April 24, 2009

WORLD NEWS bulletin for period 9th-23rd


from the morningstar (UK)

Thursday 23 April 2009

ACTIVISTS opposed to a Shell pipeline project in County Mayo, Ireland, have expressed outrage after a top campaigner was badly beaten on Thursday night by at least six people in balaclavas.

Willie Corduff, a member of the Rossport Five - who were jailed for 94 days in 2005 over their opposition to the routing of the onshore pipeline through their land - was rushed to Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar.

Earlier this week, Shell decided to resume efforts to lay the offshore section of the pipeline after its environmental management plan was approved by Minister for Energy Eamon Ryan. Mr Corduff and two other local men climbed under a lorry at midday on Wednesday in a bid to stop work at the Corrib site.

The other two men were pulled out, but Mr Corduff decided to stay under the vehicle until he had evidence that Shell had authorisation to press on with its work.

Campaigner Sean Mallory told the Star: "Willie was planning to stay there overnight. "But at 4am, he got out to stretch his legs and was attacked by six people in balaclavas. They kneeled on his head and kicked him repeatedly."

Gardai investigated another incident at the Corrib site yesterday in which, they say, up to 15 people wearing balaclavas and carrying tools, bars and chains vandalised the area last night.

It is not known if the two incidents are connected, but commenters on online newswire Indymedia observed that the damage to the site does not fit with the peaceful tactics favoured by the Shell to Sea campaign.
They suggested the beating of Mr Corduff indicated that both incidents are more likely to be the work of agents provocateurs.

Mr Corduff is in stable condition at Mayo General Hospital.


from indymedia newswire

Protests by the Save Lake Cowal campaign have halted work at the Barrick Gold open pit mine at Lake Cowal, New South Wales, Australia over the Easter Weekend. Lake Cowal is an ephemeral lake lying in the Lachlan River plain within the Murray-Darling Basin, home to many migratory water birds and sacred sites of the Wiradjuri people.

Twenty Eight people were arrested on Sunday when protestors walked onto the open pit mine closing it down. They were authorised to enter the mine site by Wiradjuri Tradtional Owners.

Barrick Gold, a Canadian mining company, uses highly toxic cyanide in the gold mining process with the cyanide transported over 1600 km by rail and truck from Gladstone in Queensland to Sydney and over the Blue Mountains to the mine. Since 2006 Cyanide Watch has born witness to the cyanide crimes of the gold mining industry.

The Lake Cowal Gold mine also uses up to 15 megalitres of water per day pumped from artesian bores. This bore water comes from the sacred underground Dreaming track, also know as the Bland palaeochannel. The region surrounding the mining site is enduring its eighth year of drought. The Murry Darling River basin, which produces much of Australia's agricultural produce, is under severe stress from lack of water flows caused by several years of drought and over-allocation of water for irrigation.

The protest is the seventh yearly gathering of solidarity with the Wiradjuri people and their ongoing opposition to the mine, and further expansion of the mine. "We asked our supporters to enter the mine site to bear witness to the destruction and document the mine's impact. It is important that Wiradjuri maintain access to our cultural sites." said traditional owner Neville Chappy Williams.

Members of the Wiradjuri conducted a smoking ceremony inside the mine site. They alledge that over 10,000 artefacts have been stolen and kept by Barrick Gold Corporation at the mine site in a compound encircled by a 6 foot fence.

"This is a fight for justice, Barrick Gold Corporation is destroying our culture," states Wiradjuri Traditional Owner from the Lake Cowal area, Neville Chappy Williams at the smoking ceremony, "We have been in the courts now for 10 years, it has been a desperate, never ending uphill fight but we are not giving up and we are not going away."

"They are destroying our culture so we stand firmly in the ground to assert our inherit right to occupy and enjoy our land. Aboriginal sovereignty has never been ceded, we have a right under 116 of the constitution to practice our religion."

Caroline Glass-Patterson, Wiradjuri woman from the local area stated "We stand here on poisoned and desecrated land, the smoking ceremony will cleanse and protect the artefacts. We want Barrick Gold to shut down it's operation and leave and for our artefacts to go bought back to country."
In February 2009 the NSW Land and Environment Court handed down a decision in favour of Wiradjuri Traditional Owner, Neville Chappy Williams, with an injunction restraining the NSW Minister of Planning from determining the E42 Modification Request for the proposed expansion of Barrick Gold's mine in Lake Cowal.

"We are very pleased with the result", stated Mr. Williams, "We have been fighting against the world's largest gold mining company, Barrick Gold, for nearly 10 years, we will continue to fight until we get justice. Barrick Gold has ridden shot gun over this ecologically significant and sacred land for far too long. "

In March 2008 Wiradjuri Traditional Owner, Neville 'Chappy' Williams, exposed a massive collapse at Barrick’s Cowal Gold Project in Lake Cowal.
Barrick Gold has been criticised for their mining practices by indigenous leaders from many mining regions. In May 2008 several international indigenous leaders attended Barrick Gold's Shareholder's meeting. Questions by indigenous delegates were censored from the webcast of the meeting. Many indigenous communities impacted by Barrick Gold are calling for investors to divest their shares and no longer support a transnational corporation that perpetrates gross violations of human rights, such as alleged killings, rapes, poisoned waters, poisoned rivers, poisoned soil, and forced migration.


April 17

from morningstar (uk)

Bolivian police have foiled an alleged plot to assassinate President Evo Morales, killing three suspects in a gun battle.
Police had attempted to arrest the men in the centre of Santa Cruz, an eastern Bolivian city and hub of anti-Morales sentiment, but they fled to a hotel where an intense 30-minute shootout took place around 4am on Thursday morning.
The mysterious group of alleged assassins - included suspects from Hungary, Ireland and possibly Croatia - detonated a grenade inside the hotel, blowing out its windows. Three of the suspects, identified as Hungarian, Irish and Bolivian, were killed.

following is from combined sources


April 21

Over 30, 000 protesters (some estimates had 33, 000) crowded on Parliament Hill in Ottawa to demand the end to the genocide committed against the Tamil people. And demands were made to the federal government to do something. The Tory government refused to speak to the group because they flew the red Tamil Tiger flag. Only after the flags were taken down and the Maple Leaf displayed, the other parties came out to speak, including Liberals and the NDP. The Tories refused, and a staff person from the privy council office was sent out to pick up the petition instead. The Tamil Tigers are on the list of terrorist groups in Canada. This is one reason the Sri Lankan army has had a free hand in its brutal crushing of the Tigers and a large civilian population.

In other circumstances instead of terrorist, the government would say freedom fighter or partisan to describe the group if it suited Canada-U.S. foreign policy. The ANC in South Africa have called for a lasting ceasefire and an independent Tamil homeland. Coming from the ANC with its experience and history of its own struggles, this position carries some weight.

For weeks protests went on prior to April 21 and were ongoing until Wednesday the 22nd. Protesters have left the area they camped in, Wellington and Metcalfe streets in Ottawa, which the protesters had occupied for over two weeks.


April 20 (4/20)

They were mellowed out on killer weed, but rest assured, 3000 demonstrators were angry at the Harper Tory plan to impose minimum sentences for those caught with the drug. On the lawns of the provincial legislative building, the crowd who were mostly youths, toked as one police officer looked on.

When asked why no charges or arrests were done, officer was quoted as saying "Our view is this is a worldwide protest for the proponents of decriminalizing marijuana. From a police point of view, it's not about enforcement, it's more about providing a safe environment for people to express their views. It doesn't mean we promote the breaking of acts or statutes but we're trying to be realistic." Was this about the police being unenthusiastic about obsolete drug laws or the sheer numbers of rebellious tokers?

Bill C-15 would impose jail sentences for those caught with marijuana for the purpose of trafficking. The interpretation by law enforcement could be loosely interpreted. For example, the possibility exists for youths to be busted simply by growing one pot plant. Just call it "for purpose of trafficking" and a minimum of 6 months in jail is imposed. In a provincial jail, on a provincial budget. Because of a federal Tory government.

see the proposed table of sentences.



Students in Croatia have taken over multiple university campuses. Regular classes were cancelled and the occupiers have begun new classes to be taught by their peers. The demand of free education is central to the occupations.


With the mounting housing crises, the squatting movement is having a resurgence as a means of finding housing and protesting. In Reykjavik, Iceland an abandoned house owned by a developer was squatted in protest of its slated demolition for a shopping mall. The occupation lasted from April 9th to the 16th. The occupation lasted two more hours however, when activists barricaded themselves in on several levels. The police took two hours to get through everything with chainsaws, before violently evicting the squatters.

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