July 28, 2000
Police, Protesters Clash in Minneapolis over Genetically Modified Animals
The movement against the engineering and patenting of life continues to have a worldwide impact. Under pressure from bioengineering opponents, the Health Ministers of Australia and New Zealand are considering firmer guidelines for the labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. In France, the government recently ordered the destruction of about fifteen hundred acres of rapeseed plants when it was revealed that they had grown from GMO-tainted seeds. And this week in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a scientific conference on animal genetics conference became the focus of protest and civil disobedience. Hannah Lewis reports from Minneapolis on the demonstrations and the show of force they elicited from the city’s police.
On the Eve of the Republican Convention
With the president and vice president candidates a foregone conclusion, the real action at the Republican National Convention promises to be on the streets of Philadelphia. Thousands of people representing interests even broader than those that brought together by the WTO protests in Seattle began converging on the city on Monday.
Shell Loses Round in Nigeria Court Battle
U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan this week announced the , a partnership the UN and dozens of the world’s largest corporations. Annan says the partnership encourages transnationals to commit themselves to key principles, including the protection of human rights, the protection of workers’ right to unionize, the elimination of child labor, and the development of environmentally-friendly technologies. Almost immediately, a coalition of international environmental and human rights group denounced the Global Compact, saying that it would threaten the UN’s integrity, while allowing corporations to gain all the benefits of association with the UN without creating any mechanisms to hold them accountable to their commitments. They also say that the irresponsible or criminal actions of some of the companies – such as Nike and Novartis – make them inappropriate partners for the UN. One of the most controversial corporations participating in the Global Compact is Royal/Dutch Shell. This week, a court in Nigeria ruled that Shell must pay millions of dollars in damages for an oil spill which happened over thirty years ago. The spill turned a thick forest into an asphalt wasteland. Shell denies the spill ever occurred and intends to appeal the ruling, a process which could take another thirty years. Sam Olukoya has the story from the Niger Delta.
Protest Against Hate Crimes in New York City
Last Sunday, hundreds of mourners gathered in New York City to honor the life and protest the death of Amanda Milan. Milan, a twenty-five year-old African-American woman of transgender experience was brutally murdered on June 20th in what witnesses say was a hate-motivated crime. As Renny McKay reports, Sunday’s memorial provided a stark reminder of the struggles facing the transgender community as well as hope for progress in the fight against hate.
Development Debacle in Trinidad
On the Caribbean island of Trinidad, citizens in the coastal town of Toco, citizens are fighting the creation of a privately-owned deep-water port. Although the government says the harbor would spur growth throughout the region around Toco, community members are concerned about the environmental impacts of deepening the harbor on marine life. They also believe the plan will give too much power to the transport consortium which would own it, overpowering local control of the economy and foreclosing other development options. Raphael Kraftt reports from Trinidad.
Free Speech Radio News is a production of Pacifica Reporters Against Censorship. Over 40 freelance reporters in 14 states and four continents are boycotting the Pacifica Network News for censoring legitimate news stories. These reporters are risking their livelihoods.
Free Speech Radio is produced by Aaron Glantz.
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