clashes around the planet; bite size morsels

28.05.2011 § Leave a comment

Lest our excitement for spain falsely overemphasize struggles of western europe, a recent roundup from and (for whose existence we are constantly grateful):

South Korea

Masked South Korean sex workers rally against police crackdown on brothels.

A crowd of about 400 people, mostly women wearing baseball caps, masks and sunglasses, chanted slogans like, “Guarantee the right to live!” during the four-hour rally. At one point, about 20 protesters in their underwear and covered in body and face paint doused themselves in flammable liquid in an apparent attempt to burn themselves, but others stopped them from lighting any flames. Some of the women then sat in the street and wept and screamed, while other protesters consoled them.

Minor scuffles between protesters and police officers erupted after the rally, but there were no reports of major injuries.

The rally comes weeks after officials began stationing police cars near brothels in a bid to drive away people looking to pay for sex.


As the violence has become worse, women activists have organised a Friday protest of Free Women showing solidarity with those seized or killed. Women-only protests in towns across the country have led the effort to let the outside world know what is happening in Syria. But they are now being targeted as well, with the same lethal brutality.

Two weeks ago three women were shot dead at an all-women march near the besieged city of Banias. A week later human rights activist Catherine al-Talli (32) was detained in the Barzeh district of Damascus after being forced off a minibus when it was stopped at a checkpoint by the secret police.


Botswana will reopen state senior schools on May 30 after closing them for two weeks because of violence during a pay strike by government workers, Education Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi said.


Police in Istanbul used tear gas and water cannon to disperse a student demonstration held to protest against the country’s Higher Education Board.

One thousand students clashed with riot police outside a conference organised by the board where President Abdullah Gul had given the opening address.


Demonstrators attempting to stop a transnational mining company from extracting silver posits from Peru have intensified their tactics after three weeks of non-violent protests, damaging government and private property in the Andean border region near Bolivia.

For weeks, a group of about 10,000 protesters blockaded streets in the country’s southeast in an effort to convince Peru’s government to revoke the license already given to Bear Creek Mining Corp, a Canadian company planning to mine silver in the area.

Road blockades made from rocks blocked about 300km on both sides of the border road from Peru to Bolivia, and activists manned road blocks every few kilometres, to ensure nothing could get through.

Amid frustration with the protests’ lack of success, some demonstrators began breaking into government buildings on Friday.

The tax office in Puno, a Peru border town, was raided and files and furniture pulled to the street and set ablaze, and several windows were smashed at private and public buildings, banks and cars.


Victory for cyber activists? In a rare climbdown, the Angolan government has withdrawn controversial legislation severely restricting how people use the internet.

However, civil society celebrations around the scrapping of the legislation were short-lived after a number of activists were arrested on Wednesday for taking part in an anti-poverty demonstration in Luanda.

Organised via Facebook by a group calling itself the Revolutionary Movement of Social Intervention (MRIS), the protest was due to take place at lunchtime…

According to reports, between 15 and 20 people were detained, among them a journalist and a representative from Osisa who had been trying to film the arrests.

Although small in size and number, protests like these are a relatively new phenomenon in Angola where few have dared to question the authority of President Dos Santos and his ruling MPLA.

“The people leading these protests are young and they don’t have as much to lose. They were born after independence so they don’t have that connection to the ruling party like older generations,” Ms Cutaia says.


The Trade Union Coordination Centre (TUCC) members issued a warning to the district authorities on Friday, saying that they will block traffic, if Noorjahan — a domestic help arrested on theft charges — is not released by May 31. The union has organised a mega rally outside the DC office on Friday morning.

In a unique diktat, the TUCC members are asking for the release of the domestic help who was caught red-handed while stealing a gold ring. Noorjahan, who confessed her crime, had later tried to strike a deal with her employees by saying that she will give them a ring that she had stolen from another house.

China: Inner Mongolia

Protests are spreading in Inner Mongolia, as demonstrations spread following the death of two local herder leaders opposed to environmental destruction due to coal mining.

Yesterdays, protests were held in two towns in Inner Mongolia, the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Centre (SMHRIC) said.

It has been difficult for the foreign press to reach the area, but pictures were surfaced online showing hundreds of protesters marching through the county seats of Huveet Shar Banner (county) and Left Ujumchin Banner.

The protesters carried banners bearing Mongolian slogans including ‘defend the rights of Mongols’ and ‘defend the homeland.’

Jammu and Kashmir

People protested against alleged land grabbing by a former minister in the name of a trust and halted the Jammu- R. S Pura National Highway at Gadigarh for more than three hours. Only after the intervention by revenue authorities and police officials made it possible to pacify the situation, eye witness narrated.

Hundreds of people of nearby area assembled at lower Gadigrah near police naka and started shouting slogans against former Health Minister, Mrs. Suman Lata Bhagat. Vijay Kumar Sharma who led the protestors said that in the name of his father-in-law, Bhagat Chajju Ram who was also a minister during his political career, the former minister’s kin allegedly grabbed a piece of land measuring 7 kanals and 11 marls. He said that the piece of government land was meant to be utilized for the construction of hospital or a college for the locals of area….

It is important to mention that for the last few years the land grabbing and illegal encroachments by land mafia alleged in nexus with politicians, officers and influential have reached to new heights. Experts believe that one of main reason for corruption menace is land mafia culture in the state.

East Jerusalem

Witnesses say police used stun guns against those demonstrating at Ma’ale Zeitim, which would mark the first time this type of weapon has been used against protesters in East Jerusalem…

During the protest, fighting broke out between the activists and security forces at the settlement. According to the protesters, they were attacked by security, who used stun guns on them and arrested them. The protesters also said that police broke the hand of one of those arrested.


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