In Australia the practice of SLAPPS is well known to environmental and social justice activists. A SLAPP or Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation has been around in practice since the 70s when then Queensland premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen raised many nuisance law suits against his detractors as a matter of course. Such cases keep activists stressed out, cost them money and sometimes affect their ability to voice and enact actions against the company or government they are protesting. However, SLAPPS are a bit of a luxury in non-western nations. In Papua New Guinea the effect of collaboration of corporations and government have run legal and environmental roughshod over local activists and indigenous communities defending their homelands. The outrageous case of the Ok Tedi ruling, effectively making illegal the protest by affected peoples of the Ok Tedi mine, is a glaring example of this cronyism.
See London Indymedia for G20 reports, timelines and features.
On Wednesday 1st April during a demonstration against the G20 in London, thousands of protestors were trapped inside a police cordon (kettled) where they were baton charged and crushed by the police. Ian Tomlinson, who appears to have been a passer-by, died during this demonstration outside the Bank of England. The police started a coverup immediately, claiming police and medics had been prevented from attending to him, although eyewitnesses reported seeing Ian Tomlinson being attacked by police shortly before his death. The corporate media parroted these police lies even though eyewitness accounts contradicted this video has surfaced clearly showing Ian was viciously assaulted by riot police from behind and violently pushed to the ground. Riot police and members of the Forward Intelligence Team looked on as a protestor attended to him. Minutes after moving away, Mr. Tomlinson collapsed in a nearby alley and died shortly afterwards.
Both the Arctic and Antarctic are experiencing noticeable changes in climate attributed to human induced climate change and global warming. The Arctic Sea Ice extent is still shrinking according to NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center. While the collapse in early April of an ice bridge of the Wilkins Ice Shelf in the Antarctic Peninsula has raised the growing impact of global warming on polar regions.
In Prague today before a 20,000 strong crowd US President Obama called for a world without nuclear weapons. There are currently 26,000 nuclear weapons held amoung nine countries. At the Palm Sunday rally in Melbourne Dr Ruth Mitchell from the Medical Association for the Prevention of War spoke detailing the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and the need to keep the pressure on politicians and Governments on this issue. (Photos 1 | Melbourne Protests Photos | Youtube Video )
President Obama told the large crowd in Prague "I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. This goal will not be reached quickly -- perhaps not in my lifetime. It will take patience and persistence. But now we, too, must ignore the voices who tell us that the world cannot change."
World Forests are disappearing rapidly according to the 2009 State of the World's Forests report by the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). The report notes that expansion of large-scale monocultures of oil palm, soy and other crops for agrofuel production has been a key factor in the failure to halt deforestation.