:: Monday, March 31, 2003 ::

US soldiers in Iraq asked to pray for Bush. 30/3/2003. ABC News Online

Thousands of marines have been given a pamphlet called "A Christian's Duty," a mini prayer book which includes a tear-out section to be mailed to the White House pledging the soldier who sends it in has been praying for Bush.

praise the lord and pass the ammunition. Guess these guys skipped the "thou shalt not kill" bit.


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Edinburgh School Students Against War


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Edinburgh Mayday 2003

Edinburgh Mayday 2003


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Not In Our Name

This is the central site for the Not in My Name Music project , a collaboration of artists dedicated to forwarding a culture of resistance worldwide . As the United States and Britain push forward with an unjustified, unsanctioned war, we urge you to help us get these songs and graphics out to as many people as possible.

With more free anti-war mp3's


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:: Saturday, March 29, 2003 ::

Scotland still says stop the slaughter!

newly wed, newly dead

Edinburgh demo 29.3.03.


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:: Friday, March 28, 2003 ::

sigur ros dudes against war

Check out Jónsi from Sigur Rós, sneaking in an anti-war statement on a USAnian chat show.


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I SUPPORT OUR TROOPS...


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:: Thursday, March 27, 2003 ::

On Lisa Rein's Radar: Anti-War In Iraq Music Archives

Cool round-up of anti-war songs and free downloads including REM, Green Day, DJ Shadow and Zack from RATM and er... John Cougar Mellencamp


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The 'Net and the Fog of War

I have begun to think there is little point turning to the mainstream media for accurate or timely news regarding the war against Iraq. Unsurprisingly the 'coalition' forces are trying to use the media as a propaganda arm. They are bitterly critical of journalists who don't tow the line, and doubtless threaten to remove their credentials. Just this morning some old-Etonian officer was cursing al-Jazeera for showing dead coalition forces. Well, they are just reporting the facts. But not necessarily the facts the coalition want to be reported.

The tactic of using plain lies will backfire on the coalition, as people cease to believe what they are told. We have been told Saddam is dead, a whole Iraqi division has surrendered, Tariq Aziz has been shot, various towns have been captured, Basra is in revolt etc.

Within a few days most of these have been proved false or exaggerated or distorted. The control of the 'embedded' journalists by the armed forces seems total. Days go by with no reports from some zones. Journalists reports say 'there was a loud bang in the distance and we think this means blah blah'.

We are being lied to repeatedly. I am not surprised the army do this, after all their job is just to win the war. I am surprised at the journalists who go along with it.

Take Basra for example and lets just try to establish the facts, leaving opinions of Saddam and the coalition to one side. The UK newspapers loved the 'uprising' story and splashed headlines like 'liberators' all over the front pages. The TV pretty much went along with it despite having no word but that of the military.

A day later and al-Jazeera and Iranian sources were saying it was untrue. There had been some food riots caused by the siege. The Iranian sources were supporters of the opposition to Saddam in Basra itself. Even Blair and the Ministry of Defence started to backtrack.

Turn to this supposedly Russian intelligence site http://www.aeronautics.ru/ and you are told:

"Near Basra the British forces in essence are laying a Middle Ages-style siege of a city with the population of two million. Artillery fire has destroyed most of the city's life-supporting infrastructure and artillery is used continuously against the positions of the defending units. The main goal of the British is two maintain a strict blockade of Basra. Their command is confident that the situation in the city can be destabilized and lack of food, electricity and water will prompt the local population to cause the surrender of the defending forces. Analysts point out that capture of Basra is viewed by the coalition command as being exceptionally important and as a model for the future "bloodless" takeover of Baghdad.

So far, however, this approach does not work and the city's garrison is actively defending its territory. Just during the past night at least three British soldiers were killed and eight more were wounded in the exchange of fire [near Basra]."

Now, the GRU having a web site and sharing their intel with the world makes little sense to me. The site may be an ex-GRU guy and a couple of smart journalists who are guessing as much as anybody else. It could even be a trick from Western intelligence agencies, who knows? But the info coming from sites like this actually seem more trustworthy than the BBC, or at least more up to date.

A culture of samizdat information websites is emerging on the web. This site http://www.agonist.org/ just collates info from different news sources including Arab satellite TV etc. It is now getting two million hits a day as people look for reliable information instead of the obvious propoganda that we are being fed.

Bizzarely I find the news services of China and Iran more reliable than the 'free' press.

Al-Jazeera launched an English language website on Monday - http://english.aljazeera.net/. It was so popular the servers couldn't cope and it has been down for the past couple of days. They deny that hackers were responsible. Al-Jazeera TV says subscriptions have increased by 10%, and it's all in Arabic. There is another site cashing in on the Al Jazeerah name at http://www.aljazeerah.info/ but it has no connection with the TV station, although it's quite a useful site.

The web has once again proved the old maxim 'information wants to be free'.


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:: Wednesday, March 26, 2003 ::

Peace March Glasgow - 22nd March 2003 at Submit Response.


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nowarfont.org

Get your anti-war fonts here.


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:: Tuesday, March 25, 2003 ::

Gollum Against the War

Actor Andy Serkis opposes the war at the Oscars. No Blood for Oil my precious!

Andy Serkis


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:: Monday, March 24, 2003 ::

Sit down protest on the Royal Mile,  by the Scottish Parliament

Sit down protest on the Royal Mile, by the Scottish Parliament

Saturday 22nd March 2003 - Edinburgh Anti-War Demo Picture gallery, 7 hours of marching, luckily it was sunny.


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Today may be filled with hate and war but the future is in safe hands...

Four Days that shook Edinburgh.


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Fighting for Democracy

This is the democracy being fought for, the 'Patriot II' anti-terrorism legislation.

FindLaw's Writ - Ramasastry: Patriot II

"Denaturalization: The Citizenship Death Penalty

In sum, Patriot II puts in jeopardy the First Amendment right to speak freely, statutory and common law rights to privacy, the right to go to court to challenge government illegality, and the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures. But that's not all.

It also puts in jeopardy perhaps the most basic right of all: The right to walk the streets in safety without being "disappeared" by the government. Chileans have not always enjoyed this right. Americans, until now, always have.

Suppose you, as a citizen, attended a legal protest for which one of the hosts, unbeknownst to you, is an organization the government has listed as terrorist. Under Patriot II, you may be deported and deemed no longer an American citizen.

Under Patriot II, if you are simply suspected of terrorist activity, this can occur. More specifically, a U.S. citizen may be expatriated "if, with the intent to relinquish his nationality, he becomes a member of, or provides material support to, a group that the United Stated has designated as a 'terrorist organization'."

How can you tell if the citizen wanted to relinquish citizenship? Under Patriot II, the intent can be inferred from conduct. So any association with even the legal activities of a designated group, plus any act that can be interpreted as disloyal to the United States, can mean you are deported, and no longer considered a citizen."


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75th Annual Academy Awards

And you can see Michael Moore's great post awards speech here, click on Documentary Feature.


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GO MIKE!

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Film | Moore fires Oscar anti-war salvo

Whoa. On behalf of our producers Kathleen Glynn and Michael Donovan from Canada, I'd like to thank the Academy for this. I have invited my fellow documentary nominees on the stage with us, and we would like to - they're here in solidarity with me because we like non-fiction.


We like non-fiction and we live in fictitious times. We live in the time where we have fictitious election results that elects a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons.

Whether it's the fictition of duct tape or fictition of orange alerts we are against this war, Mr Bush. Shame on you, Mr Bush, shame on you. And any time you got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up. Thank you very much.


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:: Saturday, March 22, 2003 ::

Scottish Protests continue


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:: Friday, March 21, 2003 ::

How Britain Voted

A colour coded map of how the UK MP's voted in the division on bombing Iraq at the PolitX site. Interesting stuff.


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Day X - Edinburgh

Edinburgh demo on Day X

More pictures: click here


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:: Thursday, March 20, 2003 ::

Freedom Road: Military Matters #12

More excellent analysis from ex-soldier Stan Goff

The very first complication of post-invasion Iraq will likely be the demand that US commanders disarm the Kurds.

Northern Iraq could easily become contested terrain involving partisan warfare between Turks, Kurds of three factions, the Iranians, and the US, with the Syrians in a position to play the silent interloper. This would amount to the devolution of Northern Iraq, a key strategic region, into another Afghanistan or Somalia. It is already straining relationships between Turkey and the United States, NATO allies, even as the NATO alliance itself comes under severe strain, with a Euro-American trade war as a backdrop.

And the Kurds have the motivation, tenacity, and fighting spirit to do those kinds of things that General Van Riper did to defeat the Rumsfeld "Robo-Military" in Operation Millennium Challenge.

We begin to see how the Bush Junta is the equivalent of a mad bee keeper, that no longer leaves the hive stable and merely smokes it into a stupor to harvest the honey. It now proposes to simply start swatting all the bees and taking the honey by brute force.




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Baghdad blogger reports on the bombing

"there is still nothing happening im baghdad we can only hear distant expolsions and there still is no all clear siren. someone in the BBC said that the state radio has been overtaken by US broadcast, that didn't happen the 3 state broadcasters still operate.
:: salam 6:40 AM [ ] ::
...

air raid sirens in baghdad but the only sounds you can here are the anti-aircraft machine guns. will go now.
:: salam 5:46 AM [ ] ::"


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IndyMedia UK webcast news

Inspiring reports and interviews on the school students strike in Edinburgh yesterday, actually the third day of actions in a row. The youth have taken the initiative, have largely planned their own actions and have shown great imagination and courage.

If, like me, you find the news from Iraq depressing, get down to your local protest today. In Edinburgh there will be demos at 12 noon and at 5 pm, and again on Saturday.


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:: Wednesday, March 19, 2003 ::

Jonathan Richman - Edinburgh 18.3.03



Review: Quiet man of rock has a lot to shout about Edinburgh Evening News


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Tatu wearing anti-war t-shirts in Russian

Russian pop controversialists TaTu appeared on the Jay Leno show in the US wearing t-shirts declaring 'fuck the war' in Russian. The producers failed to spot this and aired the show. Ho ho.


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Where is Raed ?

"No one inside Iraq is for war (note I said war not a change of regime), no human being in his right mind will ask you to give him the beating of his life, unless you are a member of fight club that is, and if you do hear Iraqi (in Iraq, not expat) saying 'come on bomb us' it is the exasperation and 10 years of sanctions and hardship talking. There is no person inside Iraq (and this is a bold, blinking and underlined inside) who will be jumping up and down asking for the bombs to drop. We are not suicidal you know, not all of us in any case."

The voice of an ordinary Iraqi, and a blogger like many of us, probably only hours before tons of cruise missiles rain down on his home town.

Music to watch the war to #1 : River Euphrates by the Pixies. Suggestions?


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PeaceBlogs.org: Strength in Numbers

perspective has affiliated with this project, uniting anti-war bloggers.


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Michael Moore.com : Mike's Words : Mike's Messages

"The majority of Americans -- the ones who never elected you -- are not fooled by your weapons of mass distraction. We know what the real issues are that affect our daily lives -- and none of them begin with I or end in Q. Here's what threatens us: two and a half million jobs lost since you took office, the stock market having become a cruel joke, no one knowing if their retirement funds are going to be there, gas now costs almost two dollars -- the list goes on and on. Bombing Iraq will not make any of this go away. Only you need to go away for things to improve."


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:: Monday, March 17, 2003 ::

Reaping the Whirlwind

So Tony Blair is going to war without his 2nd UN resolution. He has sown the wind.

Yesterday I watched the live coverage of his press conference in the Azores, following his council of war with Aznar and Bush. Mr Bush mumbled some gibberish about Texas and cards. Blair meanwhile spoke of the millions of children whose deaths Saddam had caused. Actually he was referring to the effects of sanctions over the past twelve years. Last year UNICEF noted "It is clear that children are bearing the brunt of the current economic hardship. They must be protected from the impact of sanctions. Otherwise, they will continue to suffer, and that we cannot accept."

Posing with Bush will do the domestic reputations of Blair and Aznar no good. But for them there is no turning back.

As each cruise missile falls the people of the world will hold them to account for their actions. The peace movement here has already built up such momentum that even the fact that British troops are in action will not hold it back. The fresh generation of young people coming into this struggle has inspired us all.

Those, like Malcolm Chisholm and Robin Cook, who have a conscience have spoken and acted. The rest of them can reap the whirlwind.


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For some reason some comments have vanished, this seems to be due to a problem with the comments system used rather than any censorship on my part.


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:: Friday, March 14, 2003 ::

Daily Mirror cover

Todays Scottish Daily Mirror reveals that Labour MSP John McAllion will join the SSP if New Labour dump him over his opposition to Blair and the war. Unfortunately the Mirror Scottish edition is not online. McAllion led opposition to the government over the war yesterday in the Scottish Parliament. New Labour only survived by 5 votes, and had to rely on the support of the Tory party. With only weeks to the Scottish elections it seems the turkeys are voting for an early christmas.


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:: Thursday, March 13, 2003 ::

The Grauniad strikes again with a link to the SSP news blog.

Guardian Unlimited | Online | Sites of resistance

www.scottishsocialistparty.info
Another first (I believe) - a blog from a UK political party; albeit the Scottish Socialists, who currently only have one elected member, Tommy Sheridan, in the Scottish parliament. Although all that may change with the elections on May 1 2003, this site is a distinct entity from the SSP's official site at www.scottishsocialistparty.org, and is a genuine, if slightly anonymous, blog. Undeniably right-on, it is a bit of a one man show ("Rock On, Tommy" would sum it up), and reliance on press releases and links to positive coverage in the mainstream, it smacks a little of preaching to the converted, rather than the personal idiosyncracies that make a blog, whether politically palatable or not, so readable. Still, it's designed with the disabled in mind, and it is the first of its kind.


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:: Wednesday, March 12, 2003 ::

BeastieBoys.com

"First the war on terror, then the war on Iraq
We're reaching the point where we can't turn back..."

A free mp3 download of a new anti-war song from the Beastie Boys, "In A World Gone Mad"


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it's not every day that Kerrang gets a mention in this blog but here goes, with Ian McKaye of Fugazi on the war.

Kerrang!, the world's biggest selling weekly rock magazine... on-line!

Kerrang! What are your feelings on this imminent war with Iraq?

Ian: What are my feelings? Well I am of course completely opposed to all wars so this war would be one of those. I think it's interesting for me as an American or someone born in America to experience what I imagine most totalitarian governments have done in the past. The salesmanship of this particular act is so intense and so almost unmitigated it feels almost. It feels like it's being shoved down our throats. I sort of think about it in terms of, you know, when there's a new movie coming out from Hollywood the stars suddenly start appearing in various news pieces. Weird little pieces in the personality sections of the papers and then suddenly it happens they're in town to talk about this movie. Basically the major media tends to revolve around issues that somehow feed into this movie. If it's a movie about orphans suddenly there's pieces on orphans. I don't know how deliberate it is but it seems incredibly orchestrated. So this particular situation with Iraq it's in the fine tradition of salesmanship of brutality. I can only imagine what was happening, like, in Germany in the thirties when the public was kind of moulded into this dreamy state where they thought this was probably the right thing to do you know ? Let's go into these other countries and square the situation up?. I imagine in England, obviously over the years, the English have undertaken really aggressive brutal things too. Certainly the United States has a fine tradition of it. Really it?s an incredible experience for me to be old enough to recognise it happening. It's almost like a boat that's starting to flood and it's sinking and there's nothing you can do about it. Do I think there will be a war? No. I don?t necessarily think there will be. Because I already think there has been. There's been a continuous war against Iraq for the last few years. British and American planes have been throwing bombs on people over there for the last twelve years. It's never stopped. I don't know what people think a war is but it's never stopped. Do I think a larger conflagration will occur? I don't know. It's hard to say. It doesn't make a difference because the money has been spent already in terms of companies already making money on arms. They're already hooked up. Thousands of troops are already being ferried across. Whether they go through with it or not it?s more a question of public opinion now.


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:: Monday, March 10, 2003 ::

Sean praishes esh esh pee

In contrast, when I later ask his opinion of Tommy Sheridan, Scottish Socialist leader, he describes him as "remarkable". "I think that's the kind of fella, that's the spirit one wants to see. They're all shit scared of anybody that's going to create any waves. They shouldn't be. That's what's wrong.

Sean Connery interviewed in The Herald.


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:: Sunday, March 09, 2003 ::

International Womens Day in Edinburgh

international womens day

Also updated Edinburgh Mayday 2003, with the full line up of speakers.


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:: Friday, March 07, 2003 ::

Thousands march through Edinburgh

Edinburgh Anti-War Demo

Click here to view more pictures.

7-10 000 marched through Edinburgh to the Scottish Parliament on the evening of Thursday 6th March to hear speakers condemn the war including Tommy Sheridan, George Galloway and a mobile phone link up with Palestinian activists in Ramallah. Pictures at the link above.

Also today the herald gives the SSP a record poll result of 10% on the regional list vote. This rises to 22% in Glasgow. The main factor they identify is the question of war. What is clear is that the SSP's principled opposition to war with or without UN approval is gaining a tremendous echo. Check out the SSP reaction here.


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:: Wednesday, March 05, 2003 ::

1956 and All That

Do We Need So Many "Vanguards"?

"Of greater concern is the fact that, at a time when Stalinism has collapsed, there are more Trotskyist groups than ever before. Practically all of them fall neatly under Marx's definition of a sect, in that they take as their point of honour that shibboleth that separates them from the movement. There is no organisation that is immaculately constructed no matter how ideologically correct because ideology is not a fixed or finished category. It follows from this that an aggregation of like-minded sects, masquerading as an International, with a capital 'I', cannot substitute for the pathetic inadequacy of its sections. This form of substitutionism leads to disillusion, intrigue, factionalism and further splits, elevating irrelevance to a global scale."

Fine words from the late Jim Higgins, from the new 'What Next?'


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:: Tuesday, March 04, 2003 ::

James Blundell - Back It Up

Another anti-war song with a free mp3 download. Apparently this bloke is a "platinum seller" in Oz.


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:: Monday, March 03, 2003 ::

Government to get tough over Web accessibility

"The Government is preparing to launch the UK's first legal crackdown on companies that fail to make their Web sites accessible to blind or partially-sighted Internet users."

The article above sets laudibly high standards for web-site accessibility. It continues "The DRC made it clear last year that the Disability Discrimination Act does indeed apply to Web sites."

So just out of interest I ran the Scottish Labour website through a few tests. The results were interesting.

1. It fails to meet even the lowest standard of disabled access for websites (Bobby A rating.)

2. It is created with Microsoft Frontpage.

as a consequence it is rife with bloated, ugly, invalid code.

3. The site also mentions socialism in its keyword metatags, which is misleading, but nothing to do with accessibility.

Both this site, the SSP website and SSP News validate with Bobby.

I will be being beastly to the websites of Scotland's other political parties in the next few weeks.


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