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News ::
Marines Massacre Civilians at Nassirya; Puke-in targets Fox news (english)
08 Apr 2003
Students Fight For Affirmative Action
Carfree Cities
Peace Activist: End US Military Aid To Colombia!
US Greens: Bush Cronies Profit From War
Four Greens Elected in Wisconsin
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This week's poll is sure to be controversial, but it's a question that we need to practice our answer for: "Bush won the 2000 Election because...". Vote at

Students Fight For Affirmative Action

Rochester Activists not Deterred by Ice Storm

Carfree Cities

Peace Activist: End US Military Aid To Colombia!

Puke-In targets Fox News, CNN

Herbal Medicine Gets Taken Seriously

US Media Applaud Bombing of Iraqi TV

AP misreports pro-war rallies

Four Greens Elected in Wisconsin

US Greens: Bush Cronies Profit From War

US Marines Massacre Civillians at Nasiriya Bridge

War Effort Stumbles
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Students Fight For Affirmative Action

Well over 50,000 people, including 10,000 from Michigan alone, rallied in front of the US Supreme Court on Tuesday in favor of the University of Michigan's affirmative action policies, now under review by the Court. Students, union members, and other civil rights proponents traveled from all over the country to show their support for the University of Michigan, whose policies for promoting diversity within their community are under fire from reactionaries. Ironically, Bush himself, a benefactor of affirmative action, argued in court that the policies were unconstitutional.

It was difficult to tell how many assembled in front of the Supreme Court, but the crowd came from all areas of the United States. Student activists working with Students Supporting Affirmative Action, and the Michigan Student Assembly packed 11 buses, and the NAACP-Detroit loaded 135 buses out of Detroit. The rally was short, and most stayed in DC for less than a full day, but although April 1st has passed, the issues will not lose any of their importance or relevance.

While the University of Michigan has been vocal in its support of diversity of campus, the diversity argument has been attacked by more radical students who recognize that affirmative action was put in place not to encourage diversity, but to be a minor step in the direction of justice after hundreds of years of institutional and social discrimination against people of color in the United States.
Rochester Activists not Deterred by Ice Storm

Despite cold winds and falling ice, more than 50 anti-war demonstrators gathered at the Liberty pole downtown to continue to voice opposition to the genocidal invasion into Iraq. Although the planned march to the War Memorial and planned speakers, veterans against the war, were canceled due to severe ice conditions, the presence of so many people under the circumstances shows the strength of the opposition to this war.

One Demonstrator who drove out all the way from Honeoye falls said "if our soldiers can be in 105 degree weather in a sand storm over there, I can be out here." that was the theme of today’s rally "support our troops" and "bring them home." The other concerns that people expressed about our troops was the large numbers of poor black and Latino youth that are often forced to join military ranks because of lack of alternatives for education or employment. Many are concerned that the troops return home to an inadequate healthcare system that does a poor job serving their needs. One woman felt the troops are merely used as "pawns" and "guinea Pigs" for experimental drugs that often destroy their lives if they do survive a war.
Carfree Cities

Crawford's Carfree cities is a proposal to build a new kind of city around rapid transit technology. By the 1950's it was realized that the parking and traffic needs of the automobile were incompatible with urban densities -- America demolished and abandoned it's downtowns and built monstrosities such as Los Angeles in which 70% of the land area is devoted to the automobile. Today Americans will tell you that "you'll need to pry the wheel of my car from my cold dead hands", but in the face of a looming world oil shortage, we may have no choice but to rebuild our cities in the next fifty years.

Based on Christopher Alexanders' Pattern Language, Crawford offers a radical proposal: thread dense districts of about 7,000 people along light rail or metro lines like beads on a string. Similar to European cities such as Amsterdam or Venice, districts would be dense enough that anyone could walk to a transit stop in 5 to 10 minutes. Trucks would be eliminated by use of a novel system combining rapid transit technology and containerized shipping.
Peace Activist: End US Military Aid To Colombia!

MIDDLETOWN -- A leading Colombian peace activist urged a group of about 30 church members to help change U.S. policies on Colombia’s civil war and help implement peace and justice initiatives in his country.

Ricardo Esquivia, director of Justapaz, the Christian Center for Justice, Peace and Nonviolent Action of the Colombian Mennonite Church, told a group of church activists and members of the First Church of Christ Congregational Tuesday evening how they should take an active role in lobbying Congress for a change in U.S. policies, including pressuring the country to stop supplying such military equipment as Black Hawk helicopters, manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft of Stratford, a subsidiary of Hartford-based United Technologies Corp.

"I want to tell members of Congress that if the United States wants to bring an end to the conflict, then they need to change their politics towards Colombia," said Esquivia in an interview prior to his talk. "Now they are helping the government there and the military, but the money that is sent only fuels the civil war."
Puke-In targets Fox News, CNN

(New York City) Humans Everywhere Against Violence Eternally (HEAVE) unexpectedly struck at the New York Fox News headquarters and CNN on Tuesday, April 1, 2003. A group of 12 snacked on homemade blueberry, cherry and apple pies before they emptied their stomachs on the sidewalk of Rupert Murdoch's Fox News Corp at 48th and 6th ave. and CNN at 49th. Tuesday's campaign was entitled "Operation G.I. Tract Freedom". Organizers claimed their action was a gut-response to the current war reporting in mainstream media in general and Fox's heavily pro-war bias specifically.

"We called this event 'Operation G.I. (Tract) Freedom' because we find that John Ashcroft and the Patriot Act make us ill and limit our freedom of expression," said organizer G.I Tract Jane. "We find the mainstream media's reporters are in-bed-ed with the military. We find the mainstream media's editors are in-bed-ed with their advertisers. We find NBC to be in-bed-ed with General Electric, one of the few producers of nuclear weapons in the country. These points make our G.I tracts want to spontaneously liberate themselves all over mainstream media everywhere." Co-organizer G.I Tract Joe agreed, "We feel we deserve the right to express our gastro intestinal intuition in any way we please, and that this is a right we'd like the Iraqi people to share if the Bush Administration doesn't manage to kill them first. We find many people feel similarly with our views when they experience our position first hand and see it in action."
Herbal Medicine Gets Taken Seriously

The World Health Organisation estimates that 75-80% of the worlds’ population use plant medicines either in part or entirely for health care. For many, plant medicines are a necessity, as costly pharmaceutical drugs are unaffordable; and for others, the desire to seek natural alternatives with few side effects is preferable to using conventional drugs. This dichotomy has led to important medicinal plants such as Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), traditionally used for a range of immune deficiency disorders becoming the fifth most endangered species in the world. In Europe over 200 Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPS) are on the endangered list.

Despite the efforts of conservation groups such as World Wildlife Fund, The World Conservation Union and Convention on Trade Endangered Species (CTES), further support is desperately needed to save plant species from becoming extinct.

David Bellamy, professor and celebrity naturalist, launched the Herbalert campaign in February 2003 for the Natural Medicines Society at Neal’s Yard in London.

"I am delighted to help spearhead a campaign to put herbal medicine back where it deserves to be an important part of mainstream healing practice in the 21st Century," Bellamy said.

Clearly enthusiastic about the subject, he made an entertaining and impassioned plea to give herbal medicine its due accord. "Herbal Medicine has been the mainstay of healing across the world for over 6,000 years, the heritage of its success is manifest on the contents labels of many of today’s’ mainstream medicines," he said (see Box 2).
US Media Applaud Bombing of Iraqi TV

When Iraqi TV offices in Baghdad were hit by a U.S missile strike on March 25, the targeting of media was strongly criticized by press and human rights groups. The general secretary of the International Federation of Journalists, Aidan White, suggested that "there should be a clear international investigation into whether or not this bombing violates the Geneva Conventions." White told Reuters (3/26/03), "Once again, we see military and political commanders from the democratic world targeting a television network simply because they don't like the message it gives out."

The Geneva Conventions forbid the targeting of civilian installations-- whether state-owned or not-- unless they are being used for military purposes. Amnesty International warned (3/26/03) that the attack may have been a "war crime" and emphasized that bombing a television station "simply because it is being used for the purposes of propaganda" is illegal under international humanitarian law. "The onus," said Amnesty, is on "coalition forces" to prove "the military use of the TV station and, if that is indeed the case, to show that the attack took into account the risk to civilian lives."

Likewise, Human Rights Watch affirmed (3/26/03) that it would be illegal to target Iraqi TV based on its propaganda value. "Although stopping enemy propaganda may serve to demoralize the Iraqi population and to undermine the government's political support," said HRW, "neither purpose offers the 'concrete and direct' military advantage necessary under international law to make civilian broadcast facilities a legitimate military target."
AP misreports pro-war rallies

With citizens expressing their opinions on the war through marches and rallies across the country, many news outlets rely on the Associated Press news service to help them cover these important manifestations of democracy. Unfortunately, AP has frequently used the terms "pro-war" and "pro-troops" interchangeably-- a practice that distorts the views of anti-war demonstrators and contributes to the media marginalization of the peace movement.

It's likely that the overwhelming majority of participants at peace events would describe themselves as "supporting the troops," in the sense of being concerned for their well-being and hoping for their safe return. "Support Our Troops: Bring Them Home" is a popular slogan at peace marches, which tend to criticize George W. Bush and other administration officials, not rank-and-file U.S. military personnel.

Nevertheless, AP and some other news outlets often use "supporting the troops" as a synonym for "supporting the war"-- and use "pro-troops" as a shorthand to describe rallies and demonstrations that are, in many cases, explicitly pro-war events. "Pro-troops" is frequently used as the opposite of "anti-war," as if the only way to be supportive of soldiers is to advocate their involvement in war on Iraq.
Four Greens Elected in Wisconsin

MADISON, WISCONSIN -- Voters have chosen to elect 4
Green Party candidates in races throughout Wisconsin,
bringing the total of elected Greens in Wisconsin to
17 and in the U.S. to 177.

Pete Karas, running for Common Council in Racine’s 9th
District, won 73% of the vote.

"I'm elated with our victory, and am looking forward
to bringing a progressive voice and Green values to
the Racine City Council," said Karas. "We ran an
honest campaign, being very upfront with our Green
platform. I thank the many supporters who worked long
hours so that we could effectively deliver our

Karas was outspoken on numerous controversial issues,
such as the Racine "Rave" arrests, and the war in

"We always communicated these issues in a very
respectful manner," said Karas. "I believe that the
reason people accepted our controversial issues is
that we also stressed positive issues in the campaign.
Our message of citizen involvement and inclusive,
responsive government was well received, as was our
call for Racine to convert all municipal buildings to
renewable energy power by adopting the Vote Solar
Initiative locally."
US Greens: Bush Cronies Profit From War

WASHINGTON, DC -- Funding for the war on Iraq, while
requiring massive cuts in social spending for health,
education, services, and welfare and reduction of
veterans benefits, is becoming a huge windfall for
favored corporations, say members of the Green Party
of the United States.

"This $100-billion war is proving a cash cow for
corporations, especially those with connections to the
White House, Congress, and the Pentagon, while U.S.
troops and Iraqi civilians and soldiers face death and
injury," said Tom Bolema, Town Councilperson (Green)
of Juniper Hills, California. "European governments
are furious that the administration plans to award the
major contracts, worth somewhere between $20 billion
and $100 billion, to U.S. corporations, without any
competitive bidding process."

"The Bush Administration has already awarded
Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root a Pentagon
contract to rebuild Iraqi oil fields," said Jake
Schneider, treasurer of the Green Party of the United
States. "USAID awarded a $4.8 million contract to
Stevedoring Services of America to manage the Umm Qasr
port. Companies like the Bechtel Group, Fluor
Corporation, Parsons Group and defense contractors
Carlyle Group and Global Crossing are expected to make
millions off the war. Humanitarian relief, including
assistance in Iraq's water shortage, is proving a
distant second in priority behind military deals and
control over Iraqi oil."
US Marines Massacre Civillians at Nasiriya Bridge

"The Iraqis are sick people and we are the chemotherapy," said Corporal
Ryan Dupre. "I am starting to hate this country. Wait till I get hold of a
friggin' Iraqi. No, I won't get hold of one. I'll just kill him."

The Times, London, March 31, 2003

Today in the online edition of the conservative daily, The Times , was
published a piece by the correspondent Mark Franchetti in Nasiriya. It was
headlined “US Marines turn fire on civilians at the bridge of death” which
graphically described a massacre of Iraqi civilians at the hands of US
Marines in the outskirts of the besieged town. And goes on to show us
generally how young Marines are made into the killers of civilians.
War Effort Stumbles

by Alexander Cockburn, Counterpunch Diary

Barely into its second week Operation Easy Sailing is in big trouble. One simple way of measuring just how big is by adding up all the time you hear the phrases “all according to Plan”, and the “Our strategy is sound”.

That’s the captain of the Titanic speaking. At the military level the US/UK force has been forced to suspend its advance on Baghdad. Every single dire prediction of the critics is coming to pass. The stretched lines of communication and supply running up west of the Euphrates past Nasiriya and Najaf, or further east , west of the Tigris past Basra towards Amarah are proving vulnerable to determined harassment by Iraqi forces. The Apache helicopters have taken a fearful beating, as have the Abrams tanks. The Shock and Awe overture saw around 400 cruise missiles, running at half a million dollars a copy achieve less than significant damage.

Already there’s fierce hand-to-hand infighting inside the Pentagon, as Defense Secretary Rumsfeld’s numerous enemies in the military seek out favored journalist to inflict punitive retaliation for what they describe as his arrogance and folly. Those old lines from the Vietnam era, such as “light at the end of the tunnel”, “credibility gap” and the other scarred veterans are back in active service.

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