[alternet-l] THE ALTERNET NEWS - ISSUE # 97

Joanne Doyle joanne at gn.apc.org
Thu Aug 28 16:04:57 BST 2003


This issue:


The AlterNet News is the GreenNet e-newsletter that carries brief news 
items, campaign updates, a diary of key forthcoming events and 
announcements. News comes from our contacts all over the web, but most of 
the AlterNet News will come from the GreenNet community.
Please don't send news to the AlterNet address. Send items for inclusion, 
including a web link if possible, to actnow at gn.apc.org. Items may need to 
be edited. Plain text e-mail is preferred.

Back issues are on-line at:
--> www.gn.apc.org/news/alternet/index.html



Tamil Centre for Human Rights now online at:

Not quite new, but good to highlight the DISARM DSEi website as DISARM DSEi 
WEEK is coming up the 6th - 12th September:



The Defence Systems and Equipment International (DSEi) arms fair is due to 
take place in London, at the Excel Centre in Docklands, on the 6th-12th 

People around the country are beginning to pile on the pressure to raise 
awareness about the devastating effects of the weapons trade. Indymedia 

"Last week activists occupied the head office of Spearhead, the company 
organising Europe's largest arms fair, Defence Systems Equipment 
International (DSEi), while a large banner reading "Spearhead - DSEing with 
Death!" was hung from the building.

Leaflets were also handed out to passers by, and office staff, explaining 
the role of Spearhead in organising DSEi, and asking staff to consider 
conscientiously objecting to the event. There were four arrests, but all 
were later released without charge."

Read the full story here:
--> www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2003/08/275981.html

Check out the special Indymedia section on the DSEi Arms Fair:
--> www.indymedia.org.uk/en/actions/2003/dsei/



The EuroLinux Alliance for a Free Information Infrastructure is an open 
coalition of commercial companies and non-profit associations united to 
promote and protect a vigourous European Software Culture based on 
copyright, open standards, open competition and open source software such 
as Linux.

They are calling on civil society to sign the Eurolinux Petition for a 
Software Patent Free Europe.

"The European Commission's proposal for the patentability of software 
innovations requires a clear response from the European Parliament, the 
member state governments and other political players.

We are concerned that:
1. The European Patent Office (EPO) has, in contradiction to the letter and 
spirit of the written law, granted tens of thousands of patents on 
programming and business ideas, below termed "software patents".
2. The European Comission (CEC) is pressing ahead to legalise these patents 
and make them enforcable in all of Europe. In doing so, it is disregarding 
the manifest will and well-argued reasoning of the vast majority of 
software professionals, software companies, computer scientists and 
3. The CEC is basing its proposal on a draft which was apparently written 
by Business Software Alliance (BSA), a US based organisation dominated by a 
few big vendors, such as Microsoft.
4. Software patents interfere with software copyright and tend to lead to 
the expropriation of software creators rather than to a protection of their 
property. Of numerous existing economic studies, none concludes that 
software patents lead to more productivity, innovation, knowledge diffusion 
or are in any other way macro-economically beneficial. Software 
patentability, as proposed by CEC/BSA, moreover leads to various 
inconsistencies within the patent system and invalidates central 
assumptions on which it is built. As a result, anything becomes patentable 
and there can no longer be any legal security.
5. The institutions of the European patent system are not in any meaningful 
way subjected to democratic control. The division between legislative and 
judicial powers is insufficient, and in particular the EPO seems to be a 
breeding ground for abusive and illegal practices."

Find out more here:
--> http://swpat.ffii.org/papers/eubsa-swpat0202/demands/index.en.html

Sign the petition here:
--> http://petition.eurolinux.org/



Survival International has begun a UK-wide Appeal calling on MPs to support 
the Bushmen's right to their ancestral land in the Central Kalahari Game 
Reserve, Botswana.
A motion has already been signed by 32 British MPs, online at:
--> http://edm.ais.co.uk/weblink/html/motion.html/ref=1500

Survival International reports:

"At least ten Bushmen from Molapo, in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve 
(CKGR), Botswana, have been charged with entering a game reserve without a 
permit. Botswana police issued the charges yesterday, June 16. The Bushmen 
have to appear in court on June 23.

The Gana and Gwi Bushmen were evicted from their ancestral land in the 
central Kalahari, where they have lived for thousands of years, by the 
Botswana government in 1997 and February 2002. A small number of Bushmen 
managed to stay on their land in spite of intimidation by the authorities. 
Others who were evicted have managed to return to their homes despite 
fierce government opposition, and hundreds more wish to go back.

Botswana produced 29% of the world's diamonds by value in 2001, far more 
than any other country.  In that year, diamond sales from Botswana amounted 
to $2.3 billion.  This accounts for 70% of Botswana's foreign exchange 
earnings and 50% of government revenue. One company, Debswana (ie De Beers 
Botswana), which is jointly owned by the Botswana government and De Beers, 
controls Botwana's diamond mining industry. There is no doubt that Botswana 
matters to De Beers, who at present, control over 50% of the world's gem 
diamond production."

Full story here:
--> www.survival-international.org/bushmannews030617.htm

To find out who your MP is, go to:
--> www.locata.co.uk/commons



The APC and CTO have produced a very useful training resource entitled 

The goal of this course is to build and strengthen civil society 
organisations' awareness of, and confidence to engage in, internet policy 

The pack includes a curriculum and training modules and materials that can 
be used for either a five-day course or as stand-alone sessions combined to 
meet specific training needs.

Find out more:
--> www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=13474

You can download the selected module or the whole kit from the apc site. ( 
but the kit is HUGE!.. over 7 megabytes!)

Curriculum (module by module):
--> www.apc.org/english/capacity/policy/curriculum.shtml



The Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD), an Executive Agency of the United 
Kingdom's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is carrying 
out consultations on plans for greater access to information about crop 
spraying and on proposals for buffer zones between spraying areas and 
residential properties.

This is a preliminary consultation which will inform a further, more 
formal, consultation, and ends September 15th.

To air your views, please contact:
--> russell.wedgbury at psd.defra.gsi.gov.uk
--> caroline.kennedy at psd.defra.gsi.gov.uk

or via telephone: 01904 455706

Read the consultation document online at:
--> www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/spraydrift/index.htm

More information at:
--> www.pesticides.gov.uk/



Bridge have produced a pack on gender and armed conflict, dealing with how 
armed conflict intensifies gender inequality and results in gender-specific 
The ways in which these inequalities might be overcome are examined.

The pack is intended as a practical resource, and includes:

- Overview report - by Amani El Jack (York University, Canada), with 
support from Judy El-Bushra (independent consultant specialising in gender 
and conflict in Africa)

- Collection of supporting resources - summaries of key texts, case studies 
and tools, and key organisations

- Gender and Development In Brief bulletin - includes an overview article, 
outlining the key issues; a detailed look at the Gender Programme in Peru's 
Truth and Reconciliation Commission; and insights into how The Women's 
Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC) in Palestine works for women's 
rights in the midst of conflict.

The packs are available in English, French and Spanish from their website:

--> www.ids.ac.uk/bridge

  Hard copies are available for sale at:
  --> www.ids.ac.uk/ids/bookshop/index.html

  Email: orders at itpubs.org.uk



The International Solidarity Movement (ISM)has organised a petition in 
protest against the wall that Israel is building in the Occupied Territories.

"The building of the Apartheid Wall in the Occupied Territories is now at
a critical stage. The completed sections of the wall have already caused
considerable suffering to the Palestinian population. Homes have been
  demolished, thousands of olive trees uprooted, acres upon acres of
land have been expropriated, roads have been destroyed--all to make
way for this monster. If Israel is allowed to continue building it, much
greater hardships and undue suffering await the Palestinian population.
Now, when the Palestinians are engaging in nonviolent protests against
this unjust wall (which will bring no security to Israel), we—Palestinians,
Israelis, and Internationals of the Mas'ha Peace Camp—ask you to help
stop construction, NOW."

Read and sign the petition online at:
--> www.stopthewall.org.il

Useful links:
--> www.gush-shalom.org/thewall/index.html
--> www.gush-shalom.org/media/seperationmap_eng.swf

ISM London website:
--> www.ism-london.org



People in Scotland living near windfarms want to see increased use of 
renewable energy sources, and are not opposed to much of this being 
generated by windfarms, according to a MORI survey published today (Sunday 
24 August).

Commissioned by the Scottish Executive, the MORI survey found that people 
living closest to ScotlandÕs largest windfarms support more of the 
country's energy needs being produced from renewable sources. Such is the 
support for renewables that over half (54%) those questioned would support 
further expansion of their local windfarm.

Commenting on the survey findings Friends of the Earth Scotland's Chief 
Executive, Duncan McLaren, said:

"This is very encouraging news for renewable energy development in 
Scotland. The Executive has set itself a tough but achievable target to 
generate more electricity from renewables. Key to achieving this target is 
the support of public and especially those who may end up living close to a 
renewable energy scheme. This survey clearly shows the Scottish public are 
fully behind the Executive's plans and that communities have nothing to 
fear from the sensitive siting of renewable energy schemes.

More information: Lang Banks on 0131 554 9977

Earlier this month, The Alternet News featured a new 'hot site':
--> www.yes2wind.com

The site was launched by Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and WWF-UK and 
calls on people to join the campaign to increase the amount of energy 
supplied by wind power in the UK.



The Center for Women's Global Leadership is involved in a process of 
strategic consultations, marking the 10th anniversary of the Vienna World 
Conference on Human Rights (1993), where women's rights were recognized as 
human rights and violence against women as a human rights abuse.

They intend to examine both progress and obstacles faced in advancing 
women's human rights over the past ten years, look at the current world 
situation, and brainstorm about new possibilities in terms of strategies 
and venues for their future work. Their aim is to examine women's human 
rights, but also focus more particularly on how to advance the work on 
violence against women in terms of its linkages to human rights, 
militarism, globalization, development, and security.

You can participate in their online survey and register your opinions until 
September 15, 2003:

--> www.cwgl.rutgers.edu/surveys/index.php?sid=1&newtest=Y

Email: cwgl at igc.org



Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy are calling for 
economic sanctions against Burma. Foreign investment and trade has pumped 
billions of dollars into the brutal dictatorship, helping them to cling on 
to power.

Following the massacre of up to 100 democracy activists and arrest of Aung 
San Suu Kyi in May the US responded to the call for sanctions and now has a 
ban on all investment and trade with Burma.

Members of the EU have decided to have a common foreign policy on Burma. 
This means they all have to agree on action taken on Burma together. The 
Burma Campaign UK has learnt that Germany and a small number of other 
countries are blocking economic sanctions against Burma, and because they 
say no to sanctions the whole of Europe is paralysed.

They are calling for as many people as possible to send a message to Frau 
Claudia Roth, Germany's Commissioner for Human Rights.

Full story:

--> www.burmacampaign.org.uk/pm/weblog.php?id=P88

Join the action online:
--> www.burmacampaign.org.uk/actions/un.htm

Contact: John Jackson, Director of Burma Campaign UK, or Mark Farmaner, 
Media Officer, on 020 7281 7377



The WSIS Youth Awards, presented by the Youth Creating Digital 
Opportunities coalition, have just been launched. The overall prize of 
US$10,000 is sponsored by the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP). The 
deadline is coming up: August 31st!

The awards programme is set up to:

- Identify and document hundreds of potential best practice youth-led ICT 
- Recognize and showcase young people's potential as development actors in 
their communities.
- Promote learning and skill-sharing from and between the selected projects.

Enter at:
--> www.ycdo.net/wsis/award.html



'I walk about not in a Snail-Shell, but in a Molecular Laboratory'

- Ada Lovelace in Sadie Plant's Zero's and Ones.



Agricultural Trainer - £20,000 per annum (inc. London Weighting) Full
time for 1 year.  To deliver and administer the farm's courses in basic
Horticulture, Animal Care and Health & Safety. In collaboration with
primary and secondary schools, to develop a comprehensive science based
educational programme. Must hold a teaching qualification or have at
least 3 years of teaching experience in an alternative setting.

Email: liz at freightlinersfarm.org.uk, fax: 0207 609 9934  Or write for
application pack enclosing an A4 stamped (41p) addressed envelope.
Freightliners City Farm Sheringham Road London N7 8PF.  Closing date




Is Small Beautiful?
9.30am - 5pm, Regent's College Conference Centre, Regent's
Park, London. Thirty years ago EF Schumacher's book Small Is Beautiful
caused a mild sensation by calling for a radical overhaul of the way we
run the world. Thirty years on the issues of technology, science and the
economics are even more pressing.

Come and hear answers to:
- Can science reduce poverty without costing the Earth?
- Are the new technologies a threat or opportunity for the world's poor?
- Can globalisation deliver the goods, or do we look to the local?

More information:
--> www.itdg.org/

6th - 12th
For detailed information on individual events, as well as info on the 
convergence centre, getting to DSEi, accommodation and transport, see:
--> www.dsei.org

The Haiti Support Group is staging an afternoon film festival at London's 
The Other Cinema.
Information - The Other Cinema: 020 7437 0757
Booking: 020 7734 1506

CND are hosting: The Peace Party, Victoria Park, East London
12 noon 7.30pm
This party, occurring 3 days and two years after the tragic events in the 
USA, is an opportunity for people to get together for peace showing 
community spirit is alive and people can bring about change.  The event is 
a growth opportunity designed to bring people on board an exciting peace 
experience - a vision for the future.
Further information contact: CND, Tel: 020-7700-2393 email: 
enquires at cnduk.org website: www.cnduk.org

Peace One Day - The Celebration 2003 @ Brixton Academy, London - Saturday
Doors at 7pm, show 8pm to 3am.  Tickets are £25 each (subject to booking
fee). All proceeds from the night go to Peace One Day.

Click here to buy tickets online:

Rising Tide Benefit Night "to raise much needed funds to support our work 
empowering people to take action on climate change in their own 
communities." The night will include poetry from "Paradox", film screening, 
live Sierra Leonean music from Bush Doctor, live Jewish and Gypsy music 
from Klezmer sensations "She'Koyoch(ish)" and global beats from dj Gheco. 
Special guest dj Disorientalist. 7pm-12pm
The Spitz, 109 Commercial Street, London (Liverpool Street tube) £10/£7 con 
01865 727911 christinap at risingtide.nl www.risingtide.nl

More Diary Dates on GreenNet:
--> www.gn.apc.org/calendar/calindex.shtml

Please add your events to the calendar here:
--> www.gn.apc.org/calendar/add.shtml


The AlterNet News is edited by Joanne Doyle for GreenNet:
---> www.gn.apc.org

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