[alternet-l] The Alternet News #86

Joanne Doyle joanne at gn.apc.org
Fri Jan 24 16:38:27 GMT 2003


This issue:


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The Baku Ceyhan Campaign is working to raise public awareness of the social
problems, human rights abuses and environmental damage that may be caused
by the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, which is planned to run through
Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. In particular, the campaign argues that
public money should not be used to subsidise social and environmental
problems purely in the interests of the private sector, but must be
conditional on a positive contribution to the economic and social
development of people in the region.

--> www.bakuceyhan.org.uk/


The International Initiative for Justice in Gujarat is a response by
national and international women's groups to the horrific violence
unleashed against the Muslim community of Gujarat since February 27, 2002,
in which women were a central target.

As part of this initiative, members of women's groups from India
accompanied nine women from Sri Lanka, Algeria/France, India, Israel/UK,
Germany and the USA who visited areas in and around Ahmedabad, Vadodara and
Panchmahals between 14 and 17 December 2002. During these visits, they met
with survivors of the violence as well as with members of women's groups,
human rights groups, and other citizens' groups from Gujarat.

The Panel's Interim Report on the situation in Gujarat voiced strong
concern that 'in spite of the totally inadequate legal and other responses
to the violence in Gujarat, the government has continued to deny permission
for international scrutiny of the situation. In a pluralist society such
as India, ensuring the equal representation and participation of all
communities and guaranteeing the rights of women and of minorities are
among the most important tests of a genuine democracy. The propagation of
fear and hatred among communities is anathema to these principles and is
inconsistent with both national and international law.'

The Report also addressed the similarities and uniqueness of the ways in
which sexual violence has been used in cases of religious, ethnic or
communal violence in other parts of the world, and stated: 'this violence,
which reflects a longer and larger genocidal project, in our view
constitutes a crime against humanity and satisfies the legal definition of
genocide, both of which are crimes of the most serious dimension under
international law.'

The complete report and urgent actions to be taken are at:
--> www.onlinevolunteers.org/gujarat/reports/iijg/

The Government are proposing new music licensing laws that could require
performances of live music to get a license for any performance in pubs
and clubs, in places where alcohol is served, in churches, synagogues, 
mosques and
other places of worship, in schools and colleges, in community centres and
village and parish halls, and in private homes and gardens where private
parties and weddings may be held...

Full story and online petition (to be submitted to Downing St on 31st March):
--> www.musiclovers.ukart.com/

Related site:
--> www.pianos.co.uk/news/lbill.php3


Tony Davies, a British Quaker, writes as he travels with the Christian
Peacemaker Team in Hebron.

Find out more:
--> www.greendirect.co.uk/palestine/index.htm

In the last edition of The Alternet News (#85), we also included a piece on
diary writings, this time from Venezuela. We received a couple of emails in
response, concerned about the stand these entries took. Although, in the
last issue, an alternative link highlighting a different viewpoint was
included, I thought it was worthwhile to include more links that you might
find useful:

--> www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2003/02/ma_208_01.html
--> www.abs-cbnnews.com/abs_news_body.asp?section=Opinion&oid=13433
--> www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/01/03/world/main535151.shtml
--> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/2533403.stm

The Green Direct website, where the diary postings are, has also been
updated with various links from the mainstream press:
--> www.greendirect.co.uk/reports.htm#news

Related page on the Green Direct site:
--> www.greendirect.co.uk/reports.htm


Thing.net, a US artists network is to be forced offline:
NTT/Verio intends to terminate thing.net's contract after Dow Chemical
Corporation threatened legal action against one site's 'Yes Men' parody.
Thing.net is an artists network (10 years old).This unresolved complaint
about one site will lead to the shutting down of a whole network and sets a
worrying precedent for corporate control on the Internet.

Although the Yes Men parody site now bounces to the real Dow Chemical
site, many mirror sites have sprung up, including:
--> www.dowethics.com
--> www.dowindia.com
and --> www.mad-dow-disease.com

More here:
--> www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,57011,00.html

Legislation appears to be making it possible to intimidate an Internet service
provider both to the point where the existence of challenging content on the
Internet, and the privacy of its users, could be in jeopardy.

Recently in the States, Verizon (an ISP) were ordered to give the identity
of one of their users to an outside party - The New York Times reports:
'Smoothing the way for the entertainment industry to pursue people who
trade music and movies online, a federal judge ordered Verizon
Communications yesterday to give a record industry trade group the identity
of an Internet subscriber suspected of making available unauthorized copies
of several hundred songs.'

In the closely watched case, the Recording Industry Association of America
argued that it had the right to invoke a legal shortcut compelling Internet
service providers to turn over subscriber information without requiring a
copyright holder to file a lawsuit.

One problem is that most people don't have the resources to fight big
record industry labels, as Jessica Litman, author of 'Digital Copyright',
'I'm concerned about the number of enforcement actions that don't ever get
to court. It's one thing to say I want this person's identity so I can file 
It's another thing to say I want this person's identity so I can interfere
with their connectivity to the Internet.'

Full report here (although you do have to register to access it):

Related links:
Amendments to the Copyright Act 1988:Implications for the public's use of 

Law Commission's Report (recommendations of reform for ISP's liability for
--> www.lawcom.gov.uk/files/defamation2.pdf

You can also find information about UK legislation on the GreenNet Internet
Rights site:
--> www.internetrights.org.uk


Participants of the Communication Rights Workshop held in conjunction with
the ongoing Asian Regional Conference for the World Summit on the
Information Society (WSIS) criticised the Japanese government for its
decision not to invite delegates from the Democratic People's Republic of
Korea (North Korea) to this Tokyo meeting.

Led by JCA-Net, a Tokyo-based organisation that provides IT support to
Japanese NGOs and other members of civil society; and Jinbonet, a South
Korean network that advocates for the use of Information and Communication
Technologies (ICT) for social transformation, the participants demanded
that the Japanese Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and
Telecommunications (MPHPT) apologise to North Korea and the conference

The Communication Rights Workshop participants asserted that all WSIS
processes including the Asian Regional Meeting should be spaces where all
ICT stakeholders will be able to participate freely. They invoked the
United Nations statement that 'The World Summit on the Information Society
will provide a unique opportunity for all key stakeholders to assemble at a
high-level gathering and to develop a better understanding of this
revolution and its impact on the international community. It aims to bring
together Heads of State, Executive Heads of United Nations agencies,
industry leaders, non-governmental organizations, media representatives and
civil society in a single high-level event.'



BRIDGE supports gender mainstreaming efforts by bridging the gaps between
theory, policy and practice with accessible gender information.
The next BRIDGE newsletter will be producing French and Spanish language
versions, 'In Brief', both in printed form as well as via email. They are
hoping to build their mailing lists for this new format, so if you know of
any colleagues, partners or contacts who you think would like to receive
'In Brief' in French or Spanish paper copy, please forward their contact
details to C.Sever at ids.ac.uk, or ask them to get in touch with BRIDGE directly.

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

Related links - Internet gateway to resources on gender and development at:
--> www.siyanda.org


The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is carrying out a
feasibility study into the capture (from power stations) and storage
of carbon dioxide gas (CO2) under the seabed around the UK. The
capture and storage process, also known as sequestration, is being
investigated as a means of reducing emissions from coal-fired power
generation. The results of the study will inform the UK Energy White
Paper team.

A team of 6 from The Environment Council facilitated a one-day
workshop for the DTI, as part of the study, to understand from
stakeholders' perspectives, the potential benefits of CO2
sequestration, and to clarify any areas of concern. 55 delegates
participated in the workshop, with cross-sector representation
including industry, government and NGOs.

At the end of the day some delegates still had conflicting views
about the capture and disposal of CO2: was it a viable alternative
to renewables as an answer to reducing emissions? Would current
legal positions prevent technology development?
The DTI feasibility study report isn't expected until spring
2003, but the full transcript of the workshop mentioned above is currently
on the DTI website:

--> www.dti.gov.uk/energy/coal/cct/co2capture.shtml


Marcos Veron, one of the most important leaders of the Guarani-Kaiowá tribe
in Brazil, has been killed by gunmen. Veron, aged approximately 70, is the
third Brazilian Indian to be murdered since the New Year. He was the head
of a community who had been trying for fifty years to recover their land
after it was seized by cattle ranchers.

In recent months the community had been living by the side of a highway,
having tried to re-occupy some of their land and been forced out by armed
police and soldiers.

In 2000 Veron toured Europe to publicise Survival's report on the history
of Brazilian Indians, 'Disinherited'. He said then, 'The ranchers shoot at
us, burn our houses and kill our children. They are trying to get rid of
us...so now we have to come all the way here to look for our rights.' The
loss of almost all their land to cattle ranchers has precipitated a crisis
in Guarani-Kaiowá society: they now have one of the highest suicide rates
in the world.

During his brief re-occupation of his ancestral land, Veron said, 'This
here is my life, my soul. If you take me away from this land, you take my

Full story:
--> www.survival-international.org/guaraninews030115.htm


The Benetech Initiative, a Silicon Valley nonprofit, today announced the
release of The Martus Human Rights Bulletin System, an open source
technology tool designed to assist human rights organizations in
collecting, safeguarding, organizing and disseminating information about
human rights abuses.

Through a partnership with The Asia Foundation, a U.S.-based
nonprofit working on the ground in Asia, Martus will first be
implemented in the Philippines to provide better resources to groups
combating hundreds of human rights violations per year.

Currently, much of the violation and abuse information gathered by
grassroots human rights groups is lost to confiscation, destruction,
or neglect, making it difficult or impossible for prosecutors, truth
commissions and others to use the information as evidence to hold the
perpetrators of human rights abuses accountable for many of their
crimes. The Martus software enables grassroots NGOs to store
their records securely on off-site servers with easy-to-use software,
preserving crucial evidence for research, investigation and

'Grassroots NGOs told us it was essential that the software be easy
to use, so we modelled it after the simple interface of email', said
Jim Fruchterman, CEO of Benetech.

The software and its source code are available for download:

Related links:
Benetech --> www.benetech.org
The Asia Foundation --> www.asiafoundation.org


The third World Social Forum started on the 23rd of January in Porto Alegre.
The forum is organized around 5 axes: 'Democratic Sustainable Development
- Principles and values, human rights, diversity and equality - Media,
culture and counter-hegemony - Political power, civil society and
democracy - Democratic world order, fight against militarism and
promoting peace'. Tens of thousands of participants will join the 
conferences, seminars and workshops, to exchange ideas and proposals.

Attac report every day live from the Forum:
--> www.attac.info/poa2003/?NAVI=0-14en

APC (Association for Progressive Communications) will be one of almost
5,000 organisations from 121 countries present in the Southern Brazilian
city of Porto Alegre for the third annual gathering of social movements,
NGOs, and progressive groups. APC will be represented in the third area 
'Media, culture and counter-hegemony'. The panel discussions for 'New 
technologies and strategies for digital inclusion and social change are 
taking place on Saturday 25th January.

More information here:
--> http://rights.apc.org

The Association for Progressive Communications website:
--> www.apc.org

Related site:
--> www.wsis.org


'We are each individually responsible for our own inactions'

Noam Chomsky speaking in conjunction with the Kurdish Human Rights Project
and The Bar of Human Rights Committee, December 2002



Thursday, February 6th
The Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy is convening the
Conference 'Politics of Code - Shaping the Future of the Next Internet'
to be held in Oxford
High profile speakers - among them Prof. Larry Lessig, renowned thinker
on Cyberlaw, and Esther Dyson, celebrated digerati and founding chairman
of ICANN - will discuss the key choices that need to be made on privacy,
security, access, openness and control in the design of Internet technology
and Internet Governance.

To register and find more information visit their website:

Friday, 8th February
Venue: University of London Union, Malet Street, London WC1
Following last year's success, Abolition 2000 UK and Christian Campaign for
Nuclear Disarmament are organising another.
Purpose: To educate and inform peace workers, students of government,
defence and politics, and particularly those planning on lobbying at the
Conference on Disarmament and the Non-Proliferation Treaty Preparatory
Committee (PrepCom).
Further information from Claire Poyner
tel: 020 7700 4200, fax: 020 77002357 (shared fax; mark clearly FAO: CCND),
or email: ccnd at gn.apc.org

Visit their website at:

Saturday 15th February 2003, London
Assemble 12 noon at Embankment, London (nearest tube Embankment) to march
at 12:30pm.
If the UK goes to war we will call a national demonstration IMMEDIATELY;
demonstrate at 6pm in your town centre (London: Trafalgar Square).

Resources and further information:
--> www.stopwar.org.uk/

NEWCASTLE PEACE LECTURE: Alternatives to international conflict
Tuesday 11 February 2003, 5.30 pm
Prof Paul Rogers
Venue: Curtis Auditorium, Herschel Building, University of Newcastle upon
Tyne (opposite Haymarket Metro)

Further details:

I LOVE CUBA cabaret
Saturday 15th February 2003
The Camden Centre, Bidborough St, Kings Cross
Join the party with the very best in comedy, music and entertainment,
Mark Thomas, Merengada, Harold Pinter, John Hegley, Ivor Dembina, Steve Gribben
Organised by the Cuba Solidarity Campaign
020 7263 6452 for advanced credit card bookings £16 waged, £12 unwaged

UNED-UK Conference
Wednesday, 19th February, London
'From Johannesburg to a Sustainable Development Strategy for the UK'
The day considers the outcomes of the Summit, and how these can most
effectively be carried forward in a sustainable development strategy for
the UK. Bringing together Ministers, representatives of the United
Nations, European Commission, national, regional and local government, and
a range of stakeholder groups.
A detailed program & booking form will be available early 2003.

Please contact info at earthsummit2002.org

SKILL SHARE on involving the community in your local project
Tuesday 25 February, 6.00 pm
A free event of the London 21 Sustainability Network
The evening will be an opportunity to learn about participatory methods,
hear about other community projects working on local sustainability, share
experiences and keep up-to-date with resources and opportunities in London.

--> www.london21.org


Friday 7th March/Saturday 8th March/Sunday 9th March
Dreams, Questions and Struggles, Sapne Sawal aur Larai, - 25 years of
the Asian Womens Movement, a conference by and about Asian women On:
What is our history?
Where do we stand today?
What does feminism mean to us?
What kind of a future do we want?

and, or on Saturday 8th March
Celebrate International Women's Day with poetry, songs and music from
Razia Aziz, Kulwinder, Seni, DJ Ritu and many others.
For more details (eg Transport, Crèche, Stalls, Programme) on both events,
phone: 0207 424 9535, or email:londec at hotmail.com
March 9-28 2003, at Schumacher College, Devon, UK
With Max Lindegger, Morag Gamble & Janine Benyus. Drawing on their
experiences working at Crystal Waters Permaculture Village, Max and Morag
will discuss how we can, in a participatory and holistic way, design
human-scale settlements and food systems based on permaculture principles
that promote a healthy environment and create opportunities for meaningful

For more information, please contact the Administrator, Schumacher College,
The Old Postern, Dartington, Devon TQ9 6EA, Tel: 01803 865 934
Email: admin at schumachercollege.org.uk


Thursday March 6, 6pm for 6.30pm
Venue: Demos, The Mezzanine, Elizabeth House, 39 York Road, London SE1 7YY
(Elizabeth House is adjacent to Waterloo Station and buses 76, 77, 211,
341, 381 and 507 pass the door).
Resurgence & Demos jointly invite you to an evening of conversation with
John Gray, Professor of European Thought at the LSE, author of 'Straw Dogs
Thoughts on Humans & Other Animals' &
Caroline Lucas, Green Party Member of the European Parliament
With Satish Kumar, Editor of Resurgence & Director of Programmes at the
Schumacher College
Admission: £5.00 with wine

Enquires and bookings on: 01237 441293, or email: peterlang at resurgence.org
--> www.resurgence.org

Capitalwoman 2003 conference, the London conference for women
Saturday 8th March
Venue: the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre in SW1
It is hosted by Deputy Mayor Nicky Gavron and Diane Abbott MP. For details
or to register, contact 020 7983 4302 or

email: capitalwoman at london.gov.uk.

Friday March 28, 6.15pm for 6.45pm
Venue: The Princes Foundation, 19 22 Charlotte Road, Old Street, London
EC2A 3SG (Exit 3 from Old Street Station, wheelchair accessible)
Resurgence Magazine & The Temenos Academy jointly present
With: Janine Benyus, Life sciences writer and author of 'Biomimicry
Innovation Inspired by Nature',
Rupert Sheldrake, Author of 'Dogs that know when their owners are coming
home - and other unexplained powers of animals',
and Satish Kumar, Editor of Resurgence & Director of Programmes at the
Schumacher College.
Admission: £5.00 with wine

Enquires and bookings on: 01237 441293, or email: peterlang at resurgence.org

More Diary Dates on GreenNet's New Calendar:
--> 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

Please note that opinions expressed in AlterNet are those of the
contributors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the GreenNet

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