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3 March 2001 Ippy D

Nonviolent revolution? Perhaps not, but certainly one of the biggest nonviolent grassroots movements to contribute to radical political change. Ippy met the OTPOR activists from Serbia.

Personal responsibility is the key to the OTPOR movement in Serbia a movement which has been credited with contributing to the fall of Milosevic. With up to 80,000 activists, a wide variety of tactics and a belief in nonviolence, OTPOR has continued to keep the pressure up on the new incumbents. Since Kostunica took office he has been warned that only the removal of corrupt power-bases in the police, military and government will be enough to stave off future mass action.

At the end…

3 March 2001 Adam Keller and Beate Zilversmidt

With the election in Israel of the hardline former General, Ariel Sharon, Beate Zilversmidt and Adam Keller provide post-election analysis of what went wrong for Barak and what the future may hold for the peace process.

So, these most miserable elections ended as expected. What would have seemed an implausible nightmare but a few months ago is now a sober reality: Ariel Sharon has been elected Prime Minister of Israel.

Still, this result is not so much the victory of a notorious hard-liner as it is the defeat of the failing incumbent. Barak, the man who spoke peace but went to war, was not so much defeated by the opposition as by himself. As no leader of the right could possibly have done, it was…

3 March 2001 Bruce Gagnon

The US and its allies plan to dominate space militarily and ensure the primacy of western economic and social values. Bruce Gagnon urges us to work to prevent a new arms race now, before it is too late.

What is our vision for the heavens? On a beautiful starry night do you look up to the moon and the stars and feel the connection to the ages? Can you imagine military bases on the moon and constellations of space-based lasers orbiting our planet? Can you envision the new military space plane, the successor to the shuttle, dropping off new space-based weapons systems and then returning to earth?

We are at a defining moment in history as the US leads the rest of the world into this…

3 March 2001 David McReynolds

Former US Presidential candidate David McReynolds gives us his assessment of what to expect from Bush: the next generation.

Where will the election of Bush the younger take the US in the next four years? The election was, as readers know, remarkable. In my lifetime I've seen nothing like it. There is little doubt in objective observers that Al Gore not only won the popular vote but would also have won the Florida vote if it had not been for the Supreme Courts stunning decision to end the vote count. (The Supreme Court, in ruling 5 to 4, made Bush the first President elected by a single vote.)

There was a…

3 March 2001 Jan Van Criekinge

On 16 January 2001, president Laurent-Désiré Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo was assassinated by one of his bodyguards. Was it just the action of one individual taking revenge? Or was it another step in the Central African power game, in which DR Congo is, more than ever, the keystone in the first African World War? Jan Van Criekinge reports.

Since October 1996, the war, in what was then still called Zaire under the dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko, was not just a regional conflict, neither an ethnic struggle. From the beginning of the uprising of the loose AFDL coalition, led by the unknown Laurent-Désiré Kabila, a veteran rebel fighter and gold smuggler from the days of the struggle after independence from Belgium in the early sixties, the real power behind it came from Rwanda and Uganda.

In the…

1 March 2001 Ippy D

When we made the decision to put this issue of Peace News together we did so because we knew that many of the issues being tackled by the so-called new breed of anti-globalisation activists are directly and undeniably linked with militarism. But that in many ways the international peace movement has been quite slow and ineffective at making those links visible. This issue of Peace News is one attempt to further expose and highlight those links.

We spent time attempting to pin down exactly what we would focus on, and in the end rejected creating an issue which focuses on globalisation however topical. Instead, while acknowledging the context provided by the ease with which capital, goods and services have been enabled to flow around the world, we decided that what we were really doing was creating an issue which would look at the economies of militarism.

To this end, PN 2442 has tried to focus on four distinct areas:

The…

3 January 2001 Ippy D

The Israeli-Palestinian crisis, or rather the war (lets call it what it actually is), has not been taking place between two sides who are equally to blame, as you could be fooled into thinking by the mass media, and even by some peace activists. To claim that there is an equal power relationship between the state of Israel and the Palestinian Authority is a lie which must be challenged.

Since 1993 the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been responsible for the provision of many services (health, education, social etc) to its population, but it has not had control of the most basic resources such as land and water, or access to international economic markets. Consequently the Palestinians have remained dependent on the state of Israel for economic co-operation (one figure suggests that 25% of Palestinian GDP comes from such co-operation).

Economic separation

The…

3 January 2001 Janet Kilburn

It is an oft-repeated question: does reform undermine revolution, or can they co-exist? In semi-response to George Farebrothers article The Law v Nuclear Weapons (PN 2440) Janet Kilburn argues "probably not".

Personally I find the very notion of regulating warfare, of nations and peoples signing up to agree the rules of engagement, truly disturbing. If we believe that war is inherently a bad thing, why should we devote our time and energy to trying to make it a better thing, or a more humane thing. When is cutting peoples throats, dropping bombs from a great height or burning people who you do not even know, humane?

Surely by investing our energies in attempting to reform and improve the…

3 January 2001 Lorna Richardson and Richard Pakleppa

Landscape of Memory, a set of videos produced by a coalition of Southern African film-makers and reviewed in PN 2440, covers the different ways that people have found to deal with the great traumas that have been visited on the region through war, apartheid and repression. The Namibian video, Nda Mona (I Have Seen), discusses the difficult and doubly painful issues raised when the repression comes from your comrades, your "own side". The director, Richard Pakleppa, talked to Lorna Richardson.

Richard Pakleppa was a conscientious objector to serving in the South African occupation army, and went to Europe, where he worked as a camera assistant. He then moved to Cape Town, along with other young Namibian radicals, and became involved in “civic youth, working class student struggles, organising mass campaigns, the powerful use of culture, propaganda, theatre, music, stayaways, boycotts”. In 1986 he returned to Namibia and worked for some years as an activist and union organiser for…