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Global Notebook 8-31-05

U.S. proposals could derail UN summit

NEW YORK – John Bolton, the controversial new U.S. ambassador to the UN, has demanded no fewer than 750 amendments to an agreement designed to strengthen the world body and fight poverty, the intended highlight of its 60th anniversary summit this month. He also seeks to roll back proposed UN commitments to combat global warming and push nuclear disarmament.

The amendments are included in a 32-page U.S. version, obtained by the Washington Post and the UK Independent. The changes eliminate all reference to the so-called Millennium Development Goals, accepted by all countries at the last major UN summit in 2000, as well as the Kyoto treaty and the International Criminal Court. Instead, the U.S. wants passages on fighting terrorism and spreading democracy. read more


Radical Folk Music: An Interview with David Rovics

Having just started a deadening temp job alphabetizing books that students had returned at the semester’s end, there was something comforting about hearing the triumphant chorus: “When all the minimum wage workers went on strike!” bouncing off the University of Wisconsin’s buildings. It was early May and rabble-rousing folk musician David Rovics was in Madison to celebrate the centennial of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). I had first heard him play “Minimum Wage Strike” six years before at a student activism conference in Boston. I’ve been drawn to David’s music ever since. He continues to leave his own unique mark on the radical folk tradition. I had the chance to sit down with him on a lovely spring day inside the Orton Park gazebo where we discussed his passion for playing music for the revolution as an antidote to crippling wage slavery. read more


Gold Mine in Guatemala Faces Indigenous Resistance

Indigenous communities in the western highlands of Guatemala who are organizing against an illegal gold mine in the face of violence and repression are beginning to see the fruits of their labor. The Canadian/U.S. mining company Glamis Gold operates the World Bank funded project. Construction of the open-pit gold mine is nearly complete, with the company eager to start the drilling. Local community members claim the World Bank and Glamis Gold violated international law when they failed to consult them and gain their consent for the "Marlin" mine project. Yet Glamis counters that it consulted with the community, that the project has broad support and that international NGO's and a few individuals are solely responsible for orchestrating the "small" opposition to the mine.


Monkey-Wrenching the Globalization Gang

I went to Bretton Woods, but all I got was this lousy t-shirt. Amazingly, it's not a 'one size fits all' and it's not full of holes.

Walking through the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods two years ago, in the New Hampshire mountain resort and official birthplace, in July 1944, of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and of plans for an international trade organization - eventually embodied by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)/World Trade Organization (WTO), I thought about the genocide of Indigenous Peoples in that part of the USA, now called "New England", perpetrated by Puritans and other settlers who viewed them, as historian Douglas Leach put it, as a "graceless and savage people, dirty and slothful in their personal habits, treacherous in their relations with the superior race…fit only to be pushed aside and subordinated"(i).

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Global Notebook 8-24-05

GLOBAL NOTEBOOK, August 24, 2005

Factions fighting over Mexico presidency candidates

MEXICO CITY – Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who left his job as Mexico City’s mayor in July to run for president, is currently favored to win the nomination of the Party of Democratic Revolution (PRD). But the party, originally formed through the alliance of several small leftist parties and dissidents who split from the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), as well as the candidate himself, have been charged with corruption by Subcomandante Marcos, leader of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). read more