Over Demolition…Riot at Lumley
Desperate youths recently went on the rampage at Lumley in protest against the attempt by the demolition team to demolish sixty houses, including a school at Lumley Road in the West end of Freetown. According to Adama Kong, one of the residents whose dwelling was about to be demolished, a demolition team attended by riot police breezed into their residence on Thursday May 30th, threatening to demolish it based on a court order. Madam Kong further explained that when she asked the team members to produce the documented court order that mandated them to demolish their residence, they could not produce the document but that the team leader went ahead and ordered that the house be demolished.
“I then phoned my landlady, Madam Prudence French who immediately arrived at the scene and made few telephone calls and the demolition team vanished instantly promising to come back,” she further narrated. Our investigation revealed that on Tuesday, June 4th, a team of riot police was again seen around the area in the early hours and this made the youths suspicious that another demolition team was on the way. The suspicious youths started shouting riotously, burning tyres and menacing evil and the police again disappeared.
Indigenous Brazilians protest at president’s office
AFP – Native Brazilians who are embroiled in land feuds with white farmers and others opposed to construction of the Belo Monte dam in the Amazon on Thursday took their grievances to the presidential palace. Violence has been sparked by a spate of disputes in central Mato Grosso do Sul.
One percent of the Brazilian population controls 46 percent of the cultivated land. Armed with bows, arrows and spears and wearing face paint, feathers and straw clothing, 200 indigenous people massed in central Brasilia where they aired their complaints outside President Dilma Rousseff’s office. “We demand an end to the violence against indigenous people, we want the return of our ancestral lands occupied by landowners,” said Gilma Veron, an ethnic Terena from the hamlet of Buriti in Mato Grosso do Sul. Last Friday, a Terena died during a police operation ordered to expel 1,000 natives who occupied a local farm.
“The government says it has no money to speed up the handover of lands to the indigenous people, but look at the thousands of millions of dollars it is spending on stadiums for the (2014) World Cup,” Veron told AFP. The federal government has deployed a 110-strong contingent of the National Force, a special police unit, in Sidrolandia, where indigenous Terena are occupying a white-owned farm to demand the return of their ancestral lands. “If the government does not find a solution, we will camp here indefinitely,” Verone said.
KMSS protests against use of agri land for non-farming purposes
GUWAHATI: As part of its “relentless” protest against use of agricultural land for non-agricultural activities in the state, hundreds of KrishakMuktiSangramSamiti (KMSS) activists surrounded the Kamrup (rural) deputy commissioner’s office at Amingaon on the outskirts of the city on Thursday. Undeterred by pre-monsoon showers, KMSS activists from different parts of the district shouted slogans demanding that the state government stop real estate developers and businessmen from procuring agricultural land.
This is the second “mass” protest by the KMSS within the past month. “We will struggle relentlessly till the government takes back all the agricultural land from real estate developers and businessmen and hands it over to small and marginal farmers and people who were displaced by floods and erosion,” KMSS president and RTI activist Akhil Gogoi said. Even though the state government had earlier made it clear that no agricultural land would be used for industrial or non-farming purposes, the KMSS alleged that a huge scam is going on in the state.
The peasant body also alleged that a nexus between politicians, bureaucrats and real estate developers was involved in the scam. “Over 200 bighas agricultural land was procured by real estate developers and businessmen in Kamrup (rural) district alone. This land is being developed for non-agricultural purposes although the Assam Land Revenue Regulation 1886 (Amended) prevents large-scale transfer of agricultural land from farmers to non-agriculturists,” Akhil said. The Thursday protest was also in continuation with KMSS’s movement launched two years ago for land reform and granting of land rights to landless farmers.
On June 22, 2011, three persons, including a nine-year-old boy, were killed in police firing when hundreds of protestors took the streets here demanding land rights and stopping eviction of people settled in city hills. Prior to the Thursday protest, the KMSS gave one month to the government to reclaim all the agricultural land bought by real estate developers and businessmen in Kamrup district. According to the peasant body, from 2001 to 2011, more than 28,000 bighas of agricultural land is being used for non-agricultural activities.
Indigenous Peruvians protest state oil company taking over their land
Members of the Achuar indigenous people in the northern Peruvian Amazon have been protesting against Peru’s state oil company’s plans to enter their territory and exploit an estimated 42 million barrels of light oil. A protest was held against Petroperu last month in an Achuar community called Wisum near the border with Ecuador, just 12 days after it was confirmed the company would take over operations in a concession called “Lot 64.”
Petroperu’s involvement in this region follows the decision announced last September by Canadian company Talisman to withdraw from “Lot 64”, after discovering oil but meeting opposition from Achuar living within the concession. The recent protest could be considered extremely embarrassing for Petroperu since its acquisition of “Lot 64” constitutes a return to upstream operations after a break of 17 years, according to Lima-based newspaper La Republica, which called the move “historic.” The protest was held on Wisum’s landing strip and involved men, women and children from more than 20 Achuar communities, some of whom held signs reading “We reject Petroperu” and “No Petroperu: no to the sale of our Achuar territory.”
Bomb Explodes Outside Home of Greek Prison Director
A woman was lightly wounded when a bomb placed under a car belonging to a prison director exploded early on Friday in Athens, a police source said.
The device had been placed beneath the car of a woman who directs Athens’s Kordallos prison, in the Greek capital’s southern suburb of Dafni, the source said. Police cordoned off the area after an unidentified caller warned Greek news website zougla.gr that a bomb would blow up in 20 minutes. The explosion damaged nearby buildings and a woman was lightly injured by broken window glass. “We believe this is an act of domestic terrorism,” said a police official who spoke on condition of anonymity. No organisation has claimed responsibility for the attack.