Protesters Demonstrate for 2nd Night After Police Shooting
Large crowds demonstrated in Brooklyn for a second straight night to protest the deadly police shooting of 16-year-old Kimani Gray over the weekend, though Tuesday’s march was noticeably more peaceful and subdued. A crowd of about 100 people, some apparently affiliated with the Occupy movement, marched 20 blocks from the scene of the shooting to the 67th Precinct station in East Flatbush.
The march was large, but the police presence was heavy and there were no confrontations. It was a marked contrast to Monday’s demonstration in which dozens of people threw bottles and garbage at the police station and later looted businesses, police said. About 50 people stormed a Rite Aid pharmacy after that protest, looting the store and injuring a local reverend who happened to be inside shopping at the time. A fruit market was also ransacked by a mob that grabbed items from shelves, stole cash from the register and damaged property. A 19-year-old man identified as Kaven Menard of Brooklyn, allegedly seen in the surveillance video of the Rite Aid attack, was arrested in the looting incident, and police are continuing to look for others. It’s not clear if Menard has an attorney.
Tunisian dies after torching himself, unrest could follow
(Reuters) – A jobless man who set fire to himself in the Tunisian capital died in hospital on Wednesday, a development which could provoke renewed anger against the Islamist-led government. Adel Kedhri, 27, set himself on fire in the center of Tunis on Tuesday. “This young man is already dead”, a medical source in Mourouj Hospital told Reuters.
The act recalled the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, whose death in December 2010 led to a revolt in Tunisia that spread across the Arab world. The economic and social problems that fuelled Tunisia’s uprising have yet to be solved in a country now deeply polarized between Islamists and their opponents and still awaiting a new constitution to advance a transition from autocracy. Kedhri’s death occurred while Prime Minister-designate Ali Larayedh sought a confidence vote for his new Islamist-led government from the National Constituent Assembly. “This incident shows the desperation,” parliamentary speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar said during an assembly session.
UNEMPLOYMENT FUELS DESPAIR
Kedhri set himself ablaze outside the municipal theatre in the capital’s Habib Bourguiba Avenue, the focus for protests that toppled President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali two years ago.Several Tunisians have immolated themselves in the past two years in protests emulating that of Bouazizi, a street vendor who torched himself in the town of Sidi Bouzid after a policewoman confiscated his fruit cart. Bouazizi’s death led to protests that ended with Ben Ali’s overthrow and inspired rebellions elsewhere in the Middle East Ali Larayedh said on Tuesday that unemployment, rising prices and providing security for all Tunisians will be the new government’s priorities. Tunisia’s unemployment rate stands at about 17 percent, with graduates forming a large proportion of the jobless total.
Israeli troops kill Palestinian, wound two in West Bank clash
(Reuters) – Israeli troops killed a Palestinian on Tuesday during a confrontation with a stone-throwing crowd in a flashpoint district of the occupied West Bank, both sides said. The incident in Fuwar, near the city of Hebron, stoked tensions ahead of a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama next week that has been billed as a bid to encourage new peacemaking.
Witnesses said Israeli soldiers raided Fuwar and opened fire after coming under a barrage of rocks from local Palestinians. Hospital officials said a 25-year-old man died after being shot in the head and two others were wounded by the Israelis. Citing the results of an initial investigation, an Israeli military spokeswoman said the troops had been attacked with fire-bombs on a nearby road and pursued the assailants into Fuwar, where they encountered the stone-throwers. “Feeling a threat to their lives, they (the soldiers) fired toward the assaulters,” the spokeswoman said, confirming that a Palestinian was killed in the shooting.
Mozambique: Police Use Water Cannon to Disperse Demobilised
Maputo — The Mozambican police on Tuesday once again used water cannon to disperse a group of demobilised soldiers who were attempting to march on the office of Prime Minister Alberto Vaquina, in pursuit of their demand for a pension for all demobilised troops of 20,000 meticais (about 664 US dollars) a month. This is the second time the police have resorted to water cannon to disperse the protests called by the Forum of Demobilised Soldiers, led by Herminio dos Santos. The first occasion was on 26 February, when the police also used tear gas and baton charges.
This time a group of demonstrators (including some women with babies on their backs) gathered outside the fairground near Vaquina’s office, singing and chanting. But the police were already there, armed with anti-riot shields, firearms and tear gas. The demonstrators gave defiant clenched fist salutes, in an apparent stand-off with the police.
This did not last long. When a riot police vehicle armed with water cannon arrived, it successefully dispersed the protestors. Members of the riot police then waded into the dispersing crowd, lashing out violently, and made four arrests. As on 26 February, the clashes briefly halted traffic along one of the city’s main thoroughfares, 25 September Avenue.
Albino Timbane, the Maputo provincial delegate of the Forum, said that, despite the actions of the riot police, the Forum will continue its demonstrations. He regarded the demand for a monthly pension of 20,000 meticais as “just” – even though it is much higher than the wages of serving soldiers, and more than three times higher than the highest of the current statutory minimum wages. (The monthly minimum wages in force since April last year range from 2,300 meticais for agricultural workers to 6,171 meticais for workers in financial services).
Anti-police demonstrators march in downtown Berkeley
A group around 75-strong at its peak gathered Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. to demontraste against the Berkeley Police, claiming they were responsible for the “murder” of Xavier Moore, who identified as Kayla Moore, the 41-year old mentally ill transgender person who died on Feb. 12 while in custody of BPD. According to Berkeley Police spokesperson Officer Jennifer Coats, the march was peaceful and there were no reported problems or arrests.
Massive Riots Target Lazy Police in Argentina
A furious mob in Argentina, angry about the murder of a teenage girl, clash with police on Sunday in the city of Junin. Local media report that a 17-year-old girl was murdered by a robber earlier in the evening, just 100 meters away from a police station. Local residents reached boiling point with the ineffective authorities, starting a fire outside the police station before throwing rocks at the building. Police in protective gear retaliated with riot formations and rubber bullets.
Inmates at Sri Lanka main prison continue to protest on roof demanding release
Mar 13, Colombo: Three inmates at Sri Lanka’s main Welikada Prison in Sri Lanka are engaged in a hunger strike on the prison roof demanding their release. The inmates had commenced the hunger strike two days ago against the mistreatment by prison authorities. They have alleged that the prison authorities promoted the granting of amnesties to inmates who grant favors to them while the other inmates are sidelined. Over 3,000 inmates at the prison have refrained from consuming any food yesterday in support of the protest launched by the three inmates.
According to the prison authorities one of the prisoners is serving a 92-year prison term and another was sentenced to 55 years while the third was a rapist. Meanwhile, Commissioner Operations at the prison, G.B. Kulatunge has said the prison authorities were trying to coax the inmates to end their strike and come down from the roof. Last November one of the deadliest prison riots by the prisoners in the history of Sri Lanka broke out in the same prison resulting in a shootout between the inmates and the police officers. During the shootout at least 27 inmates were killed and 43 people including special police officers were injured.
Cambodian police beat eviction protesters
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — Cambodian police beat demonstrators who marched to the prime minister’s house Wednesday to protest being evicted from their homes, a confrontation that highlights how contentious the issue of land grabbing is this election year. Nearly 100 protesters, mostly women, marched to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s home in the middle of Phnom Penh to petition him to provide land they claim was promised them when they were evicted from their homes in the capital’s Boueng Kak lake area to make way for a luxury real estate development. About 100 police began beating demonstrators when they tried to push through their lines, according to an Associated Press reporter at the scene. At least two protesters suffered apparent broken limbs and were taken to a hospital by fellow demonstrators.
At least four others – including a 72-year-old woman – fell unconscious, though it was unclear whether it was from being beating. Scores of other protesters nursed cuts and bruises from being pushed and kicked. “The police forces beat us like they do to animals. They treated us, peaceful protesters, as badly as the Khmer Rouge did,” said a crying 42-year-old woman, Eng Houy, comparing the authorities to the genocidal rulers of Cambodia in the 1970s.
The Boueng Kak dispute is a high-profile example of the evictions and land grabs that have become a volatile social problem nationwide, with deadly force sometimes employed. Activists link the deals to corruption and cronyism. The issue is seen as a weak point in Hun Sen’s administration as it faces a general election in July. His Cambodian People’s Party is all but assured a victory, but the opposition may be able to pick up some parliamentary seats due to popular anger over land grabbing.
The Boueng Kak land was awarded by the government to a Chinese company for commercial development with a hotel, office buildings and luxury housing. The protesters demand land titles they said had been promised by Hun Sen’s government. The city government resettled some families, but did not include them, they claimed. Since their eviction, the primarily female protesters have kept up the pressure, even though public dissent is discouraged under Hun Sen’s often heavy-handed government.
Last May, 13 of the protesters were sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for aggravated rebellion and illegal occupation of land, when they tried to rebuild their homes on the land where their houses were demolished by the developers in 2010. An appeals court judge upheld their convictions in June, but ordered them freed on the grounds that they were unfamiliar with the law, did not resist arrest and had children to take care of. Several of the protesters had staged a hunger strike prior to the order to free them.
Thousands of South Asians strike at Oman airport as Indian worker dies
Muscat: Thousands of Asian expatriate workers, mainly from India, went on strike at the Muscat International Airport expansion project site on Monday night, following the death of one of their colleagues. According to sources, the majority of the 10,000 workers, mostly Indians, at the project site boycotted work. “At approximately 7pm on Monday, one of our Indian workers was run over by a bus and sustained fatal injuries.
Bechtel ENKA Bahwan (BEB) suspended work on Tuesday out of respect for the deceased employee, which is customary in Indian culture. Work will resume on Wednesday at the commencement of the day shift. An investigation is being conducted by the company and the local authorities. “The health and safety of our workforce is something we take very seriously, and we are cooperating fully with the investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the worker’s family and friends at this difficult time,” noted a statement emailed to Times of Oman by BEB consortium.
According to sources, the worker from the South-Indian state of Tamil Nadu, who was run over by a bus in the western part of the airport project, has been identified as Murukesan Palani. “Palani boarded the bus after finishing his shift at around 7p.m. Since the bus was overcrowded, some of them, including Palani, were asked to step down. While he was getting off the bus, the driver reportedly accelerated the bus, and Palani lost his balance and fell down. The bus ran over him,” sources from the airport project confided. Immediately thereafter, the company officials rushed Palani to the hospital, but their efforts to revive him went in vain.
“We heard that he died on the spot,” sources stated, adding that Palani was supposed to travel to India in two weeks for his daughter’s wedding. Following the accident, the irate workers went on strike, demanding better safety measures and decent compensation from the company.
The safety measures are also not up to the mark. Several minor accidents have happened before,” the sources noted. They remarked that national workers and other Arab workers had reportedly left the camp, fearing trouble.
“The strikes during 2012 were violent, so most of the Arabs have left the camp to avoid trouble,” sources confirmed. Officials at the Indian embassy told Times of Oman that they had directed the company officials to complete the necessary paperwork to repatriate the deceased’s body. “When they contacted us yesterday, we advised them to finish the paperwork as soon as possible to repatriate the body. They have assured us they will bring it [to us] on Wednesday. As soon as the papers are ready, we will be able to send the body back,” an embassy official added.
Abdallah supporters protest ahead of judicial meet
BEIRUT: Supporters of leftist militant George Abdallah held a sit-in Wednesday amid an international judicial conference in Beirut to protest the 61-year-old continued imprisonment in France. “Our sit-in today … is to say that the French authorities are detaining George Abdallah against all legal frameworks,” Abdallah’s brother, Joseph, said outside the Beirut Bar Association. He said Wednesday’s rally comes in conjunction with an international conference on the judicial code of ethics in partnership with the International Francophone Organization and the Lebanese Court of Cassation.
The March 13-15 conference is being held in Beirut. “We hope that the participants, heads of associations and lawyers will raise the issue of prisoner George Abdallah during this conference,” Joseph added. He said the protesters distributed a statement summing up his brother’s case in terms of the accusations brought forward against him. “George Abdallah has been unjustly sentenced. He has been sentenced for acts he did not do,” Joseph argued.
While he thanked Lebanon for stepping in to resolve his brother’s case, Joseph said the Lebanese government’s efforts were “slow.” He said supporters and friends of Abdallah are organizing a mass rally outside the French Embassy in Beirut Sunday. Abdallah was scheduled to be released and sent back to Lebanon in January after spending 29 years in prison for killing an Israeli diplomat and an American military attaché, but the French Interior Ministry has twice denied the deportation order. A new hearing has been set for March 21.
Basque terrorists face additional charges
SANTA POLA, Spain, March 13 (UPI) — Two terrorists in Spain face 20 years in prison in addition to their existing 843-year sentences after being linked to two more bombings, ThinkSPAIN reported.
Oscar Celerain, known as Peio, and Andoni Otegi Eraso, known as Iousu, were sentenced to 843 years in prison for the Aug. 4, 2002, bombing the Guardia Civil living quarters in Santa Pola. The 6-year-old daughter of one of the officers was killed in the explosion. The two were members of the Basque separatist group ETA, which took responsibility for the blast, ThinkSPAIN reported Wednesday. Celerain and Eraso have now been linked to two more bombings that took place shortly after the Aug. 4 incident.
An explosive device caused extensive structural damage to the Queen Burger restaurant in Torrevieja Aug. 9, 2002, ThinkSpain reported. An anonymous tip led to the evacuation of the building so there were no injuries. Three days later on Aug. 12, 2002, a suspicious package containing a bomb was found near the Elcano nightclub in Santa Pola. Police deactivated the package before it exploded. ETA claimed responsibility for both devices.
Anti-Terror Raid Nets Weapons Cache
A police raid on an apartment in the anarchist stronghold of Exarchia in central Athens led to the discovery iof a large amount of weapons, authorities said. According to the news agency AMNA, a large police force cordoned off the area around an apartment at 4 Skylitsi St. which anti-terrorism and criminal squads were searching. Searches also took place at an apartment in Piraeus.
In a private parking lot investigated earlier in Exarchia, police said they found inside a rented car two backpacks containing two Kalashnikov military rifles wiith sawn-off butts, four grenades of the F1 defense type, three loaded magazines (two of 20 cartridges and one of six), two large sealed boxes containing 720 cartidges (7.62 mm calibre), and a pair of cloth gloves. The apartments and garage were identified during the process of the anti-terrorist squad΄s search for the group that carried out the armed robberies in Velvento, near the northern town of Kozani, as well as for groups linked to all recent terrorist acts. Four men declaring themselves to be anarchists have been arrested for the robberies.
Another four suspects are being sought. Last month, a group of around 30 masked assailants pelted the police precinct in Exarchia with firebombs, causing damage but no injuries. Around eight Molotov cocktails were launched at the police station on Kallidromiou Street by the youths who were not apprehended. The station is one of the most heavily-armed in the city with constant police patrols outside but has been targeted nonetheless.
Nigeria: Scores Injured As Women, Soldiers Clash in Plateau
Jos — Some women in Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State have clashed with men of the Special Task Force (STF) maintaining security in the state injuring six of them in the process. Several of the villagers also sustained injuries in the clash with the soldiers. However, while the STF is alleging that the women were hostile towards its men, the women have also protested what they called maltreatment and arbitrariness by the soldiers in the course of their duty calling for their withdrawal from their communities.
Vanguard gathered that women at Rim resisted the soldiers who were on a house-to-house search for arms and ammunition allegedly pelting them with stones and other missiles. Media Officer of the STF, Captain Salisu Mustapha in a statement on Tuesday, confirmed the clash between the villagers and soldiers but denied any maltreatment of the women as alleged. According to him, the STF personnel had embarked on a routine search for arms in some villages including Rim following intelligence information but that the women resisted and turned violent, hurling missiles at the soldiers.
Police, protesters clash at Argentine cultural center
Police stormed Buenos Aires’s biggest cultural center early Wednesday, clearing out protesters blocking an entrance in an operation that left at least 16 people injured. Two of the injured suffered gunshot wounds several blocks from the main action at San Martin Cultural Center, said Metropolitan Police chief Guillermo Montenegro.
He said four people were arrested. Dozens of protesters had blocked one of the entrances of the center in support of a group of artists who had been staging a months-long sit-in in one of the center’s halls. A protester later told local television that police responded after a person hurled a Molotov cocktail into the crowd. Television images showed police firing tear gas and the sound of gunfire. Windows were smashed and fires set in trash receptacles in the area around the cultural complex, including along Avenida Corrientes, a corridor of theaters, bars and bookstores in the center of the city.