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UK Newswire Archive
Despite being proven wrong, or to have been again intentionally LYING, about the 'threat' posed by Iran, the Extremists in Israel and the US are STILL desperate to start a war with Iran.
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When a Brighton deelgation visited a remote school in the Jordan Valley, occupied palestine, one of them found themself teaching King Lear to a class of students, but who learnt the most?
The Israeli army have cut the water pipes of the villagers of Al Farsiya in the West Bank. They have issued demolition orders against their buildings, and clearly aim to eradicate this community of 200 people that was 1000 strong 40 yours ago. But the local people have documentation demonstrating their right to the land they live on, and plan to fight back.
In many areas of the West Bank Palestinians are prevented from constructing, improving or repairing any buildings - this can be homes, schools, clinics or animal shelters. In Al Jiftlik and Fasayil the local people have resisted draconian laws and demolition orders, and built their own schools.
The village of San Isidro Aloapam is situated high in the mountains about 3-4 hours drive from Oaxaca city. The journey used to be shorter, but a quicker access road through the mountains has been blocked by villagers, fearful that it could be used for hit and run missions by armed paramilitaries. Like many indigenous communities the village is largely ignored by the political mainstream outside of election campaigns. Mexico’s indigenous population is discriminated against in every aspect of life including jobs, education and healthcare. The village is represented politically by indigenous umbrella organisation CIPO-RFM. The main language spoken by the people is an ancient language called Zapatec; many of the older people in the community do not speak Spanish. The village has a few shops but no bar. Alcohol is frowned upon in communities represented by CIPO-RFM as it has caused huge problems in the indigenous population including murder and domestic violence. The village has its own radio station, which is a vital tool of communication for people living in the more remote areas. Many of the programmes are in Zapatec with traditional music also a regular feature. The radio station also enables communication with the outside world, which offers some protection against paramilitary attacks from the PRIistas.
Sunday April 13, 2008
Renoir Cinema, Brunswick Square
Doors open 10.30am for 11.00am screening
Celebrating 50 years of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. A selection of films from around the world, including the 'Oscar’ winning film made by Dr Helen Caldicott, If You Love This Planet, Terre Nash, Canada 1982, 26mins. http://www.socialistfilm.blogspot.com/
To raise awareness of the plight of the people of San Isidro Aloapam CIPO-RFM organised an international Encuetro or gathering attended by representatives of many different organisations including:
UK Indymedia, Earth First (USA), Earth First Roadblock (Canada), Ya Basta, Jóvenes en Resistencia Alternativa, UNIOS-COPAI, Movimiento por la Paz con justicia y dignidad, Colectivo Anarquista Acción Libertaria, Comité Popular Ciudadano-la otra campaña, la otra tabasco, Guaytalpa Nacajuca, pueblo Chontal, tabasco, Colectivo solidaridad con la Rebelión Zapatista, Barcelona, La olla móvil de Barcelona, kolectivo tod@s somos pres@s, Independientes; Mael Vizcarra Magallanes, Maria Elena Martínez, Gavioes Dafiel, TAIFA, REDMYCZ, Coordinadora Toscano de apoyo a la lucha zapatista, Florencia, Italia, C.C .AREA.(Italia), Periódico Apatía, ENHA D.F colectivo de la otra campaña, Individu@s (Oaxaca), Rafael Moreno González Madrid España, Colectivo de Resistencia Expresión Artística CREA (Oaxaca), Tlacoyos si hamburguesas no, Olga Durante Gómez de Barcelona, Brujula Roja, Red Zapatista, Colectivo de Resistencia Artística CREA, No Mas Muertes, Andres Contreras (compositor de música de protesta) and Askapena, País Vasco.
Cipo-RFM activist Pedro Bautista-Rojas explains the history of the indigenous struggle in Oaxaca and also the implications of the forest dispute for both the people of San Isidro Aloapam and their children.
Demetrio takes us to a spot in the forest where the repression began. The ‘plague’ he refers to is a uncommon disease that afflicts trees in the forest and can destroy large areas if left unchecked. For this reason it is quite legal to cut down diseased trees in the protected areas to stop the spread of the disease. However the wood from such trees has little values compared to that of a healthy one. The loggers from San Miguel have clearly been using a small outbreak of the disease as an excuse to cut down healthy trees for profit. The first thing that struck us was how many clearly diseased trees were still standing while the stumps left behind by the lumberjacks showed no sign of any infection.
London School of Economics
One thing that struck us about the accounts given to us by the villagers of the repression in 2007 was that there were no inconsistencies. Every interview and statement given by the villagers backed up what we had previously heard. It is very clear that the authorities who have imprisoned five of the villagers have not bothered to hear their side of the story. In a region where money can buy anything including the law this is hardly surprising. The accounts of torture that took place in the Police station in the town of San Miguel are truly horrifying.
Another thing we noticed in this part of the forest was that all the ‘diseased’(this is an excuse to get round the law) trees that had been cut down by the loggers of San Miguel had three things in common. Firstly they were all very large. Secondly they were all placed right by the track thus minimising the time and cost of transporting them out of the forest. Thirdly the stumps displayed no signs of disease at all.
The companero pictured below talks not only of the legal battle to secure the future of the forest but also about the corruption they are fighting at the highest level. It seems more than probable that someone in the local municipal environmental offices is being paid a backhander by the loggers to break the laws that he or she is paid to uphold. Another fear the villagers have which seems well founded is that the tree disease (which the loggers use as an excuse for their activity) was deliberately introduced into the forest. It certainly seems convenient for the loggers that a previously healthy area of woodland has suddenly suffered an unexpected blight, which has given a green light to their activities.
Miguel is an organiser for CIPO-RFM. In this interview he explains the history of the forest dispute and the possible implications for the village of San Isidro Aloapam if the logging is allowed to continue.
A little success in court could expose a lot of problems to solutions - if the serious fraud enquiry is told to relook at all its "we wont follow up these aspects" pronouncements - most of all in relation to the dodgy "networks" of ex-covert ops types or "dual-payment scheme" neighbourhood watch types ( QUIS CUSTODIAT CUSTODIES INDEED! )- in the British Isles as much as globally - that shook cash out of this corporation amongst others then hid its actions under such spurious excuses as commercial secrecy or national security - in this case - most weirdly - Saudi national security, allegedly!!!!
Another woman who was beaten by the paramilitaries explains why their struggle to save the forest is so important.
Theresa Peres Mendez explains why she and other women from San Isidro Aloapam chose to defend the forest from armed paramilitaries at considerable personal risk.
An eye witness account of what happened during one of the fatal confrontations between the people of San Isidro Aloapam and the paramilitaries. Christina Peres Alavas explains what happened that day and also testifies that the two dead paramilitaries from San Miguel were killed by their own people not the people of San Isidro Aloapam who are committed to peaceful action. The murder of people from San Miguel by their own paramilitaries is entirely possible as the town (which is under the control of the PRI) has many deep running internal disputes. The confrontation with the people of San Isidro Aloapam could have been used to settle a couple of scores while getting someone else blamed.
Before we travelled up into the mountains to the threatened forest, CIPO-RFM gave a press conference to explain the nature of the dispute and also to highlight the serious repression that they have been experiencing for a number of years. It took place at their headquarters in Oaxaca city. Many representatives from the Mexican corporate media were present but nothing that the CIPO people had to say was reported in the mainstream press. The local Indymedia did give the event a good write up and also attended the Encuentro (gathering) in the mountain village of San Isidro Aloapam.
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Upon entering the forest one of the villagers gave us some of the history of the region as well as the recent events which had ended so violently for the local people. Visitors were encouraged to ask questions and verify any facts about the situation which were unclear. The forest itself is breathtaking and stretches up the mountain as far as the eye can see. The companero gave a pretty detailed account of what happened during the repression and also named the man believed to be responsible for the confrontation to begin with and the deaths that resulted from it.
We were also shown a tree that had been placed across the road by the villagers from San Isidro Aloapam. Its purpose was to stop armed paramilitaries from the nearby town of San Miguel from attacking the village by road in pickup trucks. The closure of the road has added over an hour to the journey made by villagers wishing to reach Oaxaca city.