Home Page



Media Centers

Richmond IndyMedia Live! Every Tuesday, 12:30 - 1PM on 97.3 WRIR LP-FM, and streaming online from wrir.org!


To alleviate the problem of articles from other press sources being reposted on this IMC site, this section allows users to link to articles published elsewhere, and to contribute and read comments on those pieces. Have something interesting to post?


News :: Civil & Human Rights


Sign on buses commemorates late civil-rights pioneer; riders reflect on contribution


Open article in new window...

View/Add Comments

News :: Civil & Human Rights : Peace & War : Protest Activity

Hampton University student activists punished

Dec 2, 8:49 PM EST

Hampton University student activists punished

Associated Press Writer

HAMPTON, Va. (AP) -- Several Hampton University students who handed out fliers criticizing the Iraq war and the federal response to Hurricane Katrina were ordered to complete community service after appearing Friday before a campus disciplinary panel.

Open article in new window...

View/Add Comments

News :: Civil & Human Rights : Globalization : International Relations : Peace & War

Virginia Man Among Four Kidnapped in Iraq

Al-Jazeera broadcast video Tuesday of four Western peace activists held hostage by a previously unknown group, part of a new wave of kidnappings police fear is aimed at disrupting next month's elections.

Open article in new window...

View/Add Comments

Commentary :: Theory and Information

Whose ally?

Whose ally?
Thinking critically about anti-oppression ally organizing

this is essay is currently
posted on colours of resistance

Michelle O’Brien, Winter 2002-2003

In the last couple weeks, we witnessed the largest single day of social action the world has ever seen. Tens of millions of people across the globe marched against the impending U.S. imperial assault on Iraq. Here in the U.S., antiwar organizing comes in the midst of an upsurge of popular mobilization against the globalization of capital, the mass criminalization of the poor, a rapidly deteriorating economy, intensified state assaults on immigrant communities, vanishing civil liberties and a broad range of other social injustices.

These movements are broad, heterogeneous and complex. The most important organizing is coming directly out of communities of color - people most hit by poverty, state violence and the costs of war. Much of this work is wonderful, transformative and offers hope in a time of intensified fascist domination. In some cases, these movements draw together broad antiracist, cross-racial coalitions in building effective and strategic challenges to white supremacist capitalism. More rarely, white people have become a part of these efforts in ways that resist white supremacy and substantively support the struggles of people of color.

Far more often, however, the political organizing by white activists reflects deep, unexamined white arrogance, racism and privilege. Here in Philadelphia, two major multiracial coalitions in recent years have ended in deteriorated relationships. Both have left many people of color vocally critical and distrustful of white activists. Activists of color cite racist actions by white activists in the course of organizing, and a general refusal to cede authority to people of color. In far more cases, no such coalitions are ever even attempted - resulting in racially segregated campaigns, with visibility and many resources horded by white, racist activists unaccountable to anyone else. "Where was the color in Seattle?" is a widely reprinted article on the over dominance of white activists in the Nov 99 mobilization against the World Trade Organization. More recently, I received "Open Letter To Activists Concerning Racism In The Anti-War Movement - from NY" outlining recent incidents of racism structuring cross-racial organizing efforts.

In my own organizing, I spent most of the last several years involved in white-dominated political campaigns and organizations. After a couple of years working on ancient forest defense issues in Oregon, I lived in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. There I was active in a number of white-dominated student groups and community organizations. We organized against imperialist wars, environmental destruction, globalization and college policies. These organizations were not all white. There were people of color actively involved. Too often, however, their contribution was ignored or actively tokenized. Only rarely did I become a part of substantively cross-racial projects. The campaign against the reroute of Highway 55 in South Minneapolis was perhaps the most striking example. While much good came out of the organizing, the arrogance and racism of white activists was an ongoing issue that severely damaged the work. Eventually I moved away from Minneapolis, becoming a part of a heavily white-dominated community of anarchists and queer punks in Portland, Oregon. More recently, I moved to Philadelphia about a year a half ago.

Throughout all this work I actively and deliberately identified myself as a white person seriously concerned with race issues.

Open article in new window...

View/Add Comments

News :: Civil & Human Rights : Crime & Police

Retry Richmond's Killer-Cop

Retry ex-officer, NAACP, others say
Couture's trial in shooting death here ended in hung jury
Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Virginia State Conference of the NAACP and other community groups yesterday called on officials to retry former Richmond police officer Michael Couture in the shooting death of Santanna Bryant Olavarria.

"If this kind of police action is allowed to stand, it will give a license to kill in traffic stops," said King Salim Khalfani, executive director of the Virginia NAACP.

Daryl Holland of Youth for Social Change said, "Our children are our future, and when paid public servants murder them, what kind of future is that?

"We can't go on the street and ask people to throw their weapons down when there is a police force that is armed and using deadly force, which contradicts what we're trying to do, which is to de-escalate violence."

Both men called on Commonwealth's Attorney-elect Michael Herring to retry Couture, whose murder trial ended in a hung jury Friday after less than two days of deliberation.

Herring could not be reached for comment last night.

Holland said Herring told him he needs to review the case before making a decision. Herring takes over from outgoing Commonwealth's Attorney David M. Hicks on Jan. 1.

On May 29, 2004, Couture and rookie partner Edward Aeschlimann stopped Olavarria, 21, near the corner of Mechanicsville Turnpike and Fairfield Way in Richmond's East End. The semi-pro football player from South Richmond allegedly had failed to heed a stop sign.

A struggle ensued. Couture said he pulled himself into the vehicle as Olavarria began to drive away. Couture testified that he turned on his side and, fearing for his life, fired one shot just as Olavarria was raising his hands and saying, "Don't."

Aeschlimann subsequently fired four shots into the back of the car, three of which struck Olavarria. During Couture's trial last week, Aeschlimann testified that he fired because he believed his partner "was about to die, if he wasn't dead already."

The 32-year-old Couture a former Washington police officer who transferred to Richmond in 2003 from the Sturbridge, Mass., Police Department -- resigned under threat of termination this year stemming from what police officials said were inconsistencies in his application to join the Richmond force.

A gag order issued by Judge Walter W. "Pete" Stout III of Richmond Circuit Court bars participants in the trial from commenting on the case.

Olavarria's parents, Annette and Jimmy Olivarria, have already said they want Couture retried.

Aeschlimann is scheduled to go on trial Dec. 13.

Contact Jim Nolan at (804) 649-6061 or jnolan@timesdispatch.com

Open article in new window...

View/Add Comments

News :: Civil & Human Rights : Globalization : International Relations : Labor & Class : Peace & War

Haitian Labor Group Confronts US Lavalas Backers

Long-standing differences in the Haitian left began to emerge as an issue among US progressives this fall as the well-known Haitian labor organizing group Batay Ouvriye ("Workers' Struggle") responded to what it called a "slander" from US supporters of the Lavalas movement of deposed Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Open article in new window...

View/Add Comments

News :: Media

Networking: Mesh networks taking off

Mesh networking -- the innovative wireless technology that delivers broadband content to computers -- is poised for deployment at a rate that may grow tenfold over the next five years, experts tell United Press International's Networking.
A new study, released last week by ABI Research, based in Oyster Bay, N.Y., indicates that much of the increase will come from municipal wireless projects that are increasingly appearing across the country, as local governments try to boost economic development by making high-speed Internet access available to all. By Gene Koprowski

Government power grab - cities try to take command of the Internet.

Open article in new window...

View/Add Comments

Commentary :: Labor & Class

Labour conflicts stir up underlying social crisis

On 8 November 2005, Workers' Daily carried a report titled "An examination of the implementation of the Labour Law: surfacing of deep-rooted labour conflicts in Gansu Province". It revealed that 226,100 workers from 2,857 enterprises were owed wages of 882 million yuan until the end of 2004, which meant an average of 3,900 yuan per head. By September 2005, the employers' overdue pension premium and unemployment premium have reached 160 million yuan and 353 million yuan respectively. Thirteen of the province's 14 cities (prefectures) have deficits in pension fund. Reportedly, there are 463 labour inspectors in the province. Without enough funding and necessary conditions to carry out their tasks, the labour inspectors have been unable to investigate some cases of labour rights violations.

Open article in new window...

View/Add Comments

This site made manifest by dadaIMC software

[Valid RSS]