When the Financial Times launched an investigation into the contributors to “counter-capitalist groups,” its dragnet hauled in an unlikely name–Unilever, one of the world’s biggest multinational corporations. Last year when the global giant purchased Ben & Jerry’s, the Vermont ice cream maker, it had to agree to contribute $5 million to the progressive-minded company’s charitable foundation and at least $1.1 million a year to social change groups. Thus it was that the Ruckus Society, whose demonstrators helped shut down the Seattle WTO meeting, and Global Exchange, a human rights group, and other groups dedicated to subverting global capitalism received no-strings donations from Unilever–laundered through the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation.


Aram Roston writes: Colombian-born activist Gustavo Soler, a heavy equipment operator at a US-owned coal mine featured in a recent Nation story (“It’s the Real Thing: Murder,” September 3/10), was murdered October 6–shot twice in the head, presumably by right-wing paramilitaries. Soler had pushed for the rights of Colombian workers employed by the Alabama-based Drummond Company. His predecessor as union president was assassinated in March. The paramilitaries have gone on a rampage, slaughtering more than 100 civilians across Colombia, just as Human Rights Watch came out with a new report on the links between the right-wing group and the Colombian military.


For an upcoming special issue on the National Entertainment State, readers are invited to submit brief letters nominating their favorite independent media outlet. It might be a website, alternative newspaper, magazine, public access TV show–as long as it is useful, imaginative, witty, socially conscious or otherwise worthy of wider attention. Please e-mail your nomination, by November 21, to, with the subject line “Favorite Media Outlet.” Include your street address and phone number.