Nonviolent action around the world – 11 December 2009 (Part 2)

December 11, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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SOUTHEAST ASIA
“Burma’s children, a generation sacrificed”, the new ITUC report
By: International Trade Union Confederation, December 11, 2009
The Burmese military junta is to organise “elections” in 2010, but the Constitution, whose adoption it organised in 2008, leaves no doubt as to the army’s desire to stay in power after the ballot. The ITUC’s new report shows that the generals currently in power have no intention of showing any more interest in the population than their predecessors have over the last 47 years of military dictatorship…
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Lawmakers worldwide urge Burma probe
By: CNN, December 11, 2009
More than 400 lawmakers from around the world have urged the United Nations to investigate Myanmar’s military junta, accusing it of committing crimes against humanity. In a letter sent to the U.N. Security Council on Thursday, the lawmakers — from 29 countries, including France, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States — also pressed for a global arms embargo against the regime…
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Vietnam must release religious freedom advocate
By: Maran Turner, Mercury News, December 10, 2009
The president of Vietnam is at the Vatican today meeting with Pope Benedict XVI. This meeting takes place amid allegations that Catholics are still being persecuted by the Vietnamese government. One issue that is sure to be a sticking point is Vietnam’s continued detention of a Catholic priest, who has recently suffered two strokes while in custody. The Rev. Nguyen Van Ly, 63, has been kept in solitary confinement since his trial on March 30, 2007, where he was convicted of disseminating propaganda against the Vietnamese government.
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Indonesians rally against graft
By: Al Jazeera, December 9, 2009
Thousands of Indonesians have gathered to demand that the government act to end widespread corruption among politicians, police and other public officials. More than a dozen rallies were planned for the capital of Jakarta, as well as several other cities, to mark international anti-corruption day on Wednesday.
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Burma: Suu Kyi meets with junta liaison official
By: France24, December 9, 2009
Myanmar’s detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi met with the junta’s liaison officer at a state guesthouse for 45 minutes Wednesday, an official told AFP. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, gave no further details of the discussions held between Suu Kyi and the government’s official liaison, labour minister Aung Kyi. It is the third meeting between the pair since the beginning of October. It comes after the country’s Supreme Court agreed last week to hear a final appeal against her ongoing detention.
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American on hunger strike in Burmese prison     
By: Phanida, Mizzima, December 8, 2009
Detained Burmese born American, Nyi Nyi Aung (a.k.a) Kyaw Zaw Lwin, is on a hunger strike in protest against ill-treatment of prisoners by authorities in Insein prison, family sources said. Daw Khin Khin, aunt of Nyi Nyi Aung, who met him on Monday, told Mizzima that her nephew was on hunger strike to protest against ill-treatment of prisoners.
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TOP
 

EUROPE
Denmark seeks to pacify China over Tibet
By: AP, December 10, 2009
Denmark will oppose Tibetan independence and carefully consider China’s reaction before inviting the Dalai Lama again, Copenhagen said Thursday in a diplomatic note to Beijing. “Denmark takes very seriously the Chinese opposition to meetings between members of the Danish Government and the Dalai Lama, and has duly noted Chinese views that such meetings are against the core interest of China, and will handle such issues prudently. Ties between Beijing and Copenhagen have been strained since late May when the Tibetan spiritual leader visited Denmark and was received by Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen and Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller.
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Danish police seize protest equipment
By: Tom Zeller Jr, NY Times, December 9, 2009
Nearly 200 makeshift shields, scores of paint bombs and other equipment, including nine platforms with crude staircases, were seized early Wednesday in a police raid on a building that city officials had provided as free housing for activists visiting Copenhagen during international climate talks here.
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Copenhagen summit opens as protesters scale parliament buildings
By: The Free Press, December 7, 2009
A brazen protest, a sobering poll and a massive petition turned up the heat on the Harper government Monday over its climate-change position as a major United Nations conference began in Copenhagen. Climate negotiators sounded each other out as the 12-day summit opened in the Danish capital, with hopes high and obstacles lingering for a new global-warming deal.
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Belarusian opposition activists abducted
By: Yuras Karmanau, Enquirer Herald, Decemeber 8, 2009
Men appearing to be law enforcement officers have abducted four Belarusian opposition activists in an attempt to scare them away from political activity in the repressive former Soviet republic, a human rights organization said Tuesday.
The activists were held for several hours before being released in the woods dozens of miles (kilometers) from the capital, Minsk.
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MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA
Israel arrests nonviolent Palestinian protest leader
By: Ben Hubbard, Air America, December 11, 2009
A leader of the most persistent Palestinian protest movement against Israel’s West Bank separation barrier was asleep in his home when troops broke down his door and arrested him. Supporters of Abdullah Abu Rahmeh, a 38-year-old teacher, say his pre-dawn arrest on Thursday by dozens of troops is part of a recent, heavy-handed campaign by Israel to shut down a five-year-old movement that is the last source of unrest in the West Bank. Since 2005, demonstrators led by Abu Rahmeh have marched every Friday from the West Bank village of Bilin to the nearby separation barrier that slices off 60 percent of the village land.
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Voices of a new Iran
By: R Tousi, Open Democracy, December 11, 2009
The Iranian protesters are here to stay. On 7 December 2009, tens of thousands of students around the country once again raised their voices against authoritarian rule. In one of the first films to be circulated, students behind the gates of Tehran University can be heard taunting the surveillance-actions of the security forces. A young man raises his hand in a victory-sign and invites a close-up photo: “Filthy regime sell-out, take it”. A notable aspect of much of the footage is that it is the cameramen seen working for the security forces that have their faces covered, be it from fear or shame.
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Watch the video…

Western Sahara: Hunger striker vows to return home
By: AFP, December 10, 2009
Western Sahara activist Aminatou Haidar, who is on a 25-day-old hunger strike at a Spanish airport, Thursday reaffirmed her determination to return home “dead or alive.”  Haidar has consumed only sugared water since November 16, three days after Moroccan authorities denied her entry to her native Western Sahara, a disputed territory annexed by Rabat in 1975, allegedly confiscated her passport, and sent her back to Spain’s Canary Islands.
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Norway and Sweden censure Iran over treatment of Nobel Prize winner
By: BBC, December 10, 2009
Norway and Sweden have censured Iran for its treatment of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi. They say that her situation is of “great concern”. The rebuke comes on the day Nobel prizes are presented. Scandinavian officials say Iran confiscated the Nobel medal awarded to Ms Ebadi but later returned it. Tehran previously denied these claims. In a joint statement, foreign ministers Carl Bildt of Sweden and Jonas Gahr Stoere of Norway said: “We react very strongly to the treatment to which Shirin Ebadi has been subjected.”
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Iran’s democratic moment
By: Amir Taheri, WSJ, Decembler 10, 2009
A month ago, Gen. Muhammad-Ali Aziz Jaafari, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, vowed to stop further antiregime demonstrations in Iran and break what he termed “this chain of conspiracies.” But this week the “chain” appeared to be as strong as ever: Students across the nation defied the general and his political masters by organizing numerous demonstrations on and off campus. But the slogans of the protestors are no longer about election fraud. Today they include “Death to the Dictator,” “Freedom Now,” and “Iranian Republic, Not Islamic Republic!” In short, the protestors no longer regard the present regime as the legitimate government of the country.
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Amnesty condemns Iranian rights abuses
By: BBC, December 10, 2009
Human rights in Iran are as poor as at any time over the past 20 years, according to a report from campaign group Amnesty International.
The report details “patterns of abuse” by the regime before and after disputed presidential elections in June.
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Iran: Pro-government militiamen attack protesting students
By: Borzou Daragahi, LA Times, December 9, 2009
Pro-government Basiji militiamen stormed the campuses of two Tehran universities Tuesday and attacked hundreds of protesting students, and Iran’s chief prosecutor vowed to come down harder than ever on peaceful demonstrators he described as a threat to the nation’s security. Tehran University remained under lockdown a day after thousands of students across Iran defied tough security measures to stage anti-government demonstrations. Smaller protests continued Tuesday at that campus and at Shahid Beheshti University.
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Iran steps up its crackdown on student protesters
By: Thomas Erdbrink, Washington Post, December 9, 2009
Iran intensified its crackdown on demonstrators Tuesday as thousands of pro-government militiamen stormed the grounds of the country’s most prominent university and assaulted students who had gathered in protest. Armed with steel clubs, electric batons, pepper spray and tear gas, members of the Basij paramilitary organization attacked several hundred students on the campus of the University of Tehran.
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Iran: 15 bereaved mothers arrested
By: Iran Human Rights Voice, December 9, 2009
15 bereaved mothers who intended to organize a gathering in Laleh Park in Tehran have been arrested. On December 5th, around 5:00 PM, when these mothers were entering the park and were planning to organize a protest gathering, they found themselves surrounded by a swarm of police forces and members of the Ministry of Intelligence. They have been taken them to an unspecified location. In different parts of the park, these same plainclothes agents were attacking mothers and young girls, and had detained 11 others who were taken away by the police vans already deployed there.
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Opposition proves it’s still alive and kicking with day of mass protest in Iran
By: Martin Fletcher, The Times, December 8, 2009
Six months after Iran’s disputed presidential election the bloodied and battered opposition movement refuses to give up. On campuses across the country yesterday tens of thousands of students led the latest round of demonstrations against a Government that they regard as illegitimate, while riot police fought running battles with demonstrators on the streets of Tehran. The occasion was National Students’ Day – a state-sponsored commemoration of three student demonstrators killed by the Shah’s security forces in 1953.
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Battered not beaten: Iranian opposition plays the long game        
By: Martin Fletcher, The Times, December 8, 2009
The Iranian opposition is brave and inspiring. Its members repeatedly risk their limbs, lives and liberty by taking to the streets in defiance of the regime and its ruthless security forces. They do so despite six months of arrests, beatings, torture and show trials that have resulted in death penalties and years of incarceration. But are they achieving anything?
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Iran: Nonviolent struggle among Iranian Women
By: Zeina Bekdache, December 8, 2009
Imagine being restricted from watching a soccer game or scolded for singing in public. These are just some of the gender inequalities that Iranian women face, and the Green Movement is striving to end. On Tues., Dec. 1, Political Science professor Cynthia Boaz discussed the ways in which the Iranian women have been nonviolently working against the repressive Iranian regime. Boaz is an expert on nonviolent conflict and recently, her research has focused particularly on Iran and Burma.
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Iranian police shoot at unarmed protesters during Tehran demonstrations
By: Damien McElroy, The Daily Telegraph, December 8, 2009
There were bloody clashes as young people launched a fresh wave of anti-government protests on the country’s official Students Day. Police used warning shots, baton charges and gas but failed to stop rallies, sit-ins and campus marches across the capital. Universities in several cities, including Tehran’s top seats of learning, were sealed off as guards checked identity cards of people trying to join the student demonstrations.
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Living by the gate from hell: Nonviolent resistance in one Palestinian village
By: Ellen Cantarow, Truthout, December 8, 2009
Much is heard of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but the story of the determined, long-term nonviolent resistance of many Palestinian villagers to the loss of their lands, striking as it may be, is seldom told.  Here’s my report from just one village on the West Bank, Jayyous. Sixty-five year-old Sharif Omar Khalid, known more familiarly as Abu Azzam, has spent half his life struggling to preserve Jayyous’s land. In 1980, with other farmers representing villages throughout the West Bank, he founded the Land Defense Committee, one of 18 organizations that now make up the Stop the Wall campaign.
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Iran: Another form of currency
By: Common Dreams, December 7, 2009
Protests by anti-government students and activists in Iran are ongoing, but largely silenced in the media. Now they have taken to another form of expression – banknotes. “It’s a way of saying, ‘We are here, and the green movement is going on.'”
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Iran: From discrimination to discrimination – An examination of policies related to women during the first four years of Ahmadinejad’s presidency
By: Mahboube Hosseinzadeh, Awid, November 26, 2009
“Women…women are the crown on our heads” was the first sentence that Mahmoud Ahmadinnejad uttered sarcastically on the afternoon of June 24th, 2005, as one of the two candidates who were admitted to the second stage of the presidential elections, in response to the question of a female, foreign journalist about his future policies for Iranian women…
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ARTICLES OF INTEREST
The movement of movements: From resistance to climate justice
By: Anna White, Common Dreams, December 10, 2009
Last week marked the ten-year anniversary of the “Battle of Seattle”, when tens of thousands of protesters successfully shut down the World Trade Organisation’s ministerial meetings on its opening day. Taking negotiators and the media by surprise, the mass mobilisation of diverse groups, from environmentalists to trade unionists, effectively stalled trade talks that many critics suggest would have consolidated global corporate power at the expense of the world’s poor and marginalised.
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Youth climate activists disrupt denier
By: EnviroKnow, December 9, 2009
Fifty young Americans took over a climate denier conference hosted by a prominent conservative organization this evening in Copenhagen, rushing the stage and telling the live TV audience that a clean energy future is the real road to prosperity in America. The young people, merely a fraction of the more than 350 US youth in Denmark for the UN climate negotiations, entered a session of the Americans for Prosperity “Hot Air Tour” speakers series and were able to drop two banners and gain access to the conference’s stage. The live event was webcast to over forty climate denier rallies in cities across the United States.
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CPJ: Number of jailed freelance journalists soars
By: RFE, December 8, 2009
The number of freelance journalists jailed around the world has almost doubled in the past three years and reflects a changing global news business, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. A report by the New York-based press freedom group found that as of December 1 there were 136 reporters, editors, and photojournalists behind bars, an increase of 11 from 2008. Almost half of those jailed are freelance media members.
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People power can drive change
By: David de Rothschild, CNN, December 8, 2009
In the run up to what some individuals and media outlets are labeling “the meeting of Humanity’s future” all eyes will be on the 12,000-15,000 official U.N. accredited participants as well as the army of activists, media, business representatives and even skeptics.
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So what exactly is civil resistance?
By: Philippe Duhamel, New Tactics, December 3,2009
Civil Resistance is a type of political action that relies on the use of nonviolent methods. It is largely synonymous with certain other terms, including ‘nonviolent action’, ‘nonviolent resistance and ‘people power’. It involves a range of widespread and sustained activities that challenge a particular power, force, policy, or regime – hence the term ‘resistance’. The adjective ‘civil’ in this context denotes that which pertains to a citizen or society, implying that a movement’s goals are ‘civil’ in the sense of being widely shared in a society; and it denotes that the action concerned is non-military or nonviolent in character.
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BOOK REVIEW
New book “Visionaries in our midst: Ordinary people who are changing our world”
By: PCDN, September 3, 2009
“Visionaries In Our Midst: Ordinary People who are Changing our World” is Allison Silberberg’s inspiring collection of essays that profiles ordinary people who are changing our world. Silberberg shares the stories of individuals who identified critical needs in their communities and responded with courage and conviction. This is a book about those who inspire hope, those who struggle, and those who make something happen. This is a book about catalysts – those who innovate and work to build a better life for others.
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NOTICES
Support independent media
By: Toward Freedom, December 3, 2009
“For the past half century, Toward Freedom has been and continues to be an indispensable and reliable source of information and analysis on independence, liberation, and decolonization movements world wide.  And it is unique in reflecting and voicing the views of those struggling for self-determination and dignity.” Our network of award-winning reporters now spans the globe, and each week thousands of readers visit TF from Botswana to South Dakota. Amidst the proliferation of blogs and tweets, TF has maintained an integrity and a focus on people’s movements around the world that is hard to find elsewhere. We hope you will continue to support us.
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