Posts Tagged ‘protests’

The only package Kashmir needs is justice

August 5, 2010

Siddharth Varadarajan, The Hindu/India, August 5, 2010

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SEEKING JUSTICE: Protesters set ablaze police vechile after two young men were killed in firing in Pampore on August 1, 2010. Photo: Nissar Ahmad
SEEKING JUSTICE: Protesters set ablaze police vechile after two young men were killed in firing in Pampore on August 1, 2010. Photo: Nissar Ahmad
If the Prime Minister [Dr Manmohan Singh] does not take bold steps to address the grievances of the Kashmiris, there’s no telling where the next eruption will take us.

Whatever his other failings, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah deserves praise for acknowledging that the protests which have rocked the Kashmir valley these past few weeks are ‘leaderless’ and not the product of manipulation by some hidden individual or group.

This admission has been difficult for the authorities to make because its implications are unpleasant, perhaps even frightening. In security terms, the absence of a central nervous system means the expanding body of protest cannot be controlled by arresting individual leaders. And in political terms, the spectre of leaderless revolt makes the offer of ‘dialogue’ or the naming of a ‘special envoy’ for Kashmir — proposals which might have made sense last year or even last month — seem completely and utterly pointless today.

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Kashmir democracy under the barrel of Indian guns

June 12, 2010

By Yasmin Qureshi, ZNet, June 12, 2010

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Yasmin Qureshi’s ZSpace Page

I had wanted to go to Kashmir ever since I visited Palestine in 2007. There are many similarities in the nature of the occupation as well as the struggles, both being nearly 63 years old.  One difference is that while Israel is seen as an external occupying force in Palestine, the Kashmir issue is considered an ‘internal’ matter or a conflict between Pakistan and India and the voice of Kashmiris is often lost. As a result there are fewer international organizations monitoring the region and little information about the extent and impact of the occupation gets out.

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Garzon who pursued Spain’s fascist assassins finds himself on trial

April 25, 2010

Powerful enemies are attempting to unseat the ‘superjudge’ who tried to bring the death squads of Franco’s dictatorship to book

Giles Tremlett in  Madrid, The Observer/UK, April 25, 2010
Spanish judge Baltazar Garzon participat

The Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón, who dared to investigate the atrocities of the Franco dictatorship. Photograph: Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images

The crowd gathered outside Madrid’s national court was loud and angry. “The world has been turned upside down,” they cried. “The fascists are judging the judge!” Some carried photographs of long-dead relatives, killed by rightwing death squads in Spain‘s brutal civil war in the 1930s. Others bore placards bearing the name of the hero they wanted to save, the controversial “superjudge” Baltasar Garzón.

Pedro Romero de Castilla carried a picture of his grandfather, Wenceslao – a former stationmaster taken away from his home in the western city of Mérida and shot by a death squad at the service of Generalísimo Francisco Franco‘s rightwing military rebels 74 years ago. The family have never found his body.

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Rethinking the peace movement

February 17, 2010

By Rosemarie Jackowski
Online Journal Contributing Writer


Online Journal
, Feb 17, 2010, 00:30
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March 20 is a day of historical importance. On March 20, 2003, there were worldwide protests against US military aggression. Millions of activists around the world participated. Some of the protests were inspired by US plans for “Shock and Awe.” “Shock and Awe” was promised by the US government to be one of the most destructive military campaigns in history. In addition, the US was at the same time threatening the use of nuclear weapons.

Historical perspective is needed. It has to be remembered that the US had been bombing Iraq since 1991. The bombing was a prelude to 9/11.

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American bases must go, Japanese protesters demand

November 14, 2009
Morning Star Online, Friday 13 November 2009
by Tom Mellen

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Protestors on the streets shortly after President Obama’s arrival in Japan

Visiting US President Barack Obama faced a mass protest in central Tokyo on Friday as activists demanded the withdrawal of the 47,000 US troops still based in Japan.

Demonstrators marched on the US embassy, where survivors of the US atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki delivered a letter urging Mr Obama to do more to cut Washington’s enormous nuclear weapons stockpile.

The president also came under fire for not taking the time to visit the two cities and failing to establish a timetable for a withdrawal from Afghanistan.

At a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, Mr Obama denied that his administration has been dithering over Afghanistan.

He insisted his next step would not be seen as an “open-ended commitment and that he was bent on “getting this right,” although he did not elaborate further.

Mr Hatoyama – who leads the centre-left Democratic Party which ousted the pro-US administration in August’s elections – said Japan would end a refuelling mission for US occupation forces in Afghanistan.

But he softened the blow by pledging £3 billion for Afghan schools, agriculture and police.

Last weekend over 20,000 people rallied on Okinawa, home to more than half the US forces in Japan, and called on Mr Hatoyama to scrap a 2006 bilateral pact which was signed with former president George W Bush.

Under that agreement around 8,000 US soldiers would remain in Okinawa after 2012 and Japan would foot part of the bill to transfer the rest to Guam.

In September, the government vowed to “re-examine” the 2006 agreement, particularly plans to build a new helicopter base in Okinawa.

But yesterday Mr Hatoyama said: “It will be a very difficult issue, but as time goes by I think it will become more difficult to resolve, so we understand we need to resolve the issue as soon as possible and we will work to do that.”

Japanese Communist Party secretariat head Ichida Tadayoshi called on the Hatoyama government to immediately “initiate diplomatic negotiations with the US government in a forceful manner that completely meets Okinawans’ demands.”

Most islanders were opposed to any realignment of US bases on Okinawa, he stressed.

Indigenous People Across Latin America Protest Spanish ‘Genocide’

October 14, 2009
CommonDreams.org, October 13, 2009
Agence France-Presse

GUATEMALA CITY – Tens of thousands of indigenous people took to the streets across Latin America on Monday to protest the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s 1492 discovery of the Americas.

[A Guatemalan native cries over the death of a demontrator in Guatemala City protesting against the celebration of Columbus Day, in Guatemala City, October 12]A Guatemalan native cries over the death of a demontrator in Guatemala City protesting against the celebration of Columbus Day, in Guatemala City, October 12

Columbus Day is celebrated as the Day of Hispanic Heritage in Latin America, but protesters marked the holiday as a reminder of the atrocities Spanish conquistadors wrought on indigenous people throughout the region.

In Guatemala City, 19-year-old demonstrator Imer Boror was killed and two were wounded as Maya Indians blocked entry points into the capital to protest their government’s mining policies.

Protesters were marching on what they called the Day of Dignity and Resistance of the Indian People, protest leader Juana Mulul told AFP, saying the movement “is purely in defense of Mother Earth and our territory.”

In a gesture toward reconciliation with indigenous groups, a special roundtable appointed by President Alvaro Colom after the incident was to meet with 14 poor farmers late Monday to discuss their demands.

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Peru Indian tribes join forces to fight off Amazon sale to oil companies

October 9, 2009

Times Online/UK, Oct 9, 2009

Achuar elders in Washintsa, Peru. The Government plans to auction off 75 per cent of the Amazon to companies

Ramita Navai in Washintsa, Peru

They emerged from the thick, green jungle clenching their spears: a long file of barefoot chiefs and elders, their faces painted with their tribal markings and crowns of red, blue and yellow parrot feathers.

They had been summoned by the chief of Washintsa village for a meeting to discuss an oil company’s efforts to buy the rights to their land. Most had travelled for hours, padding silently through the dark undergrowth.

They came from Achuar Indian communities scattered along the Pastaza River, one of the most remote parts of the Peruvian Amazon near the border with Ecuador.

These men are part of a growing resistance movement crystallising deep in the jungles of Peru. For the first time isolated indigenous groups are uniting to fight the Government’s plans to auction off 75 per cent of the Amazon — which accounts for nearly two thirds of the country’s territory — to oil, gas and mining companies.

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Anti-war Protesters Arrested Outside White House

October 6, 2009
Published on Monday, October 5, 2009 by WJLA News – ABC News (Washington)

In the wake of terrible news out of Afghanistan, there is renewed debate at the Pentagon and White House over the future of the war.

[As the US led war in Afghanistan begins its ninth year this week, activists brought a strong message to the White House that war, torture and drone bombing are outrageous, unacceptable and must end immediately. Sixty-one people were arrested during the protest. (Image source: Flckr by mike.benedetti)]As the US led war in Afghanistan begins its ninth year this week, activists brought a strong message to the White House that war, torture and drone bombing are outrageous, unacceptable and must end immediately. Sixty-one people were arrested during the protest. (Image source: Flckr by mike.benedetti)

In the first five days of the month, there have been more deaths of U.S. service members than in all of October in 2008. And the calls for an end to the war were increasingly loud outside the White House Monday afternoon.In a defiant display with hopes of influencing the president’s plan on Afghanistan, hundreds of people marched from McPherson square chanting and holding signs. Some chained themselves to the White House fence, demanding we leave Afghanistan now and wondering aloud, where’s the “change” they were promised.

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Wave of protest greets Israeli PM

August 26, 2009
Morning Star Online, Tuesday 25 August 2009
by Daniel Coysh
Gordon Brown meets Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu for talks

Gordon Brown meets Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu for talks

Hundreds of peace and solidarity campaigners have gathered at Downing Street to protest at Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s cosy meeting with far-right Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu.

Protesters from the Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the British Muslim Initiative converged on Downing Street at lunchtime, demanding an end to Israel’s violations of international law, with its refusal to dismantle the illegal settlements on the West Bank, the “ethnic cleansing” of east Jerusalem and its ongoing siege of Gaza.

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10,000 Uighurs disappeared during unrest in China, exiled leader claims

July 30, 2009

Rebiya Kadeer says undercover snatch squads targeted Uighurs during Urumqi clashes

Rebiya Kadeer in TokyoRebiya Kadeer, head of the World Uighur Congress, gives a press conference in Japan. Photograph: Junji Kurokawa/AP

Rebiya Kadeer, the exiled Uighur leader, today claimed that almost 10,000 Uighurs had “disappeared” during ethnic unrest in China‘s north-western region of Xinjiang earlier this month and called on the international community to launch an inquiry.

Speaking during a controversial visit to Japan, Kadeer said Chinese authorities had used undercover “snatch squads” to target Uighurs during clashes between Uighur and Han Chinese in the city of Urumqi on 5 July.

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