Nonviolent action around the world – 06 November 2009 (Part 1)

November 6, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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MIDDLE EAST/ NORTH AFRICA
Egyptian politician vows to contest government-imposed US travel ban
By: Ramadan Al Sherbini, Gulf News, November 6, 2009
Cairo Egyptian dissident Ayman Nour, who contested the 2005 presidential elections against President Hosni Mubarak, has vowed to challenge a decision barring him from travelling to the United States. “The government seems to want to monopolize visits to the United States and limit them to the ruling National Democratic Party.”
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Mir Hossein Mousavi is on Facebook
By: Mir Hossein Mousavi, Facebook
To view his page…

Iran has tested sophisticated nuclear warhead design
By: Oliver Scanlan, Open Democracy, November 6, 2009
On Friday the Guardian reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has asked Iran to explain increasingly credible evidence, derived in part from Western intelligence agencies, that it has tested a highly sophisticated design for a nuclear warhead. In a development described by analysts as ‘breathtaking’, previously undisclosed material submitted in a single dossier by the IAEA to Tehran suggests Iranian scientists have experimented with the high explosive components of a ‘two-point implosion’ device.
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Danish student ‘arrested in Iran’
By: BBC, November 6, 2009
A Danish journalism student has been arrested in Iran after covering anti-government protests, unions say. The Danish Union of Journalists named the student as Niels Krogsgaard, 31. A Canadian, a Japanese and an Iranian journalist are also being held for covering the protests without permits, the semi-official Fars agency reports.
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Mahmoud Vahidnia, student, stuns Iran by criticizing supreme leader
By: Scheherezade Faramarzi, Huffington Post,  November 5, 2009
An unassuming college math student has become an unlikely hero to many in Iran for daring to criticize the country’s most powerful man to his face. Mahmoud Vahidnia has received an outpouring of support from government opponents for the challenge – unprecedented in a country where insulting supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is a crime punishable by prison.
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Iran’s nuclear diversion
By: Ray Takeyh, The Washington Post, November 5, 2009
As the Obama administration grapples with the conundrum of Iran, it must balance its proliferation concerns with its moral responsibilities. Iran’s post-election tremors have hardly subsided; in fact, the regime is systematically eviscerating its democratic opposition. Amid their merciless efforts to consolidate power, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his allies see discussion of the nuclear program as a means to silence the criticism that their domestic behavior merits.
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Women and the struggle for democracy in Iran
By: Cynthia Boaz, Truthout, November 4, 2009
Dr. Ebadi, a Nobel Laureate, a prominent human rights lawyer and democracy activist from Iran, holds strong views about the vibrancy of the ongoing resistance – views that both the Islamic Republic and the larger mainstream media audience might find stunning. During our talk about the state of the pro-democracy resistance in Iran, Dr. Ebadi told me that the women-led movement in Iran is the strongest in the Middle East and that, despite the regime’s claims to the contrary; it is “invincible.”
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Update on Iran’s dead and detained
By: Simon Jeffery, The Guardian, November 4, 2009
Hundreds, probably thousands, have been arrested in Iran since the presidential election on 12 June. Human rights and campaign groups such as Human Rights Watch, the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran and Reporters Without Borders have been collecting and publishing the names of those dead or detained. We have brought those lists, and reports from trusted media sources, into a database that we are asking readers and those elsewhere on the internet to contribute too.
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Videos emerge of new protests in Iran
By: Stumble Upon, November 4, 2009
Thanks to the independent Tehran Bureau and PBS-TV’s Frontline there are videos of the anti-government protests that broke out today in Tehran.
Watch the video…

Iran witness – Valiasar Street
By: BBC News, November 4, 2009
Watch the video…
 
Dissidents mass in Tehran to subvert an anti-U.S. rally
By: Robert Forth, NY Times, November 4, 2009
The protests – in Tehran and other cities – were the opposition’s largest street showing in almost two months and came on the 30th anniversary of the takeover of the United States Embassy in Iran, an event that was a crucible for both Iran and the United States. Although a huge force of police officers beat back and scattered many of them, the protesters took heart at their ability to openly challenge the government despite a stream of warnings from all levels of Iran’s conservative establishment.
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White House monitoring crackdown in Iran
By: Lou Kesten, AP, November 4, 2009
The White House on Wednesday expressed concern about a violent crackdown on anti-government protesters in Iran as President Barack Obama said he wanted the U.S. and Iran to move beyond “suspicion, mistrust and confrontation.” “We obviously have seen and are following the reports of this, and hope greatly that violence will not spread,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.
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Iranian protesters, police clash on US embassy takeover anniversary
By: David Montero, Truth Out, November 4, 2009
Violence erupted in the Iranian capital and other cities today, as police beat and possibly fired upon anti-government protesters who were seeking to disrupt a procession commemorating the 30th anniversary of the takeover of the US Embassy. The violence comes after weeks of simmering tension between the Iranian regime and a protest movement that had largely gone underground since violent clashes in July. Today’s incident suggests that the movement is far from dormant.
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West Bank: Palestinians who see nonviolence as their weapon
By: Richard Boudreaux, LA Times, November 4, 2009
Every Friday, Mohammed Khatib’s forces assemble for battle with the Israeli army and gather their weapons: a bullhorn, banners — and a fierce belief that peaceful protest can bring about a Palestinian state.  A few hundred strong, they march to the Israeli barrier that separates the tiny farming community of Bilin from much of its land. “Nonviolence is our most powerful weapon,” says Khatib, the media-savvy secretary of the Bilin village council. “If they cannot accuse us of terrorism, they cannot stop us. The world will support us.”
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West Bank: Protest in front of evicted Palestinian family’s house
By: Ynet News, November 4, 2009
More than 100 Palestinians and human rights activists are demonstrating in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, in protest of a court order eviction of a Palestinian family from a neighborhood house. The protestors are assembled in front of the disputed house, and are calling for the family to be allowed to return to their home.
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Lebanon, Cyprus, Egypt, Tunisia and Palestine:  “One day one struggle”
By: AWID, November 4, 2009
On 9 November, 2009, a diverse group of nongovernmental organisations will stage bold actions in 11 countries to promote human rights. As part of the historic international campaign “One Day One Struggle” organised by the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR), over 20 organisations will hold simultaneous public demonstrations and events to assert that sexual and reproductive rights are universal human rights based on the inherent freedom, dignity and equality of all human beings.
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Iran reformists warned on anniversary
By: CNN, November 3, 2009
Shouts of “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great,” a sign of continuing protest in Iran, could be heard Tuesday night in north and west Tehran, along with shouts of “death to dictator.” In addition, pictures and videos were posted online of a reported protest at the University of Kashan, south of the capital city. The shouts were heard and reports came a day after the Islamic republic warned reformists against taking to the streets in protest, as the 30th anniversary of the Iranian hostage crisis approaches.
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Iran: More attempts to control the people
By: Global Voices Online, November 2, 2009
These are just some of the actions that have been taken place in order to prevent Iranian Netizens from accessing the Web during the 4th of November: 1) “According to some sources from Iran, the internet speed has become too low and even when using ADSL, it is hard to open emails or display small size images.”
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Iranian human rights defender banned from receiving major human rights award in Geneva
By: OMCT, November 2, 2009
Over the past days, Mr. Emad Baghi, who is also the founder of the Centre for Defence of Prisoners’ Rights, has been prevented from getting his passport without any reason being given by the authorities. This has prevented him from leaving Iran to go to Geneva, Switzerland, where he was to receive the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders (MEA) on November 2.
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Egypt: The failure of April 6th and the future of electronic activism
By: David Faris, Arab Media and Society, Fall 2009
Observers of the Egyptian April 6th Facebook Group and its online mobilization in 2008 lavished attention on the possibilities of so-called “Facebook activism.” Western journalists and activists alike touted the potential of using Facebook to organize, a process imagined as “tapping into the ready-made structure of online social networks to make joining a group as quick as a click of a button.” Barely a year later, however, local and global enthusiasm for the potential of Facebook activism was severely challenged when the group’s one-year follow-up strike ended as a highly publicized failure.
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Iran: The movement awakened
By: Sadra Sabzineh, Gozaar, October 28, 2009
The student movement in Iran has a sixty-year history. This was a movement whose leaders had mainly risen from the ranks of professors, students, and graduates of the university. With the expansion of higher education, this movement today enjoys greater power quantitatively, although previously it had regressed as a result of frustrations caused by the failure to develop an open society.
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TOP
 

CENTRAL AMERICA/CARIBBEAN
Honduras: National resistance against coup announces boycott of November 29  elections
By: Tamar Sharibi, Narco News, November 6, 2009
Hundreds of people have congregated daily outside the Honduran National Congress to pressure its members to finally reinstate President Manuel Zelaya. While US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proclaimed a “breakthrough in negotiations in Honduras,” things on the ground still seemed to be at a stalemate as of Thursday afternoon, the date that, according to the accord signed last week, should have brought – but didn’t bring – the end of the coup regime.
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Deal over Honduran crisis ‘dead’
By: BBC, November 6, 2009
A deal to resolve the political crisis in Honduras is “dead”, ousted President Manuel Zelaya has said. He was speaking after interim leader Roberto Micheletti said he was forming a “unity government” without Mr Zelaya’s representatives. Mr Micheletti acted as a deadline passed for putting a power-sharing agreement into effect.
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Ousted Honduran leader asks Clinton stand on coup
By: AP, November 4, 2009
Ousted President Manuel Zelaya is asking the Obama Administration to explain why, after pressing for his reinstatement, U.S. officials say they will recognize upcoming Honduran elections even if he isn’t returned to power first. In a letter sent to the U.S. State Department on Wednesday, Zelaya asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “to clarify to the Honduran people if the position condemning the coup d’etat has been changed or modified.”
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The power of nonviolent action in Honduras
By: Stephen Zunes, Yes! Magazine, November 3, 2009
The role of popular nonviolent action in the apparent victory of democratic forces in Honduras was not as massive, dramatic, or strategically sophisticated as the movements which have overthrown some other autocratic regimes in recent decades. What the movement lacked in well-organized, strategic focus, it made up for with feisty and determined acts of resistance that forced the provisional government into clumsy but ultimately futile efforts at repression-exposing the pretense of the junta’s supposed good intentions.
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Honduras politicians defer vote
By: BBC News, November 3, 2009
Leaders of the Honduran Congress have deferred a vote on the reinstatement of deposed president Manuel Zelaya and asked the Supreme Court for its view. A Congressional vote on Mr Zelaya’s reinstatement is a key component of a deal struck last week to end the current political crisis. Correspondents say the latest move may lead to the collapse of the agreement.
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NORTH AMERICA
US: Syracuse council candidate arrested during health insurance protest
By: James Mulder, Syracuse News, November 4, 2009
Community activist Howie Hawkins was arrested this afternoon in downtown Syracuse during a nonviolent demonstration supporting the creation of a public-funded national health care system that would cover everyone, according to Briggs Seekins, one of the organizers of the event. It was part of a wave of nonviolent protest and civil disobedience coordinated by Mobilization for Healthcare for All. More than 800 people have already been arrested or signed up to be arrested for performing sit-ins in the lobbies of health care offices across the country.
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US: Pro health care reform group plans counter-protest to Tea Party event
By: Shelly Haskins, AL, November 4, 2009
A Huntsville group that supports health care reform is planning to “protest the protestors” this afternoon when the Huntsville Tea Party group gathers on Clinton Avenue to ask House members to vote against a health care reform bill. Linda Haynes, a coordinator of North Alabama Healthcare for All, sent an e-mail to her group today asking them to turn out at 4 p.m. to counter-protest the Tea Party group.
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US wants Israel settlement halt ‘forever’
By: Robert Burns, AP, November 4, 2009
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton defended the U.S. stance toward Israeli settlement building to worried Arab allies on Wednesday, saying Washington does not accept the legitimacy of the West Bank enclaves and wants to see their construction halted “forever.” Still, she said an Israeli offer to restrain – but not halt – construction represents “positive movement forward” toward resuming Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
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SOUTH AMERICA
Venezuela: Accelerating the Bolivarian revolution
By: International Crisis Group, November 5, 2009
President Hugo Chávez’s victory in the 15 February 2009 referendum, permitting indefinite re-election of all elected officials, marked an acceleration of his “Bolivarian revolution” and “socialism of the 21st century”. Chávez has since moved further away from the 1999 constitution, and his government has progressively abandoned core liberal democracy principles guaranteed under the Inter-American Democratic Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights.
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In Nicaragua, tensions flare amid power quest
By: Tim Rogers, Miami Herald, November 3, 2009
The United States has been increasingly voicing concerns about the state of Nicaraguan democracy under President Daniel Ortega, and the opposition is complaining that the president is undermining Nicaragua’s democracy in his quest to remain in power. This complaint is because on Oct. 19, six Sandinistas on Nicaragua’s Supreme Court scrapped a constitutional term limit, a move that would allow the president to run for office in 2011 elections.
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CENTRAL ASIA
Turkmenistan: Case highlights plight of activists in Central Asia
By: Antoine Blua, RFE, November 6, 2009
Andrei Zatoka’s harsh five-year sentence for assault has been overturned and replaced with an undisclosed fine, marking the second time in three years the prominent Turkmen environmental activist has narrowly avoided going to prison for what he believes were trumped-up charges. A regional court in Turkmenistan’s northern Dashoguz Province overturned the sentence handed down last week against Zatoka for assault, RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service reported from the court hearing.
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Kyrgyzstan: Beaten journalist recounts brutal attack
By: RFE, November 5, 2009
Kyrgyz journalist Kubanychbek Joldoshev says an attack that left him hospitalized with a concussion was politically motivated, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reports. Joldoshev, 29, was severely beaten by three unknown assailants on November 2. He suffered head injuries and broken bones in the attack.
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EAST ASIA

China activist risks jail with letter to Obama
By: Alexa Olesen, The Guardian, November 5, 2009
A Chinese dissident recently freed after eight years in jail said Thursday he is seeking President Barack Obama’s help in gaining medical parole for two friends jailed with him for forming a political study group. The appeal, made in an open letter, could result in the re-arrest of Yang Zili because the terms of his parole ban him from political activities.
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China: Alms offered in memory of democracy activist
By: Phanida, Mizzima, November 4, 2009  
On the second death anniversary of Ko Ko Win, who was brutally beaten to death by the junta backed ‘Swanahshin’ during the monk-led protests in September 2007, his family offered alms to monks in Rangoon yesterday.  His father, Win Win Myint, said that the memorial service was closely monitored by intelligence personnel in plainclothes and ‘Union Solidarity and Development Association’ (USDA) members.
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China bars returning activists
By: RFA, November 4, 2009
Chinese border authorities have refused re-entry to several Chinese rights activists in recent weeks, though all hold valid Chinese passports, the activists said. Shanghai-based activist Feng Zhenghu traveled to Japan on April 1 for medical treatment, but was denied entry back into China, which deported him to Japan on June 7, he said. Three subsequent attempts at re-entry also failed.
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