n e w s b i t s

 
Big Brother on Plastic

Federal legislation aimed at creating a national ID card and requiring
all U.S. workers to register their name and thumbprint with the
federal government to obtain permission to work could jeopardize
employment for millions of U.S. citizens and punish small businesses
with burdensome regulations. Attempting to curtail illegal
immigration, many on Capitol Hill are turning to the national ID card
as a solution to register all U.S. citizens. Similar to a credit card,
a strip of magnetic tape across the back would be encoded with each
citizen's Social Security number and thumbprint. The proponents of the
card resent the implication that there’s anything sinister about
the idea. "It is not carried on the person, it is not an internal
passport, it is not used for law enforcement," says worker-registry
advocate Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY.). “And it will say on it, I’m
authorized to work in the United States of America-that’s it.”
	But, because the ID card doubles as a work permit, an error
rate of just 1% per year in the ID card system could affect 650,000 of
the 65 million people who change jobs or enter the workforce each
year. Meanwhile experiments with computerized verification systems by
the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) have shown error
rates as high as 19%. According to the article "Identity Crisis: The
Border War Comes Home," by Glenn Garvin, in the October 1995 issue of
Reason magazine, “At the very least, it will put every American's
right to earn a living at the mercy of the federal government’s
whimsical computers. And at the very worst, it will be a brutally
effective tool for the surveillance, manipulation, and punishment of
anyone who runs afoul of Washington’s imperious corps of social
engineers.”



UN Conference on Women Ends

On Friday, the world women's conference approved a hotly disputed plan
which set forth a blueprint of battle for sexual equality into the
21st century that enshrines women’s rights as human rights but
avoids commitments to pay for action. The event, held once in 10
years, concluded with the more solemn United Nations conference and
its milestone declaration. The platform says women should not be
punished for abortions in countries where it is illegal, offers
protection against rape and war crimes, calls for a more powerful role
in politics, recognizes unpaid labor and goes into battle against
poverty. Deep divisions that marked the 12-day conference persisted to
the end with 41 of 189 delegate nations adding reservations to the
document- most on a single health paragraph that gives women greater
freedoms to choose abortion and contraception. A bid to include a ban
on discrimination against lesbians was dropped from the final
conference draft after strong objections from predominantly Roman
Catholic and Muslim countries.
	At the close of the conference some delegates expressed doubts
about the power of a platform for action which urges governments to
act but does not bind them to do anything. Mary Ann Glendon, Papal
delegate, told a final session, "Surely we must do more for the girl
child in poor nations than give lip service to providing access to
education, health, and social services while carefully avoiding any
concrete commitment of new and additional resources to that end."



Boycott Pepsi

In June of 1993, 760 Paperworker Union members were locked out of the
Staley corn processing plant in Decatur, Illinois. They gained support
from students at the University of Wisconsin at Madison when a student
there met a Staley worker at a conference. In response, the Student
Labor Action Coalition (SLAC) formed and began a collaborative
campaign with the union.
	Today SLAC has expanded, with sister groups throughout the
midwest, the east coast, and now in the west. In Madison, SLAC's
latest target is PepsiCo, Staley’s second largest customer.
	A boycott was called against PepsiCo by OPIRG-Carleton of
Ontario, Canada in 1993, demanding that the company withdraw its
investments from the country of Myanmar (formerly Burma), where the
military continues to execute, torture, and rape dissidents and ethnic
minorities, 500,000 of whom live in barbed wire refugee camps; also,
1.5 million are displaced throughout the countryside. Several college
campuses have joined the effort, including the University of
Washington, Brandeis, Hampshire, Penn State, UCLA, Harvard, Columbia,
Stanford, University of Wisconsin at Madison and others. According to
Reid Cooper of OPIRG-Carleton, "the movement has shown rapid growth,
and there is little reason to argue that it will stop growing."

PepsiCo is the parent company of Pepsi-Cola, Kentucky Fried Chicken,
Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell. Letters or faxes can be sent to Wayne
Calloway, CEO, PepsiCo, Purchase, New York 10577; fax
914-253-2070. (Infusion, Fall 1995)



Monks Protest Nukes

Thirty demonstrators started symbolic hunger strikes at a sit-in
outside the French Embassy in Japan on Monday, September 11, to
protest against planned nuclear tests. French missionary Edward
Brstoski, a resident in Japan for over 30 years, and another French
priest said they would not eat for 72 hours. Other participants,
including 10 Japanese Buddhist monks, planned to sit for at least one
day without eating. Japanese anti-nuclear protests have increased
recently, inspired by demonstrations in other countries and the 50th
anniversary of the world's only atom bomb attacks, both on Japanese
cities during World War II. More than 400 people responded to
Brstoski’s newspaper advertisement calling for people to join a
hunger strike against the tests. A hundred demonstrated on Monday
outside the French Consulate General in Osaka. Another group ended a
three-day hunger strike in Hiroshima, the target of the world’s
first nuclear attack in 1945. On Saturday, September 2, 10,000 people
led by a consumer group and Greenpeace Japan rallied in Tokyo, while
the mayor of Hiroshima left for France where he will lodge an official
complaint.
	France is expected to conduct the first of seven or eight
nuclear tests at any time at Mururoa Atoll in French Polynesia,
despite worldwide protests. Says Brstoski, age 63, "French President
Jacques Chirac must decide now whether he wants to be a son of Satan
or a son of God."



Canadian Police Bomb Natives
Your Attention and Action Urgently Requested

On September 10, a land mine planted by the Royal Canadian Mounted
Police exploded under a civilian vehicle-seriously injuring two Native
people inside—whose route was known in advance to the Mounties
(federal police).
	The vehicle was merely transporting water and firewood to a
group of Shuswap Native people holding onto their sacred Sundance
grounds since they were desecrated by 15 armed ranchers in mid-July.
	A violent attack by police on the Sundance grounds and Shuswap
Native people is looming. Your support for an end to the bombing and
violence is urgently requested!  Please write at least one of the
officials listed at the end of this article-even if only to tell them
that you are concerned. A chronology of recent events is provided
below, followed by a contact for verification and more information.
• Mid July Fifteen armed ranchers desecrate Shuswap Native sacred
Sundance grounds in British Columbia's interior. "Shuswap Defenders"
proclaim right to self-defense and ask British Crown to listen to
Shuswap argument on sovereignty (their land was never signed away by
treaty).  • September 5 Ontario Provincial Police kill an unarmed
15-year-old at a roadblock in Ontario, fueling tensions across Canada.
• September 10 Federal police land mine destroys a vehicle
traveling from the Sundance grounds to a group of negotiators. Two
Native people were injured. Fear of violent police siege on Sundance
grounds increases...

For more information and verification, contact: Settlers In Support of
Indigenous Sovereignty, PO Box 8673, Victoria, BC V8X 3S2, Canada,
;
http://www.islandnet.com/~jwight/enviro/Sundancefrm.html; alt.native;
native-l or activ-l)

Officials to Contact: 
• Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien:
House of Commons,
 Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6, Canada
• Canadian Governor General Romeo LeBlanc: Rideau Hall,
1 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A1, Canada
• B.C. Premier, Mike Harcourt: 
• B.C. Attorney General, Ujjal Dosanjh: 
• B.C. Aborginal Affairs Minister, John Cashore: 


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