Nonviolent action around the world – 15 January 2010 (Part 2)

January 15, 2010
Singapore Democrats

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AFRICA
Zimbabwe: WOZA and MOZA take to the streets of Bulawayo
By: WOZA, The Zimbabwean, January 13, 2010
WOZA and MOZA take to the streets of Bulawayo today to demand real schools with real teachers for a real education. Over 800 members of Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise took to the streets of Bulawayo at midday today to peacefully protest about the state of education in Zimbabwe.
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NORTH AMERICA
Google’s move on Chinese censorship welcomed by human rights activists
By: The Guardian, January 14, 2010
Google’s decision to reverse its censorship of search engine results in China received a warm welcome in Silicon Valley last night. Human rights campaigners, freedom of speech advocates and dotcom entrepreneurs all applauded the Californian company’s decision to stop cooperating with the Chinese government.
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US calls for release of “Mourning Mothers” in Iran
By: Washington TV, January 13, 2010
“The United States urges the immediate and unconditional release of the dozens of members of the Mourning Mothers group who, according to reports, were violently dispersed and arrested by Iranian security forces,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement.”The United States urges the immediate and unconditional release of the dozens of members of the Mourning Mothers group who, according to reports, were violently dispersed and arrested by Iranian security forces,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement.
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US: Police fight cellphone recordings
By: Daniel Rowinski, Boston Globe, January 12, 2010
Simon Glik, a lawyer, was walking down Tremont Street in Boston when he saw three police officers struggling to extract a plastic bag from a teenager’s mouth. Thinking their force seemed excessive for a drug arrest, Glik pulled out his cellphone and began recording. Within minutes, Glik said, he was in handcuffs.
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CENTRAL AMERICA/CARIBBEAN
Honduras: Why do Garifuna community radios burn?
By: Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña, Upside Down World, January 13, 2010
In the early morning hours of Wednesday January 6, the Garifuna community radio Faluma Bimetu (“Sweet Coconut”) based in Triunfo de la Cruz was burnt down by unknown armed individuals who proceeded to loot the station’s radio equipment. This is not the first time the radio has been attacked and its equipment stolen.
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Honduran congress discusses amnesty for coup makers
By: China View, January 13, 2010
The Honduran Congress on Tuesday started to discuss an amnesty for all those involved in the coup of June 28, 2009, which ousted President Manuel Zelaya. Jose Saavedra, the Congress leader, summoned the session to discuss the possibility of granting an amnesty for those involved in the coup.
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Honduras: Human Rights Watch rejects amnesty call made by Lobo
By: HRW, Santiago Times, January 12, 2010
The proposal by Porfirio Lobo, winner of Honduras’ disputed presidential election on November 29, 2009, for an “amnesty for all” for those involved in the June coup d’état violates the country’s international obligations and undermines the rule of law, said Human Rights Watch on Dec. 11.
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Honduras top court accepts case against military over coup
By: Agence France-Presse, Ottawa Citizen, January 11, 2010
Honduras’s Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear an “abuse of power” case against six senior military officials, stemming from the expulsion last year of President Manuel Zelaya. Supreme Court President Jorge Alberto Rivera has accepted the Honduras attorney general’s petition to hear the case, said Juan Carlos Sanchez, head of the army’s legal department.
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SOUTH AMERICA
Chile: Freedom for Elena Varela
By: The Socialist, January 13, 2010
The well known left-wing Chilean documentary maker and journalist, Elena Varela, has been accused of “terrorism” by the Chilean authorities and risks 15 years in prison having stood up for the rights of indigenous Mapuche people.
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Chile apologises over treatment of indigenous people
By: BBC News, January 12, 2010
Chile’s president has apologised to the descendants of a group of indigenous people who were shipped to Europe in the late 19th Century and exhibited.
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Message from Ecuador to Chevron CEO John Watson
By: Amazon Watch, January 11, 2010
A heartfelt message from the Amazon rainforest communities in Ecuador to new Chevron CEO John Watson: “We don’t want to continue dying of cancer.” This video message appeals for Chevron to clean up its massive contamination of the Ecuadorian Amazon that has devastated the environment and continues to cause widespread cancer, birth defects, and other ailments.
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EUROPE
Belarusians cannot open foreign websites
By: Charter 97′, January 14, 2010
Belarus has the gateway in the European direction that is 10 times narrower than Russia has. As the website Electroname.com, Belarusian Internet users have difficulties getting access to foreign sites. The problem is that Belarus’s Internet gateway in the direction of Europe is 10 times narrower than Russia has.
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Criminal case opened against Russian rights activist
By: RFE, January 13, 2010
A criminal case has been opened against human rights activist Anastasia Denisova in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar. Denisova is charged with “copyright infringement” for use of unlicensed computer software. If found guilty, Denisova could face up to six years in jail.
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Russia: Details of arrested blogger case emerge
By: Alexey Sidorenko, Global Voices, January 13, 2010
On Nov. 26, the Kirov district court of Kazan, which is the capital of the Republic of Tartastan, convicted Irek Murtazin, a 45-year-old journalist and blogger, of defamation and incitement to hatred, reports Gazeta.ru [RUS]. The court sentenced Murtazin to one year and nine months of imprisonment in a penal colony (a form of imprisonment where convicts live not in a jail but in a special colony for prisoners).
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Russian dissident’s passion endures despite tests
By: Ellen Barry, NY Times, January 11, 2010
You almost feel sorry for the police officer tasked with detaining Lyudmila M. Alexeyeva as she led an unsanctioned protest on New Year’s Eve. That is part of it. The other part is that as a young woman, Ms. Alexeyeva sat through so many K.G.B. interrogations that she rolls her eyes rather than count them.
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Russia: Threatened voices
By: Global Voices, January 2010
A Russian blogger accused of inciting hatred against the police has been cleared of all charges. Dmitri Soloviev, a blogger and activist of the Oborona opposition movement, was notified on Monday of the December 31 decision. According to the document sent to the blogger, two groups of investigators found no evidence that any crime had actually been committed.
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ARTICLES OF INTEREST
For the new middle class, greater democracy or authoritarian ‘stability?’
By: Charles Recknagel, RFE, January 13, 2010
Decades of disruptions have hindered the middle class across much of Eurasia. But with time and the development of commerce, the middle class should get stronger. As it does, will it seek greater democracy? Or will it support authoritarian systems that promise stability? RFE/RL looks at the question in the last of a three-part series on the middle class.
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The line between violent and nonviolent protest
By: Bryan Farrell, Waging Nonviolence, January 13, 2010
The Guardian’s Bibi van der Zee wrote an interesting piece about the collision off the coast of Australia last week between the anti-whaling Sea Shepherd boat and Japanese whalers. The activists claim they were rammed by the whalers and nearly drowned, which if true, is certainly quite horrific. But van der Zee raises an important point regarding the Sea Shephards own past.
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Torture Victims Association to seek justice over human rights abuses
By: JJ Robinson, Minivan News, January 12, 2010
Frustrated with the performance of government institutions, a new NGO founded by MDP members, the ‘Torture Victims Association’ (TVA) has vowed to gather cases and take them to international courts in the pursuit of justice, if necessary.
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Digital activism: If information is not the problem, information is not the solution
By: Whimsley, January 10, 2010
There is a technology arms race between the protesters and the government, in which increasingly sophisticated levels of censorship, censorship evasion, identity masking, and so on are all playing a part. Prospect Magazine has published a debate between Evgeny Morozov and Clay Shirky about digital activism in authoritarian countries, particularly Iran.
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Contentious challenges and government responses in Latin America
By: James C. Franklin, Political Research Quarterly, December 2009
This article examines how seven Latin American governments responded to 827 contentious political challenges. The research goes beyond most previous research by considering four governmental responses: concession, repression, toleration, and the combination of concession and repression.
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NEWS IN OTHER LANGUAGES
La “Voix des sans voix” pour le Tibet
By: RSF, January 14, 2010
Au Tibet, sous contrôle chinois, aucune information indépendante ne peut être transmise par la presse, les radios, les télévisions ou les nouveaux médias. En revanche, depuis l’extérieur, et notamment l’Inde, où sont réfugiés des centaines de milliers de Tibétains, des médias libres produisent et diffusent une information alternative.
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NOTICES
Iran: Celebrate Neda’s 27th birthday with the world
By: Caspian Makan, Planet Iran, January 2010
On January 23rd Iranians around the world will gather in designated locations (to be announced) around the world to celebrate Neda’s 27th birthday. We ask all supporters to join us at 4 pm with white flags or white signs, representing peace and humanity, candles and red roses in order to commemorate all those who gave their lives for freedom.
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January competition – Win Oscar Wilde “disobedience” t-shirt
By: Mark Perryman, Open Democracy, January 13, 2010
The latest addition to Philosophy Football’s ‘dissenters’ T-shirt range features these words from that iconoclastic rebel Oscar Wilde.  “Disobedience in the eyes of anyone who has read history is our original virtue, it is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.” Available from http://www.philosophyfootball.com we have 5 to be won in our January competition.
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Art for social justice
By: Suvendu Chatterjee, Peace and Collaborative Development Network, January 13, 2010
The Durban University of Technology and Art for Humanity is organising a three-day international conference on Art and Social Justice or “the Art of Social Justice.” The 2010 Art and Social Justice Conference (March 21-24) will address a range of issues and themes relating to the arts in promoting human rights and social justice in society.
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IN PAST NEWS
Israel: Bil’in activist earn arms charge in Israeli military court
By: International Solidarity Movement, December 23, 2009
Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a school teacher and coordinator of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall, was indicted in an Israeli military court yesterday. Abu Rahmah was slapped with an arms possession charge for collecting used tear gas canisters shot at demonstrators in Bil’in by the army and showcasing them in his home.
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