Drug War Claims Two More
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jon Fremont
April 26, 2001 (202)225-1605
Washington DC- Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney expressed dismay regarding
the death of two Americans killed in Peru last Friday. A U.S. radar plane
operated by a private military company gave Peru's air force the location of
a plane carrying American missionaries, which Peru shot down. The attack on
the seaplane by a Peruvian fighter Friday killed Veronica Bowers and her
"The CIA, Pentagon, and State Department are all blaming each other and an
American baby and mother are dead. When the Soviets shot down KAL 007, the
US called it an unconscionable attack on a commercial plane. Now that the
US has been caught doing the same thing its response is much more timid,"
The United States began providing radar-tracking information to Peru and
Colombia in 1990. The program was suspended in 1994 due to concerns that
innocent civilians could be accidentally killed. But President Bill Clinton,
under strong pressure from his administration and from members of Congress
who accused him of lacking a tough anti-drug policy, worked to reinstate the
"Reports indicate that 100 planes have been shot down in the area. Shooting
before asking questions seems the tried and true policing method exported by
the US. It is morally reprehensible that the US would serve as the judge,
jury, and executioner of suspected drug runners. The tragic deaths of
Veronica Bowers and her 7-month old daughter, Charity, amount to
extrajudicial killings sanctioned by US drug policy in Latin America,"
Despite tens of years and billions of dollars spent on eradicating drugs at
their source in Latin America, illegal substances have never been cheaper or
easier to obtain in the US.
"How many more innocent people must die before we realize the only rational
way to deal with the drug problem is to focus on rehabilitation, education,
and treatment in our own country and crop substitution and economic
development projects abroad. At the very least, Americans could sleep well
knowing their tax dollars were being spent in their own communities, and to
help other communities, rather than on military campaigns and toxic spraying
that lead to the senseless deaths and internal displacement of innocent men,
women, and children," McKinney concluded.
Back to Main News Page
Thursday, April 26, 2001; Page B07
Civil Rights Crusader Leon Sullivan Dies
Philadelphia Minister Persuaded U.S. Firms to Divest From
By Claudia Levy
Leon Sullivan, 78, the retired Philadelphia minister and
civil rights leader whose relentless crusade for U.S.
divestiture from South Africa helped put an end to the
policy of apartheid, died of leukemia April 24 at a hospital
in Scottsdale, Ariz. He had lived in Phoenix since 1981.
Mr. Sullivan was for many years a central figure in the
debate over U.S. involvement in segregated South Africa,
where blacks were limited in where they could live, work and
travel. His was one of the international voices whose
demands helped end the long imprisonment of reform leader
and later president Nelson Mandela in 1990, when apartheid
was also ended.
Mr. Sullivan expanded his campaign for workers rights to
other developing nations, and in 1999, United Nations
Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced the issuance of an
updated version of the Sullivan Principles to encourage fair
employment around the world.
U.S. corporations began noticing Mr. Sullivan in the 1960s,
when he organized economic boycotts against Philadelphia
companies that refused to hire black workers. The slogan
was: "Don't buy where you don't work."
When the boycotts were successful and the companies
relented, Mr. Sullivan used an abandoned Philadelphia
warehouse as a training facility to prepare city residents
for the jobs. That first Opportunities Industrialization
Center later expanded to 142 others in the United States and
The pastor for 38 years of Philadelphia's largest church,
Zion Baptist, Mr. Sullivan also founded organizations to
establish minority-owned businesses and fund housing,
shopping, human services, education and other nonprofit
ventures in the inner city.
In 1971 he became the first African American named to a
major corporate board when General Motors appointed him a
director. The automaker was not only the biggest company in
the United States, it was also South Africa's largest
employer of blacks. Mr. Sullivan began advocating a
stockholder proposal of the Episcopal Church that GM pull
out of South Africa to protest its apartheid policies.
The idea shocked corporate America, and the Wall Street
Journal editorialized against Mr. Sullivan. Some of his
fellow board members went so far as to turn their backs on
the tall, imposing minister when he spoke of the matter.
A trip to South Africa in 1975 cemented Mr. Sullivan's
determination that apartheid had to be ended, and he drafted
a simple corporate code of conduct that newspapers later
shortened to bear his name.
The Sullivan Principles called for equal treatment for black
workers and for involvement in improving their lives outside
the workplace. Companies were asked to pledge that they
would integrate all eating, comfort and work facilities,
stick to equal and fair employment practices for all
employees and pay equal wages for all employees doing equal
or comparable work for the same period of time.
They also pledged to initiate training programs that would
prepare nonwhites for supervisory, administrative, clerical
and technical jobs and that they would increase the number
of blacks and other nonwhites in management and supervisory
They were asked to improve the quality of life for nonwhites
in housing, transportation, school, recreation and health
facilities. A seventh principle, added in 1984, called on
corporations to work to eliminate laws and customs that
impede social, economic and political justice.
Compliance was to be monitored and rated by the Arthur D.
Little consulting firm. Companies that signed on to the
principles paid annual fees and completed annual reports.
Two years after the code of conduct was issued, a dozen of
the top U.S. corporations, including GM, had adopted the
principles and more than 100 had withdrawn from South
Africa. Thousands of protesters, Mr. Sullivan among them,
were arrested in demonstrations against the South African
government. Businesses avoided new ventures or loans in the
country, and institutional investors such as universities
and pension funds withdrew their interests.
By 1985, half the U.S. companies doing business in South
Africa had signed on to the Sullivan document. In 1986,
Congress passed the Anti-Apartheid Act, over President
Reagan's veto. The act embodied Mr. Sullivan's principles.
Leon Sullivan, the son of an elevator operator and movie
theater janitor, was born in Charleston, W.Va. He was
ordained a minister at the age of 17 and entered West
Virginia State College on an athletic scholarship. After
injuring his knee, he lost the scholarship but paid his way
through school by working nights in a steel mill.
The Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, a New York Democratic
congressman and Harlem minister, recruited him to be his
church assistant. He studied in New York at Union
Theological Seminary and Columbia University, then became
pastor of a church in New Jersey. He began at North
Philadelphia's Zion Baptist in 1950.
Within five years, Mr. Sullivan had established parish youth
programs and worked in cooperative efforts to end gang wars.
The U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce named him one of the 10
most outstanding young men in the country, and Life magazine
named him one of 100 outstanding adults in 1963.
His work with juveniles led to the boycott and employment
campaign, for which he recruited 400 fellow ministers. The
city effort predated passage of federal equal employment
legislation and opened up 3,100 new jobs in Philadelphia in
Mr. Sullivan's honors include the Presidential Medal of
Freedom, the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award and 50
honorary degrees. A documentary about his life, "A
Principled Man," was broadcast by PBS this year.
Survivors include his wife; three children; and seven
Copyright (c) 2001 Washington Post Company. All Rights Reserved.
Back to Main News Page
Biased Media Coverage Of Mideast
By Ray Hanania -- Jordan Times April 24, 2001
Hugh Dellios, the Israeli-based correspondent for the Chicago
Tribune, doesn't mind writing a story about how the Iraqis
have tried to distort the history of the brutal American siege
of their country for the past 10 years. Nor does he mind
ignoring, during his own tenure as the newspaper's ostensibly
objective Arab-Israeli correspondent, all of the in-your-face
facts that demonstrate a similar bias on the part of his
After all, he has to live in Israel, and he certainly doesn't
want to offend his friends, government "minders", and the pro-
Israeli lobby in the West where his newspaper circulates.
He only visits Iraq when he feels like writing a story that
undermines sympathy for the suffering Iraqis, at a time when
the suffering heaped upon the Iraqis by Israel and the United
States is evoking more and more outrage from the world at
It's always amazing to me how the Arabs allow a reporter as
biased as Hugh Dellios to freely enter their countries and
write with such biased perspective.
Ironically, the Israelis are not as kind. They often stop
journalists on their borders or at Ben Gurion Airport,
especially Palestinians and Palestinian Americans, and force
them to leave without entering.
And it is even more ironic that Dellios, who "bravely" enters
Iraq to assassinate truth, is fearful of entering the West
Bank and Gaza Strip without the protection of Israeli military
He writes most of his stories from the comfort of his
Jerusalem offices about how the Palestinians "are provoking"
Israeli military responses that result in massive civilian
Palestinian deaths and very few Israeli deaths.
It is a complaint often heard among Arab journalists who live
and breathe the reality that Hugh Dellios and most other
Western reporters refuse to cover or report.
It only takes one trip to the reality of the West Bank to
witness the truth: that Israeli soldiers who are heavily armed
and wearing heavy armour protected vests, helmets and outfits,
fire upon defenceless Palestinian civilians using so-called
"rubber coated bullets".
These rubber coated bullets are steel ball bearings more
deadly than normal bullets, and coated with a thin coat of
rubber or plastic to allow the Israelis a "propaganda edge" in
descriptions of their brutality.
In almost every instance that Dellios and other reports assert
that the Palestinians are provoking the violence and
confrontations, the truth is the Israeli soldiers are doing
all of the provoking, and it is intentional.
This provocation is an integral part of the strategy of newly
elected Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, one of the most fanatic
and extremist leaders to rule this colonial-style nation of
mostly anti-Muslim and anti-Christian children of a generation
murdered in Nazi gas chambers during World War II.
Sharon wants the violence because it gives him the excuse to
reinforce the settlements of the most fanatic Israelis, allows
him to increase the illegal confiscation of Arab owned land
and forcibly remove more Palestinians from their homes.
Dellios and others fail to see this strategy, relaxing in the
comforts of their Israeli hosts, and swallowing like baby food
the one-sided military reports that Israeli "minders"
carefully prepare for their regular feedings.
It is shameful journalism, at its worst.
The truth is there for any good journalist to see. Certainly
fanatics on both sides, Palestinians and Israelis, are
murdering each other using bombings and assassinations. But
the daily provocation that is reported, as if it were a
similar part of the terrorism described above, is misreported
and even distorted to strengthen Israel's propaganda
The majority of Palestinians are willing to allow Israel to
live in peace in the lands they captured in 1948, in exchange
for them returning the land they captured in 1967. All the
land! Returning all of the West Bank. Returning all of the
Gaza Strip. And returning all of that small part of Jerusalem
that the Arabs controlled until it was taken from them in a
war in 1967.
Israel has built settlements in these lands since 1967,
knowing very well that the settlements were illegal and that
any land compromise in exchange for peace would require that
they be dismantled. But Israel doesn't want to dismantle any
of these illegal settlements which violate the Geneva
conventions, which Israel picks and chooses when to honour.
In fact, Israel doesn't want to give back much at all.
Dellios and other "journalists" often reported that the
Palestinians rejected "the most generous concessions" an
Israeli prime minister has ever offered, without explaining
that this sense of generosity is a blasphemy to the concept of
To most Israelis, their sense of charity is to steal the land
and not kill the owners. It is "the most generous concession"
we have come to expect from Israel's record of inhumane
I expect this kind of corruption of the truth from the
Israelis. But I expect much more honesty from individuals who
claim the mantel of the journalistic profession.
The writer is a Palestinian American journalist and writer,
and chairman of the Chicago Association of Arab Journalists
Back to Main News Page
"SI SE PUEDE" WHY PROTEST MATTERS, AND YES, IT DOES MAKE A
DIFFERENCE IN QUEBEC AND AT HARVARD
by Elaine Bernard [Elaine Bernard is the director of Harvard's Trade
Union program and a keynote speaker at USAS's 1999 national
>From Z Magazine's website -- <http://www.zmag.org.>
As the FTAA protesters head up to Quebec, I've found myself doing
numerous interviews with the media on the FTAA. It's a tough issue
to try and explain in sound bites, but in the aftermath of Seattle I
have observed that the media is a little more conducive to hearing
criticism of trade liberalization and the corporate driven
globalization agenda. Predictably, however, most of the interviews
start or end with the same question. "Do you really think these
protests make a difference?"
For a media in a country that was founded on "protest," the irony of
this question never fails to amaze me. The very fact that the media
is now calling protesters and looking to discuss the trade issue is
a significant change from the NAFTA debate of a few years ago when
we were almost totally shut out of the media. Yes, protest has made
a difference. Recently it was announced that the WTO is planning to
hold its next meeting in Qatar. Is it possible to get further away
from protesters? The image of the mighty WTO running around the
world seeking the perfect, secluded, barb wired, secure location for
its next meeting. A location where world leaders will not be
confronted by their citizens. They can run, but they can't hide!
Yes, protest matters.
The fact that protests in the US denied the Clinton administration,
and may yet succeed in denying the new Bush administration, "fast
track" authority, a necessary legislative procedure for adopting a
trade deal, tells me that protest matters. The collapsing of the ill
fated Multilateral Agreement on Investment, once protesters secured
a copy of the document and floated it globally, courtesy of the
internet, tells me that protesters do have an impact.
Yesterday, students at Harvard University peacefully occupied the
President and Provost's offices, demanding that Harvard pay
employees a "living wage." Again, the question was asked, "does
protest really make a difference?"
For over two years, students, have campaigned for Harvard to adopt a
living wage for all of its direct and subcontracted employees.
Imagine, students at the wealthiest university in the world,
campaigning on behalf of the least well paid workers at Harvard.
Isn't this the social engagement and civic conscience that the much
touted liberal education is suppose to engender in students? I fear
these students will not be getting a merit citation for their
The surrounding communities of Boston, Cambridge and Somerville have
all adopted "living wage" ordinances, but Harvard, one of the
largest and most powerful employers in the area, has steadfastly
refused to raise the wages of its employees to this modest community
standard. Under pressure from the students, Harvard did appoint an
"Ad Hoc Committee on Employment Policies" to examine the issue of
low wage workers at Harvard. After an exhaustive thirteen-month
investigation, during which they managed to speak to only one worker
(brought to meet with the committee by the students) the Committee
concluded that Harvard should not have a mandatory wage floor as
it would interfere with the collective bargaining process. In
fairness to the Committee they came up with many suggestions for
training, education, and some flexibility on benefits and other
imaginative options. But, as one low paid worker said to me
"really, what we need is more money." As for the lame excuse of
fearing t! o interfere with the collective bargaining process, this
is precious. I can't imagine a union rejecting a living wage and
demanding a sub-subsistence standard. There is not a union on
Harvard's campus today that is opposed to the living wage nor a
union that sees a living wage as a threat or challenge to collective
The students have protested, and agitated for a living wage. They
have educated themselves, they have activated many in the community,
and they have taught many of us in the Harvard community about the
lives of our fellow workers, the hidden workers at Harvard, the
contract workers, the contracted out services, some food services
and cleaning workers, workers who arrive at Harvard when everyone
else is leaving at the end of the day. They have held
demonstrations, rallies, concerts, teach-ins, petitions, pickets,
letter writing, meetings with the administration, and even a short
sit-in to bring attention to the issue. The students have
continually worked to assist in giving voice to the cause of the
least powerful of our community.
And finally, with the administration saying that the issue of a
living wage at Harvard is closed, that there is not more to discuss
they marched into the President and Provost's office, and by their
protest action they have forced the issue back on the table.
Does protest matter? Yes! In fact, it's the very energy of change.
But whether this struggle succeeds this time is not just up to the
Harvard students. It's now time for the rest of us in the Harvard
community to join with the students and give them our support. We
all can prevent them from being victimized for this action and
tell the administration that we too believe that Harvard must adopt
a living wage policy.
Yesterday, 50 students organized a sit-in. Last night and into
today, people are walking outside of Massachusetts Hall, in
solidarity with the students inside. Harvard can be made to pay a
living wage if the protests continue until it does. I expect,
however, that when the issue is finally won, that the university
will say that the protests meant nothing. That they are doing it,
because they wanted to. Because it's just or the right thing to do.
Or maybe just because "we're Harvard"and that should suffice as an
explanation. But you and I will know, it's because "protest matters"
and "we can make a difference." Si Se Puede!
"The whole of history of progress of human liberty shows that all
concessions yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest
struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing,
and for the time begin, putting all other tumults to silence. It
must do this or it does nothing. If these is no struggle there is no
progress. Those who ! profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate
agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground,
they want rain without thunder and lightening, they want the ocean
without the awful roar of its many waters." "This struggle may be a
moral one: or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and
physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without
a demand. It never did and it never will." "Find out just what any
people will quietly submit to and you have found the exact measure
of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these
will continue till they are resisted..." Frederick Douglass, West
India Emancipation Speech, August 1857
Back to Main News Page
April 22, 2001
The Independent / UK
Animal Slaughters Fallout Foot and Mouth
Pyres Spewing Dioxin
By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor
Britain's blazing foot and mouth pyres are spewing out more deadly pollutants than all the country's factories combined, unpublished official figures indicate. The Government has admitted that no systematic checks are being made on the pollution, no single body is responsible for controlling it, and no assessment of the health effects have been carried out. The massive airborne emissions are of dioxins; carcinogens 1,000 times more deadly than arsenic. The pollution poses yet another risk to agriculture
and the countryside, as well to public health. Environmentalists fear that the pollution will make farmland unusable for long after the crisis has ended.
These revelations, the result of an inquiry by The Independent on Sunday, come as protests are rising both about the pyres and about the disposal of the carcasses
of slaughtered animals. Families blockaded lorries taking carcasses to a pyre at Hemscott Hill, Northumberland, in protest at "a criminal lack of concern for public
health" and residents promised a "battle" over another at Epynt, near Brecon in Wales. Ten days ago people in Longtown, Cumbria, forced the Government to abandon a pyre designed to burn 3,000 dead animals a day.
Meanwhile other protest groups are fighting plans to bury hundreds of thousands of carcasses in giant pits. In Devon alone, 174,600 dead animals are rotting in fields,
posing their own health risks; the National Farmers' Union says that they are making large parts of the county "uninhabitable". There is also increasing concern about
disinfectant polluting streams and possibly contaminating water supplies.
Top officials said yesterday that ministers were suddenly "waking up" to the fact that the crisis was developing into a major threat to public health, adding a dramatic new
dimension to the two-month-long emergency. They are beginning to realise that, while neither the disease itself, nor vaccination, pose any dangers to human health, the
official policy of wholescale slaughter is leading to a whole series of new threats.
"This is the latest cock-up in a whole series of them," said one senior adviser. "The track record to date gives little confidence that it will be tackled effectively." Ministers arenow preparing new guidelines to protect public health in the disposal of carcasses, which will include provisions for smaller, less polluting pyres.
Tony Blair is also keen to cut back on the burning, because of its impact on television viewers and would-be tourists overseas. But official figures released to The Independent on Sunday, from a study carried out for the Department of
Transport, Environment and the Regions by AEA Technology's National Environmental Technology Centre, suggest that these will come too little, too late
to stop major contamination of the countryside.
The study estimates that by 5pm on 6 April, by when some 500,000 animals had been destroyed, 63 grams of dioxins had been emitted by the pyres. This compares with some 88 grams released from all of the countries' biggest and most hazardous factories in a year. Officials admit that the total emissions will be much higher.
Dioxins are so toxic that the World Health Organisation recommends that the average-sized person should be exposed to no more than around 30 billionths of a
gram of them each year. That means the pyres have already produced enough dioxins to deliver a dangerous dose, in theory, to a third of the world's population. Dioxins are one of the most potent carcinogens known, a suspected cause of birth defects and disrupt the hormonal system, causing gender-bending in wildlife.
They are released by burning chlorine, and emitted from the pyres from PVC, from wood treated with chlorinated pesticides and from disinfectants used on the carcasses. But the study is only a desk-top investigation. Virtually no measurements have been taken of pollution from the pyres. The DETR admits that only one pyre, the one at
Epynt, is being monitored in this way by the Environment Agency for Powys County County and the Welsh National Assembly.
The pollution has raised the fear that farmland will be sterilised for long after the crisis is over. Farm produce had to be banned from land near a Coalite Chemicals factory
near Bolsover in 1991, after dioxin contamination, and the pollutant remained in the soil for years afterwards.
Mike Childs, Campaigns Director for Friends of the Earth, said he was shocked at the amount of dioxins being produced and added: "Releases on this scale could provide
farmers with a dreadful double whammy. After losing their livestock because of foot and mouth, they may find their farms heavily contaminated and unuseable as a
result of the Government's short-sighted obsession with slaughter."
Back to Main News Page
JEWISH UNITY FOR A JUST PEACE
INTERNATIONAL GATHERING IN CHICAGO
MAY 4-6, 2001
CONTACT AND REGISTRATION INFORMATION:
Dear friend of peace and justice:
I am writing to invite you to join us at the Jewish Unity
for a Just Peace gathering, that will take place on May 4-6,
2001 in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
WHAT IS JEWISH UNITY FOR A JUST PEACE?
Jewish Unity for a Just Peace is an international gathering
of grassroots Jewish activists who support a just, viable
and lasting peace based on the principles of international
law, requiring a complete end to Israel's occupation of the
West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
We are coming together in Chicago in order to explore ways
to coordinate the efforts of the many Jewish organizations
working for a just and lasting peace between Israelis and
Palestinians. While our primary focus will be on education,
action and activities in the United States and Canada, we
welcome activists from around the world to join in our
We recognize that there will be a broad spectrum of
political views and beliefs as to the best solution for the
region and the most effective strategies for achieving peace
and justice. We view such diversity of opinion as an asset
to our collective efforts, even as we realize that our
success in influencing American public opinion and changing
US policy towards Israel requires that we work
We intend to keep the speeches and presentations to a
minimum and focus instead on analysis of the challenges we
face, and sharing resources, ideas and the excitement of
working for justice with many others. We want to come out of
the weekend with very concrete plans for national
coordination of action and activities.
CHALLENGE AND OPPORTUNITY
We face both a major challenge and significant opportunity
in 2001. Israel has tightened its siege on Palestinian
communities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and increased
its use of collective punishment to accomplish its
objectives. The US and international corporate media present
a very distorted perspective of the reality of Israel's
occupation. Mainstream American Jewish organizations promote
an uncritical support of Israel that is both dangerous and
We must make it clear that there are many Jews who disagree
with Israel's policies toward the Palestinians, who want to
see an end to human rights abuses of Palestinians, an end to
the occupation of the Palestinian territories, and a
reversal of the self-destructive settlement policy that
Israel has pursued for decades.
We are critical of these policies not despite, but because
of, our Jewish ethical commitments and our deep concern for
Israeli and Palestinian lives and well-being. Our Jewish
ethical values demand that we seek justice and pursue it --
for ourselves and for all those with whom we live.
We believe that together, with the cooperation of the
thousands of activists throughout North America and
elsewhere, we can work to influence American and Israeli
policy for the benefit of all peoples in the Middle East.
Together, activist Jews must unite in support of a new
ethical and political project. Now is the time for us to
meet one another, to discuss our common concerns and our
differences, and to forge ways in which we can work
together. Now is the time for us to break the lock that a
few, well-funded, narrowly focused, pro-Israel advocacy
groups have maintained over Jewish public opinion on matters
concerning Israel and the cause of peace.
Now is the time for those who have felt unrepresented by
such mainstream groups to organize ourselves, and to SPEAK
JOIN US AND MAGNIFY YOUR IMPACT
We hope you as an individual or member of a group, and/or
other members of your organization, will be able to join us
for this international meeting of Jews seeking to end the
occupation and build a national grassroots network. We
invite you to participate at all levels of planning and
participation, and we encourage you to tell your friends and
colleagues about our upcoming gathering. If you wish to
participate, please read the following proposals for next
Please visit http://www.junity.org and fill out the
registration form for the Jewish Unity gathering. You can
find lots more information about the event at our web site,
including details on housing, registration fees and other
conference logistics. Even if you are not able to join us,
please register so that we can provide you with updates and
add you to our growing list of activists.
If you have questions or want to discuss the meeting, please
do not hesitate to contact me or any member of the
Organizing Committee (see list below).
For a lasting and just peace,
firstname.lastname@example.org or 773.454.8397
on behalf of the members of the Organizing Committee
and Advisory Council
Organizing Committee of Jewish Unity for a Just Peace
Steven Feuerstein, Not In My Name, Chicago
Cindy Levitt, Not In My Name, Chicago
Lincoln Shlensky, A Jewish Voice for Peace, San Francisco
Adam Gutride, A Jewish Voice for Peace, San Francisco
Mitchell Plitnick, A Jewish Voice For Peace, San Francisco
Laurie Zimmerman, Israel-Palestine Working Group / Jews
Uniting for Social Justice, Philadelphia
Andrea Jacobs, Israel-Palestine Working Group / Jews Uniting
for Social Justice, Philadelphia
Judith Kolokoff, Northwest Coalition for a Just Peace
Frank Rosenthal, Lafayette Committee for Israeli/Palestinian
Peace and Justice
Gila Svirsky, The Coalition of Women for a Just Peace, Jerusalem
Jeff Halper, Israel Committee Against House Demolitions
Donna Spiegelman, Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring, Boston Chapter*
Joel Beinin, Professor of Middle East History, Stanford University*
Jordan Elgrably, Open Tent Middle East Coalition, Los Angeles
M.C. Ettinger, Coalition of Jews for Justice in Israel and
Palestine, San Francisco
Marcia Freedman, Israeli Women's Coalition for a Just Peace
Rabbi Rebecca Lillian, Jewish Peace Forum, Chicago*
Meir Amor, Yosher, Toronto
Sarah Anne Minkin, SUSTAIN*, Washington, DC
Jeffrey Adam Sacks, activist, Columbia University*, New York City
Advisory Council of Jewish Unity for a Just Peace (in formation)
Rabbi Michael Lerner, Tikkun*
Hilla Dayan, Israeli human rights activist
Yifat Susskind, MADRE*
Cherie Brown, Break the Silence Campaign*, Washington, D.C.
Rabbi Burt Jacobson, Kehilla Community Synagogue*
Barbara Lubin, Middle East Children's Alliance
Arnold Jacob Wolf, Rabbi Emeritus, K.A.M. Isaiah Israel
Sandor and Faye Straus, Firedoll Foundation*
Clare Kinberg, Bridges*, Eugene, OR
Yvonne Deutsch, Women in Black*, Israel
Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta, Vancouver Campaign for Secure
Letty Cottin Pogrebin, founding editor, Ms. magazine; past
president, Americans for Peace Now; current president, the
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Congregation Nahalat Shalom*,
co-founder of Arab-Jewish Dialogue of New Mexico*,
Professor Naomi Seidman, Graduate Theological Union*, Berkeley
Reena Bernards, diversity trainer, Washington, DC
Hilda Silverman, Visions of Peace with Justice in
Professor Tanya Reinhart, linguist, columnist, Israel
Professor Rebecca Stein, Coalition of Jews for Justice*, Berkeley
Ira Grupper, former national co-chair, New Jewish Agenda
Rabbi David Seidenberg
Rabbi Rebecca T. Alpert, Temple University*, Philadelphia
Robert Meeropol, Founder and Executive Director of the
Rosenberg Fund for Children, Springfield, MA
* Organization listed for identification purposes only
Back to Main News Page
AFRICA: Reporting of sub standard flour imports leads
to imprisonment for journalists
23 Apr 2001
Source: just-food.com editorial team
A scandal surrounding the alleged import of substandard wheat flour in the Lower Congo has led to the arrest and imprisonment of two local journalists in what the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) and the World Editors Forum
(WEF) believe is a "clear breach of their right to freedom of expression."
Jules-Cesar Mayimbi, a journalist for the Kinshasa-based daily Forum, was arrested on 5 April at the behest of the company selling the 45,000 tonnes of flour, whose quality was questioned. Held at the Matadi prison in the Lower-Congo province, Mayimbi was charged with making harmful accusations.
Washington Lutumba, a journalist for Le Potentiel, was similarly arrested in relation to the same story.
In a letter to the government of the Congo, Roger Parkinson, president of the WAN, and Ruth de Aquino, president of the WEF, explained that the United Nations Commission on Human Rights notes that "detention, as punishment for the peaceful
expression of an opinion, is one of the most reprehensible ways to enjoin silence and, as a consequence, a grave violation of human rights."
The letter continued: "We respectfully call on you to ensure that [the two men] are immediately released from prison and that all charges against them are dropped. We urge you to do everything in your power to ensure that in future the Democratic Republic of Congo fully respects its international obligations to freedom of expression."
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Quebec City Protests
Bush Will Ignore the Noise at His Own Peril
by Sarah Anderson and John Cavanagh
April 20, 2001, Baltimore Sun
WASHINGTON -- President Bush will join leaders of 33 countries behind the stone walls of Quebec City to try to make progress on a hemispheric trade deal called the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Outside the fortress, demonstrators are expected to turn Quebec City into Canada's Seattle while protests are planned in hundreds of cities across the hemisphere. Mr. Bush will ignore the noise at his own peril.
In this fight, the protesters benefit from an arsenal of evidence accumulated under the North American Free Trade Agreement, the model for the proposed hemispheric pact. When NAFTA went into effect in 1994, promoters promised a huge U.S. trade surplus with Canada and Mexico, more good jobs in all three countries and a cleaner environment.
Today, however, skyrocketing trade deficits with Canada and Mexico have turned jobs predictions on their head.
There is also strong evidence that NAFTA contributed to the negligible growth in U.S. wages during the last half of the 1990s, despite record low unemployment and high corporate profits.
As a Cornell University study reveals, employers more frequently use threats to move factories abroad in order to hold down U.S. wages. In Mexico, workers have suffered a more than 20 percent drop in real wages, and those who fight for change still face severe repression.
The promises about environmental cleanup have become a cruel joke as uncontrolled industrial development has only worsened the environmental nightmare along the U.S.-Mexico border. A recent study by Tufts University indicates that air pollution rates in Mexican manufacturing have nearly doubled since NAFTA's passage.
Unfortunately, top U.S. trade negotiators appear to have learned nothing from the NAFTA experience. The current U.S. negotiating positions have no protections for labor or the environment.
Washington also intends to push other countries to accept a NAFTA provision that grants corporations (but not citizens) the right to sue governments directly. As a result of one such suit, a Canadian company is suing the United States for nearly $1 billion over a California measure to prevent water contamination.
The unwillingness of the U.S. government to re- examine the wisdom of NAFTA-style trade deals has helped galvanize an international movement in opposition to the FTAA.
One of the main forces in Quebec City will be the Hemispheric Social Alliance, a network of labor organizations and citizens coalitions representing more than 45 million people that is demanding an alternative to free trade that puts the pursuit of just and sustainable economics first.
Inside the fortress, protected by the largest security operation ever mounted in Canada's history, Mr. Bush is also likely to face a hostile crowd. Several Latin American nations, led by Brazil, are expected to demand that the United States open its markets in sensitive products such as steel and sugar.
As in Seattle, the chemistry of intergovernmental tensions mixed with street heat could be deadly to the U.S. trade agenda. Perhaps this is the jolt the Bush administration needs to realize that it is time to come out of the fortress and listen to its critics.
Sarah Anderson is a fellow and John Cavanagh is the director of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington. They are co-authors of "Field Guide to the Global Economy" (New Press, 2000).
Copyright © 2001 by The Baltimore Sun
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