Nonviolent action around the world – 16 October 2009 (Part 1)

October 16, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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CRISIS IN HONDURAS
Honduran businesses suffer as political crisis continues

By: Brian Wagner, VOA News, October 16, 2009
More than three months into a political crisis in Honduras, business leaders are starting to feel the pain. Owners say the dispute between ousted President Manuel Zelaya and the interim government is scaring off new investment and creating other problems. “This is the Tegu Honduras factory,” explains U.S. entrepreneur Chris Haughey. He has high hopes for his fledgling toy manufacturing company in Tegucigalpa.
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World Cup news turns political in Honduras
By: PBS, October 15, 2009
The news that Honduras qualified for next year’s World Cup brought a welcome respite from the country’s recent political unrest — but just briefly. When Honduras qualified late Wednesday for its first soccer World Cup since 1982, the streets of the capital Tegucigalpa became a giant tailgate party. But the question many Hondurans asked as they savored their soccer accomplishment was: “What effect will it have on the political crisis?”
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Honduras de facto regime opens fire in poor neighborhoods
By: D. Emanuelsson and M. H. Emanuelsson, Upside Down World, October 14, 2009
The Honduran people have set an example for people throughout Latin America through three months of steady resistance to the coup in their country. But there are powerful groups within Honduras and abroad organizing to neutralize this unprecedented force and block the resistance from growing in strength and numbers. These groups above all seek to prevent the nation from carrying out a Constitutional Assembly to modify the outdated constitution. Along with the reinstatement of the elected President Manuel Zelaya, this demand is central to the popular movement against the coup as a necessary tool to bring the country and its people out of poverty.
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Honduras:  Talks seek solution to 102-day crisis
By: Juan Ramón Durán, Upside Down World, October 14, 2009
Talks began Wednesday between delegates of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and de facto leader Roberto Micheletti, under international observation, to seek a solution to the crisis triggered by the Jun. 28 coup. At the ceremony to start the talks, which will be overseen by foreign ministers and Organization of American States (OAS) diplomats, the regional body’s Secretary General José Miguel Insulza said “we are not here for mutual recriminations, but to seek concrete solutions.”
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Micheletti declares revenge on US in World Cup qualifying match
By: Belén Fernández, Narco News, October 13, 2009
A few weeks prior to the October 10 World Cup qualifying match between Honduras and the United States, the appointed Costa Rican referee was replaced with a Panamanian one. The substitution of nationalities was explained in Saturday’s La Tribuna as being due to the fact that Panama was not also a World Cup contender; my newspaper vendor had a slightly different take on the situation, which was that Costa Rica intended to skew not only the internal politics of Honduras but also its athletic legacy in favor of the United States.
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The moment has come for a new constitution in Honduras
By: Selvin Fernández, Narco News, October 12, 2009
On this, the “dia de la Raza,” Garífunas commemorate 517 years of indigenous, black and popular resistance, in the middle of a political and institutional crisis that affects their precarious social-economic conditions more than before. Contrary to in previous years, this time the Afro-descendants have silenced their drums and matraca noisemakers. They won’t be out in the streets, because the political and economic conditions to do so don’t exist.
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PROTEST AND REPRESSION IN IRAN
Their children in Iran, 3 U.S. moms swing into action
By: Mary Snow, CNN, October 16, 2009
Laura Fattal rolls a piece of Scotch tape, attaching a picture of her son and his two friends to a cardboard box. Her calm demeanor doesn’t give away the gravity of the situation and the reason why she’s in a New York hotel room with two other mothers. Laura, Nora Shourd and Cindy Hickey have been brought together because their children have been held in Iran since July 31. They have had no contact with their families. The mothers have put their lives on hold to get them freed.
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Iranian bloggers win major press award
By: Reuters, October 16, 2009
Iranian journalist Delbar Tavakoli, who fled the country after losing her job, received Friday the 2009 Mohamed Amin Award on behalf of the bloggers “for their commitment, bravery and dedication under harrowing conditions and extraordinary pressure while covering the presidential election.” “Iranian bloggers redefined the concept of citizen journalism and social networking when they became the only source of news in Iran post-election,” Christoph Pleitgen, head of Reuters News Agency media business said in a statement.
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Iran’s media could make it happen, if we let it
By:  Abbas Djavadi, RFERL, October 15, 2009
A listener from the central Iranian city of Isfahan complained to me last June that Radio Farda did not immediately report a protest action they had staged in front of Isfahan University. “We stage the protest meeting during the day and sit in the evening of the same day to hear the news about it from Radio Farda and watch it on BBC Persian TV,” he said. “We will win only if the news is spread and more people are drawn into the protests.”
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Neda was Nazanin and Nazanin is Neda
By: Babak Daad, Persian to English, October 14, 2009
These days there are two names going around. These two names are familiar to all Iranians: Neda Agha-Soltan and Nazanin Afshin-Jam. The former became a symbol of innocence for all Iranians through her death, and shook the foundation of the despot regime. The latter is shaking the coup government with her purposeful life. Now, many Iranian girls have found two role models, both for a more purposeful life and for an effective death.
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In Iran, a grieving mother who refuses to be silent
By: Golnaz Esfandiari, RFERL, October 14, 2009
Parvin Fahimi, a tiny woman with a strong personality, has emerged as one of the heroes of Iran’s Green movement, which opposes the legitimacy of Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s presidency. The grieving mother has refused to remain silent over the fate of her son, Sohrab Arabi, who was shot dead under unclear circumstances during Iran’s postelection crackdown. In publicly expressing her outrage, she has become the voice of other mothers mourning loved ones lost during the unrest that followed the disputed June 12 presidential vote.
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Iran investigating prominent opposition cleric
By: J. Fleishman and R. Mostaghim, LA Times, October 14, 2009
Iranian authorities launched a provocative attack on the opposition movement Tuesday by announcing a special investigation of prominent cleric Mehdi Karroubi over his accusations that security forces raped and tortured protesters after the disputed June reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The move against Karroubi, a revered figure from Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, is an attack on the heart of the opposition. It’s an indication that the government is increasing pressure on top dissenters, even clerics, and it follows death sentences handed to at least two anti-government protesters.
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Daughter of Iran official requests asylum in Germany
By: Iran Focus, October 14, 2009
The daughter of a top adviser to hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has sought asylum in Germany. Narges Kalhor, whose father Mahdi Kalhor is the cultural and media affairs adviser to Ahmadinejad, requested asylum while attending the Nuremberg Human Rights Film Festival, a spokesman for the festival said on Tuesday.
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Iran death sentences seen as move to intimidate opposition
By: Golnaz Esfandiari, RFERL, October 11, 2009
The death sentences have raised concern over the fate of scores of reformists, intellectuals, and activists arrested and put on trial following the street protests against the reelection of Iran’s President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in June. Observers say the death sentences appear to be part of efforts by the Iranian authorities to create fear and to silence the opposition movement that continues to challenge Ahmadinejad’s reelection. Many Iranians believe that he won as a result of massive fraud.  
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AFRICA
Guineans protest in Lagos, want Camara ousted
By: Ademola Adeyemo, This Day, October 15, 2009
Guineans resident in Nigeria yesterday protested in Lagos against the continued stay in power of the military leader, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, urging President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and the international community to intervene urgently and return the country to democratic rule.
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Zimbabwe imprisons and indicts opponent
By: Celia W. Dugger, NY Times, October 14, 2009
Roy Bennett, a leader of the political party that long fought Zimbabwe’s president but now shares power with him, was sent back to prison on Wednesday in the eastern city of Mutare and formally indicted on terrorism charges.
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Zimbabwe: Students lose funding for backing MDC
By: ZimOnline, October 14, 2009
Zimbabwean students studying at a South African university claim that Zimbabwe secret service agents are harassing and victimizing students aligned to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party. The students, who came to Fort Hare University (FHU) on a scholarship fund started by President Robert Mugabe a few years ago, claim that a number of them have been stripped of the scholarships because of their affiliation to the MDC, the former main opposition that formed a coalition government with Mugabe’s ZANU PF party last February.
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Police fire on South African protests
By: Al Jazeera, October 13, 2009
South African police have fired tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators protesting against poor living conditions during a rally in the country’s northeast. Riot police opened fire on Tuesday to disperse protesters who had torched a municipal office in the eastern town of Belfast, the Associated Press. Police also clashed with demonstrators in several other northeastern towns, where protesters are calling for better sanitation, electricity and housing in impoverished townships.
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ZINASU leaders arrested & beaten for ‘denigrating’ Mugabe
By: Violet Gonda, SW Radio Africa News, October 13, 2009
Five senior members of the Zimbabwe National Student Union were arrested Saturday – on charges of misconduct and undermining the office of the President and Cabinet – for saying “Robert Mugabe is the major outstanding issue that is stalling progress for the inclusive government.”
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Guinea strike enters second day
By: Al Jazeera, October 13, 2009
The streets remained empty across Guinea on the second day of a general strike called to protest against a violent army crackdown last month in which at least 150 people were killed. Thousands of Guineans stayed indoors on Tuesday; a day after the strike began, bringing Conakry, the capital, to a standstill. A collection of unions called for a two-day strike to mark the killing of protesters at a September 28 rally in the capital.
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Guinea and China ‘agree big deal’
By: BBC, October 13, 2009
Guinea’s military rulers have agreed a huge mining and oil deal with China, officials have told the BBC, amid continuing criticism of the junta. Mines minister Mahmoud Thiam said a Chinese firm would invest more than $7bn (£4.5bn) in infrastructure. In return, the company would be a “strategic partner” in all mining projects in the mineral-rich nation. Guineans are currently on strike to remember dozens of protesters killed by soldiers during a rally two weeks ago.
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In passing – Zimbabwe human rights defender Keith Goddard, 1960-2009
By: IntLawGrrls, October 12, 2009
Keith Goddard, a human rights defender of tremendous courage and tenacity, died this weekend after a short illness. The Director of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ), Goddard helped transform what had been primarily a social organization with a mostly white and middle-class membership into a political group whose membership both reflected and served the broader LGBTI community in Zimbabwe.
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NORTH AMERICA
US: Attorney reports human rights abuses of GI resisters
By: Dahr Jamail, Truthout, October 13, 2009
Attorneys and veteran’s groups are alarmed by recent reports that two US Army soldiers imprisoned at the Fort Lewis Regional Correctional Facility (RCF) have been subjected to human rights abuses and violations of their constitutional rights.     Travis Bishop, who has served a tour of duty in Iraq and is now recognized by Amnesty International as a “Prisoner of Conscience,” resisted deployment to Afghanistan.  The civilian defense attorney for both soldiers, James M. Branum, told Truthout that both soldiers have been strip-searched while possibly being filmed.
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US: ‘Nuclear threat’ to power grids
By: BBC, October 13, 2009
Scientists have warned that Iran and North Korea could produce a weapon capable of paralysing Western electricity grids for months or years. Experts fear that a missile-launched nuclear bomb exploded above the earth’s atmosphere could cause a catastrophe. They told the British government that high-altitude electromagnetic pulses could lead to an “economic shutdown”.
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US: Tactic – Tweeting for equality
By: Talie Whyte, DigiActive, October 12, 2009
On Sunday, thousands of gays and lesbians gathered in Washington, D.C. for the National Equality March, which was billed as the largest event of its kind since 2000. While many in the gay community were divided over the reasoning for having such a march, this was also one of the first massive gay rights protests to use social media – tools that are being used by the new generation of LGBT activists.
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US: 25-mile seniors march against MTR ends
By: Ken Ward Jr., The Charleston Gazette, October 12, 2009
Only a handful of hecklers and angry motorists met a group of gray-haired environmental activists Monday as they finished a five-day, 25-mile march to protest mountaintop removal mining and arrived at a Massey Energy coal complex. At a roadside press conference with a speaker on the hood of a car, they declared a small victory. If nothing else, they said, they spread awareness of a particularly destructive form of strip mining that they believe is destroying lives and communities across Appalachia.
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