Egypt: 8 Policemen Wounded, Molotov Thrown At Parliament – Interior Ministry
The Ministry of Interior announced on Friday that three of its officers, including a major general, and five policemen suffered serious injuries in the area of clashes in downtown Cairo. “There are some attempts to provoke security forces in charge of securing the parliament and the vital facilities in al-Qasr al-Aini Street,” the ministry said in a statement. Some protesters threw molotov cocktails on these facilities which prompted security forces to teargas the protesters. The ministry appealed to all parties to avoid escalating the status quo or provoke security forces.
Western Cape farmers fear more mayhem
WESTERN Cape farmers are gearing up for further labour unrest, forking out money for heavily-armed private security guards, who use helicopters and wear bullet-proof vests, and buying fire engines in anticipation of chaos as time runs out for finding solutions to the farm wage crisis. Cosatu’s Tony Ehrenreich, meanwhile, warned that further strike action from farmworkers was virtually inevitable unless “government and the farmers bring an acceptable agreement for a wage hike” to the fore.
A helicopter was circling De Doorns this week, scanning the area where farmworkers first downed tools for any sign of protest action. Yesterday, the president of Agri Wes Cape, Cornie Swart, called a group of 300 farmers to action. “Go back to your homes and prepare to defend yourselves, your farms, your property and your families. We were caught with our pants down (two weeks ago). We cannot allow that to happen again,” he warned them. Swart appealed for President Jacob Zuma to intervene. “If the president does not step in to rein in Cosatu there will be serious bloodshed,” he cautioned.
Pictures have been posted on a website of armed security guards preparing for action. After government intervention, striking workers last week agreed to suspend further action until December 4 for government and the farmers to thrash out solutions. But yesterday, at a meeting convened by the Department of Labour, farmers were adamant that they could not afford the R150 per day strikers demanded. Last week, Weekend Argus reported that farmers in De Doorns were arranging for private security companies to secure their properties. In some cases, air support was on standby. It is understood that the situation is similar in the Ceres area. Swart accused Cosatu of secretly agitating strikers towards violence.
Paraguay: Gov´t to Force-feeding Farmworkers in Hunger Strike Asuncion,
Nov 23 (Prensa Latina) The Paraguayan government announced today its decision to forcibly feed the four farmworkers prisoners, who proclaim their innocence and demand their freedom with a hunger strike started 59 days ago. The official report in this regard, released by the Ministries of Justice and Interior, justified the application of that measure to prevent a fatal outcome and reiterated they will not accept the demands to release the campesinos, a total of 12, detained five months ago.
The peasants are imprisoned after the bloody eviction made last June in Curuguaty, which resulted in the deaths of 11 rural workers and six policemen, a fact already insufficiently clear. Due to the worsening health condition of the strikers, governmental officials said that they are in the considered last stage of the hunger strike before a final collapse and the feeding would be done intravenously. Farmers Juan Carlos Tilleria, Alcides Ramirez and Luis Olmedo only drink water while Lucia Agüero refuses even to that. Defense lawyers will insist today before Judge Jose Benitez in a review of measures that allow the figure of house arrest for the accused, something already denied the first time besides an habeas corpus petition in favor of the strikers.
Meanwhile, continue the demonstrations of social organizations demanding the release of the peasants for lack of evidence against them and claiming that the facts of Curuguaty were part of a political operation to remove President Fernando Lugo. Hundreds of people marched through downtown last night in this capital supporting the strikers, while other groups remain with the same claim against the National Attorney´s Office, the place from where they had been violently evicted in early Thursday by police.