Dear reader,


We hereby present our newsletter for November 2003.

We ask you to send this newsletter on to others who might be interested both home and abroad. You'll also find a Dutch version of this newsletter at the bottom of this message.



An important upcoming event is the symposium 'International Order: Powerand Law' on November 15th, 2003. This symposium, organised by 'Groen Links' in association with the foundation 'Duurzame solidariteit, brings together members of Dutch parliament of various political parties, both government and opposition. If offers an opportunity for everyone to get informed and participate actively through speeches, panels, debates.

The event is in Dutch and takes place on November 15th, 2003, Artis Amsterdam. Registration is optional through rgrootwassink@groenlinks.nl.Program details are as follows.

'Current international treaties on the environment, human rights, social rights and democracy have hit rocky weather because of calculated power politics and demands from the free market. The WTO summit in Cancķn failed, the United Nations are in a crisis and the execution of existing treaties leaves much to be desired. The international order seems to have changed into an international disorder. To discuss the developments in the field of international law and order, the foundation 'Duurzame Solidariteit' has organised a symposium on November 15th, 2003. The day starts off with a keynote speech by Max van der Berg (Europarlementarian for PVDA) on the thesis 'It's not about the right of the strongest, but about the strength of the right!'. Groen Links parlementarian Kees Vendrik and Marcel Brus (Universiteit Leiden) will be coreferents. The second session is a panel debate with representatives from Both Ends, FNV Mondiaal, IRENE and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who'll discuss the enforcement of international treaties. An important question is how raticification and execution of these treaties can be enforced. Also on the agenda is to what extent developing countries can safeguard their sovereignty and their influence. The third session deals with the political dimension of these dilemmas: What can we do the shape international law more fairly? Parliamentarians of Groen Links, PVDA, CDA and a representative for the XminY solidarity fund will explore the boundaries and possibilities for an international order of law. Special emphasis will be on the role the Netherlands can play in drafting (avenues of) solutions. Does the Netherlands do enough? With this day of speeches, panels, debates and audience participation we'll get into the possibilities and chances for a fairer international order of law.

Date and time:November 15th, 2003, 12.00 -16.00
Location: Artis (Koningszaal), Plantage Middenlaan 43 Amsterdam

More information: Stichting Duurzame Solidariteit /www.groenlinks.nl
Registration(optional): 030-2399931/rgrootwassink@groenlinks.nl



Since the Vietnam War, there have not been made as many critical films about the United Statesí power politics as these days. More than two years after the launch of the 'War on Terrorism', documentary filmmakers have formulated a critical response to the media offensive of the war machine. The International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) compiled twenty of these films under the title USA Today, a programme section that examines the many facets of Americaís super status, not only politically, but also in the social and cultural spheres. 

What has the unbridled export of typically American values and ideas actually brought the world? The intriguing the corporation (Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott, USA, 2003) analyses a typically American phenomenon: the multinational. The conclusion is that these corporations are not the types of organisations that you would want to throw in your lot with.

Following naturally from this is surplus (Erik Gandini, Sweden, 2003), about the consequences of globalisation on the environment and the Third World.

The fact that American companies cannot take over local markets without a struggle is demonstrated by power trip (Paul Devlin, USA, 2003). An American power company tries to hold its ground in Georgia, but comes up against a wall of resistance, as the local population is not used to pay for electricity.

star wars dreams (Leslie Woodhead, England, 2003) considers the ambitious post-war plan to build a space shield as a symbol of American superiority. Shortly before 11 September 2001, president Bush breathed new life into this scheme, but after the attacks the fear of long-range missiles was replaced by fear of terrorism.

USA Today also focuses on other aspects of present-day America. The undiminished appeal of the American Dream for example, in the series the new americans (Steve James, Peter Gilbert, Gordon Quinn, USA, 2003). Over a period of a couple of years, several immigrants are followed who want to make it big in the country of boundless opportunities.

The history is considered in films such as the weather underground (Sam Green, USA, 2003), demonstrating that criticism on the United States and terrorism are of all time. Finally, various films deal with the far-reaching consequences the 9-11 events have had on the daily lives of Americans. 

In lest we forget (Jason DaSilva, USA, 2003) and brothers and others (Nicolas Rossier, USA, 2002), we see the unprecedented power given to the FBI and the INS to pick up many Muslims Ė innocent, it was found later - on suspicion of terrorism.

In all, 25 films have been included in the USA Today programme section, 7 of which are also screened in competition programmes. In addition to the screenings, two discussion sessions will go more deeply into issues raised by the USA Today films, on 22 and 24 November in the Grote Zaal of de Balie. Program details are available from November 14th, 2003 on www.idfa.nl.

Full listing USA Today:

XXI century, G. Zamparini USA 2003. Seven parts series with interviews of individuals, organisations and experts tries to find answers for the current state of the world.

Army of one, Foreva Productions, Canada / USA 2003. How to change a broker, a dancer and an unemployed Puerto Rican into members of the world's most sophisticated killing machine. 

Brothers and others, N.Rossier, USA 2002. Film about the harrowing consequences of the hardened anti-terrorist laws in the US for immigrants.

CIA: secret wars (cia: guerres secretes), W. Karel, France 2003. In this portrayal of the history of the CIA, former executives are often very critical of the agency, particularly of its secret operations.

Condor: axis of evil (condor: les axes du mal) R. Vazquez, France 2003. Inquiry into the culprits and victims of Operation Condor, in which South American dictatorships struck against political opponents with the help of the United States.

Farmingville, C. Sandoval, Carlos / C. Tambini, USA 2003. A small town near New York becomes the centre of a heated local and national debate about illegal immigration.

The fourth world war, R. Rowley / J. Soohen, USA 2003. Contagious, swiftly-edited, positive film about the growing global resistance against oppression, corporate globalisation, terror and poverty.

Hidden in plain sight, J. Smihula, USA 2003. Aanklacht tegen The School of Americas, volgens sommigen stichter van democratie in Zuid-Amerika, volgens velen een kweekschool voor dictators en schenders van de mensenrechten.

Home of the brave - land of the free, J. Sullivan, Norway 2003. Poignant eyewitness account of the activities of American special units in Afghanistan.

Islam behind bars, J. Curtin / P. Carvalho, Canada 2003. Islam is the fastest growing religion in prisons around the world.

The new americans (deel: I II III IV V VI VII), S. Aikin/ C. Aparicio/ J. Blumenthal/ S. James, USA 2003. Long-term project follows new immigrants from their different native countries to the United States, where the American Dream often turns out to be disappointing.

A night of ferocious joy, D. Zeiger, USA 2003. Straight-ahead record of the first anti-war concert of the new millennium, inter-mixed with interviews with participating artists.

Noam chomsky: rebel without a pause, W. Pascoe, Canada 2003. The 73-year-old popular activist Noam Chomsky visits Canada and systematically takes on the brutal policies of the United States. 

The opportunity crisis, M. Chamberlain / A. Tischler, USA 2003. Reflections on the loss of community spirit due to the stranglehold of mass culture.

Power trip, P. Devlin, USA 2003. An American company finds out that the management of the power supply system in the former Soviet Georgia is a vast, impossible task.  

Star wars dreams,  L. Woodhead, England / USA 2003. The history of the Star Wars rocket shield that many American presidents have dreamed of, featuring interviews with extreme hawks like Perle and Teller.

Tupperware!, L. Kahn-Leavitt, USA 2003. The story of the plastic containers that conquered the American kitchen in the fifties by means of clever sales parties. 

The weather underground, S. Green, USA 2003. Survey of actions and notions of a radical American group that wanted to fight out the Vietnam War on US territory.



As mentioned before the European Social Forum will take place in Paris from 12 until 15 November 2003. A full listing of plenaries and seminars is now available on www.fse-sfe.org. In our next newsletter we will report on the ESF.



You can also sponsor us financially by donating Ä 10 to 3202913 in name of L. Pitzalis, Utrecht, Netherlands (please remark JUST ACT). Apart from the monthly newsletter weíll keep you posted on acts, meetings and manifestations.


Best wishes,


Luciano Pitzalis, editor newsletter



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