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  • These photos (1, 2, 3), video, and audio are from the 10,000-strong anti-war rally that took place from noon to 4 pm in Philadelphia on Saturday, February 15, 2003. This powerful display of resistance was convened by the Philadelphia Regional Anti-War Network, a newly-formed group made up of a broad range of organizations and individuals. Giant puppets, a samba orchestra, and a Korean drum troupe gave the march a festive feel, as it made its way south from Broad and Spring Garden Streets, around City Hall, and east on Market to Liberty Plaza. Marchers paused in front of the Philadelphia Inquirer building and took a detour around the Federal Building -- at one point completely surrounding it. Several speakers, including Philly resident Farah Mokhtareizedeh who recently returned from Iraq, gave impassioned speeches in front of the Liberty Bell. Marchers then adjourned to the Arch Street Meetinghouse for music, documentaries, a speak-out, and more organizing and networking.

    Over a dozen organized feeder marches and contingents made this marge uniquely diverse. These included People of Color for US demilitarization, a women's march, Palestine solidarity, Veterans for Peace, a Youth and Student march, Labor Unions, ANSWER, Delco Wage Peace and Justice, the Green Party, a Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Bloc, and a Quaker contingent. Meanwhile, Iraqi Americans demonstrated in front of the Liberty Bell (photos)

    In New York City, marchers turned out in the hundreds of thousands -- estimates ranged from 500,000 to a million demonstrators. Legal teams have confirmed that at least 311 people were arrested and many more were injured in clashes with police. Several have been hospitalized after being trampled by horses. The main trouble occurred when mounted police charged a group gathered at 53d Street and Lexington Avenue, where several feeder marches, including the youth contingent, had converged. Multiple police baton charges, horse charges, and pepper spray attacks continued throughout the day. Philadelphia photojournalist Hans Bennett reported from the scene. See the New York City Independent Media Center for more information.

    Feb 17 2003 - 1:00am
  • Philadelphia's Independent Media Center is having problems of its own. The good news is the philly IMC site is back up. The bad news is that we're still rebuilding from catastrophic server failure. The good news is that we're now running on our new server, designed to keep us stable. The bad news is that we didn't get it up sooner -- we may have lost a good bit of data since last August. Keep tuned for more updates, and click here to make a donation to help us ensure a stable technical platform for community media in Philadelphia. The newswire is working.

    Feb 16 2003 - 1:00am
  • July 2002: The Green Party of the United States held its first convention since becoming officially recognized by the Federal Elections Commission in 2001. The gathering took place in Philadelphia on July 18-21, just blocks from Independence Hall, bringing over 200 delegates and activists from 40 states to discuss the party’s official platform, work on party business, and strategize the issues and methods to be used in the 362 races in which Green candidates are running this November.

    The weekend began with a public rally that gathered, despite a sudden downpour, at UPenn’s Irvine Auditorium. Longtime Democratic City Councilman David Cohen welcomed the dripping wet crowd to town, saying, “Thank you for cleansing Philadelphia from the stench that was left for the Republican National Convention! You’re the people we really want to welcome—the young, new party. Your program is supposed to be the program of the Democratic Party—at least that’s what I thought in my younger days.”

    Founded in 1996 as the Association of State Green Parties, the Green Party of the United States has been the building a movement of citizen participation in electoral politics. Candidates say this is the only way to free the political system from the influence of corporate money, which pervades both the Democrat and Republican parties. All Green candidates endorse the green party’s Ten Key Values, including ecological wisdom and decentralization.

    Many candidates were out in full force that weekend, telling tales of hope and citizen empowerment. Local candidates included Michael Morrill, running for governor of Pennsylvania; Vicki Smedley, his running mate for lieutenant governor; Vivian Houghton, running for Attorney General in Delaware; Ernst Ford, running for PA General Assembly in Philadelphia’s District 180, and Ted Glick, running for US Senate in New Jersey. Nineteen candidates are running in Pennsylvania alone.

    Growing pains cropped up along side of successes at the gathering, especially around issues of procedure for deliberating on official party positions.

    Aug 10 2002 - 12:00am
  • On Friday, July 12, Philadelphia's Licenses and Inspections Department posted a "Cease Operations/Stop Work Order" on the door of the Unitarian Church at 2125 Chestnut Street. The Church has long been host to all ages concerts, many produced by R5 Productions in conjunction with the Cabbage Collective, featuring a diversity of independent artists. The all ages shows allow those under 21, who are not able to see concerts in venues that serve alcohol, to attend shows that feature national touring bands and local musicians.

    R5 and other "do-it-yourself" venues and promoters around Philadelphia face constant pressure from L&I, for-profit venues and even huge entertainment corporations like Clear Channel, which owns or has a stake in a substantial number of licensed music venues in Philadelphia (as well as controlling over 1,200 radio stations, 37 television stations and 776,000 advertising displays throughout the United States). Several independent venues around Philadelphia have come and gone over the last ten years, often closing due to pressure from L&I because they do not have the proper permits to hold concerts.

    What are your thoughts about all ages venues? Read more, and discuss the issue by clicking Reply at the bottom of the post.

    Jul 19 2002 - 12:00am
  • Almost 7,000 people are incarcerated on any given day in the city of Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Prison System is responsible for maintaining the health of those within it. To provide this health care, the City has a $25 million contract with Prison Health Services, a company that claims to "lead the correctional healthcare field in the application of proven managed care principles to ensure high quality, cost-effective healthcare at each of its client facilities." In doing so, PHS purports to have been able to "manage quality and cost" by " [achieving] more than $26 million in savings in actual projected inmate medical services over a 3-year period for a state DOC system" and "[reducing] per-inmate medical expenses by 27% in a 3-year period."

    ACT-UP Philadelphia has consistently questioned the human cost of PHS' "successes," especially in regard to prisoners with HIV/AIDS. Most recently, citing documents that the City has acquired that detail everything from understaffing to overmedication, lost paperwork and an inability to comply with contractual obligations for certain kinds of care, ACT-UP paraded to City Hall before a City Council hearing on the matter. ACT-UP demanded Philadelphia Managing Director Estelle Richman overhaul the contract and assure better health care for the 40,000 being detained or held in the city's prisons.

    "Pine Box Parole: Life and Death in Women's Prisons" by the San Francisco IMC.

    Prison Activist Resource Center

    HCV Prison Project, "a consortium of organizations working to provide support and education to prisoners with hepatitis C and co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C. "

    Jul 17 2002 - 12:00am
  • In Colombia, joining a trade union means putting your life on the line.
    Last year, more 70% of the unionists murdered worldwide were assassinated
    in Colombia. More than 1,500 Colombian trade unionists have been killed
    over the past 10 years. And U.S. corporations share the blame, according to
    lawsuits in U.S. courts filed by Colombian unionists. Dan Kovalik, who will
    speak in Philadelphia on Monday, is an attorney with the United
    Steelworkers of America. He is working with International Labor Rights Fund
    to file lawsuits against US-based Coca-Cola and Drummond Coal, for hiring
    paramilitary assassins to kill unionists in Colombia. This editorial href="http://phillyimc.org/article.pl?sid=02/07/15/0525214">suggests that
    U.S. labor, anti-globalization and human rights activists should
    support these suits.

    Jul 15 2002 - 12:00am
  • And even though the old con downstairs

    Ain't got but one leg left-Let him have my scruffy old shoes.

    Because where I'm going I won't be needing them.....

    One way or the other I'm leaving death row.

    In 1983 Reginald S. Lewis, former member of the 12th and Oxford Street gang and the Nation of Islam, was convicted of killing a man in a Philadelphia bar. Lewis faced an all white jury and infamous judge Albert Sabo. Though he claimed to be in California at the time of the crime, the jury convicted him and sentenced him to death.

    Since his conviction, Lewis has become known for something other than being on Death Row. He has become a writer. Lewis's poems, plays, essays and stories have been published internationally and have earned three P.E.N. American Center writing awards for prisoners. In his most recent book of poetry, Inside My Head, Lewis explores the mental landscape of a man imprisoned and facing almost certain and approaching death at the hands of the American legal system.

    Explore some of Lewis's writing:
    On the Day the Children Marched

    Willie, Mumia and the Birds

    A Hard Lesson in Morality.

    Learn the stories of more inmates of America's Prisons

    Prison Activist Resource Center

    Books Through Bars

    Jul 10 2002 - 12:00am
  • Wednesday, June 26, 7pm, at the Friends Center (15th & Cherry), media policy expert Jeff Chester, Executive Director of the Center for Digital Democracy will be talking about the proposed mega-merger between AT&T Broadband and Comcast. The merger, upon which Comcast shareholders will vote on July 10 in Philadelphia, would result in the world's largest cable company.

    Chester and the Center for Digital Democracy raise several pressing questions about the merger, such as whether the proposed merger would help or hurt consumers, and whether the companies are providing communities enough information to make informed decisions about their support of the merger. Media democracy activists point to the proposed merger as yet another example of consolidation of media ownership that has resulted in a very few multinational corporations owning a vast majority of the popular media.

    Media Tank
    , sponsor of the talk, is a Philadelphia-based non-profit "working to bring together media arts, education and activism to build a movement for media democracy."

    The Center for Digital Democracy's statement about the merger

    How does the merger relate to Microsoft?

    Jun 25 2002 - 12:00am
  • (part of a series of features presenting Philadelphian African immigrants' analyses of important events in Africa)

    Recent Presidential elections in the West African nation of Mali yielded surprising results, as former head of state General Amani Toumani Toure (ATT) won despite running as an independent. Mali, one of the world's poorest nations, has more than ninety political parties. ATT gained the support of nearly thirty of them, enabling him to regain power through the democratic process. Previously, ATT came to rule Mali by staging a coup against 26-year dictator Moussa Traore, then stepped down from power to allow for democratic elections.

    Read Temple University scholar and Radio Tam Tam co-host Eric Edi's analysis of the elections. Feel free to add your view of the election by clicking on the button marked "reply" and following the instructions.

    Jun 24 2002 - 12:00am
  • Chicago IMC reporter Chris Kaihatsu was arrested this week in Madison, Wisconsin, while he was providing independent media coverage of protests against the National Conference of Mayors. Police are holding Kaihatsu for possible extradition to Philadelphia based upon a warrant left over from charges accrued during the 2000 Republican National Convention. Eyewitnesses report that police recognized Kaihatsu and pulled him from the crowd, calling into question their use of video imaging technology throughout the protests.

    UPDATE: Kaihatsu has been released, but his confusing legal problems related to R2K continue.

    As the recent issue of the Defenestrator details, some warrants, subpoenas and charges from the 2000 Republican Convention protests are still active, including charges against Camilo Vivieros. For more information on Kaihatsu's arrest, visit the Chicago IMC and the Madison IMC. Keep track of ongoing developments relating to R2K arrests through the R2K Legal website.

    Jun 21 2002 - 12:00am