Letters Page


From Ms Juliet Ucelli, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Mr Greg Pason, Socialist Party USA and Paul Le Blanc, Solidarity 14th September, 2002
In what is hopefully a sign of joint efforts to come, there will be a socialist contingent in the September 28 march in Washington D.C. against the IMF and World Bank. The initiative came from the Socialist Party and has so far been endorsed by the Freedom Road Socialist Organization and Solidarity; other groups are being approached.

It would be great if as many folks as possible could attend and bring friends with them. (Of course, this should not negate any commitments some people may have to march with mass groups in mass contingents.)

The plan so far is that people will gather around 1 p.m. at the Ellipse for a rally and march. This march and rally do have permits. As plans for the day are finalized, they will be posted at www.globalizethis.org. Saturday's march is part of a week of protests that constitute the attempt of the global justice movement to come back from its post-9/11 retreat.

The official program of Saturday's march and rally focuses on the economic crimes of corporate globalization and does not target Bush's wars (which are being pushed forward with the support of Democrats and Republicans). However the socialist contingent will try to show the connections between corporate exploitation/domination and war, will have its own banner and will raise slogans such as:
*No War Against Iraq
*Justice for the Palestinian People
*Abolish the IMF/World Bank
*End Capitalist Domination of Our Planet
*Workers and Oppressed People of All Countries, Unite

Those in agreement with these demands are encouraged to march with our contingent.

From Mr Wayne Hall, Athens 4th September, 2002

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I agree with Wat Tyler on one thing: "the international community"'s response to the United States' abandonment of the ABM Treaty, which he characterizes as "Yes sir, Mr. America, whatever you say, you know best" does create public relations problems for supporters of "arms control" and all the related diplomatic, journalistic and academic hustle and bustle, including the people who think that nuclear disarmament is something the United Nations should be involved in. The raw "unilateralism" of the U.S. government pays scant heed to helping them save face, and I don't know what, if anything, they can do about it.
If they listened to my advice (which they don't) I would tell them to sit down and start thinking about what purpose the "arms control" negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union served anyway. From the viewpoint of the United States the purpose was to elaborate a convincing diplomatic profile utilizing the "threat" to the United States and its citizens posed by Soviet weapons of mass destruction and at the same justifying whatever the United States government proposed to do in reaction to the said "threat". From the viewpoint of the Soviet Union the purpose was to generate popular support for policies of universal (but most importantly bilateral - embracing both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R) nuclear disarmament.

This Soviet aspiration was futile, because in the final analysis the United States could always convincingly claim to its own constituency that its possession or non-possession of nuclear weapons was a decision for the sovereign American people, not for a foreign government. Full stop. Soviet unwillingness, in the years prior to the signing of the ABM Treaty, to subscribe to American/Western theories of "nuclear deterrence" only underlined the futility of continued Soviet possession of nuclear weapons. As I argued in my paper "Citizens to the Europarliament?", http://www.spectrezine.org/europe/Hall.htm prior to signing the ABM Treaty the official Soviet position had been that the ultimate guarantee against the use of nuclear weapons had been not the deterrent effect of the weapons themselves but the notion that "the forces of peace are stronger than the forces seeking to launch a thermonuclear war". Only the American threat of an arms race in "defensive" systems finally brought the Soviets around, reluctantly, to attributing war-deterrent qualities to nuclear weapons rather than to "the forces of peace" (usually in our day known as "civil society").
But having made the break into "the West's" virtual-reality world of "nuclear deterrence", there was no turning back. As the nuclear arms race escalated into MIRVed systems, counter-force scenarios, dreams of "limited nuclear war" in Europe and finally the Star Wars project, reaching its climax in Reyjkavik when President Reagan accepted Gorbachev's proposal of total bilateral nuclear disarmament on condition that the Soviets endorse America's Strategic Defense Initiative (thus daringly exposing the roots of the whole game), the Soviets were finally left stranded as the sole defenders of "nuclear deterrence". America had moved on to more advanced, "defensive" "post-nuclear-weapons" doctrines. President Bush junior is doing and saying no more now than what President Reagan was doing and saying then, over fifteen years ago. (This leaves out of account the question of small "useable" nukes, but so what?)

The end game of the Cold War, the "use them or lose them" counter-force scenario with NATO's Pershing II missiles calling the bluff of the Soviets and their sad notions of "nuclear deterrence" was the nuclear arms race's predictable end, something foreseen by the Swedish military when they imposed unilateral Swedish nuclear disarmament on a reluctant Olof Palme in the '60s.

I was a participant in the non-aligned anti-nuclear movement of the 80s agitating around the slogan of "a nuclear-free Europe from Poland to Portugal". We said then that both superpowers were in the nuclear arms race for their own internal political reasons. Such was the logic of the nuclear armed blocs and we as Europeans opposed it. When one of those blocs collapsed and became so weak that we could have insisted that it be denuclearized (as the Swedish military insisted that Sweden be denuclearized) the non-aligned anti-nuclear movements demanded no such thing, and that is to our eternal disgrace. I personally accept no blame because I argued at the time with our leaders (such as E.P. Thompson) until I was blue in the face.

Since the days when the Soviets refused to get rid of their nuclear weapons unless the United States did too, and were condemned for this by us in the non-aligned anti-nuclear movement, there have been other states that have struck the same pose. India for example in 1996 refused to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty unless the United States lived up to its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. And because India refused Pakistan also refused. Benazhir Bhutto would have liked to sign anyway, but she was overthrown before she could actually perpetrate such an outrage against the common-sense doctrine of nuclear deterrence. Who in the anti-nuclear movement, alert to Bhutto's problems, made the demands of India in 1996 that we had made of the Soviets in 1986 or 1976? Nobody that I know apart from myself and a few friends. On the contrary, the "anti-nuclear" movement (and "the international community") supported India's nose-thumbing against the United States.

So getting back to your point at the beginning, which is very similar to the things Indian politicians were shouting six years ago, it is commendable that the people of "the international community" have fallen silent in the face of President Bush's unilateral (or is it bilateral, hand in hand with his hostage Mr. Putin?) tearing up of the ABM Treaty. May they long remain silent - they, like the late Olof Palme, talked far too much anyway - and may other states follow the quiet example of the Swedish military and assert their national sovereignty by unilaterally renouncing nuclear weapons. Just as we in the non-aligned anti-nuclear movement were advocating when we called for a nuclear-free Europe from Portugal to Poland.

Americans are free to do the same, but before they renounce their own nuclear arsenal they have a duty to the rest of the world to get the Israelis to renounce THEIRS first, which at the moment stands outside the framework of ANY legality, of "the international community" or otherwise. America can provide Israel's nuclear guarantee, if they need such a thing..

(Postscript:) As if to make obvious even to the most blind the essentially ceremonial function of nuclear weapons, we now hear that India is getting as its new President a geriatric gum-chewing jeans-wearing pop-music enthusiast Muslim who just happens to be "father of the Hindu atom bomb". Bush-Laden, as it were.

From Mr Alfred Mendes, England 4th September, 2002

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One of the main causes (another being oil) of post-WW2 Mid-East instability, with all its concomitant crises, was the setting-up of the State of Israel in 1948. This is an indisputable fact - which must be kept in mind in order to gain a clearer understanding of the currently brewing US/Iraq confrontation. A few pertinent facts of an historical nature concerning the State of Israel would therefore be helpful:

(1) The concept of such a state was formulated by an influential group of Ashkenazim Jews - known as Zionists - which was formed in 1896 by the Austrian, Theodor Herzl - who was an atheist. The state was set up in '48 by the Zionists, under the leadership of David Ben-Gurion who was born in Plonsk (then Russian). He emigrated to Palestine in 1906. Like a number of other influential Zionists, he too was an atheist.

(2) As recorded by Lloyd George in his "War Memoirs": in 1917 Britain made a deal with the Zionists whereby the latter would use their considerable political clout to persuade America to enter the war against Germany - in return for which, Britain would back the Zionist's call for the setting up of a 'State of Israel' in their 'homeland' of Palestine. This was the Balfour Declaration (which, incidentally, would subsequently - and understandably - sour relations between Germany and its Jewish citizens, most of whom were Ashkenazim).

(3) A crucial and much-overlooked aspect of the Ashkenazim (who constitute a majority of Jews worldwide) is that their roots mainly lie in the vast Khazar Empire (as it then was, north of the Caucasus). These were a Pagan Turkic people who adopted Judaism in the 8th century AD, but subsequently were defeated and driven from their homeland in the 10th century by the Varangians (Vikings), as a result of which many fled westwards and northwards, eventually settling in eastern Europe and what was subsequently to become Russia. We are now thus faced by a tragic incongruity underlying this claim by Zionist Ashkenazim for a homeland (Palestine) that is not theirs! This also explains, to a large extent, the much-overlooked (again) Ashkenazim/Sephardim schism within Judaism (a notable example of which was the exposure, in the mid-'80's, of Israel's atom bomb plant in Dimona by one Mordechai Vanunu whose parents, being Sephardic Jews from Morocco, were made to move from Haifa into the desert at Beersheba, leading to his deep resentment).

(4) Finally, it should be emphasised that Arabs and Jews had for centuries lived in peace in the region before the advent of Zionism. The conclusion to be drawn: Zionism has inevitably led to the more widespread dissemination of that tragic phenomenon - anti-semitism.

Wat Tyler replies to Wayne Hall [28th June] 12th July, 2002

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The fight I was looking for was a challenge to the American decision that the treaty was out of date, an alternative to tearing it up, anything other than the complete acquiescence once more to American hegemony. The international community has for a long time known of American's intentions. They have had long enough to come up with alternatives, to suggest to America options other than the complete abandonment of the treaty. But what happened? America tells the world the whole treaty is out of date and meaningless and the whole world says "Yes sir, Mr. America, what ever you say, you know best." ___________________________________________________

From Mr Wayne Hall, Athens, June 28th, 2002
In his Spectre article on the scrapping of the ABM Treaty, "Wat Tyler" said the following:

"During the cold war, each side's nuclear arsenal worked not as a threat, but rather as a deterrent against the other side. Each side keeping a check on the other. In outer space, the now inevitable domination that America will one day achieve will not be checked, there will be no deterrent against any American action."

Could Mr. "Tyler" offer some documentation to substantiate this restatement of the theory of nuclear deterrence, which was widely condemned in the past by the anti-nuclear movements. Exactly what actions of the United States, for example, were "deterred" by the existence of the Soviet nuclear arsenal? How would Mr. "Tyler" describe the balance sheet when they are measured against the actions of the United states that were encouraged and justified by the existence of the Soviet nuclear arsenal?

The United States government itself has now of course joined the ranks of critics of theories of nuclear deterrence. This, from one viewpoint, could be seen as progress. Why then is Mr. "Tyler" now trying to resurrect the theory?

Mr "Tyler" concludes his article by saying: "The first steps to a future where America has complete military control over the whole world have been taken. The sad thing is that it seems the rest of the world is letting it happen without a fight." What kind of fight would be appropriate? A fight of the kind that the Soviet Union waged at the outset of the nuclear arms race when it developed a nuclear arsenal of its own?

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From Orit Zetouni, Israel, 19th April, 2002
I fully condemn any Israeli military actions that are undergoing currently in the territories, just like all of your articles on the subject do, and am completely against Israeli occupation of the territories. I think that the Israeli public (including myself) should be held responsible for any violations of human rights that are undergoing, and I think that it is our responsibility to voice our opinions and condemn it publicly. It is completely obvious to me that Sharon's methods are completely counter productive and criminal, which, as well, most of your articles on the subject address.

However, I am quite confused about the role of Arafat and the Palestinian Authority in this conflict. From what I understand, Arafat is responsible for a lot of the terrorists/freedom fighters violent activities in Israel (it makes no difference to me, since I consider violence, whether military or a suicide bomber a terrorist act). I also understand, well, I think I understand, that violence leads to more violence, and therefore should be criticized from whichever side it comes from. So, my question is...why aren't there any articles on your site analyzing and criticizing the political methods of Yasir Arafat and the Palestinian Authority? What happened at the end of the Clinton Administration? What does Arafat want, and are we being lied to about how he was offered 95% of the territories, expanding the Gaza Strip by 1/3, getting 30 billion dollars from America, having East Jerusalem as the Palestinian Capitol, and having a part solution to the right of return issue by returning just to the Palestinian side? I don't know if I have all my facts right, but that's not the point, I want to know why nobody is questioning or criticizing Arafat's politics?

I know that Israel has changed its leaders over and over again, because all of them failed to achieve a peace with the Palestinians, in order to achieve peace with the Palestinians. I'm wondering why I hardly see, read, hear criticism on your site for Arafat and the Palestinian Authority? Do I have the wrong information, am I not "getting it", or can this negligence be crucial in the analysis of the situation. If there's really something that I don't know or a key element of some sort that I'm missing, please tell me. If not, I think that what I am pointing out is crucial in your magazine's confrontation and analysis of this extremely painful situation.

Spectre invites readers to reply to Orit Zetouni's letter. We will attempt a reply ourselves in the coming weeks but at the moment there is no-one amongst our volunteer staff who can find time to give the points raised the attention they deserve. We would only point out that President Arafat did instigate a ceasefire which Sharon ensured would be broken when he had the leader of Hamas murdered. Also, Spectre does not share Orit's pacifism. The violence of, for example, the Cuban Revolution was a necessary stage in the retaking by the Cuban people of their island, from the extremely violent US-backed gangsters who ran the place up until 1959. Suicide bombing, on the other hand, seems to us by definition a tactic born of despair. The right of return of expelled Palestinians and the removal from power of the war criminal Sharon would seem to us preconditions of any lasting settlement. Having said that, we recognise that we have not answered the specific points raised, and urge readers to respond.

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From Mr Edward S. Herman, USA. 5th April, 2002
Every day we read about U.S. plans to attack Iraq in another really huge criminal violation of international law, with the media mainly talking about the practicalities of such a course. This is pretty frightening, and yet nobody is doing much about it. Isn't it time to try to organize an opposition and take some actions to contain the Axis of Evil in Washington D.C.? I don't know precisely what should be done, but this should be being actively discussed. Appeals to and pressure on the Democrats is one route that is obvious. But some way of getting the international community to put legal-political-moral obstacles in the way of the Axis should also be pursued. AM I missing actions already underway? Any thoughts on strategies?

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From Mr John Manning, Czech Republic. 5th April, 2002
For nine days, February 27 through March 7, plus two of travel on each end, I have been in Brasil at what may be the beginning of a new world of peace, justice and human friendship, as the Brasilians were the welcoming hosts to the "Bolivarian" revolutionary movement of Latin America and the Presidential Council and rebirth of the World Federation of Trade Unions - (the Brasilians spell their country's name with an "s" instead of "Brazil" as we do, and I have becvome enough Brasilian that I will use it from now on.)

In the framework of three related constitutional working meetings; the III Conference of the Americas and the Caribbean, the IV Congreso de la Central General dos Trabalhadores do Brasil, and the XV Presidential Council of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), what took place was a rolling unfolding of experiences, struggles, problems, victories, developing into plans and coordination of actions, with the participation of guests, friends and hosts, representatives, senators, governors, presidential candidates of the progressive and welcoming Brasilian people.

The spirit of the new Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela best expresses the spirit of this international convergence even though U.S. forces are even now plotting putsches to overthrow it and are waging war against the people of neighboring Colombia. Simon Bolivar was the Liberator of all Latin America from Argentina and Chile to Venezuela around the year 1800. The vision now is that the movement "founded in the ideals of Simon Bolivar, the Liberator, his moral patrimony and the values of liberty, equality, justice and international peace" will achieve the continental unity he worked for.

Representatives of 32 countries of the World Federation of Trade Unions fitted right in to the exuberant Brasilian atmosphere, and representatives of the burgeoning democratic movement in Japan, of which I have written frequently on this site, reported their advances, their problems and plans for the future and pledged cooperation and support.. Representatives of Vietnam, headed by the Minister of Labor, reported their struggle to modernize and stay on the road to socialism, representatives of all India brought their experiences and struggles. The struggle of all the Arab peoples and against the murderous attacks on the Palestinians and the threat to Iraq and Libya was there, as was the struggle of the Colombians against the U.S. "Plan Colombia", being the most critical and immediate attack against Latin America. There was Ecuador's anti-privatization revolution, preparing for the coming election. Guyana brought its experience as the first victory of the socialist tendency in Latin America after a 40-year fight. Jamaica was present from the other end of the Caribbean, with Honduras and Costa Rica from Central America.

It would take the rest of the year to relate and explain fully what is moving in the whole great continent and isthmus south of the U.S., but I want to start by conveying that I had the great honor to be invited and to take part as the only U.S. American and to try to convey a bit of what it feels like to be in a continental and even world assemblage of not only hope but confidence in the future.

The enthusiastic participation of great Brasil in its enormous metropolis of Sao Paulo, (25 million people!), with the breakdown of capitalism in nearby Argentina, the sharp change for the better in Angola just across the Atlantic, and the presence of representatives of France and Portugal, all gave a picture of the size of our problem and the potential strength of our forces.

The unanimous consensus, extending even into the mass media, is that neoliberalism - privatisations, the attack on national sovereignties, the whole program of the IMF,WTO, World Bank and the transnationals - the whole attempt powered by the U.S. to end any independence and growth and to force what was the developing world back into colonialism, has to be stopped.

We finished our deliberations in the fantastically beautiful and modern capital city of Brasilia, which is like no other capital city in the world in its great spaces, majestic architecture, conveying clearly its concept as a city of the future. The overwhelming impression of Brasil is that they are a friendly people, ready to take part in a friendly world, and to help build it.

This note is only to report that such conferences and joining of forces took place, and that the world, and neoliberalism, will be hearing from it. Hope and a movement for equality and justice is very much alive in the islands and the whole continent to the south of us. The peoples are linking up, and the rest of the world is on the road to joining it.

Now what is needed is to convey the struggles and the movement of each and all the peoples involved, using e-mail, if the mass media remains closed to us, so that the progressives of the U.S. can find the paths to link up with the intercontinental and world movement for a new and friendly world. Already the Cuban comrades report that more and more U.S. rank and file trade unionists are visiting them as friends and allies..

It is one world, and all the many peoples will have to link hands to preserve it.

John Manning is a retired official of the World Federation of Trade Unions.
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From the staff of War Times, San Francisco, California, USA, 5th April, 2002

(This letter was sent to numerous organisations and individuals)
We thank each and every one of you for the extraordinary welcome you have given to War Times. We had to reprint 25,000 more copies to meet the demand, bringing total distribution to 100,000 copies which reached every state, DC and Puerto Rico. Whatever the polls say, there are thousands of us who desperately need a different kind of United States and who will work to spread the message that peace is not only thinkable but just. Together we can make a difference.

Local San Francisco individuals and organizations put up the $17,000 necessary to design, print and mail these copies. Now we have to raise the money to continue. We need each of you, your organizations, and your friends, to support us financially. We have no deep pockets backing us; we are completely dependent upon people like you to donate the tens of thousands of dollars necessary to publish. Please go to our website and give generously.

US taxpayers can make a tax-deductible donation by writing a check to EBC/War Times and mailing it to: EBC/War Times, 1230 Market Street, PMB 409 San Francisco, CA 94102

Read more about War Times on our listing of progressive publications.

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From Dr. Heydar Abdel-Shafi, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, Dr. Azmi Bishara, Rana Nashashibi, Dr. Eyad Sarraj, Khader Shkirat, Raji Sourani, 5th April, 2002

(This letter, which was sent to numerous newspapers and magazines, was received by us just over a fortnight ago. Unfortunately, technical difficulties have prevented us from posting it before this.)

URGENT CALL TO WORLD CIVIL SOCIETY: BREAK THE CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE, ACT BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE

We, the undersigned, believe that a full-scale Israeli offensive throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) is imminent and that such an unprecedented attack demands from global civil society an unprecedented response. For this reason, we urge global civil society - including human rights organisations, solidarity groups, and individuals - to take immediate direct action to stop Israel's all-out war against the Palestinian people and Israel's 35-year belligerent military occupation of the Gaza strip and West Bank, including east Jerusalem.

Today, Israeli occupying forces invaded the compound of PNA President Yasser Arafat in Ramallah as part of a systematic and longstanding campaign to undermine, humiliate, and destroy the Palestinian political leadership. Israeli troops have also seized complete control of Ramallah and imposed a total curfew. At the same time, Israeli officials have begun a massive military build-up, including the mobilization of 10,000 army reservists, in preparation for an openly declared war throughout the OPT that promises to be widespread, prolonged, and bloody.

Earlier this month, escalating Israeli attacks - including wilful killings, indiscriminate shelling and aerial bombardment, complete economic and social suffocation, and mass destruction of housing and agriculture - culminated in full-scale invasions of Palestinian refugee camps and villages that killed hundreds of civilians. Statements by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon today referring to Arafat as the "enemy" and speaking of the need to"extirpate Palestinian terrorism everywhere it exists" indicate that such attacks are set to resume, with greater ferocity and scope, leading to disastrous consequences.

Palestinian civil society groups have warned for years that Israel's freedom to act as a state above the law would severely undermine chances for a just and lasting peace. After decades of occupation, apartheid, and ethnic cleansing and 18 months of all-out war against a civilian population, we call for the international community not to wait for massacres on the scale of those in Sabra and Shatila in 1982; the time for action is now.

The support for the Palestinian people shown by international solidarity groups, manifested in numerous statements, visits, and actions, has proved invaluable throughout this crisis. Now is the time for global civil society to use the momentum it has generated and the ethical integrity it has demonstrated to forcefully demand immediate action from governments to end the occupation, which is the root cause of the conflict.

Governments, including those currently meeting at the UN Commission on Human Rights, must face direct and unambiguous pressure from their own people to immediately secure Israel's respect for the Fourth Geneva Convention and its complete withdrawal from the OPT as necessary steps towards achieving a just and lasting peace.

To this end, we call upon all those who oppose occupation, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes, who are committed to justice and peace, who are willing to speak truth to power, to:

1. Raise your voices to break the conspiracy of silence among governments that allows Israel, which enjoys the unlimited and unconditional support of the US, to commit war crimes and other violations of international humanitarian law with impunity.

2. Clearly, vigorously, and publicly demonstrate before governments and international organisations to demand immediate and effective protection for Palestinian civilians in the OPT, through protests, marches, media campaigns, and other peaceful means.

3. Demand that governments end military assistance to Israel, suspend economic ties, and support the prosecution of war criminals, and urge other states to do so.

4. Continue and intensify your activities as part of a sustained and systematic campaign to end the occupation, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes in the OPT and to support the legitimate rights and aspirations of the Palestinian people.

Now is the time for immediate and direct action, as the pattern of escalating oppression and brutality that we have experienced over the past 18 months moves inexorably towards a disaster whose consequences we can only begin to imagine. In this dark hour of suffering and determined resistance, we are sure that the worst is yet to come, but we are equally sure that, with the support of global civil society at this crucial time, peace and justice will prevail.

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From Mr John Manning, Czech Republic. 29th March, 2002

What President Manuel Diogo da Silva Neto of UNTA - Confederacao Sindical of the Republic of Angola made clear to us at the meeting of the World Federation of Trade Unions Presidential Council March 4 to 6 in Brasilia, the capital city of Brasil, is that the underlying issue in Zimbabwe, which is not mentioned in any of the Western articles on the election and on President Mugabe, is that the agreement signed between the departing white forces and the incoming Black majority government at the change of power was that the white landowners would be allowed to continue exploiting Zimbabwean soil for 20 years, and that the 20 years expired in the year 2000.

This is the "takeovers" of white settler land which is being referred to and the reason the government of British prime minister Blair wants to get rid of Mugabe.

John Manning was the US staff member, WFTU, Prague, and is now retired. His account of the meeting referred to appears elsewhere on this website.

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From Hanitra of Tanika. 29th March, 2002

Maybe you all know by now that Madagascar is going through a political crisis at the moment. But if you have been following the news either on the papers or on the CNN, VOA, BBC, AFRICA 1, RFI or others, then I am not sure you really have been getting it all.

I, on the other hand have been following first-hand witnesses on the net, on newsgroups, on the phone, on faxes, on emails, by meeting, talking, and especially getting my family to tell me what has been going on so far, apart from all the Malagasy around the world.

I was in Madagascar since the day the election of the 16th of December started. I followed everything from voting to counting it and the demonstrations on the streets of the capital everyday. Meanwhile, I was struggling to continue to put the roof on the Arts Centre because it is the rainy season over there. I had to fight my way out when things started to be blocked and nothing was normal any more. I finally got out and spent time both in England and France.

Right this minute, I am in Paris, awaiting Monday 18th to get on an Air France plane which hasn't been flying for a long time, ever since the situation has started in Madagascar. They have already changed my departure 6 times and I am still not sure that it is actually going on Monday! There is no more kerosene in Tana and Air Madagascar has stopped dead. When I was in London, I was a little bit more tolerant of the fact that there was virtually no news about Madagascar, but when I came here to France 2 weeks ago, I expected better.

I am utterly disgusted by the way the French media handles this situation in Madagascar. I am wondering if anyone here knows what is going on unless they know some Malagasy residents here in France at this point. 1 minute, 30seconds of burst of news is all I see on LCI, France 3, and some of the newspapers like Le Monde, Liberation, and le Courrier International. I'm told from England that there was just 30 seconds on the world news only on cable TV.

Today, I saw the name "Mahazoarivo" on so many of the emails I got and I nearly fainted. Mahazoarivo is where the Prime Minister's office is situated. Since the 1960s when we first got our so-called independence from the French people, I honoured that place as a place of freedom. When I was a kid, I played there, I got prizes there, I know everybody around there. Our most famous marovany player Rakotozafy also played there during the time of our ever first president of Madagascar, Mr Tsiranana. Respecting old values, old traditions...

Today, as I write, Mahazoarivo is a place of war, blood spilling everywhere and 43 people injured with some numbers dead. Mahazoarivo, the office of the Prime Minister today, is about 400m looking across to the buiding construction of my Arts Centre, Antshow! My entire family lives there near rice paddies and some left-over of rainforest.

Today, I heard from my sister that if I come to Madagascar on Monday, I need to be prepared not only for no democracy but also for no bread, no rice, no gas, no petrol for cars, and to be prepared to not even get out of the house because apparently the rice paddies are mined now like in August 1991 and those who knows what that date means ... knows....

These are my wishes and questions, if any of you out there can do something about it, even in the smallest way.

Why is the international media not showing much interest in this? I know there are problems everywhere, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Algeria, Israel, Palestine, the world. And I with my group Tarika was in New York, USA witnessing the 11th of September's disaster too. But why does my country and the Malagasy people have been left isolated and not being heard of?

Until recently, the demand for change in Madagascar was done peacefully, moramora, as we like it and I was quite proud of the movement of these poor people who kept up hope and dignity and started to act in real "Unity is power". But now, bloodshed is just around the corner of my old streets, I cannot help but voice my worries. Unfortunately with more deaths, interest might now come!

If there is still anyone out there in this world interested in human rights, democracy, freedom, and peace, please write, report, comments, talk, discuss about the Malagasy and Madagascar in an Malagasy ways and values of the tradition and culture. Why does it have to have many more deaths before something is done in a big way?

The peaceful Madagascar road to democracy may become the one that the whole world should learn from.

Thank you for your support and your thoughts to help. Please send as it is, or translate into all the languages that you know in case someone out there may be able to help us to get out of this bloodshed...

Very saddened.. Hanitra of Tarika email
website

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From Mr Edward S. Herman, USA, 15th March, 2002
Every day we read about U.S. plans to attack Iraq in another really huge criminal violation of international law, with the media mainly talking about the practicalities of such a course. This is pretty frightening, and yet nobody is doing much about it. Isn't it time to try to organize an opposition and take some actions to contain the Axis of Evil in Washington D.C.? I don't know precisely what should be done, but this should be being actively discussed. Appeals to and pressure on the Democrats is one route that is obvious. But some way of getting the international community to put legal-political-moral obstacles in the way of the Axis should also be pursued. AM I missing actions already underway? Any thoughts on strategies?
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From Mr John Manning, Czech Republic, 15th March, 2002
For nine days, February 27 through March 7, plus two of travel on each end, I have been in Brasil at what may be the beginning of a new world of peace, justice and human friendship, as the Brasilians were the welcoming hosts to the "Bolivarian" revolutionary movement of Latin America and the Presidential Council and rebirth of the World Federation of Trade Unions - (the Brasilians spell their country's name with an "s" instead of "Brazil" as we do, and I have becvome enough Brasilian that I will use it from now on.)

In the framework of three related constitutional working meetings; the III Conference of the Americas and the Caribbean, the IV Congreso de la Central General dos Trabalhadores do Brasil, and the XV Presidential Council of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), what took place was a rolling unfolding of experiences, struggles, problems, victories, developing into plans and coordination of actions, with the participation of guests, friends and hosts, representatives, senators, governors, presidential candidates of the progressive and welcoming Brasilian people.

The spirit of the new Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela best expresses the spirit of this international convergence even though U.S. forces are even now plotting putsches to overthrow it and are waging war against the people of neighboring Colombia. Simon Bolivar was the Liberator of all Latin America from Argentina and Chile to Venezuela around the year 1800. The vision now is that the movement "founded in the ideals of Simon Bolivar, the Liberator, his moral patrimony and the values of liberty, equality, justice and international peace" will achieve the continental unity he worked for.

Representatives of 32 countries of the World Federation of Trade Unions fitted right in to the exuberant Brasilian atmosphere, and representatives of the burgeoning democratic movement in Japan, of which I have written frequently on this site, reported their advances, their problems and plans for the future and pledged cooperation and support.. Representatives of Vietnam, headed by the Minister of Labor, reported their struggle to modernize and stay on the road to socialism, representatives of all India brought their experiences and struggles. The struggle of all the Arab peoples and against the murderous attacks on the Palestinians and the threat to Iraq and Libya was there, as was the struggle of the Colombians against the U.S. "Plan Colombia", being the most critical and immediate attack against Latin America. There was Ecuador's anti-privatization revolution, preparing for the coming election. Guyana brought its experience as the first victory of the socialist tendency in Latin America after a 40-year fight. Jamaica was present from the other end of the Caribbean, with Honduras and Costa Rica from Central America.

It would take the rest of the year to relate and explain fully what is moving in the whole great continent and isthmus south of the U.S., but I want to start by conveying that I had the great honor to be invited and to take part as the only U.S. American and to try to convey a bit of what it feels like to be in a continental and even world assemblage of not only hope but confidence in the future.

The enthusiastic participation of great Brasil in its enormous metropolis of Sao Paulo, (25 million people!), with the breakdown of capitalism in nearby Argentina, the sharp change for the better in Angola just across the Atlantic, and the presence of representatives of France and Portugal, all gave a picture of the size of our problem and the potential strength of our forces.

The unanimous consensus, extending even into the mass media, is that neoliberalism - privatisations, the attack on national sovereignties, the whole program of the IMF,WTO, World Bank and the transnationals - the whole attempt powered by the U.S. to end any independence and growth and to force what was the developing world back into colonialism, has to be stopped.

We finished our deliberations in the fantastically beautiful and modern capital city of Brasilia, which is like no other capital city in the world in its great spaces, majestic architecture, conveying clearly its concept as a city of the future. The overwhelming impression of Brasil is that they are a friendly people, ready to take part in a friendly world, and to help build it.

This note is only to report that such conferences and joining of forces took place, and that the world, and neoliberalism, will be hearing from it. Hope and a movement for equality and justice is very much alive in the islands and the whole continent to the south of us. The peoples are linking up, and the rest of the world is on the road to joining it.

Now what is needed is to convey the struggles and the movement of each and all the peoples involved, using e-mail, if the mass media remains closed to us, so that the progressives of the U.S. can find the paths to link up with the intercontinental and world movement for a new and friendly world. Already the Cuban comrades report that more and more U.S. rank and file trade unionists are visiting them as friends and allies..

It is one world, and all the many peoples will have to link hands to preserve it.

John Manning is a retired official of the World Federation of Trade Unions.

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From the staff of War Times, San Francisco, California, USA 15th March, 2002

We thank each and every one of you for the extraordinary welcome you have given to War Times. We had to reprint 25,000 more copies to meet the demand, bringing total distribution to 100,000 copies which reached every state, DC and Puerto Rico. Whatever the polls say, there are thousands of us who desperately need a different kind of United States and who will work to spread the message that peace is not only thinkable but just. Together we can make a difference.

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From Mr George Anthony, London, England, 22 February, 2002
I have just started to read The trial of Henry Kissinger by Christopher Hitchens, Professor of Liberal Studies at the New School, New York and published by Verso.
This is a tale about the goings on of one of the dirtiest dogs in Christendom. But the interest lies in the various organisations that he heads, or has headed in his long snakelike career. For instance, the "Forty Committee" which Kissinger chaired from 1969-1976. The Bilderburg group of which Mandleson (a former Blairite government minister- ed.) is a member. Here is an individual who organised the coup against Allende and kept the Vietnam war going another 4 years at the cost of "20,000 US, and an uncalculated number of Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians lives." The writer goes on to say that every time a dictator is uncovered, Kissinger has a wobble. No wonder, since a list is given of his involvement in-
1 Mass killing in Indochina
2 Collusion in murder and assassination in Bangladesh
3 The Chile coup
4 A plan to murder a Cyprus head of state
5 Incitement and enabling of genocide in East Timor
6 A plan to murder a journalist who lives in Washington DC.
That`s apart from involvement with the South American death squads, assisting apartheid, the Angola war, and the betrayal of Iraqi Kurds at the time of the Gulf war. For this creature has been at the heart of US government since the sixties. Incidentally, he speaks at the Albert Hall on April 27th to the Institute of Directors, who are paying £195 each for the privilege. But more to the point, he may lead me to my firmly held belief that the September 11th events were a conspiracy to justify US declarations of war on all and sundry, which with the release of Lofti Raissi and the continuing Afghanistan imbroglio begins to come to light. But in any case, for your further enlightenment of the extent to which the evil that the US administration is prepared to go to, this book, like Robert Stinnetts, "Day of Deceit", about Pear Harbour, is a must.

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From Mr Steve Weinberg and Mr Neil Gordon at the Center for Public Integrity, USA, 25 January, 2002

Cases of wrongful conviction and prosecutorial misconduct sought

The Center for Public Integrity and veteran investigative journalist Steve Weinberg are researching cases of prosecutorial misconduct that lead to wrongful convictions. We would like to hear from anybody - prisoners, their families and friends, journalists, lawyers, expert and lay witnesses, jurors, medical examiners, police officers, judges - with evidence of prosecutorial misconduct. Steve Weinberg, of Columbia, Missouri, an author, is a former newspaper reporter and magazine staff writer. Working with Steve Weinberg is Neil Gordon. Neil Gordon is a research associate at the Center for Public Integrity, who has worked as a lawyer. Funding for the project comes from several sources, most prominently the Open Society Institute in New York. The research will be disseminated by the Center for Public Integrity, possibly in the form of a book from a major publisher. Steve Weinberg and Neil Gordon plan to name names of prosecutors who cross the line, especially in jurisdictions where wrongful convictions have occurred repeatedly. Steve Weinberg can be contacted by: E-mail: weinbergs@missouri.edu Neil Gordon can be contacted at the Center for Public Integrity by: E-mail: ngordon@publicintegrity.org

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From Mr Ted Glick, Independent Progressive Political Network, USA, 16th November, 2001
We are starting to pull together articles for the Winter issue of Independent Politics News. The deadline to get in letters to the editor or possible articles is December 4th.
If you have an idea for an article, please be in touch to talk about it. We are always on the lookout for good pieces, but we should communicate to be sure there's a good match between your idea and what we're looking for.
A main focus on this issue will be the new peace/justice movement. If you're with a group that you believe is doing good work, we're especially interested in being in contact.
Or if you were part of a dynamite local independent electoral campaign this fall, that'd also be very appropriate.
Let us know.
The nature of IPPN and its newsletter means that Ted Glick is generally interested in actions and movements in the US rather than elsewhere. Contact him at
indpol@igc.org

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From Mr Edward S. Herman, United States, November 3rd, 2001
US attacks Vanuatu! Wins Stunning Victory!
I've been dreaming often lately, but last night's dream had an eerie ring of truth to it and I wondered if this might not be a dream that genuinely sees into the future.
It began with the apprehension by the police in Hoboken, New Jersey, of a suspicious looking character, whose name was Jason Foboro, a Vanuatu national, who was allegedly visiting this countryon business. The police found a letter on him from his brother Fabian, dated September 11, 2001, with a P.S. notation: "We've done it! We've got the big ones" This alerted the police to a serious possibility that this man and his brother had had something to do with the September 11th bombings. Jason Fabini explained that he was in the fish business, seeking business here, and that the P.S. referred to the capture of several large, prize-winning tuna fish.
Naturally the police found this dubious and alerted the FBI and State Department. When State officials finally located Vanuatu on the map, it discovered it to be a country of 80 odd islands in the South Pacific, with a population of 193,000 people, and a GDP of $245 million. The United States had no Embassy there and minimal contact with its people. There were, however, CIA reports hinting that Bin Laden's Al-Quaeda had "Fiji island cells" and had penetrated police and military establishments in the South Pacific. With this country extremely nervous and on the alert, a message was sent to the President of Vanuatu demanding that Fabian Foboro be turned over to the United States as a possible terrorist.
The President of Vanuatu audaciously asked for information justifying this request, and also indicated that Fabian was unavailable, allegedly on a fishing boat that had no radio connection! This put U.S. officials on high alert. The Seventh Fleet was dispatched to the area, including 14 destroyers, two battleships and two aircraft carriers. New Zealand and Australia were urged to join a coalition to help this antiterrorist enterprise and to allow U.S. aircraft and other military equipment and personnel use of their facilities.
While this assembled military force might seem excessive, given that Vanuatu does not have a standing army, navy, or a military airplane, and its total national budget would barely fund a B-1 bomber, the Pentagon explained to news people that Vanuatu does have police and a paramilitary Vanuatu Mobile Force. Also, the population is mainly Melanesians, natives noted for their ferocity and lacking in the concern for human life that characterizes our own military forces. It was also reported that they may have Stinger missiles imported from Afghanistan, although it was admitted that this was not confirmed.
With Vanuatu still not producing Fabian, U.S. forces engaged in some light bombing of the main Vanuatu islands, suffering no U.S. losses and inflicting only modest casualties on the natives, and Pentagon officials soon announced that they had achieved control of the air over this country! This was greeted with enthusiasm in the United States. But before any further bombing and the landing of U.S. troops, Vanuatu announced that Fabian Foboro's boat had returned and that Vanuatu was prepared to allow U.S. personnel to question him on the island. Vanuatu authorities showed a picture of Fabian Foboro on his arrival on the dock, a picture that showed him proudly displaying three very large tuna fish.
The United States reluctantly agreed to question Foboro on Vanuatu, having been subjected to severe global criticism and laughter for picking on a rather small opponent. But the U.S. media were for the most part thrilled at the success of this enterprise - at U.S. reasonableness in engaging in only light bombing that killed a mere handful of natives, in agreeing to question the terrorist in Vanuatu. There was some dissent, as Bill O'Reilly and the editors of the Wall Street Journal sneered at the soft policy that failed to punish the recalcitrants as they deserved, which they blamed on the influence of the mushy Colin Powell. On the other hand, Dan Rather wept copiously at the wonderfulness of his country's bravery, generosity, and devotion to the general global welfare.
And then I woke up--to greet the not too different reality.

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From Mr Walter Van de Maele, Brussels, November 3rd, 2001
From Cold War to War on Terrorism
The permanent threat of a nuclear overkill by one of the two "superpowers" had guaranteed the pursuit of military overproduction. The implosion of the USSR which had been predicted in American academic economic circles, but had been hidden from the public until it actually began with the perestroïka, mooted the Cold War impetus.
The dismantling of the totalitarian rule with the breaking up of states, of alliances, with the reappearance of generation-old smothered religious feelings, and of savage capitalism, lessened the eventuality of a global third World War.
Disarmament meant the sale of vast quantities of outdated equipment on the secondary market, to politically unstable regimes, located in strategically geo-political communication passes, straits, peninsulas and so on. Meanwhile research and development for Star War type ventures lacked the necessary real-time, real-situation trial grounds.

Terrorism
Terrorisation techniques, belonging to the most primitive forms of submission, have appeared throughout history when a dominant culture felt itself threatened by marginal proselytising cultures, especially in times of natural or human induced destabilisation. The sword and holy scriptures have been present, subdued where welfare and comfort reigned, but flared up where corruption and misery prevailed.
The geniuses of the US Army War College, moving from "Infinite Justice" to "Enduring Freedom" at the whim of an interpretation, mentally manipulating the tame media consumers, couched in front of their breaking-news TV-sets, anaesthetised by their tobacco and alcohol habits, may not even be aware of the greatest of their successes in post-modern times. Now that the relentless bombardment of the images of airplanes striking the WTC-towers has assured them that nobody will ever look again at a plane without wondering if it will not explode, now that a biological and chemical warfare organised hype, inspires politically and morally impotent freaks, the "War on Terrorism" serves, and only serves the continuation of US World Dominion. ______________________________________________________________

From Mr Farooq Tariq, Pakistan - 12th October, 2001
Help LPP to fight the terror of religious fundamentalism and American Imperialism's war on Afghanistan
Dear friends,
This is a formal appeal from the Labour Party Pakistan to help the party in this crucial juncture of Pakistan history. The LPP National Executive Committee in its three day meeting at Lahore from 4 - 6 October decided to launch a peace movement in Pakistan. The main slogans will be, No to War, No to Imperialist aggression, No to the terror of religious fanatics, and for a peaceful democratic Pakistan. There will a Peace demonstration on 15th October in Lahore. The demo will start from Press Club Lahore to Charring Cross at 3.30pm. We are publishing posters and leaflets for a mass fly posting and distribution. It will be done at the other places including Hyderabad, Karachi and Islamabad during this month. The dates will be announced this week. LPP is organizing these peace rallies in a very hostile atmosphere where religious fundamentalists are taking to the streets every day. They want to go for a Jihad (Islamic War) against Americans, who were once their best friends politically and economically. Religious fundamentalists are the new kind of fascists and must be opposed in every aspect. LPP believe in no compromise or alliance with these religious fanatics on any issue. It boycotted the All Parties Conference called by religious fundamentalist Jamaat-I-Islami on 21st September on the question of restoration of the constitutions. Only LPP and PPP announced a boycott despite being formally invited. This was in line with the policies of LPP. Unfortunately, PPP is siding with US imperialism at this time. LPP has a very proud record of fighting in practice for its agreed principals of Peace, democracy and socialism. It prints every week Workers Struggle, the only Weekly that brings up the issue that capitalist media try to distort or ignore. Over 100 activists of LPP have gone to jail during the last two years for fighting for restoration of democracy and workers rights. All the main leaders of LPP have been in jail during this time. Now once again, LPP has taken up the challenge to fight the imperialist war and religious terrorism. We need your support in all aspects. 1- Please makes a donation to LPP on the following account Education Foundation Donations Foreign currency account (US dollars) Account number 1161774808090 Standard Grindlays Bank, Gulberg Branch Main Boulevard, Gulberg Lahore, Pakistan 2- Please visit our website for update information
http://www.labourpakistan.org Please take a subscription of the Weekly, if you can read Urdu: Weekly Mazdoor Jeddojuhd, 40 Abbot Road Lahore Pakistan Pakistan Rupees 300 for a year, Outside Pakistan $50 for a year Send your amount to the above account as well 3- If you are in Pakistan and not a member of LPP, take up the membership, You can also become a supporter of the party by donating certain amount to the party every month. Please ask for more information.

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From Mr Brian Precious, England, 12th October, 2001
At the risk of being accused of being a "conspiracy theorist", I will stick my neck out and voice some ludicrously unlikely ideas:

1) It seems that Albright and co had decided to bomb Yugoslavia as early as Summer 1998, using the Western-exacerbated ethnic tensions and mythological "imminent genocide" as pretext to partition the socialist FRY into a patchwork of Western-friendly states - particularly with the modern age's most important commodity in mind.

2) Yugoslavia is at the terminus of the oil-route from central Asia to central Europe and the West.There's shed-loads of tham thar pipelines across Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Albania, and AMBO is just itching to complete the ones scheduled for Macedonia. And let's not forget the agreement reached this May between Kostunica and the Romanian Foreign Minister to start shipping oil from the Romanian pipelines to C Europe ACROSS YUGOSLAVIA ITSELF.

3) From the Guardian headline article (22/9/01) by Steele, Norton-Taylor et al, it seems as though the US had decided to attack Afghanistan at least some weeks BEFORE the outrages of Sept 11th.The latter added immensely to the pretext even though it was a (no less callous) pre-emptive strike. And commentators (inc "Newsnight") began accusing bin Laden almost before the dust had settled on the rubble of the WTC and the Pentagon. And now we are told there is "incontrovertible evidence" that bin Laden and co are the culprits - even though it has been admitted right, left and centre that the "evidence" wouldn't stand up in any self-respecting court of law. Oh, and not forgetting the -possibly "conclusive"-proof we are not allowed to see 'cause it's secret.

4) Afghanistan is a major source of what US planners would call "instability" near the central-Asian region with it's large oil reserves (the third-largest in the world?),as a particular interpretation of Islam articulates the immense anger and resentment of that part of the colonised world towards US/Western depredations. One might say that Afghanistan is at the BEGINNING of the pipeline network terminating around Yugoslavia.

So could it be that the West decided to install a puppet regime in Afghanistan (by force) for exactly the same inflammable Texas tea reasons as motivated the assault upon Yugoslavia? Could it be that Romano Prodi's "resource wars of the 21st Century" are upon us?

Now, call me stupid, but when I dreamt up this conspiracy fantasy a wonderful feeling went through me, right down to the marrow of my bones. A feeling of day breaking through yonder window, of things smoothly sliding into place, followed by a satisfying "click".

Give me an "O"
Give me an "I"
Give me an "L"

What's that spell?
What's that spell?
What's that spell?

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From the Mark Barnsley Campaign, 12th October, 2001
The Struggle for Justice Goes On

As Mark Enters His 8th Year of Wrongful Imprisonment. Our July demonstration coincided with the inauguration of the new government and was therefore a chance to let the incoming Home Secretary David Blunkett know that our demand for justice for Mark would haunt him as it has his predecessors. Over 50 people with banners and placards attended, including supporters from the Satpal Ram Campaign and the Justice for Harry Stanley Campaign and after a noisy demo outside the Home Office, we marched to Downing Street. Anyone who wants an insight into the extent of media self-censorship in the UK should note that the press pack outside Downing Street asked the police to move us on becasue we were making too much noise and interfereing with their filming of the door of number 10! Nevertheless we made our point and would like to thank everyone who showed their support on the day, particularly those of you who travelled from outside London to show solidarity with Mark as he entered his 8th year of wrongful imprisonment.

As in previous years, on June 8th supporters overseas also showed their solidarity with Mark's struggle for justice. In Spain for example, a group of about 30 people gathered in front of the British embassy in Madrid with banners demanding 'Justicia para Mark Barnsley'. Despite a heavy police presence, including a helicopter hovering above, some people tried to throw leaflets inside the embassy. Later the picket moved to a busy train station in Madrid where passersby were told about Marks' situation. In Luxembourg a solidarity concert was held in support of Mark. Information leaflets were handed out and people discussed his case between the bands. Similarly in Malta a well-known local band dedicated their concert to Mark's struggle, followed by coverage in their national press. All over the world people were also busy sending faxes, e-mails and letters to the British government demanding justice for Mark Barnsley.

The Protests Continue. On July 5th, Determined to let Blunkett (a Sheffield MP) know that the injustice done to Mark (a Sheffield man) would not be forgotten, supporters in London picketed Blunkett's speech to the National Probation Service Conference. Blunkett's staff and the conference centre management showed their commitment to fredom of speech by trying to get the police to move us on before Blunkett arrived. We refused to leave and eventually it dawned on Blunkett's PA that footage of demonstrators being bundled into police vans outisde his first big speech wouldnt do his image any good and he was forced to walk past the demonstration.

On 5th of October Mark Barnsley was moved to High Security, Whitemoor prison in Cambridgeshire. His new address is:Mark Barnsley WA2897 - HMP Whitemoor, Longhill Road, March, Cambs, PE15 OPR, England. What we know at present is that Mark was held in segregation for 3 days after arriving at Whitemoor. He is now out of segregation and on the high security wing. As soon as we have further information about Mark's situation we will let you know.

Those of you with e-mail/internet access will have been informed over recent months about some of the following developments in Mark's situation.

The victim of a gross miscarriage of justice, Mark has steadfastly refused to collaborate with the system since his wrongful imprisonment over 7 years ago. Instead of doing prison work he has spent his time constructively, working on the campaign to overturn his conviction and clear his name, supporting other prisoners and doing education classes when possible.

According to the prison service, the reason prisoners are given work is so that they can learn a trade as part of their rehabilitation. In theory, increasing their chances of getting a job upon release. At Wakefield Prison however, prisoners either make prison uniforms or do extremely tedious packing work for a private company based in South Yorkshire called Hepworth Building Products. In return for working 25 hours per week they are paid from nothing to £5 (yes that's per week). Even with bonuses, prisoners are paid a maximum wage which is less than 10% of the minimum wage paid to workers on the outside. No wonder private companies are eager to exploit this captive workforce.

In July, Mark was told he was being allocated to the prison workshop. Knowing that he would refuse to work on principal and therefore face a charge and segregation, the campaign urged supporters to protest to the prison authorities over their practice of forced labour. We also urged people to protest to the private company which exploits cheap labour at HMP Wakefield.

By Friday 3rd of August, as International support for the protests increased, a number of Mark's supporters took the initiative by deciding to take a more direct form of action to highlight his situation. They invaded and shut down Hepworth Building Products site in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. About 30 people invaded the site - locking the main gates and disrupting the lunchtime shift-change. Quickly knocking up banners and some leaflets on Hepworth's copier to distribute to workers with details of the company's exploits. The action disrupted the warehouse and offices for about 2 hours. The fire brigade were called to cut through the locks on the gates but turned around and departed to cheers after it was explained to them what the protest was about. According to one of those involved: "It was only a small action, but considering it was relatively spontaneous it was a great success. There were no arrests, the workers were mostly supportive and seemed to know nothing of their company's involvement in prison labour." Another participant says: "Outside we waited in the pissing rain with our soaking banners for the police to cut the locks, which were luckily too sturdy... some children came over with warm clothes to lend us. The passers-by; children and adults; and the workers; were incredibly sympathetic. The fire brigade were summoned by the police and on arrival, we talked to them about taking a role in political activity. The firefighters then decided they couldnt obey police orders without their area manager being there. Finally the locks were blowtorched off by the company itself. We cheered the firebrigade for not scabbing as they drove off waving, left the childrens' clothes,and left with no arrests."

Shortly after the occupation of Hepworths, Mark was segregated at HMP Wakefield for "refusing to work". Later on the same day he was suddenly given a Good Order And Discipline (GOAD) notice saying he was "Under investigation for activities likely to undermine the good order of HMP Wakefield" and would be held in segregation for 28 days. By coincidence (?) an article/letter co-signed by Mark had just been published in the radical newspaper FRFI! two days before (see opposite page). The prison would give no further details about Mark's segregation, despite letters from his legal team. A protest picket was quickly organised by the campaign outside the Home Office in London.

By mid-August, after spending 2 weeks in Wakefield prisons' Segregation Unit, Mark was suddenly moved to the Segregation Unit at nearby HMP Leeds where he remained for a further 7 weeks until his latest move to HMP Whitemoor. Throughout his time at Leeds, Mark was denied access to his property, including legal papers. Not knowing when he would be moved has caused disruption to his visits and correspondence with supporters.

Although Whitemoor prison is further away for Mark's friends and family in the North of England to visit him, we are pleased that Mark is now allowed to receive most things through the post which were not allowed at Wakefield and Leeds. He can receive stamps, envelopes, writing pads, tapes, CD's. clothing, books, magazines etc... Mark is very short on the first three items especially so If you want to send them to him please do so, preferably by recorded delivery to be on the safe side. Mark always replies to letters, although we are told he has a backlog of mail (especially International) from his time at HMP Leeds because he wasn't allowed to receive stamps there.

YOU CAN CONTACT THE CAMPAIGN AT THE FOLLOWING: Write to: Justice for Mark Barnsley - PO Box 381, Huddersfield, HD13XX. J.f.M.B. (South Yorkshire) c/o above or e-mail: JFMBSYORKS@aol.com J.f.M.B. (London) Tel: 07944 522001 J.f.M.B. (Ireland) have a NEW ADDRESS - PO Box 1981, Derry, Ireland. E-mail: barnsleycampaign@hotmail.com Visit the campaign web site at: http://www.freemarkbarnsley.com You can write to Mark directly at: Mark Barnsley WA2897- HMP Whitemoor, Longhill Road, March, Cambs, PE15 OPR, England. If possible please enclose an SAE and a few sheets of paper so that he can reply.

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From Mr John manning, Czech Republic , September 28th, 2001

As President Bush's speech to Congress and Fidel Castro's anguished cry for humanity sink in what was just a suspicion voiced abroad becomes a certainty.

Those responsible for the bombing are to be sought for in the one direction all have been led not to look ? in the one country which destroyed whole cities full of women and children just to show its power and among its warriors who have been itching to bomb poor peoples of the earth "back to the stone age" and now, with the powers granted, will get their wish.

The puny retaliatory powers of the Palestinian and other resistance and the even more impoverished Afghanis have never even scratched what our terrorists can do and the Oklahoma City massacre was immediately charged to Muslims, so why not this?. The one Lockerby 747, brought down in revenge for the equal Iranian airliner, shot down by the captain of our cruiser Vicennes, more or less for sport, as they were killing time guarding in the Persian Gulf ? that was quickly and carefully charged to Libyans so people wouldn't make the connection.

From where came the inside knowledge of U.S. security organization, airline structure and procedure, and piloting and navigating skill for the most modern airliners necessary for the coordinated Tower?Pentagon operation? And Bush Senior's, old friend bin Laden was a handy scapegoat. Leaving his photo in the rented car was almost too much of a pointer where to look.

Enough ex?CIA unemployed terrorists are loose in the world that with unlimited funds and connections it would be simple to fill in a crew.

What was necessary was complete disregard for human life ? of others. And the "others' can be anyone you no longer have use for.

This is what is now in control, unless by some miracle world resistance is sufficient to bring Americans to their senses before U.S. fascism is fully installed.

John Manning sent us Fidel Castro's moving and apposite speech, appended to his letter. He described it as "a requiem for humanity. It can serve as an epitaph for our generation ? hopefully not for all humanity." (As regular Spectre readers will know, John has been an active militant since the 1930s)
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From Mr Kent Madin, Boojum Expeditions Khovsgol Lodge Management, Mongolia. September 28th, 2001
Bomb Them with Butter
A military response, particularly an attack on Afghanistan, is exactly what the terrorists want. It will strengthen and swell their small but fanatical ranks.

Instead, bomb Afghanistan with butter, with rice, bread, clothing and medicine. It will cost less than conventional arms, poses no threat of US casualties and just might get the populace thinking that maybe the Taliban doesn't have the answers. After three years of drought and with starvation looming, let's offer the Afghani people the vision of a new future -- one that includes full stomachs.

Bomb them with information. Video players and cassettes of world leaders, particularly Islamic leaders, condemning terrorism. Carpet the country with magazines and newspapers showing the horror of terrorism committed by their "guest." Blitz them with laptop computers and DVD players filled with a perspective that is denied them by their government. Saturation bombing with hope will mean that some of it gets through. Send so much that the Taliban can't collect and hide it all.

The Taliban are telling their people to prepare for Jihad. Instead, let's give the Afghani people their first good meal in years. Seeing your family fully fed and the prospect of stability in terms of food and a future is a powerful deterrent to martyrdom. All we ask in return is that they, as a people, agree to enter the civilized world. That includes handing over terrorists in their midst.

In responding to terrorism we need to do something different...something unexpected...something that addresses the root of the problem. We need to take away the well of despair, ignorance and brutality from which the Osama bin Ladens of the world water their gardens of terror.

This letters was originally sent to the email service Florida Left List.

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From Francis A. Boyle, Professor of International Law, University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois, September 28th, 2001

USA Sabotage Convention: Peaceful Resolution of US-Afghan Dispute Possible The 1971 Montreal Sabotage Convention is directly on point here, and provides a comprehensive framework for dealing with the current dispute between the United States and Afghanistan over the tragic events of 11 September 2001. Both States are contracting parties to the Montreal Sabotage Convention, together with 173 other States in the World . The United States is under an absolute obligation to resolve this dispute with Afghanistan in a peaceful manner as required by UN Charter Article 2(3) and Article 33 as well as by the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928, as well as in accordance with the requirements of the Montreal Sabotage Convention-- all of which treaties bind most of the States of the World. In addition, the United States should offer to submit this entire dispute to the International Court of Justice in The Hague (the so-called World Court) on the basis of the Montreal Sabotage Convention, and should ask the Government of Afghanistan to withdraw its Reservation to World Court jurisdiction as permitted by article 14(3) of the Montreal Sabotage Convention. Furthermore, all other contracting parties must invoke the Montreal Sabotage Convention against both the United States and Afghanistan in order to produce a peaceful resolution of this dispute.

This letters was originally sent to the email service Florida Left List.

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From Mr Alfred Mendes, England, 21st September, 2001

There may well be a case for believing that bin Laden had a hand in this latest attack on the US Establishment (if only because of his openly anti-American stance) - but with the comparatively recent 'Oklahoma Bomb' still fresh in memory, is there not an equally valid case for believing that an American militia group could have been responsible - a belief that would almost certainly have been shared by Americans in the immediate aftermath of the attacks? After all, such a group would have been as - if not more acquainted than any Arabs with US internal airline security (or lack of same!), and probably better versed in the techniques of flying large aircraft - to say nothing of navigating same! Again, media coverage over the years has led us to believe that the Arab is more prone to suicidal acts than the American - or anybody else, for that matter. This is absurd, as any glance at contemporary events such as the mass suicide of the reverend Jim Jones' People's Temple Cult in Guyana, and the fiasco at Waco, Texas would demonstrate. In view of the above, why then did the US government not publicly target for investigation both bin Laden and American militia groups in the immediate aftermath of the attacks? Would that not have had a more reassuring effect on its shocked citizens? Instead, here we have a government whose intelligence services had proven completely ineffective in foreseeing these attacks, now quickly pin-pointing the Arab 'culprits' and, in effect, asking its citizens (to say nothing of the rest of the world) to accept the fact that these same ineffective services would waste no time in solving the problem! The reason for these apparently irrational actions of the US government can be more readily understood by assuming that these were politically-motivated 'arrests of convenience', an assumption quickly confirmed by the appearance on to the scene of NATO, with its general secretary having the effrontery to call on its Alliance members to "rally to the defence of the USA" under the banner of Article 5. Was he, the general secretary, not aware that in the aftermath of the collapse of the USSR, Article 5, which had previously stressed that "the Alliance was purely defensive in purpose" was no longer so, and that it had changed its 'strategic concept', conveniently modifying Article 5 to read (in dissimulating phraseology) that its main defence forces now "could also be employed for sustaining 'Non-Article 5 operations'" - thus enabling it to intervene militarily at will (as it was subsequently so to do in the Balkans). Is Corporate America so engrossed in its aim of achieving global domination that it cannot see that by interfering aggressively in Europe and particularly the Mid-East with its enormous reserves of oil it is fuelling that most dangerous of emotions in the human animal: frustration - as a result of which it must pay a price? Is not frustration the bed-fellow of 'terrorism'?

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From Mr Frank Horsting, Netherlands (translated from Dutch) 21st September, 2001
It's terrible what happened in America but in God's name we must take care not to, on the say-so of America and "world leader" George Bush, in blind rage and stupid patriotism, set off a third world war.

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From Mr John Manning (United States Citizen), Czech Republic
Dear Friends,
There are now available two open sites of information of a real new world, which is within, parallel to, and advancing out of our own real world of media and police arrogance and water cannons, rubber and real bullets against democratic opposition: They are from the
Japanese Communist Party ; and from Vietnam, two countries which our military has done its utmost to subjugate, in the Japan case aided by their own military industrial complex, (once would-be world ruler like ours, now content for the moment as candidate for a lieutenant position).

What can be learned from these two sources, what will inevitably rub off with continued contact, is that hope is very much alive in the world, that the movement to emancipate the individual and the whole was not destroyed by the misdirection and the collapse of the great Soviet attempt but has cleaned and is correcting itself, these two countries being on the cutting edge of what is emerging all over the impoverished and suffering world.

The Vietnam experience is perhaps closer to our own condition, which, under the shiny surface, is very close to that of the working poor, the unemployed and the abused minority peoples, since every working man and woman lives with the fear - pushed to the back of consciousness - (thought of a long illness, a car wreck, discharge, a plant closure) - of falling to that level. The Vietnamese, at terrible cost, regained and retained sovereignty against all-powerful world imperialism, and now must survive and advance their ruined and primitive economy in a world economy controlled by that power.

In a very different situation, the Japanese friends are working at an economic level almost exactly like ours, and work to control the destructive tendencies of the piratical, arrogant-at-home, servile-to-the-U.S. present rulers and to advance the whole people to a sane society and eventual socialism without destroying all that has been built by, and in spite of, the capitalist predatory ethic. With 40 years of struggle in this direction, successfully maintaining peace, they have reached a level of competence and confidence which is difficult for Americans to swallow and so is being ignored.

It IS hard to accept that a higher level and much more responsible civilisation than ours already exists and is functioning. The Vietnamese, however, we know are poor. The conventional knowledge is that capitalism is taking them over. But we can't help knowing that they managed to resist, stay united, and drive us out. So what is left there that they have to invite in and work for our capitalists? I printed out the whole 33-page 9th Vietnam Communist Party Congress report. With it you have to enter into a different world. As the Japanese communist friends said in their message to the November Congress, wishing them: "success in treading this path which no one has trodden to its end.", they are trying, forced by necessity what, with Lenin's death and the ending of NEP, Stalin and the Soviets gave up, and at which all the Social Democratic parties of the world have failed - namely to co-operate to some extent with capitalism, and still not be taken over. To quote the paragraph, (from page 14 if the report):

"The path forward of our country involves the transitional development to socialism bypassing the capitalist regime, that is, bypassing the establishment of the dominating position of the capitalist production relations and superstructure, but acquiring and inheriting the achievements recorded by mankind under the capitalist regime, especially in science and technology, to develop rapidly the production forces and shape a modern economy."

So, how can a poor country do this against U.S. military and global transnational power? That remains to be seen. As their Japanese friends say, no one has yet followed this path to its end. But you have to think, No one ever stopped the U.S. army before, either. And they did it with not much help, though that included, importantly, the American students. Their introduction cites their 100 years of struggle in gaining their independence, ending with our contribution to their problems. They cite the national unity they have developed and the devotion of the Party to the people as absolute necessities. Their report is so long because they are going to try to do literally EVERYTHING. It is only believable in that they list as well everything that remains wrong, corruption and weakness where it should not be, plans successfully completed in which important objectives are left undone. They have been fifteen years on the "renewal plan". Their production has doubled from 1990 to 2000. Gross Domestic Production has increased 7% annually on the average. "Hunger eradication and poverty alleviation on a nationwide scope has harvested outstanding results, highly appreciated by world opinion."

The list of what is not right and what needs to be fixed accompanying the successful results is nearly endless. It is impossible to say they are not realistic, but they are trying something tremendous. The fact that they have already done what seemed to be impossible should give caution to those who say they are finished and that U.S. capitalism will take over, as everywhere. Their resolve and what they are trying to do should give courage to us in similar situations. I have in mind the "We Must Succeed" resolve of the Black Radical Congress against wholesale jailing and police brutality against Black youth and all persons of colour in general.

Surely it is possible that we can begin to come together at the grass roots and check and end the growing police state!. So, there at these two websites a new world a-borning. Ignore it if you will. But I truly believe it will soon be showing up everywhere.

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From Mr Bruce K. Gagnon, Coordinator, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, July 4, 2001
This letter is written to you on Independence Day. We think it is time that we, the American people, declare our independence from the control of the military industrial complex which is now moving to create a new arms race in space. As you know, since 1992, the Global Network has been working to prevent the nuclearization and weaponization of space. Today our work is more important than ever. The Bush administration and Congress have been pushing deployment of "missile defense" as the first layer in the new round of Star Wars. Recently, Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld declared that they would be dropping the word "national" from National Missile Defense (NMD). One of the reasons for this tactical move was because the Democratic Party leadership was opposing NMD but at the same time was promoting the development of Theatre Missile Defense (TMD) as a friendly alternative. Rumsfeld and Bush wanted to take this maneuvering room away from the Democrats, and by dropping the "national" they want to force Democrats to either support the whole program or not. Many Democrats, however, are trying to keep the NMD/TMD distinction alive and continue to call for "robust" research and development funding for "missile defense," and for eventual deployment of TMD (also called boost-phase defense). Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) was quoted by the Associated Press on June 17 as saying, "No one is saying don't spend the money on research. No one is saying don't continue down this road." The political consensus that TMD should be deployed in the Middle East and in Asia has to be linked to global corporate interventionist policies in those regions. Calling TMD "a way to protect our troops and our ships," the politicians in Washington view TMD as the shield to protect U.S. forces that currently enable unfettered U.S. access to oil. And soon enough TMD will help to surround China forcing it to escalate its production of nuclear weapons in response. The militarists, and their Congressional allies, will have found a way to maximize military spending. It is crucial that the peace movement not fall for this shell game now underway concerning NMD/TMD. We must not be led into opposing NMD but looking the other way as politicians support Star Wars research and development and TMD deployment. We must oppose all of it. We must not hand over our peace movement to any political party, no matter how desperate we are for a victory! The only real victory for the peace movement will come from our long-term grassroots education and mobilization to stop the drain on our national treasury by the military industrial complex. It took a Republican, Dwight Eisenhower, to warn us of this very problem. On October 13 the Global Network will hold our second International Day of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space. Already we have over 175 endorsing organizations all around the world. Local demonstrations and events will be held in even more places than last year -we have 15 countries and 57 sites so far and still have three months of organizing to go! Despite the claims by some politicians, our nation cannot afford both guns and butter. All across America schools have leaky roofs, needed low-income housing is boarded up, health care is lacking, our environment is deteriorating -- the infrastructure of a nation addicted to military spending is crumbling. We know in our hearts that the military industrial complex controls the Congress. Where are we to turn? Our only hope is that the grassroots will continue to come alive with passion and action. And we must be vigilant that as we press the challenge we don't turn over our energies to the very politicians who are ready to cut the deals with the weapons makers. That would only release the air from our ascending balloons and once again break our spirits. We must keep on, knowing that local activity all around our country and around the world will in the end force the politicians to make the correct decisions about how the precious resources of our nation should be spent. We urge you to help the Global Network continue its vital work of creating healthy non-violent tension in order to prevent a new arms race in space. Please make a contribution today toward our effort to redirect spending away from the aerospace industry and toward life. And please plan to join us on October 13 with an action in your community. Thank you for your support. Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space has a
website and can be contacted at globalnet@mindspring.com If you would like to make a donation to the organisation, go to the website for details. Any donor of $50 or more will receive a complimentary copy of Karl Grossman's brand new book entitled Weapons in Space.
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From Mr John Manning, Czech Republic, 29 June, 2001
The statement by the Swedish Left Party condemning the violence at the recent Gothenborg summit should be seriously considered by all the Left and particularly by those who have been resisting, or answering back police brutality.

Violence is oppression's method. They have armed forces, the armaments and the jails to win with it. But the loss of public support can defeat them and overwhelming orderly mass pressure has been proved the way to win it. The Japanese experience has demonstrated that police violence, and that of a most violent Japanese ruling military caste, can be made so counterproductive that it is no longer used against demonstrations which are massive, orderly, and winning the support of public opinion. Those of the Left who favoured violent methods have lost all support. The Swedish experience appears similar.

Police in a capitalist society represent the owners of property, especially the big owners, and can be expected to act accordingly, if not much worse since, being taught to repress, they get to like the feel of it.

But we have to convince the immediate-action revolutionists on our side that the only way we can win against overwhelming wealth and power is by winning public opinion by a non-violent policy and by our numbers. We have to unite the whole working and exploited people by showing the reason and justice of our side.

To take this view you have to have faith in the ordinary people - that if they can be reached with reason on matters of vital interest to them, they will respond. Those who have NO faith in the people have no place in our movement - they will end up fascist or its left equivalent.

However, real faith in the people and in the movement for peace and socialism comes from experience, it has to be built, it comes from joint work and struggle in honest people's organisations. We have to build those kind of organisations. The JCP example in Japan is still the prize one. They have conquered police brutality by ending senseless violence, safeguarding public property, and stressing the point of the struggle. Any attack by police would so discredit them that they don't try.

The international demonstrations are a crash course in learning how to expose reaction and in what not to do. The new communication makes immediate and many-sided analysis from many participants possible, so our future is full of hope.

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From Ms. Lisa Taylor 7th June, 2001

Mario Bango is a Roma young man who was a committed fighter for his people against racism, as well as an active fighter in labour struggles in Slovakia. Not long after he attended the anti-globalisation demonstration in Czech Republic, he and his brother were attacked by a neo-nazi who tried to kill them. Mario resisted, wounding the nazi seriously , and then gave himself up to the police. The nazi died weeks later and now Mario faces 15 years prison.

On 28 May his friends found out that there are neo-nazi prison guards in the remand centre in Bratislava. Mario has been threatened by them and is in imminent danger of death.

Please ACT NOW to help prevent another tragic racist murder. Send this letter below, or one of your own, urgently to the President of Slovakia, and further circulate it to all who might help.

You can e-mail to the president directly via his website: WITH COPY TO friends of Mario who are campaigning in his defence: email

LETTER TO SLOVAK PRESIDENT follows:
Dear Mr. President,
I am writing to you regarding Mario Bango, the 18-year old Roma youth who is being held in the remand centre in Bratislava. Mario has not been convicted of any crime, but is being held on suspicion of murder. In fact Mario did nothing more than defend his twin brother from a neo-nazi who would have killed him. Incredibly, your parliament held a minute of silence in honour of the neo-nazi extremist. Now we understand that Mario's life is in immediate danger because some of the prison staff, too, are neo-nazis who bear racial hatred towards Roma people. We understand they have threatened to kill him. You should be aware that any harm coming to Mario Bango under these circumstances will draw international attention to the question of human rights in your country. I urge you to release Mario on bail now to the safety of his family and friends. Yours sincerely
NAME
COUNTRY
ORGANISATION

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From Mr Steven Jones, Steven Jones Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 9AZ, UK,
http://www.cat.org.uk - May 29th, 2001

In response to Bill Pelz's article about the recent US presidential election.[see article - Ed] Interesting article about the US presidential election. My point is this, Pelz claims that although Gore's environmental rhetoric is good, his track record on the environment whilst in office did not support his convictions and therefore did not merit the US socialists' support of his campaign. Do you really think Gore would have pulled out of Kyoto? The opinion from Europe on this issue is currently defining how we as a wide economic grouping view the US. As by far the greatest producers of greenhouse gasses globally and seemingly the least keen to take responsibility for the consequences your new president is not doing a good PR job on behalf of your nation. In the UK we are still shocked that the US electorate could not see a difference between these two candidates.

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Editor - In Steve Jones letter we saw that his address was the Centre for Alternative Technology, in Wales, and that aroused our curiosity, so we wrote back and asked him what the Centre did. This is his response:

CAT's commitment to sustainable development stretches back to the organisations' inception over 25 years ago. Determined to test the viability of the emerging alternative, sustainable technologies the CAT pioneers chose a site, in the disused Llwyngwern slate quarry in North Wales on the strength of its potential hydro-power resource.

What started out as an experimental community with the express aim of living within a broad set of environmental aspirations quickly evolved into a visitor, training and education centre disseminating the knowledge and experience gained from that experience. Integrating a broad set of environmentally sensitive strategies into a coherent whole has provided many surprise benefits and has the led the Centre to broaden its overall ambitions. The experience of combining renewable, locally sourced materials constructed in an eco-sensitive and energy efficient design with maximum water efficiency and biological treatment has developed a growing enthusiasm for long term economic sustainability of such strategies.

The specialists at the Centre now propose that community scale renewable energy production coupled with the high standards in building design and resource efficiency demanded by the Centre's own standards should form the basis for a template for genuinely sustainable development on a much wider scale. To this end the organisation is developing closer links with local parliamentary and strategic planning bodies, especially under the auspices of the Welsh Assembly, which has put sustainable development at the heart of its overall priorities for development in Wales.

CAT is now a cluster of inter-related sustainable business, running the visitor centre and its facilities, a shop and cafe in the nearby town, a publishing company, an ethical mail order company, a consultancy service, and charitable membership services and a public access (fee) information facility. There is lots more information available on our website.

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From Mr Eric Schuster, Chicago, May 4th, 2001

NEW WORLD RESOURCES CENTER, CHICAGO
In a recent mailing you said that the New World Resources Center, Chicago, had 'no email or website': Not so! The New World Resource Center, Chicago's only independent left-wing & labor bookstore and meeting center, has a very active internet list. A weekly e-calendar of events around the Chicago area, along with shameless plugs for new books and periodicals, arrives in 300 e-mail boxes each and every damn week.

Folks can contact New World, sign up for the weekly e-mail and/or monthly snail-mail calendars, add events to the calendars, and reserve space for a public meeting, by sending a message to nwrc2600@juno.com.

Once more, with feeling: "The New World Resource Center is Chicago's oldest independent left-wing & labor bookstore and meeting center, providing books, periodicals, t-shirts, etc. to progressives and activists. Founded in 1971 (Hey - we've been flat broke for three consecutive decades!), NWRC is owned and operated by a not-for-profit collective."

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from Ms Lucy Larrissey, Tuam, Co Galway, Ireland, May 2nd, 2001

TREATY OF NICE FARCE

So now the Irish government wants to finalise the details of the European Empire's army. Acting on behalf of their corporate masters they want it to seem all above board, "democratic", the will of the Irish people, etc. To make it appear that this European Empire isn't being foisted upon us by the various corporations that run the EU. We get to vote, we get to decide on how things are and should be. Yeah right, do you still believe that shit?

Already this country looks and feels exactly the same as any other country in the EU. They didn't even need an army to bring us all to heel. We forgot everything that Connolly, Pearse, Collins and thousands of nameless warriors died for in our mad scramble for mobile phones and bigger roads. There is no such thing as Ireland anymore. Not in the sense of a self-sufficient, diverse, vibrant area of land. Not in the sense of a group of happy, rooted people with control over their lives. We've lost our forests, our language, our culture...and for what? Have you seen what a kip this whole place has become? Have you noticed how miserable everyone is? It's no wonder most people stay holed up in their concrete boxes, only venturing out to their boring, useless jobs and then back to the telly, to their daily dose of propaganda.

And isn't it just the same as England/France/Germany/etc? The same as Amerika. And what they hope to make the rest of the world like. The people in the rest of the world don't want to be taken over, they are fighting being assimilated. The European Empire needs an army to force these countries to comply. Also, this ERRF (European Rapid Reaction Force) can be used to quell any internal revolts, all those pesky eco-warriors, etc. So no surprise that Amerika is pushing this European army. Already the Irish government has joined PfP ie NATO, spent millions on new weapons, is working with the Amerikan secret services, manufactures and exports weapons, conducts military research in universities, and generally toes the industrial military line. Tony Blair calls the ERRF an extension of NATO.. The Nice Presidency report says there will be “ a genuine strategic partnership between the EU and NATO in the management of crises...”. The US Dept. of Defence insists that all ERRF military operations must be conducted within NATO structures or after NATO has had first refusal. It's clear that this army is an extension of NATO and will be used to violently force Amerikan/European development on all who are resisting. On all those who still have their forests, culture and freedom. Of course, it looks better if they can get everything nice and neat down on paper and make the Irish feel that have some control over Ireland's future (which they do, but not through the ballot box). It'd be great to think that by going out and voting no to this treaty we would put a halt to their evil plans, but unfortuneately it's not that easy. The European Empire's agenda has been set, their army is massing, and nothing short of revolution will stop them.

http://www.eco-action.org/infoshops