News

1 July 2001 Claire Hanrahan

Before she began her prison sentence for taking nonviolent action at the School of the Americas, Clare Hanrahan sent this report about the legal process and her commitment to standing on the side of truth.

For three days in May in a US courtroom, 26 citizens attempted to break through government deceit to speak the truth: that the US Army School of the Americas – renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Co-operation (WHISC) – is the sinister source of horrendous violence.

It is a place where Latin American soldiers are trained in the murderous techniques of counterinsurgency. Graduates of the school have participated time and again in documented torture, massacre, and…

3 June 2001 Jim Keys and Colin Bryce

In Northern Ireland, Derry's political parties must find the backbone to publicly state their position on the development of an arms industry in the city, according to Patricia McKenna, Ireland's leading Green MEP. “I believe that the vast majority of people in Derry will oppose the arms trade once they are clear about what is going on in this city,” she added.

McKenna was speaking at a “teach-in” on the arms trade and the militarisation of Ireland, organised as part of a weekend of events in Derry to highlight the contradictions posed for the Irish peace process by local cross-party support for the Ministry of Defence contractor, Raytheon.

The world's third biggest arms manufacturing giant has been invited to establish a software centre at Derry Science and Technology Park, to work on the British Ministry of Defence's military Airborne…

1 June 2001 Conner Jay

Protesting at Coca-Cola

Early morning on 4 March an alliance of anti-capitalist activists and human rights campaigners, held a successful blockade of Coca-Cola's distribution centre and full service vending depot in Longwell Green, Bristol.

The protest prevented lorries from leaving the depot and disrupted shipments intended to come into the site, causing (it is believed) shortages throughout the region. Protesters were taking direct action against the multinational company to highlight Coca Cola's…

1 June 2001 Ippy D

In Israel, three conscientious objectors to military service were imprisoned during April and early May.

Gabriel Wolf, serving his second consecutive prison term at the time of writing, was initially imprisoned on 1 April, for refusing to be recruited into the Israeli Defence Force, after being heard by the military Conscience Committee – the body that hears requests for exemption to military service.
However they concluded that “The Committee was not convinced that you [Gabby Wolf] are a pacifist”, to which Gabby replied “I never tried to convince anyone that I was one”.…

1 June 2001 Zertashia Hussain

The second military trial against Russian environmental journalist Grigory Pasko started in Vladivostock in March, after the Military Collegium of the Russian Supreme Court decided to overturn the original verdict.

Pasko, who worked for the Russian Pacific Fleet's newspaper, was originally arrested by the security police in November 1997.

He was accused of high treason through espionage, for handing over secret information regarding nuclear safety in the Pacific Fleet to the Japanese TV channel NHK. However, while he was acquitted of treason in 1999, he was convicted of “abuse of authority”. His three-year prison sentence was cut short due to his having served 20 months in pre-trial detention.…

1 June 2001 Zertashia Hussain

On 8 March the United Nations Development Fund for Women and International Alert awarded Women in Black, Belgrade, among others, their millennium peace prize.

This year, the award was bestowed upon six women and organisations, for their courage and hard work. Among the six were, Dr Flora Brovina, a Kosovar Albanian human rights campaigner, imprisoned in 1999 by Serb authorities, and Veneranda Nzambazamariya for her role in promoting peace in Rwanda after the 1994 genocide and for helping women rebuild their lives.

Asma Jahangir and Hina Jilani, the human rights activists and lawyers, were also among the recipients – in acknowledgement of…

1 June 2001

A brief round-up of May Day events from around the world.

London: After all the fuss beforehand, May Day in London was a fairly peaceable affair.
With 6,000 police, threats of tear gas and rubber bullets, and a stated “zero tolerance” approach, parts of central London still ground to a halt. The generally fluffy and colourful band of several thousand displayed creativity and humour in the face of repressive policing. Hundreds participated in a critical mass action in the financial district.
Seoul: About 20,000 workers took to the…

1 June 2001 PN staff

Action by Israelis, Palestinians and internationals

After a nonviolent action carried out by Israelis, Palestinians and internationals to dismantle an Israeli roadblock located outside two Palestinian villages, 16 people were arrested and a car containing two activists was riddled with automatic gunfire.

The car's occupants were mildly injured during the attack which it is alleged originated from the nearby Israeli settlement of Brukhim. The injured had been waiting in the car for the release of activists who had earlier been…

1 January 2001 PN staff

Almost nonviolent - marred only by the deaths of two people - was it, or is it, a revolution? 

The west has hailed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's election of President Kostunica as the triumph of democracy - though whether Kostunica actually received over 50% of the votes will probably never be known. Nevertheless, the West is falling over itself to invite the new FRY into their gang: OSCE, UN - they'll bejoining NATO next!

For those within Serbia who spent the past decade opposing Milosevic, his wars and his policies it is a time for celebration, but also a time for…

1 January 2001 PN staff

By the beginning of November the escalating war in the Middle East had claimed more than 160 lives (predominantly Palestinian), 2000-6000 had been wounded and more than 700 arrested.

Once blood has been shed and tensions reach new heights, the opportunities for dialogue and resolution to conflict are reduced. However there have been numerous acts of solidarity and calls for a cease-fire from both Jewish and Palestinian groups and several joint demonstrations and vigils. These have included a permanent sit-in in Jerusalem; a Jewish/Arab reconciliation tent; demonstrations at the US embassy; open meetings; petitions; and Women in Black vigils. There have also been…

1 January 2001 PN staff

The war in Chechnya rumbles on, with reports of increased fighting and both civilian and military/paramilitary deaths in recent months.

This has included renewed heavy exchanges around Grozny and a series of more isolated incidents, including the death of an entire family who were crushed by a Russian military APC and the execution of three Russian soldiers by Chechen fighters, while they walked through a market.

At the end of October Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a 99-page report entitled Welcometo Hell , detailing the torture and abuse of thousands of Chechens who have been detained by the Russian forces in…

1 December 2000 Andreas Speck

In October anti-nuclear activists in Germany recommenced their resistance to nuclear waste transports (Castor) - one of which is due to leave the nuclear power station at Philippsburg in the south of Germany for the reprocessing plant in La Hague, France.

This would have been the first Castor transport since the one to Ahaus (see PN April 1998) and the total ban on transports following the discovery of radioactive contamination of rolling stock (see PN July 1998). This would also have been the first transport since the red-green government took power in October 1998, and reached the so-called “nuclear consensus” with the nuclear industry, wrongly presented as a slow process to shut down all nuclear power stations.

The strategy of anti-…