in the provinces of Cusco, Loreto
and Amazonas. Protesters closed a bridge and
highway & threatened to cut the supply of oil
via the oil pipeline and gas through the Camisea
gas pipeline. An estimated 12,000 people from
65 tribes participated in actions, leading to the
repeal of the challenged laws.
Thessaloniki, Greece: Greek police say a group
of about 70 youths protesting high consumer
prices seized food and household products
from a supermarket before handing them out to
people on the street.
The youths, wearing hoods and crash helmets,
also scattered leaflets outside the supermarket.
Police announced no arrests.
The rise of Greek food prices generally outpaces
inflation. The cost of food and nonalcoholic
drinks rose 5.2 percent on the year in July, when
consumer prices were up 4.9 percent from July
2007.
This was one of a number of unarmed `robin hood'
raids provoked by soaring consumer prices. An
elderly bystander interviewed on TV about the
action said "next time we'll do it ourselves."
_________________________________________
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