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Center Column Archives
Last week Rainforest Action Network's Change Chevron team asked people to call Chevron CEO John Watson and congratulate him for being inducted into Corporate Accountability International's Corporate Hall of Shame. The same day, Rainforest Action Network activists teamed up with the Raging Grannies, boarding a biodiesel bus to deliver an enlarged Corporate Hall of Shame certificate to Watson at his home in Lafayette, California.
As the Obama administration moves closer to introducing the NAFTA-style Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) to Congress, on January 14th, 2011, citizens and activists joined Kim Kyung-Ran, Director of External Relations for the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, in a rally at San Francisco's new Federal Building to oppose the deal. Labor, faith, environmental, fair trade, and family farm organizations called on Minority Leader Pelosi, Congress and President Obama to stop pursuing the KORUS FTA, an agreement expected to cost American jobs and grant corporations in each country rights to subvert public interest laws.
After web host Amazon and DNS host Dyn Inc. terminated service to WikiLeaks.org earlier this week, San Jose-based PayPal announced late last night that it has "permanently restricted" WikiLeaks' account. In a statement released on its blog, PayPal accused WikiLeaks of violating its acceptable use policy by "encourag[ing], promot[ing], facilitat[ing] or instruct[ing] others to engage in illegal activity." WikiLeaks has struggled to stay online after initiating the slow release of over 250,000 leaked US diplomatic cables known as Cablegate, and is now available on several mirrors such as wikileaks.indymedia.org.
During an anti-IMF protest in Athens, Greece on November 15th, a U.S. anarchist was brutally beaten by the Delta Force, a special police division for anarchists and immigrants. Although she suffered serious injuries and was hospitalized for several days, she is expected to fully recover. In the following days as more protests continued in Athens marking the anniversary of the Junta, several Greek demonstrators have been brutalized by the Delta Force. On November 27th, protesters in San Francisco expressed solidarity with comrades in Greece.
On November 8th, more than 50 people protested at the San Francisco Consulate General of India against India's banning of Richard Shapiro. Since 2006, Shapiro has regularly traveled to Kashmir, and interacted with various human rights defenders, scholars, and youth to bear witness and to learn from their experiences. Friends and Allies of Richard Shapiro point out that when academics, writers, and journalists are banned, such actions speak to the intent of the Indian State in maintaining impunity, and in deliberately isolating Kashmiris from the world, and the world from Kashmiris.
On the morning of September 22nd, settler security personnel in Silwan in East Jerusalem shot and killed Samir Solhan. Solhan, a father of four, was a well known figure in Silwan. The Palestinian residents of Silwan rioted in the following days protesting the murder. Although the police readily accepted the settlers' security personnel's version that he was in fear of his life, testimonies and video tell a different story.
On September 16th, Daniel Ellsberg, US Army Col. and diplomat Ann Wright (ret.), senior CIA analyst Ray McGovern (ret.), and KPFA morning host Aimee Allison spoke in Oakland to kick off a nationwide campaign to free alleged whistleblower Bradley Manning, accused of leaking thousands of documents and combat video showing the gunning down of Iraqi civilians and journalists. The event was be streamed live on Indybay as well as Michael Moore's website.