Nonviolent action around the world – 13 February 2010 (Part 1)

February 13, 2010
Singapore Democrats

This post is at least a year old. Some of the links in this post may no longer work correctly.

Webinar: When Repression Backfires, ICNC, February 18, 2010
Join us for a Webinar on February 18 where Dr. Les Kurtz, professor of Sociology at George Mason University and author/editor of several books including, “The Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, and Conflict,” will explore the “paradox of repression,” – efforts by elites to repress a movement that often end up strengthening a civil resistance movement rather than weakening it. Examining key historic cases of “repression management” by organizers, he will show how repression can erode a regime’s pillars of support, promote questions if not outright defections among power elites, and often become a turning point in leading toward a movement’s success.
View the flyer…


FSI 2010
ICNC is now accepting applications for the 2010 Fletcher Summer Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict at Tufts University. This week-long Institute, now in its fifth year, will run from June 20 – 26 and brings together international professionals and journalists from around the world to learn from top practitioners and scholars about strategic concepts and present applications of civil resistance.
View the flyer…

Download the application form…  


Darfur refugees say to boycott Sudan elections
By: Reuters, February 11, 2010
Sudan is preparing for what could be its first fully multiparty presidential and legislative elections in almost a quarter of a century, now just two months away in April. Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has promised the ballot will cover the whole country, including Darfur, in a bid, analysts say, to legitimise his rule in the face of war crimes charges from the International Criminal Court.

Botswana High Commissioner targeted by survival protestors
By: Survival International, February 11, 2010
Botswana’s High Commissioner to the UK, Roy Blackbeard, will be met by protestors when he attends the opening of an exhibition celebrating Botswana in central London today. The protests will highlight Botswana’s continuing persecution of the Gana and Gwi Bushmen of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Although Botswana’s High Court ruled that the Bushmen had been evicted from their ancestral lands in the reserve illegally, the government is trying to make life impossible for those Bushmen who want to return.
South Africa: Who killed apartheid?
By: Jesse Walker, The Reason, February 11, 2010
Twenty years ago today, the South African government freed Nelson Mandela, a prisoner who had become the leading symbol of resistance to the segregationist system known as apartheid. Was it the African National Congress’ armed struggle that ended white rule in South Africa? Or was it nonviolent civic resistance? 
South Africa celebrates 20 years of freedom for Nelson Mandela
By: David Smith, Reuters, February 11, 2010
Thousands of people are expected to gather near Cape Town in South Africa today to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release. It will be the centrepiece of commemorations to mark the moment that Mandela emerged after 27 years behind bars, ushering in a transition from apartheid to multi-racial democracy and his rise to become the country’s first black president.
Nelson Mandela’s 1990 release marked in South Africa
By: BBC News, February 11, 2010
Celebrations are being held to mark 20 years since the release from prison of Nelson Mandela, a key step towards ending apartheid in South Africa. In Cape Town, prominent figures took part in a commemorative walk at the prison where he spent the final months of his 27-year imprisonment.
Guinea-Conakry: The price of political rape
By: Pablo Castillo Diaz and Letitia Anderson, February 10, 2010
The transition to democracy in Guinea-Conakry is both a lesson and a warning to those who would wield rape as an instrument of terror – whether in war or in peace.
Zimbabwe ‘failing to stop rights abuses’
By: Mail and Guardian, February 10, 2010
Zimbabwe’s unity government has failed to keep its promise to reform state institutions to prevent rights abuses, and perpetrators are given the “all clear”, Amnesty International said on Wednesday.
Read full article…


US: Julian Bond discusses history of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
By: Julian Bond, You Tube, February 2, 2010
Julian Bond, co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and a history professor at the University of Virginia, delivers a keynote address at “50 Years After the Sit-Ins,” a conference at the University of Virginia School of Law. 
Watch the video… 


Cuba releases all dissidents arrested last week
By: AFP, February 9, 2010
Cuba has released the last five of a group of 35 dissidents it arrested last week for demonstrating on behalf of a conscientious objector, a Cuban human rights group said.  “The last three dissidents that were jailed since Wednesday were freed on Sunday” and another two were released Friday and Saturday, Committee for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN) director Elizardo Sanchez told AFP.
Read full article…


The campaign for justice in Ecuador
By: Chevron in Ecuador, February 10, 2010
Facing a judgment in a monumental lawsuit for massive contamination of the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador, Chevron unveiled its latest smoke & mirrors sideshow yesterday. In another desperate attempt to delay and disrupt the judicial process in Ecuador, the oil giant filed a motion in Lago Agrio to strike the “Expert Examination” of the contamination and assessment of Chevron’s liability, which was performed by the independent court-appointed Special Master, a geological engineer named Dr. Richard Cabrera.

Venezuela: For Chávez, a difficult year ahead
By: Casto Ocando, El Nuevo Herald, February 7, 2010
Marking 11 years in power this week and with a decisive Parliamentary election scheduled for late September, President Hugo Chávez faces his greatest crisis since the brief coup against him in 2002.
Read full article…


Ukraine’s election was a victory for the color revolutions
By: Dennis Sammut, Georgian Daily, February 11, 2010
Ironically, the narrow victory of Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine’s presidential election marks the high point in the story of the so-called color revolutions that between 2003 and 2005 challenged the post-Soviet order from Kyiv to Bishkek.

Russia: Two opposition parties in Sverdlovsk barred from elections
By: RFE, February 10, 2010
Two opposition parties in Russia’s Sverdlovsk Oblast have been barred by the election committee from running in regional duma elections next month. Sverdlovsk regional election commission Chairman Vladimir Mostavshchikov told RFE/RL that Yabloko, one of the rejected parties, submitted 5,473 signatures in support of its application but 3,035 were deemed either “inauthentic” or “invalid,” far more than the 10 percent threshold for invalid signatures that is allowed.
Protesters rally against Belarus eviction of ethnic poles
By: RFE, February 10, 2010
Some 200 people have rallied in western Belarus to protest the eviction of an ethnic Polish organization from its offices earlier this week. The rally in Hrodna comes amid a row between Poland and Belarus over the treatment of the cultural group, the Union of Poles in Belarus (ZPB.)
Ukraine: Yanukovych’s limited mandate
By: Oleksandr Sushko, Open Democracy, February 10, 2010
Ukraine is a diverse nation with a strong civil society. This could restrain a potentially authoritarian political leadership. The “Orange” leaders may have lost the election, but a limited mandate means the new president will have to make concessions and Ukraine has a chance of remaining democratic and, therefore, on the European track, believes Oleksandr Sushko.
Armenian rights activist acquitted of assault on police
By: RFE, February 9, 2010
An Armenian human rights activist who spent more than four months in prison has been acquitted of charges relating to an alleged dispute with police based on a request from prosecutors, RFE/RL’s Armenian Service reports.
UK: Women on hunger strike ‘locked up and denied treatment’
By: Afua Hirsch, The Guardian, February 9, 2010
An immigration removal centre was reported to be in a state of chaos yesterday, as at least 50 women entered the fourth day of a hunger strike in protest against their detention and conditions, with -several reportedly fainting in corridors and almost 20 locked outdoors wearing few clothes.

Read full article…

Uzbek photographer to appeal guilty verdict
By: RFE, February 11, 2010
Uzbek photographer Umida Ahmedova said today she would appeal the guilty verdict against her for defamation. Ahmedova, 54, was found guilty by a Tashkent court of portraying her country as “backward” for a collection of photographs and a documentary depicting the daily struggles of people in rural Uzbekistan.
Read full article…

Uzbekistan: Officials see slander in Uzbek photos, but artists see censorship
By: Ellen Barry, NY Times, February 11, 2010
How can a photographer defame her country? Uzbekistan tried to answer that question this week in a slander trial that harked back to the days of Soviet censorship. The answer, in part: by showing people with sour expressions or bowed heads, children in ragged clothing, old people begging for change or other images so dreary that, according to a panel of experts convened by the prosecutors, “a foreigner unfamiliar with Uzbekistan will conclude that this is a country where people live in the Middle Ages.”
Read full article… 
Photographer on trial for showing Uzbekistan’s unglamorous side
By: RFE, February 10, 2010
Umida Ahmedova, 54, has been charged with defamation for her collection of photos, “Woman and Man: From Dawn till Night,” documenting the lives and hardships of Uzbek villagers, as well as her documentary film, “The Burden of Virginity,” which focuses on Uzbek wedding and marriage customs.

Read full article…


Sri Lanka police fire tear gas on opposition in bid to quell protests
By: Andrew Buncombe, The Independent, February 11, 2010
Supporters of the detained Sri Lankan opposition leader Sarath Fonseka were pelted with stones and fired on with tear gas yesterday after they clashed with government activists at the country’s Supreme Court.

Bangladesh: A quest for justice
By: Jalal Alamgir and Tazreena Sajjad, Open Democracy, February 9, 2010
If asked to identify the five most known 20th-century genocides, most informed citizens would probably start with the Nazi holocaust and go on to name Cambodia, Rwanda, Armenia, and Darfur. There is little likelihood that they will include the 1971 genocide in Bangladesh – a tragedy that has become largely invisible in much of the world’s public discourse about genocide.


Indonesia: Water buffalo banned in rallies
By: Carolina Rumuat, Global Voices, February 11, 2010
President Yudhoyono of Indonesia was reelected with an overwhelming mandate last year, promising to focus on bureaucratic reforms and stricker fight against corruption, including the eradication of the Judicial Mafia on his first 100 days in office. His efforts were deemed insufficient and too slow by the people, and scholars think that anti corruption efforts are lacking strategies and far from being well planned.
Read full article…
Two outspoken Vietnam Web sites shut down
By: AP, February 11, 2010
Two pioneering Web sites that stretched the limits of free expression in Vietnam say they have been hacked and shut down, just months after the communist government blocked the social networking site Facebook.
Read full article…
Burma: Riot police deployed to Rangoon protest
By: DVB, February 10, 2010
Hundreds of armed police in Burma were yesterday told to monitor closely a protest by some 2000 female Rangoon factory workers demanding a pay rise and better workplace conditions.
Read full article…