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  collected items on global capitalism, 2000-2001 ||||| |||||


Copyrighted materials reprinted under of the 'fair use' provision of Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

slideshow:  Giant offshore oil platform sinks following company cost-cutting (March 2001)

Sinking P-36 PlatformView the slideshow about the oil platform
(the slideshow is 500k || use your arrow keys to navigate or let it go automatically)

This is a short PowerPoint slideshow apparently created by someone in the Quality Assurance industry. It juxtaposes images of the Petrobras oil platform P-36 (which had been the largest platform of its kind in the world) sinking off the coast of Brazil in March 2001 with a pre-accident quote by a Petrobras executive extolling their cost-cutting measures as "new global benchmarks for the generation of exceptional shareholder wealth." It is posted here as found in the public domain, author unknown.

The slideshow gives a stark look at the practices and values that are at the heart of neo-liberal globalization. At least 10 people died in the P-36 disaster.

The Petrobras executive's quote from the slideshow:

Quality Assurance and the Sinking of the World's Largest Offshore Oil Platform, March 2001

"Petrobras has established new global benchmarks for the generation of exceptional shareholder wealth through an aggressive and innovative programme of cost cutting on its P36 production facility. Conventional constraints have been successfully challenged and replaced with new paradigms appropriate to the globalised corporate market place. Through an integrated network of facilitated workshops, the project successfully rejected the established constricting and negative influences of prescriptive engineering, onerous quality requirements, and outdated concepts of inspection and client control. Elimination of these unnecessary straitjackets has empowered the project's suppliers and contractors to propose highly economical solutions, with the win-win bonus of enhanced profitability margins for themselves. The P36 platform shows the shape of things to come in the unregulated global market economy of the 21st Century."

    - unnamed Petrobras executive (emphasis added)

For more info:

Surface Photographs of the sinking platform from a nearby ship

Chemical Incidents Report Center - Petrobras P36 incident

Union leaders asked Reichstul why nearly 100 of the 175 workers on the P-36 rig were outsourced rather than Petrobras employees. Mauricio Franca Rubem, director of the FUP oil workers federation, alleges that reduction of the Petrobras work force in favor of third-party contractors contributed to the accident.

Crashlist - Privatization Sinks World's Largest Offshore Oil Rig

Environmental impact of the offshore oil and gas exploration and production

ICEM (the int'l union) - Brazilian oil workers demand: for safety's sake, end subcontracting now

Petrobras website

Project Underground - supporting the human rights of communities resisting mining and oil exploitation


article:  British MI6 "Firm" Spied on Greenpeace for BP, on Body Shop for Shell
This article retrieved from Common Dreams NewsCenter.
 Published on Sunday, June 17, 2001 in The Sunday Times of London
MI6 'Firm' Spied on Green Groups
by Maurice Chittenden and Nicholas Rufford

A PRIVATE intelligence firm with close links to MI6 spied on environmental campaign groups to collect information for oil companies, including Shell and BP.

MPs are to demand an inquiry by Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, into whether the secret intelligence service used the firm as a front to spy on green activists.

Insider reports effectively scuppered Greenpeace campaigns against oil firms in the Atlantic and the North Sea
Photograph: PA

The firm's agent, who posed as a left-wing sympathizer and film maker, was asked to betray plans of Greenpeace's activities against oil giants.

He also tried to dupe Anita Roddick's Body Shop group to pass on information about its opposition to Shell drilling for oil in a Nigerian tribal land.

The Sunday Times has seen documents which show that the spy, German-born Manfred Schlickenrieder, was hired by Hakluyt, an agency that operates from offices in London's West End.

Schlickenrieder was known by the code name Camus and had worked for the German foreign intelligence service gathering information about terrorist groups, including the Red Army Faction.

He fronted a film production company called Gruppe 2, based in Munich, but he also worked in London and Zurich. His company was a one-man band with a video camera making rarely seen documentaries. He had been making an unfinished film about Italy's Red Brigade since 1985. Another of his alleged guises was as a civil servant of the Bavarian conservation agency in charge of listed buildings and monuments.

One of his assignments from Hakluyt was to gather information about the movements of the motor vessel Greenpeace in the north Atlantic. Greenpeace claims the scandal has echoes of the Rainbow Warrior affair, when its ship protesting against nuclear testing in the South Pacific was blown up by the French secret service in 1985. A Dutch photographer died in the explosion.

Both BP and Shell admit hiring Hakluyt, but say they were unaware of the tactics used. Shell said it had wanted to protect its employees against possible attack.

Schlickenrieder was hired by Mike Reynolds, a director of Hakluyt and MI6's former head of station in Germany. His cover was blown by a female colleague who had worked with him. Last night he refused to comment.

Reynolds and other MI6 executives left the intelligence service after the cold war ended to form Hakluyt in 1995. It was set up with the blessing of Sir David Spedding, the then chief of MI6, who died last week. Christopher James, the managing director, had been head of the MI6 section that liaised with British firms.

The firm, which takes its name from Richard Hakluyt, the Elizabethan geographer, assembled a foundation board of directors from the Establishment to oversee its activities, including Sir Fitzroy Maclean, Ian Fleming's model for James Bond. Baroness Smith, the widow of John Smith, the late Labour leader, was a director until the end of last year.

The company has close links to the oil industry through Sir Peter Cazalet, the former deputy chairman of BP, who helped to establish Hakluyt before he retired, last year, and Sir Peter Holmes, former chairman of Shell, who is president of its foundation.

MPs believe the affair poses serious questions about the blurring of the divisions between the secret service, a private intelligence company and the interests of big companies. Hakluyt refutes claims by some in the intelligence community that it was started by MI6 officers to carry out "deniable" operations.

Norman Baker, home affairs spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, called on Straw to make a statement. "The fact that this organization [Hakluyt] is staffed by people with close ties to MI6 suggests this was semi-official," he said.

Rod Macrae, communications director of Greenpeace International, said: "We are aware of the budgets these big companies have at their disposal to get information. The use of a friendly film maker may sound bizarre but if you go back to when Rainbow Warrior was sunk, one of the French agents appeared in our New Zealand office as a volunteer."

Hakluyt was reluctant to discuss its activities. Michael Maclay, one of the agency's directors and a former special adviser to Douglas Hurd when he was Conservative foreign minister, said: "We don't ever talk about anything we do. We never go into any details of what we may or what we may not be doing."

How Agent Camus Sank Greenpeace Oil Protests

WITH his shoulder-length hair tumbling over the collar of a leather jacket and clutching a video camera, Manfred Schlickenrieder cut a familiar figure among left-wing political parties and environmental groups across Europe for almost 20 years.

Whenever there was a campaign being organized, he was there to make a "sympathetic" documentary.

His political credentials seemed impeccable: he had once been chairman of the Munich branch of the German Communist party and the bookshelves of his office held the works of Bertolt Brecht, the Marxist playwright and poet.

One step ahead: Schlickenrieder had the right credentials
Behind the facade, however, Schlickenrieder was a spy working for both the German secret service and for Hakluyt, a private intelligence agency based in London's West End and set up by former officers of MI6, the secret intelligence service. His codename was Camus after Albert Camus, the existentialist author of L'Etranger.

Hakluyt paid him thousands of pounds to inform on the activities of Greenpeace, Anita Roddick's Body Shop and other environmental campaigners. The BND, the German equivalent of MI6, allegedly paid him £3,125 a month living expenses.

The rewards of espionage brought him a spacious flat overlooking a park in Munich and a BMW Z3, the sports car driven by Pierce Brosnan in GoldenEye.

The spying operation for Hakluyt began in April 1996, when Mike Reynolds, one of the agency's directors and a former MI6 head of station in Germany, was asked by Shell to find out who was orchestrating threats against its petrol forecourts across Europe.

The threats followed an outcry over the oil giant's attempts in 1995 to dump the disused Brent Spar oil platform at sea and allegations of environmental damage caused by its oil drilling in Ogoniland, Nigeria.

Schlickenrieder approached environmental groups and far-left organizations including Revolutionärer Aufbau, a Zurichbased communist group. He was finally betrayed to the group by a female colleague.

Last week Shell confirmed it was Hakluyt's client until December 1996. The company said that some of its petrol stations in Germany had been firebombed or shot at. "We did talk to Hakluyt about what intelligence they could gather," said Mike Hogan, director of media relations at Shell UK.

In May 1997, Reynolds asked the German spy for information on whether there were legal moves within Greenpeace to protect its assets against sequestration in the event of it being sued by an oil company. Two months later, Greenpeace occupied BP's Stena Dee oil installation off the Shetland islands in an unsuccessful publicity stunt to stop oil drilling in a new part of the Atlantic. Schlickenrieder sent a report saying that Greenpeace was disappointed with its campaign.

He sent an invoice to Hakluyt on June 6, 1997, billing the agency for DM20,000 (£6,250) for "Greenpeace research".

Commercial target: Anita Roddick's Body Shop campaigns were monitored carefully. Photograph: Mike Lawn
BP confirmed it had hired Hakluyt, but said it had asked the company to compile a report based only on published sources of information. BP has longstanding links with MI6. John Gerson, BP's director of government and public affairs, was at one time a leading candidate to succeed Sir David Spedding as head of MI6.

Schlickenrieder continued working for Hakluyt until 1999. He made a film on Shell in Nigeria called Business as Usual: the Arrogance of Power, during which he interviewed friends of Ken Saro-Wiwa, the Nobel prize nominee, who was hanged by the military regime in 1995 after leading a campaign against oil exploration.

Schlickenrieder sent a letter to a Body Shop executive saying he had been researching the activities of Shell in Nigeria, and asked about plans for further activities. Greenpeace said yesterday that Schlickenrieder's activities had effectively sunk its campaign against BP's oil exploration in the Atlantic.

Fouad Hamdan, communications director of Greenpeace Germany, said: "The bastard was good, I have to admit.

"He got information about our planned Atlantic Frontier campaign to focus on the climate change issue and the responsibility of BP. BP knew everything. They were not taken by surprise." He added: "Manfred filmed and interviewed all the time, but now we realize we never saw anything."

Copyright 2001 Times Newspapers Ltd.



This article retrieved from:Common Dreams NewsCenter,   a non-profit news service providing breaking news and views for the Progressive Community.

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report:  Canadian Service Intelligence Service analyzes the Alternative Globalization Movement


statement:  FBI considers non-violent anti-capitalists "potential threat"


article:  Street cameras linked to wanted list

JULY 01, 17:22 EST
High-Tech Security on Tampa Streets

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tampa is using high-tech security cameras to scan the city's streets for people wanted for crimes, a law enforcement tactic that some liken to Big Brother.

A computer software program linked to 36 cameras began scanning crowds Friday in Tampa's nightlife district, Ybor City, matching results against a database of mug shots of people with outstanding arrest warrants. European cities and U.S government offices, casinos and banks are already using the so-called face-printing system, but Tampa is the first American city to install a permanent system along public streets, The Tampa Tribune reported Sunday.

A similar system was used at Super Bowl XXXV, which was held in Tampa last January.

``Tampa is really leading the pack here,'' said Frances Zelazny, a spokeswoman for Visionics Corp., which produces the ``FaceIt'' software.

The software has raised concerns over privacy, ethics and government intrusion.

``This is Big Brother actually implemented,'' said Jack Walters of the Tampa chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. ``I think this just opens the door to it being everywhere.''

But Tampa Detective Bill Todd says FaceIt is no different than having a police officer standing on a street holding a mug shot.

At the Super Bowl, a Visionics competitor, Graphco Technologies, wired cameras around Raymond James Stadium and in Ybor City. The computer spotted 19 people at the crowded stadium with outstanding warrants, all for minor offenses. But no arrests were made. ``During the Super Bowl, we got overwhelmed,'' Todd said. ``That's the other thing: When you get a match, how quickly can you get to these people?''

Business owners have mixed emotions about the new technology.

``I don't know if I like it,'' said Vicki Doble, who owns The Brew Pub. ``It may be a bit too much.''

Don Barco, owner of King Corona Cigars Bar & Cafe, approves of the cameras but says they may not be as effective as the city hopes. ``Sometimes these high-tech toys, they tend to give a little too much credence to what they do,'' he said.


FAIR USE NOTICE: Use of the above material has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is being made available in an effort to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. This is believed to constitute a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the above material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to:
If you wish to use the above material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


Iraq Body Count - counting civilians killed as a result of the US-led war in Iraq

Common Dreams - "breaking news for the progressive community"

Independent Media Center - "a democratic media outlet for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of truth"

ZNet - "a resource for people committed to social change"

Democracy and Nature - some excellent articles on neoliberalism
 ...fotopoulos_nation.htm - "Nation-State and the Market"
 ...fotopoulos.marketisation.htm - "The Catastrophe of Marketisation"
 ...takis_globalisation.htm - "Globalisation, the reformist Left and the Anti-Globalisation ‘Movement’"

Globalization Index from Foreign Policy Magazine - trying to quantify the globalization phenomenon


"We will not do anything that harms our economy, because first things first are the people who live in America."
    -- US President George W. Bush on the Kyoto Global Warming Treaty, March 29th, 2001

"If people think I am defending the status quo, that is, I think, because they have grown pessimistic and assume that there is no alternative except dictatorship or laissez-faire capitalism . . . What I was trying to say was, 'You can't have a revolution unless you make it for yourself; there is no such thing as a benevolent dictatorship.'"
    -- George Orwell, 1946 regarding 'Animal Farm' in a letter to literary critic Dwight Macdonald

"Naturally, the common people don't want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parlaiment, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the county to danger. It works the same in every country."
    -- Hermann Goering, Hitler's Reichmarshall at the Nuremberg Trials

"What has happened to Falluja is a horror beyond anything imaginable...
We cannot ever call this city home again."

    -- Fuad Kubaysi, Falluja resident, November 2004

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