Nonviolent action around the world – 20 October 2009 (Part 2)

October 20, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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EUROPE
UK: Scores arrested in climate protest
By: Brisbane Times, October 19, 2009
At least 80 people have been arrested in an environmental protest against the use of coal power in England.
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UK: Climate swoop hailed ‘massive success’ despite arrests
By: Luke Walsh, Edie, October 19, 2009
Green activists have called this weekend’s climate swoop a ‘massive success’ after breaking into and spending 24 hours outside Ratcliffe coal-fired power station. The Nottinghamshire power station was targeted as part of the annual climate swoop event and saw three protesters injured in clashes with police while one more activist is believed to still be in hospital after collapsing yesterday afternoon. More than 300 people were involved in the protest and the police have confirmed they’ve made around 50 arrests.
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Spain: Thousands protest arrests of Basque nationalists
By: AFP, October 18, 2009
Thousands of people protested Saturday in the northern Spanish city of San Sebastian against the arrests of five Basque pro-independence militants. The demonstrators demanded the release of the five men, who are accused of trying rebuild Batasuna, the banned political wing of the Basque separatist group ETA. The protestors — who marched behind a banner calling “For liberty, for rights for every person” — included union activists, left-wing independence militants and nationalist parties.
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Rusia: Scholar targeted after study on Stalin victims
By: Alexander Osipovich, AFP, October 17, 2009
When the police stopped Mikhail Suprun’s car last month, he did not expect to be questioned over his research into mass deportations that took place in Russia more than six decades ago. But the history professor in Arkhangelsk, northern Russia, discovered his research into the 1940s deportations had drawn the interest of the FSB, the successor of the Soviet-era KGB. Agents told him he was suspected of illegally publishing private information, a charge he calls “absurd.”
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Rusia: Kremlin rules
By: Hillary Clinton, Washington Post, October 17, 2009
It’s become so commonplace that the world little noticed last Sunday when Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin staged another phony, Soviet-style election. As in the old days, the ruling party won a smashing victory in local jurisdictions across the country, with opposing party politicians reduced to bit parts permitted for decorative effect only. Mr. Medvedev, who frequently impresses Western politicians with his statements in praise of democracy, hailed the elections as “well organized,” which we suppose is undeniable.
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Belarus: Fascism in Minsk- action of solidarity brutally dispersed
By: Charter97, October 16, 2009
The picket of solidarity in Minsk has been dispersed unprecedentedly brutally. Thirty oppositionists were beaten up and arrested. Journalists were beaten as well, militia didn’t let them film this brutality. More than a hundred of riot militiamen were thrown against the people, who came to October square in Minsk on Solidarity Day on October 16.
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Belarus: Regime of Lukashenka using Iranian tactics regarding journalists
By: Charter97, October 16, 2009
The actions, taken by the Belarusian riot militia against journalists, are similar to the outrage organized by the law enforcement agencies of Ahmadinejad. It was the third time for the last month when riot militiamen have impeded the work of journalists during dispersal of the peaceful rally in Minsk on October 16. The aim is the same in both cases – to hide from the world the atrocity and outrage of the law enforcement agencies against civilians.
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Freedom march held in Belarus 10 years ago
By: Charter97, October 16, 2009
The Freedom March, one of the largest and most significant rallies of the Belarusian opposition, marks its 10th anniversary on October 17. The Freedom March became history and turned over a new leaf of the Belarusian Resistance. One should take into consideration the conditions, under which the rally was held, to evaluate the significance of the Freedom March as any historical event.
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Election observer discusses fraud allegations in southern Russian city
By: Radio Free Europe, October 16, 2009
Allegations of fraud in Russia’s municipal elections continue to pile up. And several undercover videos that have surfaced on the Internet now add weight to the charges. One of the most compelling was shot by Aleksandr Tsivenko, an election observer at a polling station in the southern city of Azov. It’s led the local prosecutor’s office to open an investigation into possible ballot-box stuffing. Anastasia Kirilenko of RFE/RL’s Russian Service tracked down Tsivenko, who describes what he saw — and filmed.
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TOP
 

MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA
Press freedom declines in Iran, Israel
By: CBC News, October 20, 2009
Iran and Israel both drew harsh criticism for their treatment of journalists in 2009 from the press watchdog group Reporters Without Borders. Iran’s ranking fell precipitously in the wake of postelection protests that created what Reporters without Borders called “regime paranoia about journalists and bloggers.” Israel sank to 93rd in the ranking, behind other Middle Eastern countries such as Kuwait and Lebanon, because of its restrictions on press freedom during the assault on Gaza.
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How wide is the space for Palestinian nonviolent activism?
By: PNN, October 19, 2009
As has been reported, the head of the Stop the Wall Campaign, Mohammad Othman, was arrested by Israeli forces at Allenby Bridge as he returned to the West Bank on 22 September from a conference in Norway. He remains one of thousands of Palestinians in Israeli prisons. The group Jewish Voice for Peace is advocating for his release by writing today: “How wide is the space for Palestinian non-violent activism? Two by two meters (seven by seven feet). That is the size of the windowless cell where Mohammad Othman is being held in solitary confinement in an Israeli jail.”
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Egypt: Security arrests 20 Brotherhood members in new crackdown
By: Yasmine Saleh, Daily News Egypt, October 18, 2009
Security forces arrested 20 members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) group in Al-Mansoura, Al-Dakahalia governorate, according to Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maqsoud, the group’s lawyer. Last Thursday security officials arrested 21 other members from the group in Al-Sharkia governorate, Abdel-Maqsoud added. According to Abdel-Maqsoud, all of the recently arrested members are charged with joining an illegal political group.
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Egypt opposition united against Mubarak Junior
By: Dalia Ziada, Blog Spot, October 17, 2009
Since his unexpected early release in February 2009 for medical reasons, Dr. Ayman Nour, founder of El-Ghad party and former presidential candidate is acting like a thorn in the side of the regime. Since March, he has visited tens of cities in 17 governorates all over Egypt to engage directly with grassroots audiences. In April, he participated in the April 6 strikes by announcing the Cairo Declaration for the first time. The main demands on the declaration are amending the constitution, fair democratic elections and holding corrupt officials responsible.
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Egypt: Security beats blogger badly
By: Ramy Raoof, Global Voices Online, October 16, 2009
Today, Friday 16th October, the Egyptian blogger Demagh Mak and his brother had been stopped for “ID check” in Tanta (Egyptian Province) by a police officer named Mohamed El-Dahrawy. For no reason, the police agent beat blogger Mak on his back, while asking for IDs. And when Mak asked him to treat them respectfully; the officer and around eight soldires and informers started beating Mak and his brother badly.
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CENTRAL ASIA
Uzbekistan: Letter to EU Foreign Ministers regarding EU Policy toward Uzbekistan
By: Human Rights Watch, October 14, 2009
We write in advance of the upcoming General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) review of European Union policy toward Uzbekistan, to urge you-as an absolute minimum-to uphold the EU’s arms embargo as the only appropriate response to the Uzbek government’s failure to remedy serious human rights concerns identified by the EU. We believe the EU owes it above all to those human rights defenders whom the Uzbek government continues to harass, intimidate, and imprison in retaliation for their civic activism, in direct defiance of the EU’s calls to halt such abuses and release those wrongfully imprisoned.
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SOUTH ASIA
Kashmiri separatist leader seeks vacating of land occupied by Indian troopers
By: China View, October 20, 2009
Chairman of the hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani Monday called for an agitation against the land occupied by the Indian troopers in India-controlled Kashmir. While addressing the press conference in Srinagar, the summer capital of India-controlled Kashmir, Geelani announced a campaign demanding vacation of land under army and paramilitary troopers stationed in the region.
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From underwater, Maldives sends warning on climate change
By: CNN, October 17, 2009
With fish as witnesses, the president of Maldives and his Cabinet wore scuba gear and used hand signals Saturday at an underwater meeting to highlight the threat climate change poses to the archipelago nation. The meeting, chaired by President Mohamed Nasheed, took place around a table about 16 feet (5 meters) underwater, according to the president’s Web site. At the meeting, the Cabinet signed a declaration calling for global cuts in carbon emissions that will be presented before a U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December.
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University students and officials launch protest campaign in Eastern Sri Lanka
By: Colomobo Page, October 16, 2009
For the first time in Sri Lanka’s history a group of university officials and administrators joined the students today to stage a protest campaign in the eastern city Batticaloa. The entire student body in the Eastern University of Sri Lanka yesterday commenced a protest campaign against the government’s decision to establish a separate faculty for new batch of Sinhala students from the district.
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Fury over south India temple ban
By: Anbarasan Ethirajan, BBC, October 15, 2009
Police in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu have shot in the air to disperse a stone-throwing crowd protesting against Dalits entering a Hindu temple. The Dalits, described as low caste Hindu untouchables, tried to enter several temples as part of their campaign in protest at the practice.
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SOUTH EAST ASIA
Vietnam Buddhist case shows suppression
By: Google News, October 18, 2009
The forced expulsion of more than 300 followers of one of the world’s most influential Buddhists highlights Vietnam’s suppression of religious freedom, Human Rights Watch said Monday. “The government views many religious groups, particularly popular ones that it fears it can’t control, as a challenge to the Communist Party’s authority,” said Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director of the US-based watchdog.
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Thailand: Thaksin supporters rally in Bangkok
By: Al Jazeera, October 17, 2009
Thousands of “red shirt” protesters have rallied in Bangkok, the Thai capital, seeking a royal pardon for Thaksin Shinawatra, the country’s fugitive former prime minister. The demonstrators, who gathered outside Bangkok’s Government House amid tight security on Saturday, accused the government of delaying their petition from reaching King Bhumibol.
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US ‘disturbed’ by jailing of Vietnam activists
By: Google News, October 15, 2009
The United States embassy said Wednesday it was “deeply disturbed” by the convictions last week of nine Vietnamese democracy activists despite Vietnam’s international commitments to uphold human rights. In separate trials, the nine were jailed for up to six years under Penal Code Article 88, which rights activists say criminalizes peaceful dissent. Many of the accused were convicted in connection with banners they displayed which denounced the ruling Communist Party and called for democracy.
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EAST ASIA
South Korea: Human rights activists protest expulsion of migrant workers
By: Theresa Kim Hwa-young, Asia News, October 19, 2009
“Free Minu! Stop Crackdown!” shouted members of a coalition of 23 groups, including the Migrant Workers Trade Union in front of the Hwaseong Immigration Detention Centre in Gyeonggi Province last Friday. They were demanding the release of Minod Moktan (AKA Minu), a 33-year-old Nepali musician and cultural activist who, like other migrant workers, is undocumented and has been the target for a government expulsion order.
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OCEANIA
New Zealand: Hundreds protest against ACC changes
By: TVNZ, October 19, 2009
Anger at the impact proposed ACC changes could have on sex abuse victims has spilled out on to New Zealand streets. Hundreds of people protested on Monday, saying cuts to funding for therapy will cause victims even more trauma. Monday was dedicated “national day of action” by organisers, with marches planned for Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
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ARTICLES OF INTEREST
The new environmental activism – inside a boot camp
By: Brigid Delaney, Nine MSN, October 19, 2009
Attending a protest is no longer simply a matter of turning up with a banner and a megaphone. Training camps are springing up in Australia and the UK which organize participants into “cells” to engage in direct action such as chaining their limbs to machinery, scaling fences and stopping transport and production of goods – with the aim of hurting the hip pockets of polluters.
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Global civil society starts to take up the climate challenge
By: Richard Graves, One World, October 15, 2009
Environmentalists have been looking forward to the Copenhagen climate talks this December with a mixture of dread and expectation, as it may be the last opportunity to craft a global climate treaty as we barrel towards dangerous tipping points pointed out by leading scientists. But there is new momentum from both ordinary citizens and unusual partners- global civil society organizations, representing hundreds of millions of people, the leaders of religions, humanitarian organizations, business groups, and many more, have embraced the reality that climate change is not an environmental problem, it is a human problem.
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Civil Society Watch team reflections on strategic human rights advocacy opportunities in Geneva
By: Sonia Zilberman, CIVICUS, October 13, 2009
In late September, three members of the Civil Society Watch (CSW) programme team of CIVICUS travelled to Geneva to attend the 12th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, and hold a ‘side event’ at the UN building titled “Protecting Free Voices And Civil Society Freedoms” in partnership with The World Organization Against Torture. The trip was instrumental for team members to speak about the mission, vision and work of the programme at this important international forum as well as strengthen interactions with the Human Rights Council, delegates, and other civil society representatives. It helped the team to map out strategic engagement opportunities with the Human Rights Council and other human rights mechanisms in Geneva.
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Civil resistance since 1989 – from Berlin to Burma
By: Adam Roberts, World Today, October 2009
The end of the Cold War, symbolized by the fall of the Berlin Wall twenty years ago, appeared to be the greatest victory ever for civil resistance. But this has a complex interrelationship with other dimensions of power and success is far from guaranteed. Choosing the right moment can certainly help.
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NOTICES
Nonviolent communication meeting & training on December 4-5th, Kansas City, MO
By: Cherith Brook Community, October 18, 2009
Please attend Clarification Meetings at Cherith Brook on the first Friday of each month, from 7 to 8:30pm, at our storefront next door to the house. Enjoy coffee, conversation, fellowship and deep thinking; a chance to get clear on important issues. For our December 4th/5th Clarification Meeting and Training we will be discussing the topic of Nonviolent Communication, and learning how to put the idea into practice.
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National peace essay contest
By: USIP, October 2009
USIP is proud to announce the topic for the 2009-10 National Peace Essay Contest: ‘The Effectiveness of Nonviolent Civic Action.’ Students will examine multiple instances where nonviolent methods have been used to foster significant social and political change and explore the successes, challenges and experiences of nonviolent movements.
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