Hong Kong (CNN) — Police are in a tense standoff with tens of thousands of pro-democracy student demonstrators, recently joined by the like-minded Occupy Central movement, which has announced the formal start of a campaign of civil disobedience in the Chinese territory.
A demonstration in Rome turns violent when protesters throw rocks and firecrackers at police
Anti-austerity protests took over parts of Paris and Rome on Saturday, with one demonstration in Rome spurring violence when protesters threw rocks, eggs and firecrackers at police, with at least one person injured.
Tens of thousands of people took part in protests in central Paris and Rome, organized by hard-left parties opposed to government economic reform plans and austerity measures.
Police in Rome armed with batons charged members of a large splinter group — many wearing masks and helmets — and also used tear gas to push back the crowd, with protesters fighting back with rocks and firecrackers. One man lost a hand when a firecracker exploded before he could throw it.
Demonstrations point to frustration with traditional politics, with minister warning parliament of a country in ‘spiral of rebellion’
They blocked roads and stopped trains,occupied piazzas, clashed with police and closed shops. From Turin and Milan in the north to Puglia and Sicily in the south, Italy was hit this week by a wave of protests that brought together disparate groups and traditional foes in an angry show of opposition to austerity policies and the government.
“They [politicians] have brought us to hunger; have destroyed the identity of a country; have annihilated the future of entire generations,” read one poster from the “December 9 Committee”, an umbrella organisation urging Italians to rise up against the euro, Brussels, globalisation and, primarily, Enrico Letta’s government. “To rebel is a duty.”
In a loosely formed movement which has gone largely by the name of I Forconi (the Pitchforks), lorry drivers, farmers, small business owners, students and unemployed people staged protests venting their fury at a political class which they blame for Italy’s longest post-war recession and want to “send home”.
But they were not alone. Alongside them were anti-globalisation groups, members of the Veneto Independence movement, elements of the far right and – for good measure – football “ultras”. Among the sights “rarely seen before”, reported the Turin-based daily La Stampa, were supporters of arch-rivals Juventus and Torino standing “side by side”.
Although the protests had been publicised, especially on the internet, their scale and occasionally violent nature – particularly in Turin, a historic city of protest – appeared to take many by surprise.
In a country struggling to exit a two-year long recession, in which unemployment is at a record high of 12.5% and one in 10 children is thought to be living in absolute poverty, the causes of the unrest are hardly unfathomable.
London – Tens of thousands of people will take part in a “mass sleep out” tonight to protest against the “bedroom tax” and other welfare changes.
People will gather in towns and cities across the UK, including London, Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff, Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds, and sleep on the streets to draw attention to the effects of the controversial measures.
One of the organisers, Rick Victory, 46, of Cheltenham, said: “We expect at least 3,000 people to take part in the 60-plus events.
“We fear that the cuts will push people who cannot afford to move into the private rented sector towards homelessness.
‘47 Percent Negro’: Anti-Obama Protest Turns Racist In Phoenix
By Perry Stein
As President Barack Obama spoke in Phoenix Tuesday about responsible home ownership, hundreds of people stood outside protesting his policies, many shouting and carrying racially charged chants and signs.
“Bye Bye Black Sheep,” the protestors shouted at one point, a reference to the president’s skin color, according to the Arizona Republic. Another protestor carried a sign that said “Impeach the Half-White Muslim!” “He’s 47 percent Negro,” one protestor shouted.
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Rights group calls for drastic action in Turkey
Urgent steps must be taken by the Turkish authorities to prevent further deaths and injuries and allow protestors access to their fundamental rights , as well as ensuring the security of all members of the public, Amnesty International said.
Amnesty International kept its office, which is close to the Taksim area, open as a safe haven for protestors escaping police violence throughout the night. 20 doctors are currently in the office and treating injured protestors. Other civil society organisations have taken similar actions.
“Excessive use of force by police officers can be routine in Turkey but the excessively heavy-handed response to the entirely peaceful protests in Taksim has been truly disgraceful. It has hugely inflamed the situation on the streets of Istanbul where scores of people have been injured,” said John Dalhusien, Director of Amnesty International for Europe.
Amnesty International observers at the protests witnessed the use of water cannon against peaceful protestors as well as those throwing stones at police.
The human rights group also said it had received information that injured demonstrators in detention and on the streets have been prevented from accessing appropriate medical care.
“The Turkish authorities must allow peaceful protest to proceed, urgently revise police tactics and investigate – and hold accountable – those responsible for the abuses we are seeing,” said Dalhusien. [Amnesty International]
Police in Jerusalem on Monday detained 10 women for wearing the tallit, a Jewish prayer shawl traditionally worn by men, while praying at the Western Wall.
The Women of the Wall have been fighting for years for permission to worship in the manner that men do at the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism for prayer. The stone structure is part of the retaining wall that surrounded the Second Jewish Temple, which was destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70.
Men and women both pray at the wall, but in separate sections and under rules set by the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, a body appointed and funded by the government. It is headed by an ultra-Orthodox rabbi, Shmuel Rabinowitz.
Pakistan/Punjab: Water is life! But, life in Pakistans Sindh province has become extremely difficult due to unavailability of sufficient water. The problem has been created by Punjab, which is getting the lions share of Indus waters while denying Sindh’s rightful share. Sindh and other constituent units in Pakistan are battling serious water shortage, even as Punjab is going ahead with Chashma-Jhelum and Taunsa-Panjnad link canal projects. It is estimated that by June Sindh will face water shortage to the tune of 54 per cent as compared to 14 per cent by Punjab. A recent move by Punjab government to control water flows and forcible opening of flood canals has triggered widespread protests in Sindh and even Balochistan.
Courtesy: South Asia News » YouTube
REPORTING FROM KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — Anti-American protests flared for a second day Wednesday over the inadvertent burning of copies of the Koran by U.S. personnel at a military base north of Kabul, and at least seven people were killed in the ongoing violence, Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry said.
U.S. officials worked to contain the damaging fallout from the incident, which came at a difficult and delicate juncture of the decade-old war.
In demonstrations that spread to several locales across the country, hundreds of Afghans burned tires, threw stones and chanted “Death to America!” Foreign embassies and organizations urged Westerners in the capital and elsewhere to keep a low profile. ….
By Hussain Sinan
In the archipelago nation known for its beach resorts, Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed was forced to resign after the military clashed with protesting police dissidents. ….
Read more » CSMonitor
Egypt: Cairo – Protests are raging through at least 8 different cities now with street battles between protesters and security forces. The cold blood murder of more than 33 innocent protesters in the past few days have turned everyone against the ruling military council and their security forces.
For decades, we have heard, and chanted, slogans against the evils of capitalism. We have witnessed the monopolization of multinational corporates and intensifying ratio of starvation, growing side by side. We have seen so many wars, imposed in the name of peace. We have heard enough lies about the people’s struggle and their achievements of the past. We have watched the world transforming into a global village of miseries, poverty, bloodshed, hunger and oppression. Now, the masses, all over the world, seem to realize the root cause of all the miseries: exploitation of man’s labour by man. Capitalism is failing. The world is changing!
It is a historical moment for us. The advocates of free-market economy are shaken by the series of protests that, starting from the New York City, have captured the hundreds of cities all over the world. These protests represent the awakening class-consciousness of the masses that has culminated in the Occupy Wall Street Movement. These occupy activists have gathered to change the existing economic inequality of the system. They have always been taught that Marx was wrong in his critique of capitalism. They have realized the empirical evidence of the opposite.
Karl Marx, in the 19th century, had explained the inevitable presence of exploitation as an essential ingredient of capitalism. The German social scientist had proved that, in any society, the exploitation takes place when a few people own all the means of production and the majority, who doesn’t own anything, is bound to sell its labour to that minor class which accumulates private property. While, the state functions to protect that unequal distribution of wealth, assuring the widening class-differences.
The NY Post has referred the Occupy Movement as the New York’s ‘Marxist Epicenter’. It has countered the myth, propagated by the media, that the occupy activists are a breed of bored, hippie-like folks who are doing some adventurism to seek attention. According to their report, the flags depicting revolutionary icons can be seen everywhere, showing their ideological commitment. Moreover, the ‘occupiers’ openly refer to each other as ‘comrade’, a term used by the left-wing worldwide, meaning ‘friend’ or ‘ally’. Their literature openly declares Socialism as a cure of all the prevailing problems.
At this historical moment, the Pakistan’s left is reorganizing like their counterparts of the West. We have a long history of youth’s struggle against the dark military regimes. From the Democratic Students Federation’s front ‘Red Guards’ to the Lawyer’s movement, our young activists have always stood for the people’s cause. Continuing their legacy of internationalism, Pakistan’s left parties have decided to start anti-capitalist camps, initiating from Lahore, not only for the solidarity for the Occupy Wall Street movement, but also as a continuous struggle to change our indigenous problems. We need to realize the importance of this revolutionary wave. We need to be in the flow. For how long the people will continue to suffer and dream for a better society? The time has come to make those dreams an existing reality. The time has come to reject all the confused liberators. The time has come to chant, ‘Occupy Islamabad!’
But, unfortunately, the state is not the only thing to occupy, in our case. We are aware that Pakistan suffers from multiple complex issues. We don’t only have the corrupt feudal political families and their huge palaces to occupy; we have millions of minds to occupy which are burning in the flames of religious fanaticism. We have to occupy the rising sectarian mindset of the people. We have to occupy the religious rage to assure peaceful coexistence of everyone. We have to occupy the narcissistic prism and replace it with rationality and realism. We have to occupy the filth of the society and the filth within. And we, the people, can do that! We can do that because we are the 99 percent!
Courtesy» The Express Tribune
But the winter of discontent is still far off
The Arab Spring is now well underway and appears to have spread to other continents as well. Early signs of a European Spring are visible in UK and Greece, and there is an American version in the form of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Meanwhile, Anna Hazare provided a glimpse of how an Indian Spring may look like. The underpinnings of these protests may be different but at a broader level they signify the widening gulf between governments and their citizenry. In other words, hidden in these protests is a modern crisis of the nation-state system.
What triggered these public uprisings is hotly debated. However, in the context of the Arab world and Pakistan, the WikiLeaks disclosures may have played a major role. These secrets revealed how governments are playing a duplicitous role, especially about their dealings with the US. ….
…. Like many other outcomes of the linked and globalised world, these public revolts are also transnational in nature. There appears to be two contradictory forces at work: on the one hand the technological advancements and social media are making the borders increasingly irrelevant, and on the other, worsening economics is causing nationalism to resurge. The future of nation-sate structure is dependent on how it reconciles the pulls and tugs that emanate from within, with those that act upon it from outside.
To read complete article » Pakistan Today
– Occupy protests spread around the world; 70 injured in Rome
By Faith Karimi and Joe Sterling, CNN
(CNN) — Thousands of people across the world railed against corporate power, grinding poverty and government cuts Saturday as the Occupy Wall Street movement spread to the streets of Europe, Asia and Australia — and took a particularly violent turn in Rome.
Firefighters battled a blaze at an Interior Ministry building near Porta San Giovanni in Rome, the main gathering site of the Italian protesters taking part in the Occupy movement Saturday, said eyewitnesses who reported seeing a Molotov cocktail thrown near the building.
A spokesman for Mayor Gianni Alemanno, who condemned the violence, confirmed 70 people were injured, 40 of them police officers. No arrest numbers were available late Saturday. ….
Read more » CNN
Occupy Wall Street Movement (OWS), the anti-big business movement now preparing to go international. Protests are due to take place in Canada, the UK, and are even spreading to Asia and getting a lot of support in Asia. …
Courtesy »→ RT » YouTube
– A new awakening
By: Aziz-ud-Din Ahmad
The notion that the PPP leadership could treat Sindh as its fiefdom has been challenged by the Sindhi people. The more than a week long protests against decisions having a negative impact on Sindh are enough to indicate that PPP can no more take Sindh for granted. Anybody who thinks he alone knows what is in Sindh’s interests is now bound to be challenged in Sindh’s streets by the local population asserting its right to be consulted.
Read more: → Pakistan Today
♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠
– Ayaz Latif Palijo (Bolta Pakistan – 8th August 2011)
Courtesy: → Aaj TV News, (Bolta Pakistan with Mushtaq Minhas and Nusrat Javaid – 8th August 2011)
– By Dr. Ahmed H. Makhdoom, Singapore
– When the world was still to be born
When Adam was still to receive his form
Then my relationship began
When I heard the Lord’s Voice
A voice sweet and clear
I said “Yes” with all my heart
And Formed a bond with the land (Sindh) I love
When all of us were one, My bond then began.
– Sufi (mystic) poet of peace, Shah Abdul Latif
There are Protests and Rallies being organised by caring, concerned, loving and valiant children of Motherland against the threats to mother Sindh, throughout the length and breadth.
My apologies for not being able to attend the Protest Rally. However, in spirit, I shall be there with you all. My full and comprehensive support and prayers shall be there for my kindred folks of my Motherland.
Mother Sindh is wounded – by our own traitors! Capitulation, Surrender and Submission! This is the first step towards the annihilation of Sindh – the Cradle of Civilisation. This is the step towards the extinction of Sindh as a glorious Nation, as cultured citizens of earth and as gregarious people living in Love, Peace and Harmony on the surface of this Planet.
STAND UP and BE COUNTED! Fight against the partitionist forces & threats to the integrity of mother Sindh from barbarians now! Peace-loving, people of Sindh CANNOT tolerate threats to mother Sindh.
In the annals of history every act of treachery, betrayal, and treason, is punishable! What is our duty? Are we going to be a witness to the destruction, and drowning of our Motherland by traitors??????
Are we going to watch and see our Motherland being truncated, tormented and finally annihilated? Are we going to sit on our haunches seeing the extinction of the Cradle of Civilisation, Sindh?
Enough is enough! Time for silly talks is gone! Now, is the time to DELIVER! STAND UP and BE COUNTED! FIRST UNITE! AND THEN FIGHT AGAINST HATE AND FASCISTS GROUPS. We have to STAND UP against tyranny for Survival!
Courtesy: Sindhi e-groups/ e-lists, August 8, 2011
– Damaging revelations emerge from Fai arrest
FBI allegations that diasporic Kashmiri protests were paid for by ISI plunge movement into crisis
Last summer, as bloody clashes broke out between police and protesters on the streets of Kashmir’s cities and towns, Ghulam Nabi Fai had an impassioned message for the world. ….
Read more → New Digital Point
by Ian Black, Middle East editor
The Al-Khalifa family, who control Bahrain, has cracked down on dissent with little condemnation from the west
History and geography explain why Bahrain’s peaceful uprising was the early exception to the “Arab spring”, which began with high hopes in Tunisia and Egypt but now faces bloody uncertainties in Libya and Syria.
Sitting astride the faultline between the Shia and Sunni worlds, the small Gulf island state lies at the heart of a strategically sensitive region that is dominated by bitter rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia – both very tough neighbours. …
Read more: guardian.co.uk
Yemen leader Saleh agrees to step down under Gulf plan
President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen has agreed to step down under a 30-day transition plan aimed at ending violent unrest over his 32-year rule.
Officials in the capital Sanaa confirmed the government had accepted the plan drawn up by Gulf Arab states.
Mr Saleh will hand power to his vice-president one month after an agreement is signed with the opposition, in return for immunity from prosecution.
At least 120 people have died during two months of protests.
The US has welcomed the announcement; a statement from the White House urged all parties to “swiftly” implement a peaceful transfer of power ….
Read more : BBC
Swazi regime’s ‘victory’ is a pyrrhic one
By Peter Kenworthy
(Earlier reports and statements below.)
April 14, 2011 — Pambazuka News — Swaziland’s minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, Lutfo Dlamini, called the brutally crushed peaceful protest or uprising against Swaziland’s absolute monarchy, that lets a small elite live in luxury while two thirds of the population live below the poverty line, a “failure” …
Read more : Links International
Syria: Clashes at mass Damascus protest
Syrian security forces have used tear gas and batons to disperse tens of thousands of protesters in the capital, Damascus, witnesses said.
The protesters called for reforms, while some demanded the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad.
The protests, in Damascus and other cities, are believed to be the largest in a month of unrest in which about 200 people have been reported killed. …
Read more : BBC
Behind ‘Rising India’ lies the surrender of national dignity
From India’s prime minister down, the rotten state of the world’s largest democracy has been exposed for all to see
Even the racketeers of Pakistani military and intelligence appear dignified when compared with the Indians stampeding to plant kisses on US behinds!
by Pankaj Mishra
Food prices become intolerable for the poor. Protests against corruption paralyse the national parliament for weeks on end. Then a series of American diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks exposes a brazenly mendacious and venal ruling class; the head of government adored by foreign business people and journalists loses his moral authority, turning into a lame duck.
This sounds like Tunisia or Egypt before their uprisings, countries long deprived of representative politics and pillaged by the local agents of neoliberal capitalism. But it is India, where in recent days WikiLeaks has highlighted how national democratic institutions are no defence against the rapacity and selfishness of globalised elites.
Most of the cables – being published by the Hindu, the country’s most respected newspaper in English – offer nothing new to those who haven’t drunk the “Rising India” Kool-Aid vended by business people, politicians and their journalist groupies. The evidence of economic liberalisation providing cover for a wholesale plunder of the country’s resources has been steadily mounting over recent months. The loss in particular of a staggering $39bn in the government’s sale of the telecom spectrum has alerted many Indians to the corrupt nexuses between corporate and political power. …
Read more : guardian.co.uk
By LAURA KASINOF and DAVID E. SANGER
SANA, Yemen — The United States, which long supported Yemen’s president, even in the face of recent widespread protests, has now quietly shifted positions and has concluded that he is unlikely to bring about the required reforms and must be eased out of office, according to American and Yemeni officials. …
Read more : The New York Times
Unrest in Syria: What you need to know
By Zachary Roth
The uprising in Libya, which provoked military intervention by the United States and its allies to avert a brutal government crackdown, has dominated this week’s headlines. But meanwhile, there’s new unrest in yet another Middle Eastern nation–one with perhaps greater strategic implications for the United States.
Could the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad be set to go the way of the dictatorships in Egypt and Tunisia, which were toppled last month by massive popular protests? And what would that mean for the U.S.?
Here’s a rundown on the current situation in Syria:
What exactly has been happening on the ground?
Mass protests against the government have been going on since last week, and on Wednesday, demonstrators in the southern city of Dara’a were killed by al-Assad’s security forces while taking refuge in a mosque. The number of casualties hasn’t been confirmed, but some witnesses have put it as high as 100.
The deaths prompted even bigger anti-government demonstrations in Dara’a yesterday, and today the protests spread to the capital city of Damascus, where people called out: “Dara’a is Syria” and “We will sacrifice ourselves for Syria.” In response, supporters of the president chanted back: “God, Syria, and Bashar, that’s all.” ….
Read more : YahooNews
Syria: Protesters in south set fire to buildings
Demonstrators in the southern Syrian city of Deraa have set fire to several buildings during a third consecutive day of protests, witnesses say.
One report said the buildings targeted included the headquarters of the ruling Baath Party.
Police tried to disperse protesters in the southern city, and one demonstrator was reportedly killed.
Violent clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces on Friday left at least four people dead.
The protests on Sunday came as a government delegation arrived in Deraa to offer condolences for those killed.
Residents told Reuters news agency that protesters had set fire to symbols of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, including the Baath Party building, a courthouse and two branches of a phone company owned by the president’s cousin.
Earlier, protesters in Deraa called for an end to Syria’s 48-year-old emergency law, and for the dismissal of officials involved in Friday’s crackdown, reports said. …
Read more : BBC
HYDERABAD, Feb 3: Demonstrations were held in some districts of Sindh on Thursday in protest against the murder of federal minister for minorities` affairs Shahbaz Bhatti. Processions were taken out and rallies were held to condemn the incident. In Hyderabad, Christians and civil society held separate protest demonstrations outside the press club.
A large number of Christian community members, including women, led by Father Daniel Fiaz, senior vicar of the Church of Pakistan, Hyderabad, and Father Samson Sakardin, vicar-general of Catholic Diocese of Hyderabad held a demonstration outside the press club. They described the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti as a national tragedy. …
Read more : DAWN
By NADA BAKRI
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Demonstrators blocked roads and clashed with police on Monday in Oman, the normally quiet oil-rich country along the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, as three-day-old protests calling for political reforms and better living conditions spread to Muscat, the capital.
In the northeast port city of Sohar, where the protests originated, demonstrators blocked roads to the port, Oman’s second biggest, and an industrial area that includes a refinery and an aluminum factory, according to two witnesses in Sohar and news agencies. They also set a supermarket on fire and clashed with the police. Protesters have also been camped out for three days in the city’s main square, called Kurra Ardiyah Roundabout, despite efforts by police and army to push them out, a resident in Sohar said by e-mail. …
Read more : The New York Times
By COLIN MOYNIHAN
Members of Libya’s mission to the United Nations renounced Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi on Monday, calling him a genocidal war criminal responsible for mass shootings of demonstrators protesting against his four decades in power. They called upon him to resign. …
Read more : The New York Times