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Recent ZNet

Romi Mahajan: Bhopal on Less than $40 a Day

“Living. Improved daily.” That’s the motto of Dow Chemical – global giant – the folks that lied about Dioxin, gave us poisonous silicone implants, and in 2001 merged with Union Carbide, the company responsible for the worst industrial accident in history—in Bhopal, India.  Behind the spin of the noble motto lies a company that has done Read more…

Chiapas Various: Urgent Call for Solidarity

San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas August 21, 2002. To National and International Civil Society. To the National Indigenous Congress. To Non-Governmental Human Rights Organizations. To the National and International Press. The following is an URGENT call in order to demonstrate the worsening of tension in the state of Chiapas.  The various conflicts which have Read more…

Alfredo Castro: Open Letter to Plazas Vega

Dear Mr Plazas, I write to you in my capacity as a journalist specialising in human rights issues in our country in the hope that you may be able to answer a few questions for me regarding your past activities. To save you time I have tried to make my questions as brief as possible: Read more…

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Uri Avnery: Letter to a Pilot

I have read the interview given by your commander, Major General Dan Halutz, and, like many others in Israel and abroad, I was shocked. On July 23, one of your comrades (or perhaps you yourself?) dropped a one-ton bomb on a house in a dense residential neighborhood in Gaza. The aim was to execute, without Read more…

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George Monbiot: Earth Eating Summit

The German election could be the second this year to be won or lost on the environment. In New Zealand, the Labour Party failed to win its anticipated overall majority, partly because of its determination to approve the planting of genetically modified crops. The Greens, who did better than expected, have threatened to bring the Read more…

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Norman Solomon: Wag The Puppy

Some people are suspicious that President Bush will go for a “wag the dog” strategy — boosting Republican prospects with a military assault on Iraq shortly before Election Day. But a modified approach now seems to be underway. Let’s call it “wag the puppy.” After a number of GOP luminaries blasted his administration’s war scenarios, Read more…

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Site Administrator: Invisible Children

In a July 11th article, the British weekly The Economist recounts the latest grim statistics on AIDS, noting emphatically that the 9,000 people who die each day from AIDS represents three times the number killed in the World Trade Center attacks. “If all men are created equal, all avoidable deaths should be regarded as equally Read more…

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Michael Albert: Grubacic Interviews Albert Regarding Parecon

1. Is there life after capitalism?   Yes, I think there is not only life after capitalism…but a menagerie of sorts — so the question becomes, which post-capitalist life do we want.   For example, there was the life after capitalism endured in the Soviet Union, and, somewhat differently, in Yugoslavia, Poland, and so on. Read more…

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Andrej Grubacic: Albert Interviews Grubacic Regarding the European Left

(1) The European Social Forum is coming up in early November. Broadly, what is its relation to the WSF. And what positive promise does it hold for a growing and unified European Left?   The European Social Forum is a chapter of the WSF and a part of what it is now being called a Read more…

Richard Norton-taylor: Don’t Trust Bush Or Blair On Iraq

Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical weapons in the past is repeatedly cited by the US and British governments as justification for his removal from power now. But just what was their response to his use of poison gas against Iranian troops and Iraqi Kurds in the 1980s? Far from condemning his actions, they stepped up Read more…

Open Letter: Open Letter To UN Secretary General

August 21, 2002 Dear Friends: In the interest of contesting the current rush to war, we have composed the attached “Open Letter to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and to Representatives of the Member States, on the Declared Intention of the United States to Commit Aggression Against Iraq.” The Letter calls into question the legality Read more…

Quit: Queer ‘Settlers’ Land on Berkeley Starbucks

About 25 queer settlers descended on a downtown Berkeley Starbucks on Saturday, August 17, claiming Berkeley as “a city without people for people without a city.” The group, organized by Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism (QUIT!), posted a banner proclaiming the reclaimed caf? “Queerkeley – A Prophecy Fulfilled.” They also erected homes (transformed “Palestinian civilian homes Read more…

Anjum Niaz: Americana Under Attack

A destructive and parodied image of America abroad scanned by the powerful Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) galvanized the White House to move swiftly and give US a makeover. Crafted by an independent task force of 35 experts on public diplomacy, the report, sponsored by the CFR, has robustly re-affirmed the world-view of a stereotype Read more…

San manuel autonomous Municipality: 4 Zapatistas Shot

[translated by irlandesa]   Today, August 19, 2002, at 6:30 in the morning, 22 vehicles (trucks, microbuses and Nissan vans) which were coming from Taniperla, Monte Líbano, Perla Acapulco and Peña Limonar, stopped in the village of Nuevo Guadalupe, at the Quexil crossroads, where there is a checkpoint set up by zapatista bases in order Read more…

Peter Mclaren: Educating For Social Justice And Liberation

What do you feel about the current state of educational criticism across the world? We hear terms such as democratic schooling and progressive schooling? Are they for real? What would these look like? Well in order to answer your question adequately, I will have to specify the context in which such ‘democratic’ and ‘progressive’ education Read more…

Earl ofari Hutchinson: Reparations

On a recent radio talk show a caller told anti-reparations crusader David Horowitz that reparations advocates didn’t give a hang what Horowitz thought about reparations. He assured listeners that reparations advocates would force America to own up to its nightmarish slave past and compensate blacks for their suffering. Horowitz shrugged off the criticism, insisted that Read more…

Dan Plesch: Bush May Get Un Support For His War

Opponents of an assault on Iraq assume that the US will not try to get endorsement from the UN security council. In fact, not only is the US likely to ask for security council support, but it will probably get it. To avoid being wrong-footed by such a move, opponents of the war need a Read more…

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Robert Fisk: Be Afraid: Be Very Afraid

 have always been a sucker for wide-screen epics. Ever since my Dad took me to see Quo Vadis – which ends with centurion Robert Taylor heading off to his execution with his bride on his arm – I’ve been on the movie roller-coaster. My dad didn’t make a great distinction between the big pictures and Read more…

Gideon Levy: Nothing Happened

Nothing happened. Soldiers opened fire, no one was hurt. Not a thing happened. The soldiers evacuated the bullet-riddled taxi and its passengers from the zone of fire and no officer appeared: not to investigate, not to take testimony, not to explain, not to apologize, and above all not to show the soldiers that, after all, Read more…

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Robert Fisk: Be Very Afraid

I have always been a sucker for wide-screen epics. Ever since my Dad took me to see Quo Vadis – which ends with centurion Robert Taylor heading off to his execution with his bride on his arm – I’ve been on the movie roller-coaster. My dad didn’t make a great distinction between the big pictures Read more…

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Michael Albert: Markets Über Alles?

Regular readers of Z know I frequently use this column to argue that private ownership yields grotesque inequalities, while markets: hide human relations, ensuring that economic calculations focus only on dollar profits   promote antagonism among buyers and sellers, yielding conflict and precluding solidarity   promote a class of intellectual workers dominating traditional workers, precluding Read more…

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Amira Hass: Making Life Difficult for the Palestinian Peace Camp

Some 700 Palestinian demonstrators in Bethlehem waited in vain on Saturday evening for activists from Ta’ayush Jewish-Arab Coexistence to arrive for a planned joint demonstration in the middle of the occupied city. When it turned out that the IDF would not allow the two sides to meet, they decided to use mobile phones and loudspeakers Read more…

Alice Hutchinson: Massacre in Oaxaca

The May 31st massacre of 27 indigenous campesinos in Oaxaca, Southern Mexico, reportedly carried out by nieghbouring villagers over a territorial land dispute, has done little to encourage the Mexican Government to initiate long awaited indigenous land reforms. President Fox’s refusal to tackle the issue leaves him a time bomb waiting to explode across a Read more…

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Eduardo Galeano: The Rope

[Translated by Francisco González] ¿Do we really stir so much emotion in others? President Bush felt moved by the predicaments of Uruguay, even though there is no indication that he would be able find our country on a map. Could it be that he was touched by the abnegation of our own President–this good man ever so Read more…

Darren Smith: The Scotsman on Iraq

From the day we are born we are trained to be in awe of the rich and famous and powerful – they are the ‘stars’ and ‘starlets’, the ‘screen goddesses’ and ‘pop idols’ floating far above the heads of us ‘ordinary people on the street’. Like children laughing at grown ups, we are invited to Read more…

Firoz Osman: World Summit on Sustainable Development

The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) will primarily focus on three pillars, namely social development, economic development and the protection of the environment. There is increasing scepticism whether this expensive exercise will have a meaningful impact on ordinary people, particularly in the developing world. Reviewing the history of the WSSD from the Stockholm Conference Read more…

Yugoslav Antimilitarists: Conscientious Objectors’ Rights

We would like to inform both local and foreign public as well as peace groups and other organisations for protection of human rights that the breaking of conscientious objectors’ rights by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Federal Ministry of Defence and the Yugoslav Army still continues. As stated in the Constitution of Federal Republic of Read more…

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Michael Albert: Participatory Economics Interview

KATE REDMOND: We’re in the studio today with Michael Albert, activist and author of several books, including Looking Forward from South End Press and Political Economy of Participatory Economics from Princeton University Press, and co-founder and editor of Z Magazine. Welcome to KFAI in Minneapolis.   MICHAEL ALBERT: Thank you very much for having me. Read more…

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Michael Albert: When the Ship Comes In

The following is a slightly revised transcript of the Testimony Presentation by Michael Albert delivered at the World Social Forum, Porto Alegre, Brazil, 2002   First, I want to thank the organizers of the WSF for having me here to give a personal testimony, and for conceiving and organizing this monumental event. I have been Read more…

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Michael Albert: Participatory Economics

According to most economists, the activities of separate groups of producers and consumers can be coordinated by markets or by authoritarian planning—but there is no "third way." Those who call for planning by producers and consumers themselves only delude themselves and others. Economic pundits claim it is impossible to democratically plan a complex modern economy. Read more…

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Michael Albert: Goodbye Soviets?

The dissolution of the Soviet Union has been a severe psychic loss for many leftists. Why? The end of Soviet power has increased U.S. military dominance. There is a grave possibility of famine. Even without a new coup, Yeltsin and/or his counterparts in other republics could become dictators. And the possibility of widespread racial and Read more…

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Michael Albert: Marketeers?!

Last issue I took a swipe at John Roemer’s new book The Future of Socialism. I also blasted Sam Bowles for praising the book on the back cover. I don’t like it when people who know better tell the public that markets—one of the most destructive institutions ever conceived on this planet—are ok, inevitable, or Read more…

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Robin Hahnel: A Future for Socialism

According to Samuel Bowles, A Future for Socialism by John Roemer is “measured, highly accessible, and most of all compelling.” Spurred by this enthusiastic recommendation from my former teacher and esteemed colleague, I tore into the text anticipating penetrating insights about why, in Roemer’s words, “socialism is not dead.” Unfortunately I found Roemer’s book uninformed Read more…

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Michael Albert: Resurrect the ‘R’ Word

Revolution to many means chaos, violence, and death. Disagree? Me too. But should we resurrect the R-word? Economics   Consider this: eight million unemployed, 35 million poor, 20 million “hungry,” 400,000 homeless, a third of government expenditures financing militarism. IBM controls 80 percent in computers; GE and Westinghouse control 85 percent in heavy electrical equipment; Read more…

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Robert Fisk: Afghanistan is on the Brink of Another Disaster

The garden was overgrown, the roses scrawny after a day of Kandahar heat, the dust in our eyes, noses, mouth, fingernails. But the message was straightforward. “This is a secret war,” the Special Forces man told me. “And this is a dirty war. You don’t know what is happening.” And of course, we are not Read more…

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Edward Said: Punishment By Detail

Terrorism, and its obsessive pursuit, have become an entirely circular, self-fulfilling murder and slow death of enemies who have no choice or say in the matter. Aside from the obvious physical discomforts, being ill for a long period of time fills the spirit with a terrible feeling of helplessness, but also with periods of analytic Read more…

Jennifer Loewenstein: Blood for Blood

There is a bouquet of plastic purple flowers in the center of a cheap wooden table. It’s easier to stare at it than into the faces of either of the men speaking. The air is suffocatingly hot — no breeze passes through the half-open window. I’m thirsty but won’t drink the orange soda our host Read more…

Agustin Fernandez: The Crisis in Uruguay

[NOTE: Agustin Fernandez is a translator for ZNet, from Uruguay.  He was asked to provide some insight into the financial collapse there.  This is the note he sent to the group of ZNet translators-- which was in turn translated into English by Craig M Johnson] At the beginning of the year 2000, the candidate of Read more…

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George Monbiot: Our Racist Demonology

The most evil man on earth, besides Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden, is Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe. That, at least, is the view of most of the western world’s press. Yesterday Mugabe insisted that 2,900 white farmers will have to leave their land. He claims to be redistributing their property to landless Read more…

Bryan Rostron: The Business Of Apartheid

Cape Town. ”Some call me the devil,” says Ed Fagan, delightedly. We are in a smart Cape Town waterfront hotel and Fagan, a consummate showman, is thoroughly enjoying himself as he details the multibillion-dollar class-action lawsuit he has launched against multinational corporations and banks, including Barclays Bank, accused of propping up apartheid. “I’m not the Read more…

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Starhawk: Targeting the Innocent

Lisa and I are walking in the Zone of Total Destruction in Jenin Camp, where in April the Israeli Defence Forces, after four nights of shelling, bulldozed four hundred and fifty houses, some with the occupants still inside. We are in Jenin, in the Occupied Territories of Palestine, with the International Solidarity Movement, a group Read more…

Anjum Niazi: Democracy and the Press

The Press in Pakistan has its moments of glory when suddenly it becomes the darling of the person dismissing an elected government. His advisors go into overdrive to cull together any bit of damning evidence they can lift from newspapers and magazines for their boss to lay his claim for seizing power. Added to this Read more…

Anjum Niaz: FBI and INS play catch up

Caramel colored clouds that hang atop Brooklyn Prison and Detention Center lend a sober sight to a treeless, flowerless and a friendless neighborhood. Dog dirt strewn across the pavement emits a fowl smell while the desolate structures all around look like a wild west movie set. An odd immigrant shopkeeper shuffles around, eyes downcast lost Read more…

Anjum Niaz: A Cry for Help

With several hundred more Pakistanis waiting to be deported by the United States on visa violations, many human rights organizations and volunteers here are actively involved in providing legal, moral and financial support to the victims and their families. Here is the story of one such victim… Last year, on October 17, Qaiser Rafiq, a Read more…

Anjum Niaz: Phantoms of Liberty and its Victims

“To those who pit Americans against immigrants and citizens against noncitizens, to those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists, for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve.” So said Attorney General John Ashcroft. But later went ahead and authored the USA Read more…

Mitchell Plitnick: Whose Goals does Violence Serve?

Just today, I received the following message from Gila Svirsky, the long-time peace activist of the Coalition of Women for Peace and Women in Black in Israel: “Dafna Sphruch z”l died today of her injuries from the pigua [terrorist attack – ed.] at Hebrew University. Dafna was a veteran peace activist and a Woman in Read more…

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David Bacon: Bush Threatens Dockers’ Right To Strike

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (8/7/02) — A labor war is looming on the west coast docks, which could become the defining union conflict of the Bush administration. But the traditional issues of union bargaining — wages, benefits and working conditions — have been preempted this spring by a much more basic one: Do dockers have the Read more…

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Robert Fisk: Return to Afghanistan

Gul Afgha knows how to handle the United Nations. He smiles, he praises, he loves the UN, and he is immensely grateful for the advice of Under Secretary General and Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, the diminutive Ugandan Olara Utunnu. Every time Mr Utunnu talks about democracy and peace Read more…

Juan Balboa: Twinning of Cities in Chiapas and Catalonia

[translated by irlandesa] Roberto Barrios, Chiapas From the Barcelona Mediterranean to the Lacandona Selva, zapatistas and Catalans formalized, in this Aguascalientes, the twinning of the two municipalities El Trabajo and La Garriga, in a fiesta which was characterized by both as the beginning of the “globalization of solidarity.”  This would extend even beyond the meeting Read more…

Hermann Bellinghausen: Zapatista Assassinated

[translated by irlandesa] The Network of Community Human Rights Defenders confirmed today that on the night of the 7th José López Santiz, a zapatista support base from the community of 6 de Agosto, “was assassinated by eight gunshots” in front of his two small children, who identified Baltasar Alfonso Utrilla – a trucking businessman – Read more…

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