World Popular Resistance Clippings 26/11/2012

Russia scrambles to defuse prison protest in Urals


MOSCOW — The Russian authorities Monday said they had quelled a rare uprising at a prison in the Urals region that saw inmates climb on the roof and bloody clashes between police and supporters outside. Hundreds of prisoners at Prison Number 6 in the small town of Kopeisk in the Chelyabinsk region had since Saturday staged a protest which the authorities said was aimed at obtaining the release of convicts from solitary confinement and the easing of conditions.

In an image widely broadcast on Russian television, a large group of inmates climbed onto the roof of the prison and unfurled a banner reading: “People, Help!” Activists said the real reason for the protest was beatings and other abuses by wardens. However by Monday morning “all the convicts returned to their sections” in the prison and the situation was “stable and fully under the control of the prison administration”, said the local directorate of Russia’s Federal Service for the Execution of Punishment (FSIN). Hundreds of people including relatives had also gathered outside the Kopeisk prison to support the convicts, and on Saturday night they were involved in bloody clashes with OMON riot police who sought to disperse them.

Aides for the Kremlin’s human rights envoy Vladimir Lukin arrived in Kopeisk to help mediate the conflict between the inmates and the prison, said the local rights ombudsman, Alexei Sevastyanov. “We need to fully and exhaustively verify all the facts provided by the inmates about the beatings and extortions at the penal colony,” he wrote in his official blog. The local interior ministry said 38 people were arrested and eight OMON officers were injured. Images published by local media showed some of the participants with bloodied heads.

CCTV surveillance at Udyog Bhavan soon

NASHIK: To enhance safety measures, the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) is planning to install CCTV cameras at strategic locations in Udyog Bhavan soon. The MIDC is planning to hold meetings with all offices in Udyog Bhavan at Satpur for the same. The Udyog Bhavan houses government offices like MIDC, Food & Drug Administration ( FDA), Office of Dy Labour Commissioner (DLC), Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), Khadi Garm Udyog, National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) and Office of the Dy Director (Safety).

The decision to install CCTV cameras had been taken at the meeting of Zilla Udyog Mitra (ZUM) in August. The decision had come close on the heels of labour unrest in Nashik industrial areas that had culminated in the attack on three senior officials of Dindori-based Everest Industries Ltd. The officials, who were returning after the meeting with the company union office-bearers at the office of the DLC, were attacked by the company workers at the office of the DLC. A senior MIDC official said, “We are planning to ask all government offices to install CCTV cameras in their premises. Moreover, the decision to install CCTV cameras in Udyog Bhavan will be taken shortly.”

The president of Ambad Industries & Manufactures’ Association (AIMA), Sunil Mali said, “All major government offices are located in the Udyog Bhavan. The workers’ unions frequently take out morcha to the office of the DLC. Moreover, meetings between industrialists and union office-bearers are also held at the office of the DLC. At this juncture, safety of industrialists is a major concern. Hence, CCTV cameras should be installed at the earliest. Moreover, police security should also be provided during such meetings.”

Garment Workers Stage Protest in Bangladesh After Deadly Fire

DHAKA, Bangladesh — Thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers staged angry protests on Monday, demanding justice after at least 112 people died over the weekend in a fire at a factory on the outskirts of Dhaka where labor advocates found the charred remains of clothing brands sold at global retailers like Walmart.

The protests paralyzed much of the Ashulia area, an important industrial belt north of Dhaka, the capital, as workers blocked roads, prompting some factories to close for the day. A second garment factory in a different part of Dhaka was engulfed in flames on Monday morning. By afternoon, the second fire had been brought under control without any casualties being reported. The weekend fire at the Tazreen Fashions factory ranks as one of Bangladesh’s worst industrial accidents.

Witnesses described a desperate scene, as workers leapt from the upper floors of the factory, trying to land on nearby rooftops and escape the smoke and flames. Others suffocated inside the factory building, as the blaze apparently rendered stairwells impassable. Kalpona Akter, a Bangladeshi labor leader, said she toured the factory after the fire was extinguished and found labels for a variety of global retailers, including Faded Glory, a brand she said was manufactured for Walmart. Ms. Akter said she also found labels for brands sold at leading European retailers.

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