The British government has refused a diplomatic request from the United States for "shoot-to-kill" immunity for armed American special agents and snipers who will be travelling to Britain as part of President Bush's entourage this week, which means that if they accidentally kill a protester, they'll have to stand trial for it. The Brits are also balking at the Bush team's demand that they shut down parts of London's Tube (subway) system and that they create a "sterile zone" around the President to keep the public at bay. The U.S.
When George W. Bush visits London next week, U.S. officials want to keep protesters out of sight, demanding a rolling "exclusion zone" around the President. "The Stop The War Coalition said yesterday that it had been told by the police that it would not be allowed to demonstrate in Parliament Square and Whitehall next Thursday - a ban it said it was determined to resist," the Independent reports.
Miami police will be "embedding" reporters with police squads during next week's protests against trade negotiations.The Associated Press reports, Police Chief John Timoney said his embedding plan would place journalists on the front lines during the Free Trade Area of the Americas talks taking place in Miami. Police expect tens of thousands of demonstrators. "The news organizations invited to participate in the embedding include The Associated Press, NBC, Reuters, The Miami Herald, CNN, Fox and several TV stations.
As part of its PR strategy to 'by-pass the media filter' that it claims is distorting public perception of the Iraq war with too much negative reporting, the Bush administration has been granting interviews to smaller, more friendly media. A 'media by-pass' tactic of a different sort is being used by critics of the war who, as we've documented in our book Weapons of Mass Deception, have been locked out of mainstream media coverage.
Monique Harden and Nathalie Walker, two public interest lawyers, report that they attended "the recent conference of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), called 'Communicating in a Volatile World.' ACC is the trade association for the 180 largest manufacturers of chemicals in the U.S. Until recently, ACC was known as the Chemical Manufacturers Association. The ACC conference was a real eye-opener. It revealed the ACC's genuine fears about the accomplishments of environmental health activists.
Veteran peace activist William "Bud" Combs recently spent 90 days in jail for protesting against Fort Benning's Western Hemisphere Institute of Security Cooperation (aka the School of the Americas). "What the veteran peace activist didn't know was that he would spend eight days of his sentence in solitary confinement," writes Bill Berlow. "His apparent offense: receiving and sharing with other inmates what federal authorities consider disruptive, if not subversive, political literature.
The American Enterprise Institute has launched a new web site, NGOWatch.org, as part of its campaign against nongovernmental organizations, which it says "are unregulated, spared any requirement to account for expenditures, to disclose activities or sources of funding or even to declare their officers." Rather ironic isn't it, that a these sorts of complaints would come from a libertarian think tank that is itself a nongovernmental organization and that does not publicly disclose its own i
"What seemed to be a groundswell of protest materialized last week when WorldCom Inc. lawyers arrived at federal court for a hearing on whether the company's agreement to pay a $500 million fine was sufficient punishment for its mammoth fraud. ... Outside the courthouse, a small group of demonstrators rallied" including the Gray Panthers. "The outpouring, though, was hardly spontaneous. Several of the opponents, including protest organizers and petitioners, had ties to Issue Dynamics Inc.