Nonviolent action around the world – 13 October 2009 (Part 2)

October 13, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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

MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA
Jerusalem: Israelis flatten Palestinian home
By: BBC News, October 12, 2009
Israeli authorities have demolished two Palestinian-owned structures in East Jerusalem, in defiance of international calls to stop such actions. Palestinian reports say a family of five was forcibly evicted from their home in the Beit Hanina district before the building was demolished. UN officials say such demolitions violate international law and raise serious humanitarian concerns.
Read full article…

Iraqi poet Abbas Khidr recounts his experience of torture in Iraqi prison under Saddam
By: Middle East Media Research Institute, October 12, 2009
Interviewer: “What was your interrogation like, Abbas?” Abbas Khidr: “The Iraqi interrogation? The Iraqis do not interrogate, brother. All they do is torture. For example, if you give them a piece of information, you get yourself into trouble, because they want more information. They begin by asking you: ‘Have you heard about us?’ Have you heard about the torture in Iraqi prisons?’ The interrogator asks you that, in these exact words. ‘Do you confess or not?’
Read full article…

Saudi activists challenge government with new rights group
By: Paul Handley, Google News, October 12, 2009
A group of veteran Saudi activists challenged the government on Monday by announcing a new association to push for human and political rights, saying the rights situation has deteriorated in the kingdom. Eleven activists said they rushed out their announcement on creating the Association for Civil and Political Rights because the government was already trying to stifle the move by questioning potential signatories.
Read full article…

Freedom House discussing Egyptian electoral oversight
By: Hesham Allam and Shaimaa Yehya, Almasryonline, October 11, 2009
A high-ranking delegation from the US-based Freedom House organization will visit Egypt next week to discuss how the government and civil society can strengthen civil and human rights in the country. The talks will focus primarily on the organization’s request that Egypt introduce the reforms before the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections.
Read full article…

Tunisian opposition party plans to boycott elections
By: Africa News, October 11, 2009
A major Tunisian opposition party has announced plans to boycott the nation’s October 25 national elections, claiming that the majority party is working to manipulate the outcome. The Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) has already been blocked from competing in 17 districts after authorities ruled its applications ineligible. That would mean 80 per cent of Tunisians would not have the option of voting for the party.
Read full article…

From boycotts to Bil’in – an interview with Jonathan Cook
By: Jeff Gore, The Comment Factory, October 11, 2009
Jonathan Cook is a British journalist based in Nazareth, the largest Arab city in Israel.  His latest book, Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair, was published by Zed Books in October of last year.  Jonathan was kind enough to take the time to answer the below questions, many of which surfaced after recently spending some time in Palestine myself.
Read full article…

Bil’in demonstration gathers gas canisters instead of olives after being denied access to lands
By: PNN, October 10, 2009
Prevented from picking their olives, Palestinians resorted to a different sort of harvest Friday afternoon. International, Israeli and Palestinian activists gathered again yesterday in western Ramallah’s Bil’in Village to demonstrate against the Wall. Chants calling for peace and justice were met with rounds of noxious gas. At the end of the demonstration activists emptied their sacks into one large pile. Instead of fresh green olives, a symbol of Palestinian livelihood, there was a mound of gas grenades, a symbol of occupation.
Read full article…

Bil’in protester on Obama’ Peace Prize: ‘We need our land now, not tomorrow’
By: Adam Horowitz, Mondoweiss, October 10, 2009
Iyad Burnat, a leader of the nonviolent protests against the Wall in the West Bank village of Bil’in, responds to Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize: “Today, when I came home from our nonviolent demonstration in Bil’in, after the soldiers shot tear gas and after seeing the violence of the Israeli soldiers, I heard that President Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize.”
Read full article…

Morocco should release Western Saharan detainees
By: Sahrawi Association of Victims of Grave Violations of Human Rights, October 10, 2009
On 8 October 2009, seven human rights defenders from Western Sahara were abducted from the Mohamed V Airport in Casablanca, Morocco, allegedly by the Moroccan authorities. It is thought that the abduction of the seven human rights defenders may be linked to the visits they had made to Sahrawi refugee camps in south-west Algeria during their stay abroad.
Read full article…

Iraqis take to streets to protest government
By: Sameer Yacoub, Google News, October 10, 2009
Hundreds took to the streets Saturday throughout Iraq to demand open elections and improved public services, revealing a growing discontent among Iraqis that is overshadowing concerns about the ability of Iraqi forces to take over from withdrawing American troops. Low oil prices have left the Iraqi government struggling to restore infrastructure after years of neglect, corruption and insurgent attacks, as well as to rebuild their security forces before a planned American withdrawal in 2011.
Read full article…

Support Palestine, boycott Tesco
By: Greg Wilkinson, OccupiedLove, October 10, 2009
Earlier this week I removed Tesco dates, in packets labeled “Origin: West Bank,” from the shelves of Tesco’s Swansea Marina store. Since last January, I have confiscated a number of similar packets and written to Tesco CEO Terry Leahy explaining why. I offered to repay the cost of the goods I confiscated if he could show the dates were not the product of illegal Israeli settlements. In the ensuing correspondence, Tesco neither addressed the settlement issue nor took up my refund offer. I was banned from their stores but not prosecuted.
Read full article…

Is Israel arresting prominent boycott leaders?
By: All Headline News, October 9, 2009
Israel has extended the detention of a West Bank campaigner said by activist groups to be the first Palestinian to be imprisoned solely for advocacy of international boycotts against Israel. Mohammad Othman, a 33 year old resident of the West Bank village of Jayyous, had his detention extended by 12 days at a hearing at Salem military court in the north of Israel on Thursday. Israel’s internal security service had requested a 23-day extension.
Read full article…

TOP
 

CENTRAL ASIA
Azerbaijan: Bloggers take stand in own defense
By: Mina Miradova, Eurasia Insight, October 9, 2009
Jailed Azerbaijani youth activists-bloggers Adnan Hajizade and Emin Milli testified in their own defense on October 9, repeating earlier arguments that the state’s accusations of hooliganism are intended to silence their criticism of the government. Both young men largely repeated what has become the defense’s standard line of argument during the one-month trial – that the duo were attacked on July 8 in a Baku cafe by the two men, Vasul Mammadov and Babek Huseynov, who now claim to be the victims of an attack by Hajizade and Milli.
Read full article…

 

SOUTH ASIA
Indian troops kill seven, sparking protest in Kashmir
By: World Bulletin, October 7, 2009
Indian troops on Wednesday killed seven Kashmiris in separate villages, forcing some of them to run through a river in fierce gun battles across Kashmir, police said. People took to the streets in the area to protest against the killing of “innocent youth”, Kashmiri media said.
Read full article…

India: Weapons of mass desperation
By: Shoma Chaudhury, Tehelka, October 3, 2009
On September 22, 2009, India woke up to the news that the Delhi Police had captured a top Naxal ideologue, 58-year-old Kobad Ghandy – a South Bombay Parsi who had grown up in a giant sea-facing house in Worli, had gone to Doon School, and had studied for a CA in London before returning to India to work with the most destitute of Indian citizens in Maharashtra, before going underground in the 1970s. On the night of September 22, Times Now had a prime time debate on the significance of Ghandy’s arrest. The aggressive rhetoric of anchor Arnab Goswami epitomized typical high urban attitudes to Naxal issues.
Read full article…

 

SOUTHEAST ASIA
Suu Kyi back in Burma’s political arena
By: Didier Lauras, Daily Times, October 12, 2009
Although still under house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi has returned to an active political role by initiating dialogue with both Myanmar’s junta and Western nations, analysts say. In the space of seven days, after a Yangon court rejected the pro-democracy leader’s appeal against her recently extended house arrest, her status appeared to shift rapidly from political prisoner to potential key negotiator.
Read full article…

Millers and Katies reject made-in-Burma
By: Sydney Morning Herald, October 12, 2009
Specialty Fashion Group, which owns Millers, Katies and four other fashion brands, will stop sourcing products from Burma. It was among eight firms named last month in a report commissioned by Burma Campaign Australia, which says the companies are funding Burma’s repressive military dictatorship.
Read full article…

Burma’s exiled Muslims
By: Syed Neaz Ahmad, The Guardian, October 12, 2009
They have been described as some of the world’s most persecuted refugees, and among the most forgotten, too. During my imprisonment in Jeddah I saw and met hundreds of inmates from Burma. Thousands of Burmese Muslims from Arakan – often called Rohingyas – were offered a safe haven in Saudi Arabia by the late King Faisal, but with the change in monarch the rules changed too.
Read full article…

Thailand: Protest in Bangkok calls for PM to step down
By: Google News, October 11, 2009
Thousands of supporters of deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, all in red shirts, rallied Sunday in Bangkok to demand the government step down and call fresh elections. Supporters of Thaksin have been staging sporadic protests that have threatened to rekindle the political turmoil that has gripped the country since before the former leader was ousted in a 2006 military coup.
Read full article…

Indonesia: Dozens of groups want peace talks with Jakarta
By: Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, October 10, 2009
The West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNLC) said dozens of organizations in the restive province of Papua demanded talks with the central government to find peaceful solutions for separatist and human rights’ violation issues. “Papua wants to communicate with the government to resolve challenges in Papua,” West Papua Military Council spokesman and WPNLC member Jonah Wenda said in Jayapura, Papua.
Read full article…

Getting to know Burma’s ruling general
By: Andrew Marshall, Time, October 9, 2009
Than Shwe, the junta’s chief since 1992, is Burma’s enigmatic but undisputed leader. “He exercises almost absolute power,” says Seekins. “Nobody wants to challenge him, at least openly.” Rivals are ruthlessly purged: Khin Nyunt, his ambitious former spy chief, has been under house arrest since 2004. Burma watchers say loyal officers are rewarded with opportunities to enrich themselves through graft and rent-seeking.
Read full article…

Zen master decries Vietnam’s treatment of monks
By: Google News, October 9, 2009
A renowned Buddhist teacher has decried the eviction of his followers from a monastery in southern Vietnam, and Vietnamese intellectuals have issued a petition to support them, an unusual move in this communist country where free speech is restricted. Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese-born Zen master who popularized Buddhism in the West, wrote a letter last week to President Nguyen Minh Triet in which he criticized the police who evicted nearly 400 of his followers from a monastery – the first time the teacher has spoken out about the incident.
Read full article…

Six Vietnamese activists jailed
By: Nga Pham, BBC, October 9, 2009
A court in Vietnam has sentenced six democracy activists to up to six years in prison for “spreading propaganda” against the government. The six men are the latest to be tried in a clampdown that has seen dozens investigated or arrested for alleged anti-government activities.
Read full article…

 

EAST ASIA
China: Activist keen to go head to head with protesters
By: Lincoln Tan, The New Zealand Herald, October 13, 2009
Exiled Chinese Muslim leader Rebiya Kadeer says she wants to “meet with the enemy” during her New Zealand visit. “Change can only happen when you change the hearts and minds of those who oppose you,” she said as she arrived in Auckland yesterday for a four-day visit. Chinese students plan protests at her two meetings today at the University of Auckland and the Pioneer Women and Ellen Melville Hall in High St, central Auckland, and Ms Kadeer says “bring it on”.
Read full article…

Xinjiang riots – China sentences six to death
By: Christopher Bodeen, Huffington Post, October 12, 2009
A court in China’s far western Xinjiang region sentenced six men to death Monday for murder and other crimes committed during ethnic riots that killed nearly 200 people. The violence flared on July 5 after police broke up a protest by Uighur youths demanding an investigation into a brawl between Chinese and Uighur workers.
Read full article…

China: Internet human rights declaration
By: Oiwan Lam, Global Voices Advocacy, October 9, 2009
In the Internet, several major social media, such as fanfou (a Chinese website similar to twitter) and douban have been suspended. Major overseas websites, such as youtube and twitter have been blocked. The Golden Shield was equipped with Blue Dam or Blue Shield. Moreover, the government also tries to block the access to major circumvention tools such as TOR.
Read full article…

 

OCEANIA
Repatriate Plan worries Papuan immigrants
By: Edy Haryadi, Viva News, October 12, 2009
The Indonesian government is trying to repatriate thousands of West Papuan independence activists who are currently residing in Papua Nugini. One of the activists, Samuel Ingamar said they would not return home until their dreams of having political independence is accomplished, as it was published by the Australian Network News on Monday, October 2009.
Read full article…

“Win we have and win we shall” – Fiji freedom bloggers
By: Real Fiji News, October 11, 2009
The apparent lack of political will to eradicate the coup culture in Fiji is shocking. Some feel the need to accept what has happened over these past three years and move on with their heads buried in the sand indifferent to the long term consequences of not bringing Frank Bainimarama and his co-conspirators to justice for the most serious crime in our land, Treason. If our collective intentions are noble, genuine and detached from material rewards we will win and the only thing that is needed to win is a collective consciousness when we think and act as ONE.
Read full article…

The corruption, abuse and nepotism in the Fiji military forces
By: Raw Fiji News, October 11, 2009
Saturday 10th October was the 3rd Fiji DAY celebration organized by the Interim Regime, after the removal of an elected Government in 2006. The day also marked the intention of the interim to launch and promote the Peoples Charter for Change. Fiji Day also saw the launching of the book “Tuimacilai” , a story on the life of the late Tui Nayau.
Read full article…

 

ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Using nonviolent direct action to stop investor shakedowns of entrepreneurs
By: By Will Alone, October 11, 2009
Jason Calacanis is all a twitter about investors charging startups to pitch their ideas to them and calls on such investor groups to stop.  If they don’t, he is willing to use nonviolent direct action tactics to get them to stop.
Read full article…

Nobel Obama, noble Gandhi … and these ignoble times
By: Vamsee Juluri, Huffington Post, October 10, 2009
Mahatma Gandhi said “There is no God greater than Truth.” Truth, for Gandhi, was paramount, and in some ways no different from nonviolence.  Its absence meant not only falsehood, but violence too. But our public discourse reeks of anger. Obama’s impeccable manner, by contrast, speaks of a man with civility and with faith in his Truth, even if the political expressions of that Truth are proving to be difficult and elusive.
Read full article…

‘Extraordinary’ activists win human rights award
By: Michael Allen, Democracy Digest, October 8, 2009
Defenders of Burmese political prisoners, rape victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopian civil society and human rights in the Caucasus make up the winners of this year’s Human Rights Watch awards for extraordinary activism. Bo Kyi emerged from several years in the Burmese junta’s jails to establish a support network for those he left behind. He co-founded the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners, a grantee of the National Endowment for Democracy.
Read full article…

Defining digital activism: Part 3 – where are we going?
By: Mary Joyce, DigiActive, October 4, 2009
Digital activism is nothing more than a series of practices and our interpretations of those practices.  Digital activism practitioners (Doer group) use a Facebook group to organize, publicize a cause on Twitter, create a group blog.  These activities are at the heart of digital activism, but our perceptions of this field are formed in large part by the interpretations put forth by the Thinkers (mainstream media, bloggers, trainers, scholars).
Read full article…

 

IN PAST NEWS
Swedish journalist prevented from entering Egypt
By: Paul Schemm, Google News, September 29, 2009
A Swedish journalist and blogger specializing in Egyptian labor issues was stopped by security at Cairo airport early Tuesday and was ordered deported from the country, his girlfriend and the Swedish embassy said. Per Bjorklund, 30, who spent the last year covering labor strikes in Egypt, was returning to Cairo with his girlfriend from their native Sweden via Prague, when he was detained.
Read full article…

US: Biography- Majora Carter
By: CNN, June 6, 2008
Majora Carter grew up in the South Bronx at a time when America’s cities were emptying into the suburbs.  She fought a vociferous campaign against a planned waste facility that would have seen 40 percent of New York’s municipal waste coming to the South Bronx. “We were already handling 40 percent of the city’s commercial waste here,” she says. In 2001, after the defeat of the scheme, Carter founded the non-profit environmental justice solutions corporation, Sustainable South Bronx. Its central tenet is that people shouldn’t have to move out of their neighborhoods to live in a better one.
Read full article…