Nonviolent Action around the World – 18 September 2009 (Part 2)

September 18, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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CENTRAL ASIA
Azerbaijan: First day of Baku blogger trial
By: Euasia, September 16, 2009
Testimony began on September 16 in the high-profile prosecution of two Azerbaijani youth activists and bloggers on charges of hooliganism. Defense attorneys ridiculed one of the government’s chief witnesses, alleging that officials didn’t do a good job in coaching his responses. The trial is seen by civil society activists both inside and outside Azerbaijan as a pivotal case concerning free speech in the South Caucasus country.  Over 100 supporters gathered on the sidewalk in front of the courthouse jockeying to gain entrance to the proceedings. After permitting family and international observers to enter, court guards padlocked the front doors to the courtroom.
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Uzbekistan: Arbitrary land redistribution feeds discontent  
By: Eurasia, September 15, 2009
When Marfua heard the pounding at her door, she knew the men knocking wanted to take her land. She was determined to resist the Tashkent District hokkim’s efforts to corrupt the purpose of presidential Decree #3077, signed in October 2008. The ostensible aim of the decree was to rationalize agriculture, coalescing smaller plots into larger ones. However, according to farmers and farmers’ advocates, in practice the decree has become an exercise in arbitrary land re-distribution, in which local political leaders reward friends, family, and those offering bribes.
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Kyrgyzstan: Police detain rights activist in Osh
By: Radio Free Europe, September 15, 2009
Police in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh have detained a human rights activist, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reports. Ravshan Gapirov, the director of A Just Court — The Truth, a human rights center in Osh, told RFE/RL that his colleague, Ravshan Azizov, was charged by police with being a member of the banned Islamic party Hizb ut-Tahrir and with illegal gun possession. Gapirov and other local rights activists say Azizov’s arrest is politically motivated and connected with his professional activities.
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TOP

 

EUROPE
Bosnian Muslims protest against UN tribunal ruling
By: Radio Free Europe, September 16, 2009
About 200 Bosnian Muslim relatives of victims of the 1992-95 war protested have against the UN war crimes tribunal’s decision to grant early release to former President Biljana Plavsic. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) decided to release Plavsic, a former Bosnian Serb President, after she served two-thirds of an 11-year sentence for persecuting Muslims during the war.
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Belarus: The Washington Post about the Belarus Free Theatre
By: Chapter 97, September 16, 2009
The Belarus Free Theatre has no official audience in Belarus, because officially the Belarus Free Theatre does not exist. Only state-run theaters exist in Belarus, which has been described as Europe’s last dictatorship. Only approved plays exist, by approved, non-revolutionary playwrights. There are no revolutionary playwrights in Belarus. Officially. So in Minsk, the company’s home city, actors perform in tiny apartments, texting their location at the last minute to avoid harassment by government officials. They perform in bars and tell the authorities the gathering is a holiday party; they perform in the woods and say it’s a wedding…
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Belarus: Mass arrests on Solidarity Day… again
By: Chapter 97, September 16, 2009
An opposition rally was brutally disbanded on September 16 in Minsk. Riot policemen prevented journalists from videoing violent arrest detention of demonstrators. Opposition activists have gathered today on October Square in the centre of the city to pay tribute to the memory of Vice Speaker of the Supreme Soviet of the 13th convocation Viktar Hanchar, and businessman and public leader Anatol Krasouski who went missing 10 years ago. By 6 p.m., when the rally was to start, there were many riot policemen in mufti.
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Belarusian opposition activist fined over flag
By: Radio Free Europe, September 15, 2009
A court in the Belarusian city of Vitebsk has fined an opposition activist for “unsanctioned public action,” RFE/RL’s Belarus Service reports. He was arrested on September 14 for placing Belarus’s old national white-and-red flag on Vitsebsk’s Victory Square.
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Russia: Opposition activists detained in Moscow
By: Radio Free Europe, September 15, 2009
Moscow police detained four activists of the opposition Levy Front (Left Front) movement, RFE/RL’s Russian Service reports. The movement’s coordinator, Sergei Udaltsov, told RFE/RL that the picketers were demanding a revision of the general plan for Moscow’s growth and development and requested a meeting with the city’s general architect, Vladimir Resin. Udaltsov said that Moscow authorities had refused to grant permission for the demonstration to be held but that protesters decided to hold it anyway.
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MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA
Palestine: Bil’in night raid
By: Bil’in Village, September 16, 2009
Shortly after 1:30am, Israeli forces invaded Bil’in again. They raided the house of Abdullah Mahmoud Aburahma , Coordinator of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall, in an attempt to arrest him. However, he was not home at the time.
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Egypt: People power cleans up Cairo’s streets
By: Matt Bradley, The Nation, September 15, 2009
“The typical Egyptian answer is that my job on Earth is not to pick up trash. That’s someone else’s job.” So Ms Moussa decided to make it her job.  As city officials bickered among each other and maggots and dead cats joined the rubbish accumulating on her street, she rallied a group of about 100 of her Facebook friends and friends-of-friends to clean up the Giza neighbourhood of Mohandiseen last Saturday.
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OCEANIA
West Papuan activist arrested
By: Fiji Daily Post, September 16, 2009
A peaceful resolution to West Papua’s long-standing conflict with Indonesia has suffered a serious set-back with the arrest by Indonesian authorities of leading pro-peace activist Jonah Wenda. Australian-based spokesperson for the WPPWG (West Papua Peace Working Group, formerly known as West Papua Peace Task Force), Ms Paula Makabory, described the arrest of Mr Wenda as a serious set-back to finding a peaceful resolution to the continuing troubles in West Papua.
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ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Meet the 2010 School of Authentic Journalism faculty
By: Al Giordano, Narco New, September 17, 2009
Your correspondent once had a dream in which he was the father of twins named Anarquía and Libertad. In a more recent dream they appeared again, all grown up, informing that they, too, wanted to work as authentic journalists, and would I please point them in the right direction? To whom would I send them to learn the ropes? I wouldn’t send them to an official “journalism school,” no way, after which they’d have to unlearn so much of what they would be fed there (and they or I would, additionally, end up deep in bank debt). The better idea would be to send them out across this hemisphere to study and understand how this work is done from the masters of this field we call authentic journalism.
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Nonviolent resistance in post-communist countries
By: IRevolution, September 16, 2009
I recently presented my dissertation research at the American Political Science Association convention and had the good fortune of sharing the panel with Olena Nikolayenko from Stanford University. Nikolayenko presented a paper entitled: “Youth Movements in Post-Communist Societies: A Model for Nonviolent Resistance.” Olena seeks to explain the variation in social movement outcomes in non-democracies by “investigating the dynamics of tactical interaction between challenger organizations and the ruling elite.” She argues that “both civic activists and autocratic incumbents engaged in processes of political learning. Hence, tactical innovation was vital to the success of youth movements, especially late risers in the protest cycle.”
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Bluetooth – to say without words
By: Yoani Sanchez, Generacion Y, September 16, 2009
Bluetooth technology is the nightmare of the censors. Prohibited books in pdf format, songs you’ll never hear on the radio, blogs blocked inside the Island and every kind of news missing from the official media is transmitted through these radio frequencies. In the capital, it is a growing phenomenon, especially among the young. Some carry a cellphone that they use only to store and share photos, music and videos, unable to afford the high price of mobile service. The intangible is making its way in this society where to print and distribute a publication could lead us to prison for the crime of “enemy propaganda.”
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On the International Day of Democracy, a call for introspection
By: CIVICUS, September, 2009
Democracy, like globalisation, is a term that has had its essence wrung out through overuse, misuse and abuse. A Google search for the word throws up over 5 million references. Hymns are written to it. Politicians’ speeches are peppered with it. It features most often in the names of countries where it is least practised. From ink-marked fingers registering a vote for the first time to long queues of those whose faces never otherwise feature in the media, and legislators reporting their every passing thought on Twitter, to election campaigns that win corporate marketing awards – the symbolism of democracy often substitutes for its substance.
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NOTICES
Your voice. Your video.
By: America.gov, September 2009
The Challenge – Create a video short that completes the phrase “Democracy is…” The Prize – An all-expense-paid trip to Washington, New York and Hollywood to attend gala screenings of the winning videos, gain exposure to the U.S. film and television industry and meet with creative talent, democracy advocates and government leaders.
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Nominate a peacemaker in action!
By: Tanenbaum Center, September 15, 2009
Tanenbaum will be accepting applications for its Peacemakers in Action and Women’s Peace Initiative Awards beginning October 1st. Each year, Tanenbaum recognizes religiously motivated men and women throughout the world who are putting peace into action by working to resolve conflicts involving religion. These individuals are fueled by faith to stop human suffering and foster reconciliation.
For more information…