Police Use Teargas against Massive Anti-Govt Rally in Slovenia
Unrest in Slovenia is continuing for a fourth month on, with tens of thousands of protesters gathering in major cities, including capital Ljubljana, to request the resignation of PM Janez Jansa. Late Friday evening, police used teargas to dispell a 20,000 strong crowd gathered around the Parliament in Ljubljana. Protesters have requested Jansa’s resignation, and have accused the government of widespread corruption, after it was revealed that the PM had failed to declare income worth more than EUR 200,000. Young people are also protesting the worsened economic and social conditions in Slovenia. While the protest has the ousting of Jansa’s cabinet as its specific goal, it has taken a broader anti-capitalist and anti-establishment thrust.
Police cruisers vandalized at Montreal protest over job fair
The familiar sight of young protesters clashing with police in Montreal made a reappearance Friday, although the demonstration centred on a different cause than last year’s.
The scene in downtown Montreal was reminiscent of numerous street marches last year in which students resisted tuition hikes. But this time the protesters, who were smaller in number than at last year’s huge marches, opposed current plans to extract resources in northern Quebec. Many in the crowd of several dozen protesters wore the red squares associated with last year’s student strikes. A number were masked. Police said three cruisers were vandalized while riot cops chased away the demonstrators from a convention centre, eventually dispersing them.
They had been protesting at a job fair designed to promote opportunities in the natural-resources sector. Police declared the gathering illegal as soon as it began because no route for the march had been given to police beforehand. A small number of protesters, some carrying sticks and rocks, broke away from the main mob and moved toward the convention centre where the job fair was taking place. They pounded on the windows of the convention centre and someone began spray-painting the words, “Idle No More.”
Police said the cruisers were damaged after the crowd was told to disperse. The two-day convention is being sponsored by the Metropolitan Montreal Board of Trade. A news release said visitors would get a chance to network and discover job opportunities that would allow them to work in what was described as a “dynamic” sector. Mining giant Rio Tinto Alcan, engineering firm SNC-Lavalin, and the pipeline company Enbridge were included on the list of oil, gas and mining companies taking part in the event.
18 inmates on hunger strike in Oman prison
Muscat: Eighteen jailed activists began a hunger strike today (Saturday) to protest the delay in the Appeal Court hearing for cases on cyber law violations as well as their appeal not being taken up so far by the Supreme Court. “We have been requesting the court to hear another case against some of the activists, who are already serving six-month terms for wrongful gathering,”
Esmail Al Muqabali, who is serving an 18-month prison term for insulting the Sultan and violating cyber laws, told Gulf News over the phone from Sumayil Central Prison. He added that they also want to draw attention to conditions at the prison. “We also want the judges to ignore any influence by the security forces and take up the pending hearing against some of us already spending time in prison,” he pointed out. Esmail, who has been at the forefront of protests, was first arrested from Fahoud when he went to show solidarity with tstriking Omani workers hired by the contracting companies for Petroleum Development Oman (PDO).
The Sohar-based activist, who is on suspension from his employers PDO, added that the delay in taking up the cases for some who are already sentenced in one case could increase their stay in prison. “If the judgement is passed in their second case now, then they do not have to spend additional time and complete prison terms simultaneously in both cases,” he said. “We are 18 of us,” another activist and freelance photographer Mohammad Al Habsi, who is also serving a term for insulting the Sultan and violating cyber laws, told Gulf News referring to inmates going on a hunger strike. With time constraints on talk time for inmates at the prison, they could not give the names of the 18 inmates taking part in the hunger strike.
Students protest at Sudan university
KHARTOUM, Sudan, Feb. 8 (UPI) — Students at the University of Khartoum in Sudan staged a sit-in, objecting to a dormitory fire they said was set in retaliation for an anti-government protest.
The university’s dormitories were allegedly set on fire by unidentified pro-government individuals following an opposition protest at a recent graduation event attended by al-Haj Adam Youssef, Sudan’s second vice president, the Sudan Times reported. The fire “impacted” 27 rooms housing 132 students, the newspaper said. The latest protest, by students in the law and economics departments, involved a sit-in Thursday and a march through the campus Friday. The students wrote a list of demands They called for compensation for the fire victims and want whoever was behind the fire held accountable.