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  • Robert Sterling
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com D.C. police gear up for IMF protests
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2001
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      Please send as far and wide as possible.

      Thanks,

      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist
      http://www.konformist.com


      D.C. police gear up for IMF protests

      <http://www.msnbc.com/news/564708.asp>

      Authorities meet with leaders of anti-globalization groups

      WASHINGTON, April 26 - Police in riot gear are conducting drills in
      preparation for hundreds of protesters expected in Washington for this
      weekend's spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and
      World Bank.
      ASSISTANT CHIEF Alfred J. Broadbent of the District of Columbia
      Metropolitan Police Department said about 1,000 demonstrators are
      expected
      to be in the city specifically to protest.
      As head of the department's 656-member special services command,
      Broadbent
      has been meeting with leaders of organizations opposed to the
      international
      lending institutions. Most have permits to demonstrate Sunday in two
      small
      parks near the institutions' headquarters.
      "They tell us there are protesters who come that they cannot
      control," said
      Broadbent, "anarchist groups" that Broadbent said constitute "our
      primary
      concern." Police are making distinctions between "peaceful
      protesters" and
      those who wear gas masks or carry baseball bats or crowbars, he said.
      "There are a minority of individuals who come to protest with the
      intent of
      conducting unlawful behavior, and we will not tolerate that," said
      Broadbent.
      Protesters will be arrested, he said, for damaging property or
      bombarding
      police with rocks, bricks and bottles as was done in Quebec last week
      and
      at other gatherings in recent years in Prague, Seattle and in
      Washington as
      activities that could warrant arrest.
      All 3,550 officers will be on duty at the weekend.
      Arrangements have also been made to have a D.C. Superior Court
      magistrate
      available to arraign anybody arrested.
      As an extra precaution, the U.S. State Department has designated both
      financial institutions as temporary diplomatic missions, which will
      involve
      the Secret Service in their security.

      *****

      Scotland Yard prepares for week of anarchy

      <http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm 259270.html>

      Thu, 29 Mar 2001

      Scotland Yard is bracing itself for a week of anarchy in London if the
      general election clashes with planned May Day riots.

      Security surrounding politicians is being stepped up amid fears they
      could
      be the targets of Irish terrorist attacks, Metropolitan Commissioner
      Sir
      John Stevens says.

      Officers are preparing to tackle a significant number of violent
      anarchists
      planning to descend on London in the first week of May during a
      prolonged
      anti-capitalist protest.

      Sir John said intelligence suggested activists would target police,
      government buildings and commercial institutions on May Day and the
      following days.

      The disruption caused by their activity would make it easier for
      terrorists
      to attack and things would be further complicated if the General
      Election
      were called on May 3, the commissioner said.

      "Obviously in the run-up to the election security will be
      heightened," Sir
      John said. "There's bound to be an emphasis on personalities, whether
      they
      are Conservative, Labour, be they government ministers or not."

      Sir John said police were preparing for all forms of attack,
      including the
      possibility of a major lorry bomb.

      Last year's riots caused massive disruption and thousands of pounds
      worth
      of damage was done to property, including the Cenotaph. Dozens of
      people
      were arrested.

      A date for the General Election has yet to be decided.

      *****

      Sat, 28 Apr 2001

      PROFITING FROM REPRESSION:
      Canadian firms in Colombia protected by military death squads

      By Asad Ismi http://www.policyalternatives.ca/

      Since 1990, 35,000 Colombians have been killed in a horrific
      escalation of
      political violence. An average of ten political assassinations are
      reported
      every day. Colombia's state security forces and their paramilitary
      allies
      have been responsible for the vast majority of these killings. Many
      paramilitary death squads have been created by the Colombian
      military. Two
      million Colombians have been internally displaced by the violence and
      about
      3,000 have "disappeared." The primary targets of state death squads
      are
      civilians including trade unionists, community leaders, political and
      social
      activists, human rights defenders and poor peasant farmers.

      More trade unionists are killed in Colombia than in any other
      country. Of
      the 140 workers' representatives assassinated worldwide in 1999, 76
      (54%)
      were Colombian. Three thousand Colombian unionists have been murdered
      since
      1987, mainly by paramilitaries. On October 20, 1998, Jorge Luis Ortega
      Garcia, Vice-President of Colombia's Central Union of Workers
      (equivalent to
      the Canadian Labour Congress) was assassinated. Union representatives
      held
      the state responsible for the killing. The bloodbath has prompted
      trade
      unions from 26 countries to lodge a formal complaint against the
      Colombian
      government with the International Labour Organization (ILO). The
      unions have
      urged the U.N. body to establish a Commission of Inquiry.

      While it slaughters workers and peasants, the Colombian state has
      extended
      open arms to foreign investment and emphasizes "its competitive labour
      force." Canadian corporations have responded enthusiastically by
      investing
      $5 billion in Colombia, mostly in the economic sectors where official
      repression is the greatest: oil and gas, and telecommunications. This
      repression is in response to the labour movement's opposition to neo-
      liberal
      privatization programs.

      In the largest Canadian investment in Colombia, Enbridge Inc.
      operates the
      country's most important oil pipeline (called OCENSA). Oil is
      Colombia's
      leading export. TransCanada Pipelines(TCPL)runs Colombia's two largest
      natural gas pipelines; the company has announced its intention to
      sell its
      interest in both. Canadian oil companies active in Colombia include
      Canadian
      Occidental, Alberta Energy, Talisman Energy, TecnoPetrol, Quadra
      Resources,
      Petrolex Energy, Vanguard Oil, Millennium Energy and Mera Petroleums.
      Bell
      Canada International is the country's leading cellular phone provider
      and
      Nortel Networks has installed a large proportion of Colombia's phone
      lines.
      Conquistador Mines, Sur American Gold, BMR Gold and Greystar
      Resources are
      involved in gold mining, while Quebecor controls Colombia's fourth
      largest
      printer. Bata owns one of Colombia's five largest shoe factories,
      Kruger
      Inc. controls one of its largest paper mills and McCains runs a potato
      processing plant.

      Some Canadian corporations in Colombia are not just taking advantage
      of a
      repressive environment. There is evidence to indicate that Enbridge
      and TCPL
      have more direct connections to the repression. Until September 7,
      2000,
      Enbridge operated the OCENSA pipeline jointly with TCPL. Both
      companies
      owned 17.5% each of the pipeline. On that date, TCPL announced that
      it had
      sold 10.3% of its share of OCENSA to Ecopetrol(the Colombian state oil
      company) and 7.2% to Enbridge. The rest of the OCENSA consortium
      consists of
      British Petroleum, Total and The Strategic Transaction Company.

      According to Amnesty International, (AI Bulletin October 19/1998), the
      OCENSA consortium contracted Defence Systems Colombia (a British
      security
      firm) for security purposes until 1997. Amnesty states: "What is
      particularly alarming is that OCENSA/DSC has purchased military
      equipment
      for the Colombian army's 14th Brigade which has an atrocious record
      of human
      rights violations." At the time OCENSA/DSC bought the equipment in
      1997
      through Silver Shadow, a private Israeli security company, members of
      the
      14th Brigade "were under investigation for complicity in a massacre
      of 15
      unarmed civilians in the town of Segovia in April 1996 and for links
      with
      paramilitary organizations responsible for widespread human rights
      violations, including killings, Îdisappearances' and torture against
      the
      civilian population in the area of the Brigade's jurisdiction."
      Amnesty
      points out that it opposes the transfer of military equipment to units
      implicated in serious human rights violations "as it is reasonable to
      assume
      that such equipment could be used to commit further violations."

      Amnesty also questions the use of an Israeli security company to
      procure
      military equipment for the 14th Brigade: "The relation with Israeli
      private
      security companies is potentially of concern given that in the past
      such
      companies have provided mercenaries, of Israeli and British and German
      nationality, to train paramilitary organizations operating under the
      control
      of the 14th Brigade. These same paramilitary organizations have been
      responsible for widespread atrocities against the civilian
      population."

      Amnesty is further concerned that, according to information given to
      the
      U.K.-based newspaper, The Guardian, by a former OCENSA employee,
      OCENSA/DSC
      is carrying out a security strategy that "could indirectly or directly
      contribute to serious human rights violations against the civilian
      population." According to Amnesty: "What is disturbing is that
      OCENSA/DSC's
      security strategy reportedly relies heavily on paid informants whose
      purpose
      is to covertly gather Îintelligence information' on the activities of
      the
      local population in the communities through which the pipeline passes
      and to
      identify possible 'subversives' within those communities. What is
      even more
      disturbing is that this intelligence information is then reportedly
      passed
      by OCENSA to the Colombian military who, together with their
      paramilitary
      allies, have frequently targeted those considered subversive for
      extrajudicial execution and `disappearance'...The passing of
      intelligence
      information to the Colombian military may have contributed to
      subsequent
      human rights violations."

      As Amnesty puts it, "The role of the Colombian security forces in the
      implementation of a counterinsurgency strategy characterized by the
      systematic violation of human rights imposes a special moral
      obligation on
      national and international companies to ensure that, however
      unwittingly,
      they should not condone or encourage such actions. This is
      particularly the
      case given that in Colombia human rights violations are frequently
      committed
      to secure or protect powerful economic interests."

      >From Amnesty International's account it appears that Enbridge, the
      leading
      Canadian investor in Colombia, and TCPL, (as part of the OCENSA
      consortium)
      have been linked to the Colombian government's war against its own
      people.
      Amnesty's statement is confirmed by the Colombia Support Network
      (CSNöbased
      in Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.) in the Spring 1999 issue of its journal,
      "Colombia Bulletin". According to this, the former OCENSA employee
      mentioned
      above, described his own role as being "the eyes of the state security
      forces." The journal adds that there was a secret agreement between
      OCENSA
      and the Colombian Defense Ministry under which the latter's
      counterinsurgency brigades would protect the pipeline. This agreement
      made
      the transfer of military equiment to the 14th Brigade "unavoidable,"
      according to John O'Reilly, spokesman for British Petroleum.

      Jake Epp, Senior Vice President of TransCanada Pipelines, has said
      that
      OCENSA is no longer using Defence Systems Colombia. He made the
      remark at a
      seminar for Colombian and Canadian government and business
      representatives
      held on June 1, 1999, in Toronto. In January 2000, the Colombian
      government
      awarded Epp the National Order of Merit, one of Colombia's highest
      official
      honours.

      Also according to the Colombia Support Network, during 1997,
      Conquistador
      Mines' subsidiary, Corona Goldfields, expressed interest in
      exploiting a
      gold mine in the town of Simiti in the southern part of Bolivar State
      in
      northern Colombia. The south of Bolivar produces 42% of Colombian
      gold.
      Ownership of the mine was claimed by both the Higuera-Palacios family
      and
      35,000 poor miners who had worked the mine for thirty years. Thirty
      thousand
      of the miners are affiliated with ASOGROMISBOL (Agromining
      Association of
      the South of Bolivar). About the same time that Corona indicated its
      interest, paramilitaries started appearing in Simiti, stating their
      intention to "recover" the area. During March 1997, these death squads
      killed 19 people in towns around Simiti. On April 25, paramilitaries
      entered
      the town of Rio Viejo and announced their intention to "cleanse" the
      area
      and "hand it over to multinational corporations because they will
      provide
      jobs and improve the region." {Source: Cecilia Zarate-Laun (CSN), "A
      Case
      Study of Globalization: A Chronology"}. The paramilitaries cut off
      the head
      of miner Juan Camacho and kicked it around like a soccer ball. They
      then
      placed the battered head on top of a long stick facing the mining
      zone to
      indicate the location of their next attack.

      On July 20, death squads tortured and killed Luis Orlando Camacho,
      Vice-President of ASOGROMISBOL. On June 23, 1998, representatives of
      the
      miners' community told Colonel Reynaldo Rodriguez-Santos, the military
      commander of the area, that the presence of the paramilitaries
      coincided
      with that of multinationals in the region. They pointed out that
      along with
      Corona Goldfields, another foreign company, Archangel, was also
      present in
      the area. The miners stressed that this was a problem not only in
      Bolivar
      State but also in other gold producing areas such as Guainia, Vaupes
      and
      Choco. Col. Rodriguez responded that the miners were in league with
      guerrillas.

      During 1998, massacres committed by death squads drove 10,000 people
      from
      the south of Bolivar, the largest displacement in Colombia that year.
      The
      expelled miners accuse multinational mining companies of funding the
      paramilitaries that removed them. The violence continued during 2000
      with
      the army and navy bombing and strafing villages in Cantagallo
      municipality.
      Military and paramilitary units also carried out a joint operation in
      San
      Pablo and Simiti.

      CSN's account was confirmed by Francisco Ramirez Cuellar, President
      of the
      Colombian Mine Workers Union (SINTRAMINERCOL) who visited Canada on a
      speaking tour in April-May 2000. According to Ramirez, Corona
      Goldfields is
      attempting to acquire property in the south of Bolivar through Minera
      San
      Lucas, a front company which Corona set up for this purpose. Ramirez
      explained that the death squad killings are aimed at displacing small
      miners
      to make way for foreign capital. "Our curse," he said, "is to possess
      enormous natural resources and be in a geopolitical location of major
      interest to multinational corporations." Ramirez added that along with
      Corona, Sur American Gold is also interested in the south of Bolivar.
      A
      third Canadian mining company, BMR Gold, owns a 7,000 hectare gold-
      silver
      mine in the south of Bolivar in an area known as the Serrania of San
      Lucas.
      The company claims that all work on the mine is suspended
      because "rebels
      have taken over the area."

      Ramirez pointed out that since June 1998, paramilitaries have killed
      259
      people in the south of Bolivar, burnt down 689 homes and sacked 7
      villages.
      The death squads operate with the open collaboration of the armed
      forces and
      police. Ramirez called for a halt to foreign investment in Colombia's
      mining
      sector until the labour rights and human rights of workers are
      respected.

      In November 1999, Conquistador Mines signed an exploration agreement
      for
      Colombia with AngloGold South America. Anglogold is the world's
      largest gold
      producer and is 54% owned by Anglo American Corporation which
      dominates
      mining in South Africa. The mining industry in South Africa was the
      bedrock
      of apartheid. Under the agreement with Conquistador, AngloGold will
      fund
      exploration programs for up to 5 years in an effort to discover and
      develop
      "a major economic orebody."

      Asad Ismi is author of "Profiting from Repression: Canadian
      Investment in
      and Trade with Colombia," an Americas Update Report, November 2000.
      This
      article is excerpted from the report which can be ordered by calling
      (416)920-8331. <aismi@...>

      Taken from The CCPA Monitor, December 2000/Januar 2001.
      http://www.policyalternatives.ca

      *****

      Monsanto's Criminal Record For Environmental Contamination

      <http://greenpeaceusa.org/media/publications/criminal.htm>

      Monsanto has been identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection
      Agency as
      being the "potentially responsible party" for no fewer than 93
      contaminated
      sites (Superfund Sites) in the U.S. Monsanto has also
      admitted: "There are
      various other lawsuits, claims and proceedings that state agencies
      and
      others have asserted against the company seeking remediation of
      alleged
      environmental impairment". 1986 - A US District Court found Monsanto
      liable in the death of a Texas employee from leukemia caused by
      exposure to
      the carcinogen benzene. The plaintiff's family contended that
      Monsanto had
      neglected to monitor benzene emissions at the plant and had failed to
      instruct workers about the risks of handling benzene-tainted
      compounds. The
      court awarded the plaintiff's family $108 million. 1988 - Monsanto
      agreed
      to a $1.5 million settlement in a chemical poisoning case filed by
      over 170
      former employees of the company's Nitro, West Virginia facility. Six
      workers said they had been exposed to chemicals which gave them a
      rare form
      of bladder cancer.

      1990 - Monsanto paid $648,000 to settle charges that it allegedly
      failed to
      report significant risk findings from health studies to the EPA as
      required
      under the Toxic Substance Control Act.

      1991 - The Massachusetts Attorney General's office fined Monsanto
      $1 millionthe largest ever assessed in Massachusetts for violation of
      a
      state environmental lawfor illegally discharging 200,000 gallons of
      acid-laden wastewater from a plant and failing to report the release
      immediately as well as understating the volume of the release.
      According
      to the state's Department of Environmental Protection, Monsanto,
      which paid
      a $35,000 fine in 1988 for failing to report an acid spill at the
      same
      facility, had a history of violating spill-reporting laws.

      1992 - Monsanto agreed to pay $39 million of a $208 million
      Superfund settlement with 1700 Houston residents who claimed injuries
      as a
      result of living near a former toxic waste dump, labeled one of the
      worst
      such sites in Texas. Plaintiffs argued that Monsanto deposited 519
      million
      pounds of hazardous compounds into unlined holes in the ground.
      Children in
      the area suffer health problems including immune deficiency
      disorders,
      cancer, and facial deformities allegedly due to exposure to toxins
      leaking
      from the site. 1996 - Monsanto agreed to pay $50,000 in legal costs
      and to
      alter advertising in New York after complaints from the state's
      attorney
      general that advertisements for Monsanto's Roundup brand herbicide
      were
      misleading. In their advertisements, Monsanto had claimed that
      Roundup was
      safer than table salt and "practically non-toxic" to mammals, birds
      and
      fish. New York had been challenging the ads since 1991.

      The Mississippi River
      The Mississippi River has suffered especially from Monsanto's
      pollution.
      Monsanto's Sauget, Illinois plant discharges an estimated 34 million
      pounds
      of toxins into the river. The facility is a major producer of
      chloronitrobenzenes, bioaccumulative teratogens detected at levels as
      high
      as 1000 parts per billion in fish over 100 miles downstream. Before
      they
      were banned in the 1970s, the Sauget plant was the world's only
      manufacturer of PCBs. Besides being present at high levels in
      Mississippi
      fish, PCBs are ubiquitous in the global ecosystem.

      Monsanto's Muscatine, Iowa plant, which produces alachlor, butachlor
      and
      other highly toxic compounds, releases at least 265,000 pounds of
      chemicals
      per year directly into the Mississippi.

      According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service: "[T]he combined effect
      of
      the Monsanto discharge with other discharges may severely stress and
      degrade the [aquatic] habitat." Agricultural chemicals in the
      discharge
      were of particular concern.

      Monsanto's Pseudo Science Dioxin
      "There are numerous...flaws in the Monsanto health studies. Each of
      these
      misrepresentations and falsifications served to negate any
      conclusions of
      adverse health effects from dioxins."
      Dr. Cate Jenkins, US EPA Regulatory Development Branch, 1990.

      "There is a clear pattern of fraudulent misconduct in the dioxin
      science
      performed by the chemical industry and its indentured academics."
      Dr. Samuel Epstein, Professor of Occupational and Environmental
      Medicine,
      University of Illinois, 1990.

      "For better or worse, we're deeper into 'dioxin[s]' than anyone,
      even
      though the public links them more to Dow."
      Monsanto internal memo made public in 1987.

      As the third largest US chemical company and the inventor of PCBs,
      Monsanto
      manufactures, uses, and disposes of vast quantities of chemicals
      associated
      with the generation and dispersal of dioxins. Dioxins are among the
      most
      notorious toxins ever made, and are present in the general population
      and
      widespread in the environment.

      A 1991 study by the National Institute of Occupation Health and
      Safety
      (NIOSH) found a statistically significant increase in cancers in the
      workers at all sites when dioxin-exposed workers at Monsanto's plant
      and
      elsewhere were examined as an aggregate group. That is, NIOSH
      indicated
      that dioxin exposure did increase the likelihood of cancer. Moreover,
      recent (1992-94) documents by the US EPA itself suggest that the
      weight of
      evidence indicates that dioxin can be considered a human carcinogen.
      EPA
      researchers have estimated that dioxin exposure currently poses
      cancer
      hazards which are 100 to 1000 times greater than the
      standard "acceptable"
      risk of one cancer per million. According to such risk estimates,
      dioxin
      would cause 350-3500 cancers annually in the US, or up to three
      percent of
      all cancers.

      Bovine Growth Hormone
      In 1991, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the company's
      materials on BGH "go beyond the legitimate exchange of scientific
      information" and ordered Monsanto to stop making unsubstantiated
      claims
      about BGH.

      Butachlor
      Monsanto also produces butachlor (trade names Machete, Lambast), an
      herbicide which poses both acute and chronic health risks and can
      contaminate water supplies. Although Monsanto manufactures butachlor
      in
      Iowa, the herbicide has never been registered in the US or gained a
      food
      residue tolerance. In 1984, the EPA rejected Monsanto's registration
      applications due to "environmental, residue, fish and wildlife, and
      toxicological concerns." Monsanto has refused to submit additional
      data
      requested by the EPA. Despite its recognized dangers, Monsanto sells
      butachlor abroad. Dozens of countries in Latin America, Asia, and
      Africa
      use the product, primarily on the paddy rice which constitutes almost
      all
      of US rice imports.


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