July 2004


Notes from the West Bank: 2 May 2004

1 July 2004 "We have been going for 50 years and will always find a way to meet." Gabby Baramki founder of the Jerusalem Choir

Losses and gains of June elections

1 July 2004 Over the past two years the anti-war movement has successfully challenged the manufactured consensus of the powerful. To find out what is being done in their name, people have sought out and opened up numerous paths to the truth. Websites, for example, are giving voice to the opposition in Iraq, and to whistleblowers in the US, UK and UN. We are piecing together information that was previously in the public domain only as fragments.

Media Special: Introduction

1 July 2004 We are probably all familiar with the notion that a lively, informative media is an essential, perhaps key, component in maintaining our democratic ideal of informed self-government. Equally likely, it seems, is a general awareness that the media often fails to live up to the standards we require of it. But what appears to be less well understood is that far from making well-intentioned mistakes, the mainstream media are inherently and systematically biased. Indeed, despite an increasing number of books and websites dedicated to analyzing the corporate/establishment structure of mass media, even activists still pay scant attention to a phenomenon that plays a crucial role in limiting any positive gains they might hope to achieve.

Media liberalisation in the UK

1 July 2004 This has not been a great year so far for proponents of an independent media.

In and out of the mainstream

1 July 2004 In a cacophony of apologetics, mainstream journalists are saying sorry for swallowing and amplifying the lies pumped out by the Bush and Blair propaganda machine to justify the attack on Iraq. The New York Times has eaten humble pie for reporting that it "was not as rigorous as it should have been". Some information was, wrote the paper's editors, 'insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged'.

Mau Mau and the British Newspapers

1 July 2004 In these days of the rehabilitation of the language of "liberal imperialism", it is important to recall that empire can be an expensive undertaking, and overseas involvement must be justified to an electorate arguably more interested in the mundane infrastructure of a welfare state for example.

Avoiding Vietnam in Iraq

1 July 2004 Contrary to what Bush and Blair insist, the continued presence of "coalition" troops is likely to ignite, not deter, a civil war in Iraq.

No day after tomorrow

1 July 2004 There are plenty of things to say about The Day After Tomorrow, the recent $125m eco-catastrophe film. It's overlong, implausible, deeply derivative (a Poseidon Adventure on Ice), moderately well acted, thrilling in parts, and a film that will appeal to the kind of boy who likes to build elaborate models and then stamp on them.

On the blag

1 July 2004 For too long the art of ligging, blagging and bullshitting has been the preserve of the rich, well-connected and good-looking. Here, the Brotherhood of Blaggers gives you the inside skinny on getting stuff for free. Browse though our smorgasbord of blags and prepare to exact revenge on money-hungry corporates the world over

The voice of alternative America

1 July 2004 Natasha Grzincic reports on War Times, the free, bilingual newspaper making sure that the anti-war message reaches every state in the US.

Don’t mention the (reasons for) war

1 July 2004 Noam Chomsky analyses government and media misrepresentation of US strategic and military priorities

Government passes the buck on corporate manslaughter bill

1 July 2004 Changes in the law to make it easier to prosecute companies for manslaughter are now far less likely to take place before the next election as the government announced further delays to its bill that would make "corporate killing" a new offence.

“Emotionally blackmailed” by Roma babies

1 July 2004 Dear Agony Subcomandauntie, I live just outside London and commute for 90 minutes every day by train and tube. At least once a journey I"m asked if I can spare some change. I can't afford to give money to everyone who asks, but as a rule will regularly slip the odd pound or buy The Big Issue. However, Roma women have recently been coming through the carriages, pushing their babies in people's faces and annoying other commuters. While I"m sympathetic, I"m not sure whether to reward such emotional blackmail, and I feel intimidated by the general hostility from fellow passengers. What should I do? Yours, So broke it beggars belief