South African authorities cracked down on protesters who have vowed to disrupt the UN Earth Summit in Johannesburg.
Police arrested 77 landless South Africans during a protest march on Wednesday and another 30 or so on Thursday, plus a US national, Ann Eveleth, who is press officer for South Africa's National Land Committee (NLC).
Police spokesman Chris Wilken told AFP she was arrested for being in South Africa illegally.
"She will be deported within the next two to three days," he said.
Anti-globalization groups meanwhile vowed to "shut down" the summit.
"It is our aspiration to shut them down. If we can get the numbers, that is
what we will do," said Trevor Ngwane, the leader of South Africa's Anti-Privatization
Forum (APF) which claims to have some 20,000 members.
"We are inspired by what happened in Seattle and Genoa," where protesters clashed violently with police at international gatherings, he told a briefing in downtown Johannesburg.
South Africa has imposed an undeclared state of emergency in its clampdown on protest ahead of the summit, National Land Committee spokesman Andile Mngxitma, claimed from prison.
"The police attacked people during a peaceful march," he said in an interview.
"They tear gassed soldiers in holding cells," he said, referring to former
soldiers arrested after demonstrating to demand their reintegration into the army.
The protestors plan a huge march on the summit on August 31 for those opposed
to globalization and Africa's NEPAD economic growth plan.
In Washington, meanwhile, senior US officials said the United States would unveil during the summit about 4.5 billion dollars in programs to help developing nations in Africa promote health and education, clean water, efficient energy and sound forestry practices.
They will be funded by a mix of new and previously announced assistance programs,
and involve public-private partnerships.
But South African Water Affairs and Forestry Minister Ronnie Kasrils accused
Washington of back-pedaling on implementable targets.
"The United States, as we all know, is the most powerful nation in the world, with the greatest amount of resources, and for it to back-pedal is very unfortunate and says a lot about the value it places on the health and well-being of the planet," Kasrils told journalists in parliament.
In Paris meanwhile, European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy warned it would be wrong for the summit to focus on environmental and development issues and ignore the crucial role of trade in improving the lot of poor countries.
"I hope (the Johannesburg summit) will provide the opportunity to focus on the role international trade can play in advancing the cause of sustainable development," Lamy wrote in French newspaper Liberation.
Echoing those sentiments, South African President Thabo Mbeki urged governments and civil society groups to work together during the 10-day summit, officially known as the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development.
He told a workshop that the summit, which starts on Monday, should produce
results reflecting "people's matters, not just government matters".
© Copyright 2002 AFP