Saturday, April 30, 2005

Fort Bragg, North Carolina - US Army Sergeant Hasan Akbar has been sentenced to death for his March 23 2003, grenade attack on fellow soldiers, which left two superior officers dead.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Ithaca, New York - The City of Ithaca Landmarks Preservation Commission may have lost years of legal battles to preserve the Redbud Woods last month but the fight to save the historic forest has not ended. On Tuesday Cornell University sophomores Norah Kates, left, and Paloma League-Pike locked themselves to a sycamore tree on campus and pledged to stay there until the school changed its plans to level the area in order to build a new parking lot. A spokesman for the institution made a statement that the pair "have every right to protest" and that they will let them remain locked to the tree.

Pink crosses mark the ditch in Ciudad Juárez where the bodies of 8 women were found in 2001.

Ciudad Juárez, Mexico – Hundreds of Mexican women clashed with US border guards in an international pro-women demonstration. The conflict de-escalated when border agents backed down and allowed the demonstrators to join with their American counterparts on the US side. Around 400 women in Ciudad Juárez have been abducted and murdered since 1993. More than a third of the women were sexually assaulted before being killed and another 70 who have been reported missing have never been found.

Kyrgyzstan - Although the revolution has been declared officially over the citizens of Kyrgyzstan have continued to rally and seize government buildings. On Wednesday hundreds of rebels stormed the the Supreme Court Building and demanded the Court's resignation. Thousands more rallied in the capital and demanded the resignation of newly appointed National Security Service deputy minister.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Great Britain - Truckers and farmers have been staging protests at oil refineries in response to the rising costs of gasoline, which show no sign of coming down.

Lome, Togo - Faure Gnassingbe, son of the late dictator Gnassingbe Eyadema, was declared the winner of a presidential election which opponents claim was fixed. Street fighting has broken out in the poverty stricken country and youths have erected barricades in the streets of the capital of Togo. Riots have occurred with regularity since Gnassingbe was installed as president by the military in February when his father suffered a fatal heart attack.
New South Wales, Australia - Five environmental activists have been arrested after police discovered that three tree-harvesting machines had been disabled in the Cathcart State Forest. 18,000 hectares of the forest is slated to be razed and turned into saw logs and wood chips. Protesters have been trying to halt the destruction of the area's ecosystem.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Brooklyn, New York - About 200 activists and community members wove their way through the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn in opposition to new high-rise luxury developments which are planned for the area. They concluded at state owned waterfront parkland on Kent Ave and North 7th street, which has been fenced off from the public for years due to lack of funding. Demonstrators were treated to hot food and performances by the Hungry March Band and the Rude Mechanicals Orchestra, after which landscaping tools and garbage bags were passed around and people set to work cleaning up the lot.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Fort Bragg, North Carolina - US Army Sergeant Hasan Akbar has been convicted of murder and attempted murder from the first and only known incident of fragging of the Iraq War. The nighttime attack at Camp Pennsylvania in Kuwait on March 23, 2003, left two officers dead and 14 other soldiers injured. Prosecutors claimed that Akbar said he he launched the attack because he was concerned that US troops would kill fellow Muslims in Iraq. On Monday the same jury will contemplate his sentence which could be death.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Los Angeles, California - Convicted Earth Liberation Front snitch William Jensen "Billy" Cottrell, 24, has been sentenced to 100 months (more than eight years) and ordered to pay $3.5 million in restitution. He was convicted in November of conspiracy to commit arson and seven counts of arson for an August 2003 Earth Liberation Front action that damaged and destroyed more 125 SUVs costing in total $2.3 million in damages. During his trial he attempted to place blame for the arsons on his alleged accomplices who police suspect have fled the country.

Accused animal liberator Peter Young was once in a similar position as Billy Cottrell's former "friends" when his alleged accomplice Justin Samuel, turned him in in exchange for leniency. Justin served two years; and now after seven years on the run Peter Young may be sentenced to life in prison for breaking animals out of their cages. According to the FBI freeing the mink was an act of terrorism!
France - Hundreds of striking seamen shut down the port of Marseille. The workers are angry at the government, which is trying to make it easier for French shipping companies to register as foreign companies in order to pay workers less. The employees of the state-owned Corsica-Mediterranean National Company lit ablaze six brand new cars awaiting embarkation for export and pushed at least two others in the ocean. They also blockaded entrances to the port with loading vehicles and tractors, and defended their positions by hurling pieces of metal and emergency flares at the riot police.
Manawatu, New Zealand - A firebomb was thrown through a window of the Highbury Avenue Community Police Station overnight causing "significant damage." The station is unmanned at night.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Iraq - Eleven prisoners escaped from the US-run Camp Bucca in southern Iraq by climbing through a hole in the outside fence. Ten were recaptured quickly, but one is still free. In the past month there was at least one riot and a mass jailbreak was thwarted when US authorities discovered a tunnel dug by prisoners. Conditions at the facility are said to be poor and the Red Cross has called for an investigation after allegations of prisoners being denied medical treatment.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Oslo squatters publicly reoccupy an empty building

Land Struggles Around The World

  • Oslo, Norway - About 35 squatters have retaken their home of six months, at Mor Go'hjertas Street 23 in the Bjølsen district of Oslo, after being ejected from it on Tuesday. One police officer stood by as the occupation took place and does not have any action planned immediately. A number of private security guards are watching the entrance to ensure that no one else enters the building.
  • Utrecht, Netherlands - About 80 riot police cleared out a squat on the Vredenburg in "a major operation" Thursday. Squatters chained themselves to the building and six were arrested.
  • Kyrgyzstan - Thousands of landless peasants have seized upon the revolutionary mood and claimed vacant lands throughout the former soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan. Just when it seamed certain to outsiders that the March 24 “tulip revolution” had ended without any true revolutionary change; a wave of land occupations swept the country. People first began staking claims to unused land near the capital Bishkek on April 7, but nobody seems to know how it spread so quickly. By law every Kyrgyzstan national was supposed to have been given their own piece of land after the Soviet-era collective farms were divided up in the early Nineties, but over 50,000 claims have been filed by those who say they have not received their land.
  • Honolulu, Hawaii - Hundreds of homeless people rallied at Hawaii's capital to protest an anti-homeless law. The year old law, known as Act 50, allows police to arrest anybody they deem as homeless on public beaches and parkland.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Sammamish, Washington - The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) partially burned downed one of two buildings it targeted in a King County, Washington development. David Ammon, a developer whose property was burned, had planned on constructing two more homes in the area. Police discovered an incendiary device which had failed to ignite in a second house nearby along with a sheet condemning the rape of the Earth, clearing of trees, and claiming responsibility on behalf of ELF. It read "Where are all the trees? Burn, rapist, burn. E.L.F"

New York, New York - Yusuke "Josh" Banno, 21 was prepared to go to trial last month when he flew to New York from his home in Arizona. Josh has been prepared to go to trial on charges of assaulting a police officer and reckless endangerment stemming from an incident in which a large papier-mâché green dragon was lit on fire last August during an Anti-Republican National Convention (RNC) protest. If convicted of the offenses Josh would have faced seven years behind bars. Thanks to the hard work of his friends, who tracked down video and photographic documentation which show Josh far from the origins fire, the police officer who positively identified Josh as the "ringleader" has been forced to change his story.

Earlier in the week a New York Police Officer was caught lying under oath, in another RNC related criminal case, when the video evidence contradicted his testimony. Another video submitted in support of demonstrators showed that the police video had been doctored and key frames had been removed in order to convict a man who was arrested on his way to a sushi restaurant in the area of protests. The NYPD is not admitting any wrongdoing, and the DA's office has claimed that a technician simply made an error when they removed the frames in the second case. Much of the video and photographs used in court were collected by volunteers working with I-Witness Video and the National Lawyers Guild.

The same series of photos, which are likely to clear Josh, also led to the dismissal of cases against his co-defendants. Six of the 12 people he was arrested with were forced to plead guilty to minor misdemeanor charges because they could not afford to travel between New York and their homes in other states. The other six defendants were offered to have their cases adjourned in contemplation of dismissal on Tuesday. Josh's Lawyer Sabrina Shroff told the assistant DA Robert Ferrari to "give up" before she "made an ass of him" in court. Today a spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney's office confirmed that they would do just that.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Zhejiang, China - On March 24 Chinese farmers built barricades and roadblocks in protest to 13 new chemical factories they claimed were poisoning their families and crops. At least 40 buses and dozens of cars were overturned as the rebels clashed with 3000 riot police armed with electric batons and tear gas. To elderly villagers were reportedly killed, and many more were injured in the fighting. Since the factories were built in 2002 babies in the area have been delivered still born or with mutations, and crops have been failing.

Lucedale, Mississippi - The young cadets at Eagle Point Christian Academy, formerly known as the Bethel Boys Academy, erupted in full blown rebellion over the weekend. The 122 boys aged 12-17 smashed windows, ripped urinals off the walls, destroyed security cameras and whatever else they could get their hands on. One of the barracks had to be condemned after the riot. Seven of the boys were hospitalized, nine arrested, and four escaped, three of whom were recaptured and returned.

The self styled boot camp has a troubled history of torture and abuse, which forced it to change its name more than once. In 1988 State welfare officials raided the Bethel Home for Children and removed 72 children prompting the first name change. In 2003 a multi-agency investigation culminated with the removal of 13 children and years of litigation. Students have been beaten, denied proper medical treatment, forced to work without compensation, and shocked with cattle prods. The Eagle Point Christian Academy is one of many institutions that offer a quick fix for parents dealing with children who may be acting out, involved with crime, experimenting with drugs, depressed or homosexual. Many programs like Eagle Point are structured around military discipline and Christian fundamentalist values.
University Park, Pennsylvania - Former Penn State student Craig Tonik, 19, has been arrested for allegedly starting a $500,000 fire in the university's new School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture Building on March 27. Police believe the arsonist painted the word "TANG" in orange paint on seven campus buildings the same night. Craig is also being charged with painting red anarchy symbols on a number of churches and a Veterans of Foreign Wars post on the night of April 4. Once the anarchy symbols appeared police began to consider domestic terrorism as the cause, though they weren't sure it was related to prior incidents of graffiti or the fire. The FBI is now investigating the case, and believe that "TANG" stands for "Terrorist Anarchist Ninja Guys!" Since his arrest the "TANG" graffiti has reappeared on camps this time scratched into a student's car. Craig Tonik is being held in Centre County Prison in lieu of $875,000 bail.
Iraq - The third, fourth, fifth, and seventh largest forces, in what is now seen as the US's coalition of the crumbling, have begun withdrawing from Iraq, or plan to do so by the end of the year. The third largest force is Italy, with just over 3,000 troops, fourth is Poland with an already scaled down 1700, fifth and seventh, who have already begun phased withdrawals, are Ukraine with 1600 troops and the Netherlands with about 800. Presently there are about 150,000 US and only 8600 British troops in Iraq.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Billy Cottrell: Earth Liberation Front snitch

Los Angeles, California - On the night of Aug. 22, 2003, over 125 hummers and SUVs were burned or vandalised on behalf of the Earth Liberation Front, near Los Angeles. On November 19, 2004, William "Billy" Cottrell, was convicted of setting the fires. This happened despite his attempts to lay blame for the more serious charges on his accused accomplices. Both his lawyer and the LA Times believe that Billy is actually a victim of Aspurgers Syndrome which is like mild form of autism that would lend creedence to Billy's claims of innocence. Some wonder whether Billy's case of Aspurgers also explain why he turned his former friends into the police and named their names while under oath. The FBI believes that his alleged co-conspirators have fled the country.
Palestine - Hundreds of Palestinian, Israeli, and international demonstrators prevented trucks loaded with Israeli garbage from dumping their haul in Palestinian territory near the West Bank town of Nablus. It was the first known incident in which Israel attempted to dump their garbage beyond the Green Line since 1967. The protest was organized by members of Anarchists Against the Wall, green movements, as well as Palestinians from the West Bank. Israel has planned to deposit 10,000 tons of garbage from the Dan and Sharon regions every month in what was known as the Abu Shusha quarry.
US - The US armed forces are facing a major crisis as commitments throughout the world continue to demand fresh recruits and, despite the fact that the army has lowered its standards, the number of people willing to enlist is falling fast. Anti-war activists see the army's recruitment woes as it's Achilles heel, which they hope to exploit.

Nepal - Maoist rebels killed two police officers while liberating 33 prisoners from a jail in North Eastern Nepal. Prior to that they bombed and damaged half a dozen government office buildings, including land revenue office, a district post office and police station. Elsewhere in the country bodies of 113 communist rebels were recovered after a battle with royal troops.
Johannesburg, South Africa - South Africa's party of apartheid disbanded and issued an apology for it's racism after nearly 50 years. Members of the New National party, renamed from the National party in 1997, have not done the same as individuals and are planning to reinvent themselves in a new clean coat.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

China - Anti-Japanese protests have erupted in China, and are in their second day. Demonstrators were angered when Japan approved a textbook critics say whitewashes the brutal Japanese occupation of China from 1931 to 1945, including forcing tens of thousands of Asian women into sex slavery. Tens of thousands of people mobilized throughout the country, some of whom smashed windows to Japanese consulates and attacked Japanese businesses. A spokesperson for the Japanese Embassy in Beijing has reported that the police are not arresting protesters.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Montreal, Canada - At least 100 students occupied the Montreal Stock Exchange yesterday preventing workers from entering the building. Riot police were able to break through the barricades after three hours and oust them from the building. Only one student was arrested but others suffered cuts and bruises at the hands of the police. The demonstration later moved to the street. Well over 150,000 students went on strike in February after their school grants were converted to loans. On Monday the government offered to reinstate $40 million of the original $103 million with the full amount returned after two years. Most of the students were content with the offer and returned to classes, but about 70,000 are still on strike. They have interrupted activity at the Port of Montreal, taken over an office building in downtown Montreal, and demonstrated in front of the National Assembly in Quebec City. Today police claimed they surrounded another demonstration of 60 students armed with sticks, metal wires, and shields after they defaced a Wal-mart store.

Johannesburg, South Africa - Hundreds of Metro Police Officers abandoned their patrol cars and took to the streets dancing, chanting and singing revolutionary songs as they went. Other officers sat around their Loveday Street headquarters doing nothing. Management and the South African Municipal Workers Union have been locked in negotiations over their contract. Metro police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said the officers' action had a minimal effect on policing. There are 1600 police officers employed by the city.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Russia - A police round up and beatings of hundreds of innocent citizens in the Central Russian town of Blagoveshchensk is unusual only in its scale. The average Russian lives in fear of police violence and intimidation. Every year, police beat, torture and sometimes kill huge numbers of innocent victims, according to reports by human rights and government agencies.

Lome, Togo - Youths denied voting rights marched, and fought running street battles with police. Police fired tear gas and water cannons at opposition supporters who defended themselves with rocks. In February Faure Gnassingbe was installed as president without an election following the death of his father, former President Gnassingbe Eyadema. He stepped down from office following an outbreak of widespread unrest and international condemnation.
Nepal - Most of Nepal has been shut down by an anti-government general strike. King Gyanendra, who took over the government in a February 1 coup, has been successful in suppressing protests but could not halt the wave of strikes, which spread throughout the nation. Rebel Maoist guerrillas who called for the 11 day general strike have continued to fight sporadic battles in the countryside.

Baghdad, Iraq - Rebels attacked US forces at the notorious Abu Ghraib Prison for the second time in 48 hours. An armoured vehicle was damaged by a car bomb and several Iraqi police officers were injured in the attack which was much smaller scale than Saturday's assault which wounded 44 soldiers. On Friday inmates became "unruly" when a number of them were transfered. Prisoners burned tents and hurled stones at guards. Four guards and 12 detainees were injured in the disturbance. Another protest the same day at the US-run detention Camp Bucca began when an inmate was allegedly denied medical treatment. The International Committee of the Red Cross who were present at the facility during the disturbance has demanded an inquiry into the cause. The US has officially denied that any incident occurred.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Santa Cruz, California, U.S. - Anti-war activists blockaded the entrance to and disrupted a school sponsored career fair which hosted a military recruitment booth at the University of California Santa Cruz. The recruiters left early and no arrests were made.

Last week CIA recruiters failed to show up at a scheduled New York University (NYU) event due to threats of organized protests.

England - Opposition to Britain's monarchy has been gathering force in the run up to the wedding of Prince Charles to his longtime lover Camilla Parker Bowles. Police had been preparing for large and possibly disruptive demonstrations outside the services which were planned for Friday, but have been rescheduled so as not to conflict with the Pope's funeral. One group planning to protest is the anarchist Movement Against the Monarchy, who are expected to draw a large crowd. A Republican organization has taken out national newspaper advertisements and printed 20,000 "End the Royal Farce" leaflets for distribution.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Another anti-fence demonstration in 2003

Palestine - Jonathan Pollack, an organizer with the Israeli group Anarchists Against the Wall (also know as Anarchists Against the Fence), was shot in the head with a tear gas canister fired by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers on Sunday. The incident occurred during a protest against the partially completed separation barrier, or apartheid wall, which divides many Palestinians from their communities and land. The protest, which was reportedly comprised of 100 Israelis, Palestinians and international demonstrators, was dispersing when the IDF attacked the crowd with teargas. One of the first canisters fired struck Pollack in the head creating a cut that exposed his skull bone and knocked him unconscious. Anarchists Against the Wall have been shot with live ammunition at previous actions against the wall.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Baghdad, Iraq - Insurgents staged a highly coordinated large-scale assault on the notorious Abu Ghraib Prison using car bombs, rockets, mortars and light arms. 44 US soldiers were injured while defending the jail with armored helicopters and tanks. The assault began around sunset and involved an estimated 40-60 insurgents at least one of whom was also killed. The prison is at the center of the detainee abuse scandal which broke last year has been targeted by anti-US forces numerous times since the occupation began.

In March the military publicly considered moving the prison to a more secure location within Baghdad International Airport. This has been the most successful and intense attack on Abu Ghraib and will likely result in the US abandoning the location. Last week US authorities closed a 600-foot escape tunnel inmates had dug under the perimeter of another prison.

Both the Army and many US media sources have been touting the recent decline in number of insurgent attacks as a sign a weakening of US opposition sentiment in the country. On the largely forgotten Afghan front of the US's self described War on Terror there has been a surge in insurgent attacks against US forces and the recently installed US allied government.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil- Government officials are claiming corrupt police are responsible for a massacre in which 27 people were killed and dozens others wounded in the working class neighborhoods of Nova Iguacu and Queimados. Claudia Guerreiro, a spokeswoman for the Rio Public Safety Department, said that "the massacres could have been a reprisal … for the arrest of eight police officers suspected of killing two men in police station."

Friday, April 01, 2005

Arizona - Hundreds of armed right-wing vigilantes are now patrolling the US-Mexican border in Arizona looking for "illegal immigrants." The white supremacist Aryan Nations group has endorsed the Minuteman Project as a "white pride event." Reportedly members of the the Los Angeles-based Latino gang MS-13 have vowed to travel to Tombstone and teach the Minutemen a lesson.