Nonviolent Action around the World – 28 August 2009 (Part 2)

August 28, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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Pakistan: A perspective on Balochistan
By: Manu Sharma, Meri News, August 27, 2009
Till date, hundreds of political party members, students, doctors and tribal leaders have disappeared by the hand of the government security forces under the ruse of having links to foreign agencies and terrorist activities or their supportive organisations. The missing have been tortured to death in custody, say officials of Pakistan’s Human Rights Commission.
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Burmese exile government urges Washington to stay firm on sanctions
By: Daniel Schearf, VOA, August 27, 2009
A spokesman for the Burmese government in exile has urged Washington not to hastily ease sanctions against Burma’s military government. The exile government and rights groups support U.S. engagement with Burma, but they also want pressure for change. A spokesman for the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, Zin Linn, says U.S. sanctions should stay in place until opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is released and Burma’s rulers agree to talks with the opposition.
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Burmese activist says China ignores junta’s graft
By: Jim Gomez, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 27, 2009
China and other governments with lucrative business deals in Myanmar are ignoring massive corruption by its ruling military junta, a pro-democracy activist said Thursday. Ka Hsaw Wa said corruption has become the second worst problem in Myanmar after widespread human rights violations and afflicts all levels of its government.
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Afghanistan: The trials of election monitoring
By: Paul Reynolds, BBC, August 26, 2009
The complaints emerging about fraud in the Afghan presidential and provincial elections have thrust the role of international election monitors into the spotlight. Election monitoring has become a big undertaking in the past couple of decades. It developed rapidly after the fall of the Soviet Union and the spread of democratic institutions in the former communist republics. The EU mission has attracted some questions after it headlined its preliminary report two days after the election: “Afghan elections take place in a reasonably well-organised manner amid widespread violence and intimidation.”
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We can’t afford to ignore Burma
By: Jim Webb, New York Times, August 25, 2009
For more than 10 years, the United States and the European Union have employed a policy of ever-tightening economic sanctions against Burma, in part fueled by the military government’s failure to recognize the results of a 1990 election won by Aung San Suu Kyi’s party. While the political motivations behind this approach are laudable, the result has been overwhelmingly counterproductive. The ruling regime has become more entrenched and at the same time more isolated.
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China lets a hundred social networks bloom (sort of)
By: Paul Boutin, New York Times, August 25, 2009
We Yanks like to think we’re at the forefront of everything. But a study has found that when it comes to social media, Chinese users are ahead of us. That is, when Hu Jintao’s administration isn’t unplugging their favorite sites. Chinese broadband users above the age of 13 number 286 million, nearly double that of the U.S. broadband population, says a new report from market analysts Netpop Research.
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China: Lead village closed to journalists
By: Sophie Beach, China Digital Times, August 25, 2009
The BBC tries to follow up on reports of mass lead poisoning of children in Shaanxi, but finds a media blackout has been imposed on the twon Madaokou. The village has been quarantined, not from the lead poisoning that has sickened around 800 children in the area, but from journalists. Locals have been forbidden from speaking to the media, and some complain that their phone calls are being bugged.
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Tibetan ‘web surfer’ detained
By: Jigme Ngapo, Radio Free Asia, August 24, 2009
Chinese authorities have detained a Tibetan youth in the regional capital, Lhasa, for viewing restricted political information online, according to Tibetan sources. The accessed material included essays on Tibetan independence, as well as descriptions and photos of Tibetan protests against Chinese rule that rocked the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and western provinces of China last year.
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China: Tweets of the week- National Day celebrations and internet control
By: Xiao Qiang, China Digital Times, August 24, 2009
Despite the blocking of Twitter, Chinese politically-active tweeters are still tweeting away. The upcoming 60th anniversary of the PRC is a hot topic.
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Logging protests spread in Borneo as nomads block roads
By: Survival, August 24, 2009
Protests by the Penan tribe in Borneo have escalated, with twelve villages coming together to mount new road blockades against the logging and plantation companies that are destroying their rainforest. Journalists covering at the blockades were intercepted by police with machineguns and taken away for questioning.
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Malaysia: People’s power defeats evictions at Kampung Buah Pala
By: Europe Solidaire, August 13, 2009
Today was the moment of truth for Kampung Buah Pala villagers. It was the third time that their homes have faced demolition. But it was the first time that the local villagers outnumbered the outsiders who were the majority during the previous attempt on August 4. Today, when the police, the developer and the bailiff came, the villagers did not have the luxury of the presence of state assemblymen, MPs, the state government representative or even lawyers.
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Rethinking Kyrgyzstan’s Tulip Revolution
By: Bruce Pannier, Radio Free Europe, August 25, 2009
Kyrgyzstan’s 2005 “Tulip” or “People’s” Revolution was hailed by many as a promising triumph of democracy in the brief era of “colored” revolutions. But the years since have seen a regression on the country’s path to democracy. In fact, Kyrgyzstan has assimilated some of the more odious aspects of its Central Asia neighbors’ authoritarianism.
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Azerbaijan: Activist bloggers face additional charge as trial approaches
By: Onnik Krikorian, Global Voices Online, August 25, 2009
At time of writing, according to the OL! blog, youth activist video bloggers Adnan Hajizade and Emin Milli have been held in pre-trial detention for 48 days on charges of “hooliganism.” It remains unclear whether they will be freed any time soon let alone be cleared of what many consider to be politically motivated charges.
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Russia: Women lock lips in protest
By: AP, August 27, 2009
The debate over whether to allow a lesbian couple to marry in Russia has sparked an angry exchange inside a Moscow courtroom, while outside the women in question locked lips to protest a holdup in proceedings. The lesbian couple in May attempted to register for Russia’s first gay marriage and, after receiving a rejection letter, brought the case into court.
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U.K.: Climate protesters ‘swoop’ on London
BY: CNN, August 26, 2009
Climate change activists were converging on the center of London on Wednesday for a week-long protest intended to highlight the dangers of economic growth on the environment. The protesters plan to set up a campsite that will highlight sustainable living, McDonnell said. They also plan to hold dozens of workshops every day, teaching people everything from how to construct a wind turbine and build compost toilets to the basics of direct action and “alternative finance.”
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Belarus: White-red-white flags above Minsk
By: Charter 97, August 26, 2009
Activists of the civil campaign “European Belarus” continue to hangout national flags in Belarusian towns. White-red-white flags appear in town within the frames of the campaign of legalization on national symbols and strengthening their historical status. Flags will appear in the city until the authorities lift a ban on their demonstration in public and return the status of the national symbol to the white-red-white flag.
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Global insights: Russia refines cyber warfare strategies
By: Richard Weitz, Word Politics Review, August 25, 2009
The U.S. Cyber-Consequences Unit has recently issued a report documenting how Russia supplemented its conventional war against Georgia last August with a massive, well-integrated and pre-planned information warfare campaign against Georgia’s Internet structure. The techniques were so successful that the unit has restricted distribution of the full report to U.S. government and certain other Internet security professionals.
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Spain: Madrid judge calls out Chinese authorities on Nangpa La and Tibet
By: Explorer’s Web, August 25, 2009
A legal fight without precedent is developing between Spanish Judge Santiago Pedraz and the Chinese authorities. Spain’s High Court accepted two lawsuits filed by the magistrate accusing officials of Crimes against Humanity. Pedraz’s fist lawsuit was issued in connection with the violent crackdown on protesters in Tibet back in March, 2008.
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Freedom House report explores internet censorship in Egypt
By: Abesha Bunna Bet, August 26, 2009
As the number of internet users grows, security further tightens its grip on their activity, namely when it comes to “disseminating and receiving sensitive political information,” according to a report on blogging in Egypt by the US-based NGO, Freedom House. Topics such as the military, the president’s health, Muslim-Christian tensions and torture are among the sensitive topics that bring activists and journalists into the spotlight, the report said.
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Nonviolent action in Gaza
By: Sameh Habeeb and Ayman Quader, Open Democracy, August 26, 2009
The Gaza Strip has lost 1,400 lives and a further 5,000, mostly civilians, have been maimed and wounded in the latest attack waged by the Israeli government. You might well ask how young people respond to this blockade. Some of course resort to violence. But others have chosen a different tack. More and more Palestinians nowadays are revisiting a non-violent resistance that has emerged from their history if only because it has been so dogged by violent conflict and by war.
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West Bank: Bilin’s next generation
By: Jody McIntyre, Uprooted Palestinians, August 26, 2009
Every Friday, Palestinian residents of the West Bank village of Bilin march to Israel’s apartheid wall, which has stolen more than half their land. But this day was a Wednesday, and the kids’ turn to demonstrate. When I asked Iyad Burnat, member of the Bilin Popular Committee, who would be leading us to the wall today, he said, “Our children are strong! After all, who will be making the demonstrations when we are all in jail?”
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Derailing injustice: Palestinian civil resistance to the “Jerusalem Light Rail”
By: International Solidarity Movement, August 25, 2009
Taking this defiance to a new level, the Palestinian civil society campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)1 and its international supporters in the solidarity movement have been contributing to resisting Israel’s multi-faceted oppression against the indigenous people of Palestine by mobilizing international civil society to apply effective, nonviolent and sustained pressure against it until it fully complies with its obligations under international law and respects Palestinian rights.
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As nonviolent activist remains unconscious in hospital, Israelis declare his shooting “act of war”
By: PNN, August 25, 2009
On August 18th, the Israeli Ministry of Defense informed American activist Tristan Anderson’s family and legal counsel that it considers his shooting during a nonviolent protest in the West Bank village of Nil’in, which left him critically injured, an “act of war,” absolving the soldiers responsible from any liability under Israeli law.
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Israel challenges human rights report
By: David Bedein, The Bulletin, August 25, 2009
On Thursday, The Israeli army issued a statement in which it attacked Human Rights Watch’s latest report on Israel’s January incursion into Gaza, which claimed that IDF soldiers killed 11 Palestinian civilians holding “white flags.” The Israeli army claimed that the report was based on fabricated eyewitness reports.
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Fiji sure to be suspended from Commonwealth
By: Raw Figi News, August 26, 2009
FIJI’S suspension from the Commonwealth is “as sure as day follows night”, according to Pacific experts. The beleaguered Pacific nation is just days away from a deadline to announce a 2010 election date or be ousted from the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group. The date was set by world leaders frustrated at the regime’s failure to return the country to democracy after it overthrew the last government in a December 2006 coup.
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West Papua: Day of the Broken Promise
By: Word Press, August 26, 2009
Free Papua Independence leader Benny Wenda  along with a  a number of other Papuan’s protested outside the Dutch embassy in the UK on August 14 against the ‘day of broken promises’ (15 August 1962). The ‘Day of Broken Promises’ marks the day that the Dutch signed the New York agreement handing over West Papua to Indonesian colony, despite having previously promised West Papua independence.
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Forgotten Bird of Paradise- shocking new documentary on West Papua
By: Sentani, Free West Papua, August 26, 2009
On the 40th anniversary of the Act of Free Choice, a shocking new documentary about the situation in West Papua has just premiered at the UK’s prestigous Green Man Festival. Filmed undercover without the knowledge or authority of the Indonesian authorities, ‘Forgotten Bird of Paradise’ provides a rare and deeply moving insight into the West Papuan peoples ongoing struggle for freedom from Indonesian rule.
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Former Fiji editor lifts bar for NZ ethnic media
By: David Robie, Pacific Scoop, August 24, 2009
The chief editor of a new community newspaper catering for the Indo-Fijian and Indian diaspora in New Zealand has vowed to raise the bar in ethnic publishing. Speaking at a national Diversity Forum seminar today on the new Asian media, Dev Nadkarni of the Indian Weekender challenged mainstream media to make better use of skilled but marginalised ethnic minority journalists.
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Raising West Papua
By: Seuramoe, August 2009
A video that gives a background to the situation in West Papua, reminding the viewer that despite human rights abuses by the Indonesian Government, the Papuan people continue to struggle for independence. This video was produced in 2003 to raise awareness about the condition in West Papua. It uses interviews from people based in Melbourne, combined with archival footage from a variety of sources to tell the story.
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How much do protests matter?
By: Eric Stoner, Waging Nonviolence, August 24, 2009
That was the question posed last week to Howard Zinn, Bernardine Dohrn and several others by Stephen Dubner on the New York Times’ Freakonomics blog. Their responses were affirmative and generally quite good, especially for those who are not already very knowledgeable on the subject.
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World March Peace beginning October 2, 2009 January 2, 2010
By: Zoneziwoh, Peace and Collaborative Development Network, August 24, 2009
The World March will begin in New Zealand on October 2, 2009, the anniversary of Gandhi’s birth, declared the “International Day of Nonviolence” by the United Nations. It will conclude in the Andes Mountains (Punta de Vacas, Aconcagua, Argentina) on January 2, 2010. The March will last 90 days, three long months of travel. A permanent base of a hundred people of different nationalities will complete the journey.
For more information…