Lactose Intolerance Gene Discovered
May Help the Millions Living With This Problem By Michael Smith , MD
WebMD Medical News
Jan. 16, 2002 -- Lactose intolerance leaves many people uncomfortable and scurrying for the bathroom. But researchers have found
the gene responsible for the condition, and their finding may explain why up to 50 million Americans are affected with this bloating
People with lactose intolerance are unable to digest significant amounts of lactose, the predominant sugar found in milk. Their
bodies lack lactase, the enzyme that metabolizes lactose. Breast milk is usually tolerated since the lack of the enzyme usually
does not become a problem until later in life.
Symptoms -- nausea, cramps, bloating, gas, and diarrhea -- usually begin about 30 minutes to two hours after eating or drinking
foods containing lactose, namely dairy products. The severity of symptoms varies depending on the amount of lactose ingested and
how much the person can tolerate.
The most effective treatment is to avoid dairy products, but this deprives people of calcium-rich milk. There are alternatives, however,
such as lactase-enriched milk and even ice cream that has the lactase enzyme already added. In addition, there are pills -- available
over the counter -- to replace lactase. These pills work to varying degrees in different people.
Lactose intolerance affects 75% of African Americans and 90% of Asian Americans. Since there seems to be some genetic
influence, researchers wanted to find the gene that could account for such a high frequency of this condition.
UCLA and Finnish researchers examined the DNA of 196 people with lactose intolerance that were of African, Asian, or European
They found the same make-up of the gene in all the lactose-intolerant people across different ethnic groups. This suggests that this
specific gene is very old, said researcher Leena Peltonen, MD, PhD, in a news release.
Interestingly, the researchers believe that this "abnormal" gene is actually the original form of the gene. Peltonen suggests the gene
"mutated to tolerate milk products when early humans adopted dairy farming.
"This suggests that everyone was originally lactose intolerant," she said. "It's an excellent example of a useful mutation in
The findings by Peltonen and colleagues will hopefully lead to treatments that may one day allow people living with lactose
intolerance to enjoy that slice of cheese -- low fat, of course.
By Charlotte Grayson
ę 2002 WebMD Corporation. All rights reserved.
Back to Main News Page
Coltan and the Congo
April 7, 2001
The mineral called Coltan was always referred to me as
Tantalum, which is grown in the form of Tantalite ore.
Same mineral, different name. Here's more info about
the natural resource found in Kivu, Congo.
Did you know that every time you change your mobile
phone for the latest model you are helping to fuel
war in Congo, say Michael Bond and Colette Braeckman
THE guns have fallen silent in the two-year civil war.
A ceasefire is in place, and troops are pulling back
15 kilometers from the front line. The fighting has
killed 250,000 people, and a million people have been
displaced in East Congo. What has all this got to do
with our mobile phones? Quite a lot, as it happens.
The numbers of dead and wounded might have been fewer
had it not been for our insatiable appetite for
This is the story of a health scare with a difference.
Unlike smokers and car drivers, mobile phone users
take comfort in the thought that they are the only
ones who carry the risk. But things aren't that
For the past two years, the government of the
Democratic Republic of Congo, several opposition rebel
groups and at least six other African states have been
involved in a fight for control of the country. Almost
every expert we've spoken to agree that this war is
not mainly about border security, as is sometimes
claimed. It's really about who gets to own Congo's
vast reserves of tantalum, a rare, valuable metal
used, among other things, to make capacitors for
Tantalum is an extremely hard, dense element that is
highly resistant to corrosion. It has a high melting
point and is a good conductor of heat and electricity.
It is used in capacitors for mobile phones, pagers and
computers, in aircraft turbines, surgical equipment
and in chemical processing plants. Most of the world's
declared supply of tantalum is mined as tantalite ore,
and comes from Australia. There are also significant
reserves in Brazil, Canada and Nigeria. But
unofficially, 80 per cent of the world's tantalum
reserves are believed to be in Africa, and 80 per cent
of those in Congo.
The country's reserves of tantalite are almost
entirely in the east, in a place called Kivu. The area
is controlled not by the government but by a rebel
group called the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD),
backed by Rwanda, which with Uganda invaded Congo four
The rebels, together with the Rwandan army, control
the mining of tantalite, and the proceeds help fund
their war effort. The export of tantalum is in the
hands of one company, SOMIGL, which operates with the
blessing of the rebels to whom it contributes part of
its profits. In fact, the RCD is SOMIGL's principal
shareholder. Analysts claim that the rebels-the
Rwandan army in particular-are prolonging their
occupation in order to maintain control of the mines.
It's hardly surprising then that most companies who
buy Congolese tantalum for the electronics industry
work through intermediaries and say they are blind to
how and from whom it is obtained. Even the US
Geological Survey barely mentions Congo as a source
for the metal in its latest Mineral Commodity
Tantalum importers have their suspicions of course,
but they're saying little beyond that. "A large part
of [the process] could be illegal, and this is the
part that makes us very nervous," says a
representative of the US-based AVX Corporation, which
manufactures capacitors and other electronics
components. "There is a requirement for licensing for
trade from Africa. Does it happen? No. Trade in Africa
really does involve a lot of dark, smoke-filled
backrooms and night-time flights." We asked several
companies that buy Congolese tantalum whether they
knew that their business had helped to keep the war
going. All said they didn't know. We got a similar
response from manufacturers of mobile phones.
The two biggest processors of tantalite are Cabot
Performance Materials of Boyertown, Pennsylvania, and
H. C. Starck of Goslar, Germany, part of the Bayer
Group. Cabot processes up to 40 per cent of the
world's tantalum and the company acknowledges that it
takes ore from the Congo. But it admits it doesn't
"know enough about the politics of what's going on in
the Congo to know if we're doing something that's
Starck, meanwhile, refuses to reveal where it gets its
ore, maintaining that such information is
"confidential for commercial reasons". But a company
insider told us it was "almost inconceivable" that the
company did not get some of its ore from Congo.
But why the Congo? If there's tantalum to be found in
Brazil and Australia, why are companies flocking to
Africa. The answer is that they need as much as they
can get their hands on. Demand for tantalum has boomed
over the past year, thanks to rocketing markets in
mobile phones and aerospace products. It is far
outstripping supply. Prices rose from around $65 per
kilogram in January 2000 to more than $550 in
December, and currently stand at around $375.
Australia has plenty of tantalum, as have other
declared sources. But it can take up to 10 years to
open a new mine and two years to expand existing ones.
For producers of tantalum products keen to exploit the
current demand, this is just too long.
"It is well established that there are many sources
[of tantalum] in Africa. Up to now they have been
unviable, but with demand exploding they are becoming
potentially attractive," says the AVX representative.
"All of us in the industry are almost being forced
into this type of business. We would not normally get
involved in the mining side, but since existing
established channels are full we are looking for new
The Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center, the
industry's trade association based in Brussels, says
it would be too difficult to "untangle" the trade
routes from Africa. Asked whether the association had
considered adopting an ethical trading policy of some
kind, a spokeswoman suggested that by the time such a
policy was adopted "the [media] fuss would all be
over". She said it should come down to the moral
judgment of those buying the ore.
It may even come down to the moral-or
commercial-judgment of mobile telephone manufacturers.
Their customers may not like the idea that every time
they upgrade their phones they are helping to fuel a
war. As plenty of companies in other fields have
found, when it comes to ethics, customer choice can be
a powerful thing.
Michael Bond is a journalist based in London; Colette
Braeckman is Africa editor of Le Soir in Brussels.
From New Scientist 07 April 2001
Back to Main News Page
Love & Cholera
By Conn Hallinan
January 25, 2002
When novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote Love in the
Time of Cholera, the dreaded disease was a metaphor for
the past. The malady itself had exited the South
American stage almost 100 years ago, driven into
extinction by the modernization of sewerage systems and
the purification of water supplies. But in 1991 it
suddenly reappeared in Peru, spreading up and down the
West Coast, from Argentina to Mexico. In the past
decade it has felled more than a million people and
killed tens of thousands, particularly small children.
It is a metaphor given life by the policies of the
International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Like one of Garcia's parables, the story of cholera's
return is a complex tale of greed and power that has
its origins in the early '70s, when money was cheap,
interest rates low, and the Caudillos ruled from Brazil
to Ecuador. Looking for new pastures, American banks
pushed loans on countries like Peru, and the corrupt
military dictatorships were more than happy to take
them. But when the oil crisis hit in 1973, interest
rates went through the roof, and countries like
Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru found themselves
on the wrong end of bad loans.
With backward industrial bases, and much of the loan
money siphoned off into Swiss bank accounts or military
spending, nations like Peru had no choice but to turn
to the World Bank and the IMF to bail them out. The
loans were forthcoming, but at a price: open your
markets, privatize state businesses, and "discipline"
spending. Translation: countries like Peru will now
compete on equal terms with the United States, Europe
Is there any need to dwell on what happened in that
contest? Suffice it to say that it was cheaper to
import Nebraska corn than for Peruvians to buy local
corn grown in small, inefficient peasant holdings and
transported on primitive roads. But buying foreign corn
meant acquiring foreign debt, and after the big
industrial countries had finished wiping out Peru's
infant industrial base, the country had nothing to
Small farmers in the hinterlands could no longer sell
their corn, and so they migrated from the countryside
to the cities. From 1970 to 1990, city populations in
South America increased seven fold. But with no
industrial base, and shrinking government industries,
there were no jobs for these people. Still, lured by
the few social services that survived the first rounds
of austerity, they came, filling the hillsides and the
river bottoms with tin shacks and cardboard shanties.
In the end, it was the enforced "discipline" that did
them in. With almost 35 percent of the national income
going toward paying off the debt, there was no money
for public health or infrastructure repair, in spite of
the fact that the exploding urban population was
placing enormous stress on transport, water and sewage
systems. The results were inevitable: sewer systems
collapsed and human feces--- cholera's source---got
into the water supply and coastal waters. People drank
the water or ate contaminated shellfish, and Gabriel
Garcia Marquez's metaphor ceased being fiction.
Cholera is a simple disease, not one of those fancy
designer strains like HIV or Ebola. It isn't hard to
avoid unless you don't have clean water or much of a
public health system. Lacking those things, it is
deadly, killing as many as 50 percent of its victims in
rural areas. Children are particularly susceptible
because they are so quickly dehydrated by the diarrhea
that accompanies the disease.
The cure is simple: clean water. And the price is not
very high. It would cost approximately $60 billion to
purify the water supplies in Latin America, or the cost
of the B-1 bomber fleet, which is chiefly distinguished
by its talent for crashing. If the U.S. were to decide
not to build the new F-22 fighter jet---a weapon system
that virtually every single independent expert on
military spending agrees we don't need---and turn that
into an aid package to smart-bomb cholera, we would not
only save a lot of people (and money), but make some
serious friends. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration
has substituted bromides for aid. Rather than examining
the carnage that IMF and US policy has inflicted on
Latin America, President Bush told a meeting of the
Organization of American States last week that he was
going to push hard for free trade and open markets in
Central America. Great. That ought to solve those
countries' over population problems. The wake of the
IMF in Latin America is strewn with pain and chaos.
Bolivians rioted in 2000 when the IMF forced the
government to raise water rates. Ecuadorians rioted
last year when austerity measures ended government
subsidies for cooking gas. Argentina is on the verge of
a social and political meltdown. And this is what the
White House wants to unleash on Central America? One
can only wonder what metaphor will embrace that
disaster in the making.
Back to Main News Page
'Roots' And Branches
25 Years After TV Miniseries, Alex Haley's Search
Inspires Ancestry Industry, Writers
by Todd Steven Burroughs
NNPA National Correspondent
WASHINGTON (NNPA)ŚTwenty-five years ago this month,
Alex Haley's best-selling book "Roots" was broadcast as
a television mini-series.
Today, the impact of both the historical novel and TV
product is still being felt.
They "allowed other people to think that their own
families had some dignity and some worth and that they
were worth telling," says A'Lelia Perry Bundles, a
friend of Haley's who authored a book on her great-
great grandmother, Black entrepreneur Madame C.J.
So Bundles and other curious people around the world,
spurred by Haley and his example, began to tell their
stories. And the result is the worldwide popularity of
genealogy, the research of one's ancestors.
"You never see an article now that mentions genealogy
where Alex's name is not mentioned as the person who
really spurred an interest in family history among
African Americans and European Americans and all
Americans," Bundles declares.
She mentions that best-selling authors, like Frank
McCourt, author of "Angela's Ashes," his memoir of
growing up dirt-poor in Ireland, are following in
Lisa Drew, who edited "Roots" for Doubleday, says
hundreds heeded Haley's public call for people to
document their own family history.
"I knew a lot of people who took that seriously, who
actually were, when they went home for a holiday,
taking a tape recorder to record the great aunt or the
so-and-so," she recalls.
"Roots" had transformed Haley, who died in 1992 at the
age of 70, from a prominent freelance magazine writer
and author into a revered American cultural figure.
Haley, who co-wrote "The Autobiography of Malcolm X,"
died knowing he had written the two of the most popular
books in Black America.
The story Haley told of his ancestors, one which began
with a proud African named Kunta Kinte being sold into
slavery and brought to America, became the symbolic
history of Black America, instantly absorbed into the
nation's consciousness through the power of network
That transformation brought together others who
continue to work to document the history of African
Americans, says Barbara Dodson Walker, president of the
Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society.
The group was formed in 1977 in Washington, D.C. by
Walker's late husband, pioneering genealogist James
Dent Walker, and several other scholars who were part
of Haley's Kinte Foundation.
"I would think that they were brought together by
'Roots,' because of their involvement with Alex Haley,"
Walker, a consultant with the National Archives for
almost 30 years, assisted Haley as a researcher when
the author was in the final stages of writing "Roots."
She recalls that Haley had often said: "If I had just
met Jimmy earlier, that I could have been finished this
book a lot sooner."
James Walker and Haley were "men of substance," says
Darius Gray, an amateur genealogist who knew the two
men when they did research at the LDS Genealogical
Library, the world-famous research center of the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Haley used the
center to research "Roots."
"They cared about themselves, they cared about others
around them," Gray recalls. "They were concerned with
getting a story out, a view of history that hadn't been
Haley's success in finding his forebears inspired
untold numbers to pack the LDS library, the National
Archives and other libraries to do the same.
In the five years after the book was published, book
publishers received a barrage of books from would-be
authors who researched and wrote their family history,
says book editor Lisa Drew. But history didn't repeat
"The reason that 'Roots' is so important (is that)
through the microcosm of one man's personal family
story, represented a whole race in this country, the
representation of which had never been done before in
literature," she says.
"This was American history served up to every American,
of every age of every race," explained Drew, now a vice
president at Scribner's and publisher of her own
"It was a segment of our county's history that was
missing. That cannot be said of any old group," she
argues. "'Roots' was so much more than one man's
family, no matter how important his family was."
Although Haley inspired a generation of amateur
genealogists, questions and discrepancies about facts
in "Roots" continue to prick at his legacy. The author,
responding to initial criticism of the book, dubbed his
work "faction"Śa combination of fact and fiction.
Walker accepts Haley's definition. "'Roots' is an
historical novel. He didn't say it was his family's
genealogyůhe based 'Roots' on his oral history and his
research," she says.
Bundles, a former television news producer who is
director of talent development for ABC News in
Washington, asserts she could never join Haley's chorus
of critics. She also says Haley was a storyteller, not
However, she says she can't defend anyone's sloppiness.
The attacks Haley received in life and in death on the
accuracy of his reporting was something she kept in
mind while writing "On Her Own Ground," her biography
of Madame C.J. Walker, she admits.
"If somebody finds holes in what you're doing, it
diminishes what you do," she says. "That's why in my
book, I was very meticulous, because I knew having the
example of AlexŚhaving him attacked on something that
was worthy of praiseŚI think you owe it to yourself and
you owe it to other people to be as accurate as you
Haley's only son, William Alexander Haley, is also
writing books. One of them is on his interest in
psycho-genealogy, the study of family traits and
behaviors. It's the focus of the Alex Haley Center in
Annapolis, Md., which he runs with a colleague.
"I think most people don't know who he was," said
Haley. "They projected him as the grandfather of all of
to Main News Page
1/18/2002 9:53:19 PM
Discuss this story in the forum
Robert Brock / "Final Judgement"
Commentary -- [Bill's note: I met this guy Michael Collins Piper at
Carto's HQ the other
day, and he signed a copy of this wacky little book he had, "Final
which claims that the Mossad killed JFK. I haven't read the whole
and I now nothing about JFK except that he screwed Marilyn Monroe and
dead, but I ran across the following introduction, which describes (if
a few paragraphs in) the role the ADL played in spying on Martin
through Jewish liberal activists close to him, for the FBI, and I
A BLACK AMERICAN's PERSPECTIVE ON THE ASSASSINATION OF JOHN F KENNEDY
by Robert L Brock
As an American of African slave descent, as a US Army veteran of World
and as a long time laborer within the African-American community, I
special interest in finding out precisely who killed President John F
John F Kennedy and his brother, Tobert kennedy, put a great deal on
when they stepped forward and identified themselves with the cause of
for Blacks in America. To be sure, Jack and Bobby were saavy
conscious of the growing and increasingly influential Black voting
America. Thus, for reasons of their own, they had made a conscious
align themselves politically with Americans of African slave descent.
at the same time Jack and Bobby also truly believed that it was time
Black man and Black woman in America deserved an even break
Through their ords and -- more significantly -- through their actions,
Kennedy brothers were bringing a previously disenfranchised people
protection of the Kennedy dynasty. Had John Kennedy lived and been
a second term, the Black voting bloc -- for years to come -- would
ultimately become part of a Kennedy political powerhouse.
Through the 20th Century the Black political apparatus in America was
at the highest levels -- particularly in the all important financial
by Jewish influence. Organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League
B'nai B'rith, one of the foremost elements in the powerful Israeli
aggressively dictated the internal affairs and the public course and
of what were ostensibly "Black" -- or in the parlance of the time
civil rights organizations.
However, with the advent of the Kennedy presidency, Americans of
descent now had an effective and eloquent spokesman in the WHite House
This essentially had the effect of moving the AFL, for example, out of
loop. The ADL was no longer the "middleman" divying up the civil
for Blacks in America.
John F Kennedy, for all intents and purposes, had emerged as a
white "mainstream" voice for Black America's political empowerment. As
President of the United States, speaking out on behalf of Black
concers, John F
Kennedy short circuited the long-time domination of the Black
Jewish financial interests and placed himself in the center of the
debate. The ADL and other "civil rights" organiztions funded by the
financial interests were pushed aside and made irrelevant. A white man
Irish Catholic descent -- the grandson of a saloon keeper -- became
America's unlikely spokesman and coopted the Jewish overseers of the
rights movement in America.
As a consequence I do beiueve -- as do many other Americans of African
descent -- that this is one of the reasons that the powers that be
America's plutocratic elite determined that John F Kennedy's
presidency had to
be brought to a premature close.
What's more, all of this came at a time when independent black voices
Malcom X and Martin Luther King were themselve rising in popularity
influence -- much, it seems, to the dismay of the Jewish community. We
know that although we have heard much in the media about J Edgar
on Dr King, it was the ADL that was providing the foot soldiers for
this war --
a fact that the ADL would much prefer be kept under wraps. a former
official has admitted (and as Michael Collins Piper documents in Final
Judgment) it was the ADL that was actually doing much of the
surveillance of Dr
King, the illicit fruits of which, in turn, were channeled by the DL
to J Edgar
Dr King and Malcolm X and others knew the way of the Black ghetto.
understood how Black American was being manipulatd. They knew how th
gambling and prostitution rackets of Meyer Lansky -- a major ADL
were eviscerating Black America. They dared to speak out. For that,
Malcom and Martin paid a price.
When all is said and done, there's no question in my mind that we will
that those who slew those dreamers were also behind the murder of John
Kennedy and his brother Bobby. This is why I take great pleasure in
this brief introduction to Michael Collins Piper's remakable book. I
that Final Judgment provides the answer to the mystery of who really
John F Kennedy -- and why.
I will say this for the record: I have nothing but contempt for those
white liberals who portray themselves as adnmirers of JFK's stand on
rights and say that they want to find the real murderers of President
but who otherwise ignore or suppress the facts put forth in Final
They are frauds and phonies. They are afraid of the truth. They are
profiteers who are trading on the death of President Kennedy by
covering up all
of the facts that are before them.
There is no other book ever written that explains the JFK
conspiracy so honestly or which makes everything about the JFK
conspiracy so crystal clear.
Once you've read Final Judgment you'll understand the big picture. You
see why the ADL, in particular, is telling you --m as did the Wizard
of Oz --
to ignore "the Man Behind the Curtain."
However, that man is no longer behind the curtain. Instead, Michael
Piper had stepped right up to the footlights of center stage and, like
those great Broadway impresarios, Piper has presented a spellbinding
outlining the entirety of the JFK assassination conspiracy more
more convincing than any before. I think you'll agree.
Robert L Brock, Founder
The Self Determination Committee
to Main News Page
MATAH: the path to TRUE Freedom for Africans
Get on the Freedom Train
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 08:33:03 -0800
From: Djehuti Sundaka <AHuguley@ix.netcom.com>
Subject: Worrill Signs MATAH Accord For Economic Freedom
Juanda Honore wrote:
"Worrill Signs MATAH Accord For Economic Freedom"
Chicago Defender - Tuesday, January 8, 20002
by Chinta Trausberg
In an historic move, Black National United Front, (NBUF)Chairman Dr.
Conrad Worrill signed an accord with the MATAH Black economic channel
aimed at empowering Black buisnesses.
Saying the accord is a form of internalreparations, Worrill said:
has> occurred here in Chicago over the last week is a growing
partnership between the MATAH program, the United American Progress
Association (UAPA), headed by Webb Evans and NBUF to fight for an
expansion of the Reparations Movement"
Worrill said this includes internal repairs. "Part of Reparations is
our own internal repair as well as the external Reparations which is
demand that we make to those who enslaved us...those, like the U.S.
government and private corporations who benefited from putting us in
Worrill said this new found partnership with MATAH and the Evans group
is an example of how to shore up Black economics.
In describing MATAH, which was begun by Ken Bridges and Al Wellington
with Father George Clements including his One Church One Channel
program, Worrill explained how this new venture will help Blacks.
"The concept of MATAH is a collective buying and identifying of Black
manufactured goods and items we use every day...
"Through MATAH we buy products that Black people in this country
and collectively buying these products that range from soap to dish
washing liquid and other items we use every day that we buy from
outside of our community.
"This will certainly enhance our economic status if we just bought the
items we use every day from Black people who manufacture these
and for organizations like the NBUF which collectively buy these
Worrill said, "not only will MATAH and the Black manufacturers benefit
from this support, but those Black organizations that buy collectively
will also get a profit for their groups that need money..."
"This will be a great repair for Black people if we change our
and begin to do this kind of cooperative interaction with each other
the economic arena."
"This is a new level of the dollar around reparations as we prepare
the historic Aug. 17th march/protest and demonstration being held in
Washington, D.C. on the 115th anniversary of the Honorable Marcus
"What MATAH is engaged in is in part some of the ideas that the Garvey
movement was practicing when millions of our people were members of
organizations (the Universal Negro Improvement Association) that we
to get back to..."
According to Worrill, Garvey's group was the largest Black
in the history of African Americans, "At the height of the Garvey
movement in the 1920's there were 8 million card-carrying members of
"They had a Black doll factory. They had cooperative buying clubs.
They collectively purchased property that is still owned by some of
elders who are still living in the UNIA.
"The MATAH concept is an updated version of what the Garvey movement
an updated version of what the Garvey movement advocated in the 1920's
in this country when millions of our people joined it," he explaned...
For more information about MATAH visit there website at www.matah.com
contact Juanda Honore at 310-419-4148 or email at email@example.com.
Back to Main News Page
On Thursday, Jan 17, Fox TV News showed the NYPD riot police practicing hauling away hundreds of protesters in a mock
run-through held at Shea Shadium.
Then came the bombshell, the practice was because the World Economic Forum
is coming to New York City in two weeks and the NYPD was training its police force to deal with mass protesters.
Since 1971 (three decades) the World Economic Forum has been held in
Davos, Switzerland. (It's interchangeably called the Davos Forum.) ┬ ┬ Inexplicably, the venue has been changed to New York City
at the Waldorf Astoria from Jan 31
through Feb 5. ┬ Tens of thousands of protesters, anarchists, ┬ etc. typically protest at this event. ┬ (See Newsday article below.)
Now, ask yourself why on earth New York City would open its doors to more riots and mayhem ┬ when the City is just starting to
heal from Sept. 11.
Here's my concern. ┬ Bush/Cheney and company are going down fast in
Enron-gate along with the Republican-Big Business-Big Money-Billionare Welfare Program. ┬ The Enron story has real legs and the
media is in a frenzy trying to out scoop each other daily. ┬ On Friday it came out that the Vice President served as little more than
a bill collector for Enron. That is sure to dominate the weekend news cycle.
How do you get the public refocused on waving the flag and lovin the Prez and all who surround him for protecting their security?
┬ You stage another big riot where dissenters are made to look like terrorists. ┬ If they set fire to cars and break windows at banks
and businesses, whamo, the public is back on the Prez' side for locking everybody up and creating marshall law. ┬ And what city is
better to guarantee big coverage than the biggest media city in the country.
Enron becomes a whimper in the press. ┬ Burning fires in the streets of Manhattan and police battles with black-hooded anarchist
types make for much better front page photos than Cheney at a podium.
In my opinion, the only way to prevent this is to get out in front. ┬ If the public becomes cynical, in advance, that this is what's going
to go down, then it probably won't. ┬ If you're so inclined, ┬ please relay to all of your email lists and ask them to post on websites,
email to friends, etc.
And, if you know protesters planning to attend, you should alert them that New York City has had a corporate-police state policy
since 1998, ┬ renting NYPD cops to corporations for $27 an hour. ┬ Corporate cops appear in full NYPD uniform, armed and with
the power to arrest. ┬ The policy is on the NYPD's website at the following link:
NYPD Train For Protests at Economic Forum
By Melanie Lefkowitz
Staff Writer, Newsday
January 17, 2002
Thousands of city police officers are preparing for potentially violent protests during the World Economic Forum, practicing
techniques for subduing thrashing demonstrators and pulling apart mobs.
While demonstrators have promised only peaceful actions during the Jan. 31-Feb 4 conference here, authorities say they prepare for the worst.
"I would hope that they have some sense of decorum, but there are no guarantees," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly during a Level 4 mobilization drill at Shea Stadium Thursday.
"We want them to come here, act in a peaceful manner and demonstrate peacefully. This is America and they have a right to do that."
During the drill, mock demonstrators -- actually officers and cadets -- halted a motorcade, banging on the hood of a dignitary's
car and rocking it back and forth.
Police used electric saws to break chains demonstrators had used to meld themselves together. Rowdy protestors were handcuffed
and hauled away in a van.
Organizers of the World Economic Forum agreed in November to move their annual meeting to New York from Switzerland in a
show of support after the World Trade Center attacks.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said the five-day conference will boost the city's flagging economy.
But at a time when the police force is stretched thin and security concerns are paramount, the NYPD is girding for the possibility
of violent protests like those that accompanied similar summits in Seattle and Genoa, Italy.
As many as 50,000 protestors took Seattle's 1,100-member police force by surprise in 1999, closing down the first day of the
World Trade Organization talks and leading to more than 500 arrests and a citywide curfew.
Police officials said yesterday the NYPD has the resources and expertise to avoid a reprise.
"This is not Seattle. New York City has both the personnel to handle it and also has a police force that's used to dealing one on one with people," said Insp. Thomas Graham, head of the NYPD's Disorder Control Unit.
"If we have to, we can handle the most violent crowds, but we'd prefer them to demonstrate their right to free speech peacefully."
Activists have promised to flock to the World Economic Forum's
headquarters at the Waldorf Astoria to protest everything from globalization to racism to war.
They dismissed the idea that New Yorkers' wounds are still too raw to face disorder.
"This is in many ways a turning point for those who believe in the right to dissent," said Brian Becker, co-director of the International Action Center, which plans a major protest outside the Waldorf on Feb. 2.
"It makes us part of a vibrant democratic opposition to the priorities of the government and the priorities of the economic powers that be."
Becker said his group, part of a coalition known as International ANSWER, requested a police permit for a 5,000-person event.
"They don't have to mobilize tens of thousands of police, we're planning peaceful demonstrations," he said.
"In fact, mobilizing all those police constitutes a threat of violence, because most of the violence in the past has come from the police."
Kelly estimated that thousands of officers will be on hand.
"The area around the Waldorf-Astoria is a compact area, and that will dictate the number of officers that will be assigned," he said.
"If they break the law, we're prepared to act firmly and very assertively."
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