9th January 2004

Free Ulla Roder!


On the 10th of March 2003, Danish peace activist Ulla Roder was arrested and charged with Malicious Damage to a Tornado ground attack aircraft parked in a hanger at RAF Leuchars in Fife. Tornados from Leuchars were involved in the bombing of Iraq and patrolling the No Fly Zones. Ulla's action was accountable. After disarming the plane she waited to be discovered and arrested. Ulla was held on remand in Cornton Vale Prison until the 8th of August. She was then released without bail conditions by Edinburgh High Court after a legal complication by the Prosecution.

Since then there have been several court hearings. When at the last hearing Ulla did not attend, a warrant was issued for her arrest. There is now no court date set for her trial. Writing from her time on remand Ulla said: “People’s disarmament has started. People are not blind or deaf. Nor are we stupid. We don’t buy any more of their lies. It’s going on now there is not a week without worldwide protest, civil resistance and direct action.”


Ulla Roder does not belong in prison. Killing innocent civilians is illegal. Ulla’s action was not. To read more go to here


NAFTA’s 10th birthday


Martha Ojeda is the director of the Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras, a maquiladora worker and a union organizer for more than 20 years. She said today: "NAFTA was promoted as a way to good jobs and improved living conditions. Instead we got low wages, sexual harassment, environmental destruction and birth defects. Most maquiladora workers are very young, between 16 and 25, because their eyes, backs and hands haven't given out

yet -- their hours are so long that their youth passes without seeing the sun."  Read what else Martha had to say at here



Congratulations to the three Bulgarian MPs who just before Christmas voted against allowing the US to have permanent military bases on their country’s soil. The 200 who squeaked a victory for approval can be forgiven for their nostalgia for the days when the main function of Bulgarian politicians was to kow-tow to a superpower.  In case they have forgotten how to go about this, perhaps they could organise a fact-finding visit to Westminster.


“In light of credible questions about whether Saddam Hussein was already in captivity when he was "discovered" in a spider hole by US troops, who just happened to have a television camera crew present, Madeleine Albright's suggestion that Osama bin Laden is already in custody and will be "found' in an "October Surprise" before next year's election, and the two-week delay in reporting that L. Paul Bremer was subjected to an assassination attempt in Baghdad (with no independent confirmation), it seems the proper time to revisit the phony Bush Thanksgiving trip to Baghdad. As a result of having questioned the authenticity of Bush's recent "Turkey Trot" in Iraq, this opinion columnist was subjected to a barrage of carefully-coordinated attacks, including the illegal spoofing of my e-mail address, in a campaign that represented a modern-day and high-tech version of the witch hunting days of the McCarthy era and its Salem, Massachusetts, predecessor. Neoconservative flacks for media corporations owned by a select group of fanatical pro-Bush doyens weighed in soon after a few rather insignificant right-wing Internet sites and weblogs fired the first few volleys.”  Read the rest of Wayne Madsen’s take on the right wing lunatics illegally occupying the White House “The not-so-vast right-wing conspiracy—nothing to be feared; something to be ridiculed at here


Troubled marriage


“The American environmental group Conservation International (CI) and other environmental organizations are actively collaborating with oil corporations in hopes of ameliorating the impact of their activities on local ecosystems. But observers fear that the cozy relationship that these groups have with the US government and oil companies raises serious questions regarding their independence and warn that it can undermine the grassroots work of popular movements and native peoples that aim to stop new oil drilling altogether. They also hold that it raises some serious issues regarding national sovereignty in the Global South.” Read the rest of Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero’s  “The Troubled Marriage of Environmentalists and Oil Companies” at



Bob Pitt, editor of What Next? -  the on-line Marxist discussion journal – writes to tell us that “What Next? No.27 is now finally available online.” He apologises for the delay, initially claiming that it was “due to technical problems” before breaking down and confessing that in reality “it was due to the editor drinking too much and generally slobbing around over the Xmas period.”  Well, I never. Spectre’s non-appearance during the Christmas period was, on the other hand, due to the fact that the editor and web administrator retreating to rural France for Extremely Important Discussions about The Way Forward. As far as we can remember, we did not drink too much. Shame on you comrade. Anyway, What Next? can be read at  here