Nonviolent action around the world – 1 December 2009 (Part 1)

December 2, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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EAST ASIA
China: Human rights webmaster sentenced to three years
By: Oiwan Lam, Global Voices Online, November 27, 2009
Huang Qi, founder of Tianwang Center for Missing Persons (later renamed as Tianwang Human Rights Center), was sentenced to three year imprisonment on November 23 in Chengdu Wuhou district court for “illegal possession of state secrets” in connection with material published on his website. According to BBC’s report, Huang’s wife Zeng Li, said the verdict was “revenge” for his involvement in the earthquake cases as the information he possessed is available to the public. And Amnesty International said Huang was a victim of China’s “vague” state secrets laws and urged for his immediate release.
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China’s impolitic artist, still waiting to be silenced
By: Michael Wines, NY Times, November 27, 2009
Ai Weiwei is perhaps China’s most famous living artist and its most vociferous domestic critic, titles of a sort this committed iconoclast disdains. Which is not a bad thing, considering that recently, he very nearly lost them both. Mr. Ai was in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, preparing to testify at the trial of a fellow political activist.
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Google search results for Tiananmen Square: UK vs. China
By: Huffington Post, November 26, 2009
While we know Google and China have had a tumultuous relationship at best, seeing the contrast in image search results between China and the UK for “Tiananmen Square protest” is a stark reminder that Web is not without borders in many practical ways. There is a disclaimer on the Chinese results that state “According to local laws, regulations and policies, some search results are not shown.”
View the images…

State-run magazine reports on black jails in China
By: AP, November 26, 2009
It read like a muckraking expose: A magazine revealed a system of secret detention centers in Beijing where Chinese citizens are forcibly held and sometimes beaten to prevent them from lodging formal complaints with the central government. But the report appeared in the state-run magazine Liaowang (Outlook), which is written for the government elite and published by China’s official Xinhua News Agency. For some activist groups, the two state-sanctioned articles published Tuesday signal a possible willingness by the Communist leadership to openly acknowledge a problem it has long denied.
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Chinese protest, and tweet, against trash incinerator
By: New Tang Dynasty Television, November 26, 2009
They are concerned about pollution and toxic emissions. More than a thousand Guangzhou residents held a protest on Monday against local officials building a rubbish incinerator near their homes. There were many middle-class people among the protesters-which is unusual, compared with the hundreds of thousands of demonstrations held by peasants across the Chinese countryside each year. The protesters also sent real-time updates with their cell phones using Twitter, a “micro-blogging” service. Although Twitter is blocked by the Chinese regime, a lot of people are using proxy servers to get around that. They’ve also posted many photographs and videos on the Internet.
Watch the video…

TOP

 

OCEANIA
Mounted protest in Australia over mining plans
By: Horsetalk, November 30, 2009
More than 500 protesters, at least 300 of them riding horses, rode through the so-called Horse Capital of Australia yesterday over plans for a coal mine. The protesters took to the streets of Scone, in New South Wales, to spell out their concerns over Bickham Coal Company’s mining plans for the district. The protesters oppose a mine Bickham wants to build near the Pages River, a tributary of the Hunter River and fear the effects the mining may have on groundwater quality.  
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West Papua: Indonesia in fear of a flag
By: Pacific Scoop, November 30, 2009
As West Papuan national flag day approaches (1st December), the Indonesian security forces are ready to clamp down on anybody who attempts to raise the Morning Star flag in West Papua. Indonesia In fear of a flag. As West Papuan national flag day approaches (1st December), the Indonesian security forces are ready to clamp down on anybody who attempts to raise the Morning Star flag in West Papua. It was reported in Tempo Interactive that the Indonesian Armed Forces would intensify patrols near the border with Papua New Guinea before 1st December in areas where the OPM are believed to operate.
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AFRICA
Guinea military arrest human rights official
By: Scott Stearns, VOA, November 29, 2009
Guinea’s military government has arrested a prominent human rights official while United Nations investigators are in the country to find out what happened when more than 150 opposition protestors were killed two months ago. Soldiers detained human rights leader Mouctar Diallo when he returned to the capital, Conakry, after a visit to his home village. Diallo’s wife, Djenabou Diallo, says he was arrested on Thursday by men from the special service against banditry and the fight against drugs.
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Equatorial Guinea vote to reinstall leader denying graft
By: AP, November 29, 2009
The presidential election in Equatorial Guinea will undoubtedly extend the 30-year rule of Teodoro Obiang Nguema, a man accused of draining his nation’s oil wealth to fabulously enrich family and cronies while his people suffer in slums. Western governments that have promised to fight corruption so far have done little as companies compete for concessions for petroleum and a burgeoning natural gas industry. Opposition parties have complained that the playing field for Sunday’s vote was far from even: campaigners have been attacked and harassed, Obiang gave only six weeks’ notice for the election and coverage in the state-controlled media is skewed.
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US: Remarks by Jenni Williams of Zimbabwe – 2009 RFK human rights award ceremony
By: RFK Center, November 23, 2009
Good evening Mr. President, Mrs. Obama, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen. I would like to add my thanks to that of Magodonga’s to the Robert F Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and friends here present for the recognition given to Women of Zimbabwe Arise. WOZA was formed to give voice to ordinary women and men and to demand social justice for all Zimbabweans.  We did not set out to seek recognition beyond that of our own government respecting us as citizens and recognising our concerns as legitimate.  We are mothers of the nation, longing for the award of dignity, and a bright future for our children.
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NORTH AMERICA
US: 81-year-old activist begins fast to end mountaintop removal mining
By: Sue Sturgis, Southern Studies, November 30, 2009
A native of Virginia who now lives in upstate New York, U.S. Army veteran Roland Micklem spent a half-century working as a naturalist and science teacher before turning his attention to the destructive mining practices that are decimating the mountain peaks and streams of Appalachia. In his open letter posted to the Climate Ground Zero website, Micklem describes the trauma and depression he experienced after observing the loss of so many species due to environmental degradation and how it inspired his environmental activism. His fast begins a week before a coalition of West Virginia residents and their allies plan to gather at the state Department of Environmental Protection to demand enforcement of the Clean Water Act and an end to Massey’s blasting atop Coal River Mountain, where environmentalists have been pressing for a wind farm.
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US: MLK, Jr. and the weapon of nonviolent resistance
By: Waking Jonah, November 29, 2009
James Corbett discusses the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the nonviolent, grass-roots effort that propelled Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement into the public consciousness.
Listen to the report…

US: Anti-war protest shakes up holiday shopping
By: Seattle Pi, November 28, 2009
A bizarre scene unfolded amid the festive holiday atmosphere at Westlake Center on Saturday, as men in U.S. military uniforms stormed through the crowd, tossing civilians to the sidewalk and handcuffing them. It was all part of a “street theater” style anti-war protest staged by opponents of the proposed troop surge in Afghanistan. As the “soldiers” screamed profanities at the “civilians” on the ground, many frightened young children were asking their parents what was going on. Meanwhile, some adult shoppers walked by – seemingly oblivious to the freaky scene. The protest’s organizers, a group called “The World Can’t Wait,” say they’re trying to show what a military occupation is like by re-enacting scenes of soldiers mistreating civilians.
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CENTRAL AMERICA/CARIBBEAN

Divisions remain over Honduras election
By: Adam Thomson, Financial Times, November 30, 2009
The election of a new president in Honduras has widened divisions between the US and Latin America, and within the region itself, over whether to recognise the result. Porfirio Lobo of the conservative National Party emerged victorious late on Sunday in a poll that most Hondurans had hoped would be the first step in healing deep wounds inflicted on the Central American nation when soldiers staged a coup on June 28.
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Honduras president must convince world of legitimate vote
By: Sophie Nicholson, AP, November 30, 2009
Newly elected president Porfirio Lobo faced the challenge Monday of steering Honduras clear of the five-month crisis that isolated the nation after the ouster of his predecessor Manuel Zelaya in a June coup. Lobo became the third leader at play in the deep turmoil set off by the June 28 coup after claiming victory in Sunday’s elections, which took place under a de facto regime criticized for its heavy-handed control of dissent. The conservative Lobo must now convince backers of Zelaya, and the world, that he was legitimately elected as the new president of Honduras.
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Zelaya calls Honduran election a ‘fraud’
By: Earth Times, November 30, 2009
Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya Monday condemned the presidential elections held in the Central American country a day earlier is an act of “electoral fraud.”Conservative candidate Porfirio Lobo emerged as the winner in Sunday’s poll, which was staged by the de facto government despite Zelaya’s call for an election boycott. Zelaya, who was ousted by a military coup and sent into exile on June 28, disputed the finding by Honduran electoral authorities that voter turnout was above 61 per cent. Instead, he said he would show “peacefully” that more than 60 per cent of voters abstained.
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Victory declared in election that was a win-win for Honduras’s elite
By: Rory Carroll, The Guardian, November 30, 2009
Within hours of the polls closing the celebrations began but not everyone joined in. Honduras is in crisis: internationally isolated, shunned by investors and aid agencies. Manuel Zelaya is besieged in the Brazilian embassy. “These elections are illegitimate,” he said. Foreign governments lined up to condemn the vote as a whitewash. Many Hondurans boycotted it and vowed “continued resistance”. The homeless children who sleep on rubbish dumps in Tegucigalpa’s slums were too hungry or high on glue to care.
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Latin America divided over Honduran elections
By: Earth Times, November 30, 2009
Ibero-American countries remained divided over the Honduran elections Monday at a summit in Portugal, with some of them recognizing the election result, while others dismissed it as illegitimate. Conservative candidate Porfirio Lobo has emerged as a winner in Sunday’s poll, which was staged by the de facto government despite ousted president Manuel Zelaya’s call for an election boycott. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said his country would not recognize the elections and would continue hosting Zelaya at the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa until he was given security guarantees.
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Honduran elections marred by police violence, censorship, international non-recognition
By: Common Dreams, November 30, 2009
Elections conducted in a climate of fear, human rights violations, and international non-recognition won’t resolve the political crisis in Honduras, said Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. “Only a few governments that the U.S. State Department can heavily influence will recognize these elections,” said Weisbrot. “The rest of the world recognizes that you cannot carry out free or fair elections under a dictatorship that has overthrown the elected President by force and used violence, repression, and media censorship against political opponents for the entire campaign period leading up the vote, including election day.”
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Honduras: Quixote Center delegation documents terror and repression during elections
By: Quixote Center, November 30, 2009
Reports coming in from Quixote Center delegates who deployed to four different regions of the country during the last week to observe the electoral climate and the human rights situation point to a systemic pattern of militarization, intimidation, human rights violations and generalized repression.  This, coupled with extremely low voter turnout. Delegates in San Pedro Sula were caught in the midst of a military and police attack on peaceful protestors who were singing the Honduran national anthem and chanting, “We are not afraid” when they were attacked with tear gas, pepper spray, high pressure water cannons and clubs.
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Repression in Honduras
By: Institute for Public Accuracy, November 30, 2009
A co-founder of Hondurans for Democracy, Moncada is a D.C.-based environmental policy analyst. He said today: “We’re gravely disappointed that the State Department has said it will recognize the results of Sunday’s fraudulent election. We’re getting reports of widespread fear and intimidation by the military, especially in rural areas. The U.S. has taken the lead in legitimizing the coup government while practically all other countries in the hemisphere, as well as the UN and OAS, have said that they will not recognize the results.”
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Authorities must reveal identities and whereabouts of people detained today
By: Amnesty International, November 30, 2009
Amnesty International today urged the Honduran authorities to reveal the identities, whereabouts and charges against all people detained on the eve and day of the presidential elections. In one of the most worrying cases, the whereabouts of Jensys Mario Umanzor Gutierrez remains unknown. He was last seen at 2:30am this morning in the custody of a Police Patrol whose identification number was recorded by witnesses. After finding about the case, the Amnesty International delegation in Honduras assisted in the filing of an habeas corpus – a legal procedure to find the whereabouts and well being of someone detained by police.
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Failed elections in Honduras: Peaceful resistance boycotted coup efforts
By: Carlos DC, November 29, 2009
A peaceful resistance movement in Honduras successfully boycotted today’s marred presidential elections. Following a plan of civil disobedience, most Honduran citizens didn’t vote today as a sign of protest against the coup government of Roberto Micheletti. Since the coup d’etat carried on June 28 this year, the opposition in Honduras have organized what is known as the National Front of Peaceful Resistance. Today they organized several acts of disobedience to boycott the elections that will not be recognized by most countries in the Americas -except the United States- and which only included candidates of the officialism, and ignored the popular demand for a ballot that supported a Constitution reform.
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Honduras state employees forced to attend Santos campaign rally
By: Al Giordano, Narco News, November 29, 2009
While today’s coup-sponsored “election” in Honduras won’t settle the country’s crisis created by the June 28 coup d’etat, it continues to provide a showcase for the profoundly anti-democratic nature of the regime. Evidence has surfaced that state employees were forced to attend the closing campaign ceremony of Elvin Santos, the ex-Vice President under Zelaya. In the letter, addressed to all department heads of the office of Civil Service, general director Marco Tulio Flores wrote, “I instruct all employees that are fulfilling their duties, without any exception, to attend the closing campaign of the Liberal Party that will take place Sunday November 22 at 9:30am. In a booth at the entrance to the coliseum Xiomara Orellana will take attendance of all personnel of this institution.”
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Blogger Yoani Sanchez is threat to Cuba  
By: Cuba Study Group, November 28, 2009
“Generation Y” receives about one million visits a month. It has won two of the most prestigious awards for digital journalism, and its success meant that last year Ms Sanchez was voted one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. Now, it seems, the island’s ruling Castro brothers have decided that enough is enough, and have unleashed their thugs to try to shut Ms Sanchez up.
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No fair election in Honduras under military occupation
By: Dana Frank, Common Dreams, November 27, 2009
As the Honduran election approaches on Sunday, November 29, let’s be clear about the conditions under which it is taking place. Human rights abuses are rampant, freedom of speech is under attack, and the election process is in the hands of the very people who perpetrated the coup. Clearly, no free and fair election is possible under the repressive thumb of the military coup that has been in place for five months.
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The Honduran coup: A graphic history
By: Nikil Saval and Dan Archer, Huffington Post, November 25, 2009
On November 29, national elections will take place in Honduras. Five months earlier, on June 28th, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was arrested in the middle of the night by the armed forces and forcibly exiled to Costa Rica — on the day he had proposed to hold a non-binding public poll on a popular assembly. Why? For his supposed intention of subverting the Honduran constitution to extend his time in office.
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South Florida’s exile activists set sights on Honduras
By: Trenton Daniel, Miami Herald, November 25, 2009
Eleno Oviedo, imprisoned in Cuba for 26 years, stood outside a Sedano’s in Hialeah on a recent Saturday, eager to collect donations for a fresh cause: Honduras. “We set up a table and had some signs and asked people to give what they could,” said Oviedo, 73, co-director of Plantados, a group of one-time political prisoners from Cuba. Oviedo is among groups of local Cubans seeking to help Honduras as the country tries to recover from political upheaval following the ouster of President Manuel “Mel” Zelaya and the global shunning of the government.
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Thousands march for, against Nicaraguan government
By: CNN, November 21, 2009
Tens of thousands of people, government protesters and supporters alike, demonstrated Saturday in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua. “The only way for the government to change, as it has been shown in all these years, is for the people to go to the streets,” said Dora Maria Tellez, who was a main figure in President Daniel Ortega’s government during the 1980s but who now leads an opposition party. It was not immediately clear how many of the masses were demonstrating against the government and how many had gathered to support it. The anti-government protesters are demonstrating against Ortega’s bid for re-election and the anniversary of last year’s municipal elections, which the president’s leftist Sandinista National Liberation Front party resoundingly won amid allegations of fraud.
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