Nonviolent action around the world – 07 October 2009 (Part 1)

Protests and resistance: Are the media missing the real story?

Newseum, Washington, D.C., October 15, 2009
12:00pm – 2:00pm
Join ICNC for a discussion on mainstream media coverage of recent civil resistance movements. Panelists include Dr. Howard Barrell, of the Cardiff University Journalism School and Al Giordano, of the cutting-edge School of Authentic Journalism, who will explore media misconceptions that shape how civil resistance movements are covered today…
For more information…


Honduran security forces accused of abuse
By: Elisabeth Malkin, NY Times, October 5, 2009
Since Mr. Zelaya was removed in a June 28 coup, security forces have tried to halt opposition with beatings and mass arrests, human rights groups say. Eleven people have been killed since the coup, according to the Committee for Families of the Disappeared and Detainees in Honduras, or Cofadeh. The number of violations and their intensity has increased since Mr. Zelaya secretly returned to Honduras two weeks ago, taking refuge at the Brazilian Embassy, human rights groups say. The groups describe an atmosphere of growing impunity, one in which security forces act unhindered by legal constraints.
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Honduras ‘to lift emergency rule’
By: BBC, October 5, 2009
Honduras’ interim leader has said he will ask ministers to lift an emergency decree imposed after the country’s president was ousted in June. The decree suspended some civil liberties and also shut down two radio stations loyal to the president. But Roberto Micheletti told a new conference the ruling had now been “completely overturned”. “We’ve abolished the decree in the Council of Ministers,” said Mr. Micheletti.
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Behind the coup regime curtain
By: Al Giordano, The Field, October 3, 2009
Reading the international press wires from Honduras in recent days, too many give the impression that Honduras coup “president” Roberto Micheletti has lifted last Sunday’s decree that suspended constitutional rights of free speech, press, assembly, transit and due process. No such thing has happened. The decree, in all its repressive brutality, is still in full force. While a handful of far right wingnut US Congressmen visited the coup regime in Tegucigalpa yesterday blabbering about “democracy” and “freedom,” their favored regime’s troops were busting up even the smallest nonviolent expressions of free speech a few blocks away in Tegucigalpa.
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Honduras: Citizen videos from a country under curfew
By: Eduardo Avila, Global Voices Online, September 24, 2009
Three months after Honduran President Mel Zelaya was ousted in a coup that some Hondurans claim was justified and others insist was illegal, he returned to Honduras on September 21 seeking refuge in the Brazilian Embassy in the capital city, Tegucigalpa. Zelaya’s return has led to an escalation of the political tension and division in the streets of Honduras, leaving citizens frightened, and lacking food as a compulsory nationwide curfew was imposed by Roberto Micheletti’s interim government.
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Iran: Total of 27-year jail term for pro-democracy and equality students
By: Iran Human Rights Voice, October 3, 2009
Six proponents of democracy and equality have been collectively sentenced to 27 years and eight months in jail.  The students are identified as follows: Farhad Hajmirzaei, Mehdi Gerailo, Kayvan Amiri-Elyasi, Ali Cantori, Mohammad Bokharaei, and Mehdi Allahyari. Readers are also reminded that in the past months many other pro-democracy and equality students have been sentenced to suspended sentencing.  
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Iran: New and innovative ways to get heard loudly
By: Global Voices Advocacy, October 3, 2009
Let’s see how people in Iran are using media to make their voices heard when all media outlets have been subjected to government pressure and censorship. However, Iranian people have used their cell phones and computers to disseminate information about the green movement and it was remarkable as they succeeded in communicating with the outside world. Now, they have found another way to make their voice heard. They gather in any places where governmental media are placed, such as football stadiums.
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Authorities in Iran arrest 18 students
By: Nazilla Fathi, NY Times, October 3, 2009
Iranian authorities arrested 18 student leaders in Tehran on Friday in a crackdown on demonstrations, which flared up at two universities as classes resumed this week. The student leaders were arrested at a park in northern Tehran, where they had gathered for a “friendly meeting,” another student, Bahareh Hedayat, said in a telephone interview.
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Iran’s green movement: An original model for nonviolent opposition
By: Mohammad Tahavori, Gozaar, October 2, 2009
I attended a session of a course taught by Professor Eileen Babbitt on “Theories of Conflict Resolution” that was dedicated to examining “color revolutions” as a new and non-violent solution aimed at the peaceful transition from dictatorship to democratic systems of government. Examining the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, the American professor suggested that it is possible to mount a successful non-violent struggle.
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Number of students arrested by anti-riot guards
By: Iran Human Rights Voice, October 1, 2009
In the morning of August 28, when Mahoud Ahmadinejad appeared at Tehran University to address students regarding the new academic year, in spite of all pressures and security measures, close to 1,000 students began a walk-out during his speech and held a protest gathering. During the gathering, students chanted slogans supporting the popular protest movement. The protest took place in spite of attempts by university guards to stop infiltration by students from other universities.
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Guinea’s president denies responsibility for protest deaths
By: Alpha Camara, Bloomberg, October 5, 2009
Guinean junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara denied responsibility for an army attack on Sept. 28 in which at least 135 people were killed, Radio Television Guinea broadcast Camara saying on Oct. 2. “It’s the political leaders of the opposition that pointlessly sent innocent children into the butcher’s shop” he told the Conakry-based state-owned television station.
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Zambia: State sounds warning
By: All Africa, October 5, 2009
Police will continue arresting all those who deliberately try to destabilise the peace of the nation by honking in protest against the acquittal of former president Frederick Chiluba, Home Affairs Minister Lameck Mangani has said. Inspector-General of Police Francis Kabonde separately warned that any misconduct would not be tolerated and that the recent arrests should serve as a warning that police were ready to handle any situation. Mr Mangani said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that police countrywide had been mobilised and put on alert to ensure those found breaking the law were arrested and taken to court.
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Zimbabwe: Police force striking workers back to work
By: Partricia Mpofu, Zim Online, October 3, 2009
Riot police and state security agents have forced striking workers in the southwestern mining town of Zvishavane to return to work while seven others suspected to have links with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party have been summarily dismissed from work, labour leaders said. It also emerged on Thursday that the three workers who were shot on September 25 at Shabanie Mine have been transferred to Harare for specialist treatment at a private hospital.
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Zimbabwe: Nestlé scraps trading agreement with Grace Mugabe farm
By: David Smith, The Guardian, October 2, 2009
The multinational food giant Nestlé has bowed to worldwide pressure to cease trading with the wife of the Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe. Revelations that the company was buying milk from a farm owned by Grace Mugabe prompted calls for a global consumer boycott. Several protest groups were set up on the social networking site Facebook, with one attracting more than 8,000 members.
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Zimbabwe: Activists sue state for $500m
By: Chengetai Zvauya, Mail and Gaurdian Online, October 2, 2009
A prominent Zimbabwean human rights activist and eight others are suing the government for $500-million after terror charges against them were dropped because they had been beaten and tortured, their lawyer said. Harrison Nkomo, a lawyer for activist Jestina Mukoko, said on Thursday that the national police commissioner, intelligence minister and several police officers were among those being sued for the abduction, wrongful arrest and torture of Mukoko and the others.
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Zimbabwe rights groups praises exoneration of activist Jestina Mukoko
By: Scott Bobb, VOA, October 1, 2009
Human-rights defenders in Zimbabwe are praising a Supreme Court decision ordering all charges to be dropped against activist Jestina Mukoko who was detained 10 months ago on charges of conspiring to overthrow the government. Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights Director Irene Petras welcomed the Supreme Court ruling (Monday) that ended the state prosecution of human-rights activist Jestina Mukoko.
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Zambian police detain nine ‘honkers’ in Chiluba protest
By: Google News, October 2, 2009
Zambian police on Friday detained nine protestors, including two opposition lawmakers, for blowing car hooters against the graft acquittal of ex-president Frederick Chiluba. “We have so far picked up nine,” police chief Francis Kabonde told AFP. The honking, which started at 1500 GMT and lasted 10 minutes, follows a civil society call Wednesday for Zambians “to wear black and honk or whistle” every Friday to protest Chiluba’s acquittal August 17.
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Argentina’s dirty war – how to defend an accused mass murderer?
By: Sam Ferguson, TruthOut, October 5, 2009
Prosecutors here in Argentina have framed former Gen. Jorge Olivera Rovere as Argentina’s Adolf Eichmann: a mid-level official who dutifully helped execute orders to exterminate opponents of Argentina’s last military dictatorship. Yesterday, Rovere’s attorneys defended the aging military man, 83, saying that the trial of the former general threatened to disrupt the “social peace” generated by amnesty laws and pardons passed in the 1980’s. Rovere is charged with 120 counts of kidnapping and four homicides for his involvement in Argentina’s “Dirty War.”
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Indian representatives give petition to Ecuadorian government
By: Latin American Herald Tribune, October 5, 2009
Delegates from the Shuar and Achuar Indians delivered to a governmental commission a petition as the Confederation of Indigenous Nations of Ecuador, or Conaie, and the Ecuadorian government are holding discussions, which began because of the Indians’ fears over a bill they say will privatize water. The government delegation went to Amazonia on Saturday, where the protest has been under way since last Monday, to meet with representatives of the Indians.
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Politics and prison in Venezuela
By: Juan Forero, Washington Post, October 5, 2009
President Hugo Chávez’s government says Julio Cesar Rivas is a violent militant intent on fomenting civil war. Rivas’s supporters say the 22-year-old university student is just one of many Venezuelans jailed for challenging a populist government that they contend is increasingly intolerant of dissent. As the Chávez government approaches 11 years in power, many of its most prominent opponents are in exile in foreign countries or under criminal investigation here.
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Venezuela’s video game ban
By: Nathan Schneider, Waging Nonviolence, October 5, 2009
We had a lively discussion last week about violence in video games. A new story from the AP promises for more: Venezuela is going to ban violent video games and toys. Venezuela would be one of few countries to impose an all-out ban on the “manufacture, importation, distribution, sales and use of violent video games and bellicose toys.” The proposed law would give Venezuela’s consumer protection agency the discretion to define what products should be prohibited and impose fines…
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US: Arrest puts focus on protesters’ texting
By: Colin Moynihan, Democratic Underground, October 5, 2009
As demonstrations have evolved with the help of text messages and online social networks, so too has the response of law enforcement. Police arrested demonstrators on the University of Pittsburgh campus in September during the Group of 20 meeting. On Thursday, F.B.I. agents descended on a house in Jackson Heights, Queens, and spent 16 hours searching it. The most likely reason for the raid: a man who lived there had helped coordinate communications among protesters at the Group of 20 summit in Pittsburgh.
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US: Trek nets a Gandhi peace award for activist
By: Lana Groves, Deseret News, October 4, 2009
Mahatma Gandhi marched 240 miles to protest British salt taxes in 1930, advocating nonviolent protest to make a difference. Nearly 80 years later in 2006, just months after returning from a year in Iraq and on Gandhi’s birthday on Oct. 2, Marshall Thompson marched for the same concept of nonviolence. His time spent as a military journalist overseas made him realize that better solutions to conflict exist other than war and violence.
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US: Advocates fight mountaintop removal
By: Matthew Cardinale, Truthout, October 2, 2009
Environmental groups across the southeast United States, from Georgia to the Appalachia region, are stepping up their opposition to a controversial but widespread practice by coal companies of removing the tops of mountains with explosives. Atlanta-based activist Darci Rodenhi recently organised an ad hoc group called Mountain Justice GA, which lobbied the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Atlanta regional office to reject 79 new permits for mountaintop removal.
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President, indigenous groups at odds over fatal protest in Ecuador
By: Mariano Castillo, CNN, October 2, 2009
Natural resources in the Amazon area, such as precious metals, water and oil, have ignited an intense conflict between the government and indigenous communities that spilled into violence this week. President Rafael Correa and indigenous leaders on Thursday cast blame on each other for Wednesday’s incident near Macas, where police clashed with indigenous protesters who were blocking a highway.
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Shuar Indians reinforce roadblock in dispute with Ecuador’s government
By: Jeanneth Valdivieso, Edmonton Sun, October 1, 2009
Several hundred Shuar Indians wearing black war paint and toting wooden spears on Thursday reinforced a highway blockade that police failed to break up earlier in a bloody melee that left one Indian dead and at least 40 police injured. Police pulled out of the southeastern jungle region on orders from leftist President Rafael Correa, who is in an intensifying dispute with indigenous groups that say proposed legislation would allow mining on their lands without their consent and lead to the privatization of water.
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Venezuela: Exiled dissenter denies involvement in plot to assassinate Chávez
By: El Universal, October 1, 2009
Manuel Rosales, the former governor of the state of Zulia and former mayor of the city of Maracaibo, answered via satellite from Lima, Peru, to the charges made by lawmaker Mario Isea and Venezuelan-US lawyer Eva Golinger, who claimed that Rosales was involved in a plot to assassinate President Hugo Chávez and funded the plan. Rosales requested political asylum in Peru some months ago.
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US: Mapping DREAM Act online youth movements
By: Marisol Ramos, Global Voices Online, October 1, 2009
Immigrant high school and university students in the United States have used the internet effectively in building activist networks to support the passing of a law called the DREAM act. More than 19,900 signatures and personal pleas like the one above have been posted so far on the petition website urging the U.S. lawmakers to support a proposed bill called the DREAM Act.
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US: Obama on Gandhi
By: Ellen Goodman, Post-Gazette, September 18, 2009
For me, the real Obama moment of this back-to-work season wasn’t the speech before Congress or Wall Street. It was in the Virginia schoolhouse when a ninth-grader asked him a question that had nothing and everything to do with his presidency: “And if you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?” His answer was Gandhi.  
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