Labour unrest causes closure of tannery zone
Saturday, June 15, 2013 – Karachi—Labour unrest stemmed from an incident caused injuries to a workers resulted in closure of Tannery Zone in Korangi Industry Area. The Members of Pakistan Tanners Association (S.Z) have lodged a strong protest over the closure of Tannery Zone in Korangi Industrial Area by a small group of labourers. Following an incident in a tannery in which temporary labourer who joined the work through a contractor got injured due to his own mistake. The management of said tannery spent Rs173,870 on his treatment at Liaquat National Hospital and offered necessary further medical treatment as well. There was no reason for closing the entire exporting leather industry for an incident in an individual tannery, said Chairman Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) SZ, Amanullah Aftab.
If unsatisfied with the efforts of medical help of the concerned tannery concerned the Labour Department and court should have been approached for peaceful settlement as per law. Pakistan Tanners Association has regretted the production loss of millions of rupees and loss of wages of Tannery Zone workers due to said illegal, forced closure of Tannery Zone. The members strongly protested the role and attitude of the area police and rangers which made no efforts to stop the protesting labourers from illegal closure of Tannery Zone. They regretted that it does not augur well for the smooth working of the industry. Recourse to pursue unlawful means to force their demands shall be dealt with full force, Chairman PTA Amanullah Aftab said and appealed to the high-ups to please take note of it and ensure that it is not repeated in future.
Another factory shut in Savar
A ready-made garment unit of Savar shut down indefinitely on Saturday as fear of unrest loomed after the sacking of 165 workers. The management of Cosmopolitan Industries Limited singled them out for termination of service, as they were thought to be the main organizers of an agitation for wage hike by about 6,500 workers, Industrial Police Sub Inspector Omar Faroque told bdnews24.com. The agitation had been on for the past few days
. “A closure notice for an indefinite period was hung up at the factory gate,” Faroque said. Company’s shut-down notice enraged the workers, who learnt of the management’s decision only after arriving for work. Sensing trouble, the police moved them away. Workers chased by ‘goons’ Meanwhile, workers said they were chased by about 20 stick-wielding youths when they gathered near the factory building, demanding its reopening
. The closed factory, located in Savar municipality’s south Dariapur Mahalla, has others factories within the same compound. They are JK Fabrics Limited, JK Knit Composite and Tanima Knit Composite, all belonging to the JK Group. The workers alleged they were chased by goons, allegedly under the protection of a local Juba League leader. Meanwhile, Savar Model Police Station Officer in-Charge Mostafa Kamal told bdnews24.com that the police went to the spot on learning of the trouble but found no trace of the goons. JK Group General Manager Mojibor Rahman denied there was trouble.
“Some workers had gathered at the factory gates but went away later.” Juba League Dhaka Organising Secretary Faruk Hassan said he was unaware of the incident as he was not in Savar. Savar Juba League General Secretary Mizanur Rahman Mizan was unavailable on the phone when contacted for his comments on the matter. Earlier, the other three factories were shut down indefinitely on Thursday after 84 workers were fired on charges of fomenting unrest.
Protests hit Brazil’s biggest cities, adding to unrest
SAO PAULO, June 14 (Reuters) – Small but violent protests in several Brazilian cities this week have added to a sense of growing unrest in Brazil at a time when inflation, crime and President Dilma Rousseff’s popularity are all taking a turn for the worse. An estimated 5,000 protesters, including many university students, blocked main avenues and vandalized buildings in central Sao Paulo, causing traffic chaos for the fourth time in eight days on Thursday.
When police tried to disperse the crowd, violence erupted, injuring dozens and leading to nearly 200 arrests. Demonstrations also were held in Rio de Janeiro and the southern city of Porto Alegre, raising the prospect they could spread as Brazil prepares to host soccer’s Confederations Cup – a warm-up event for next year’s World Cup – for two weeks starting on Saturday. Police have taken an increasingly hard line against the protests, firing rubber bullets and tear gas, injuring several bystanders and journalists covering the demonstrations.
One widely circulated image showed police firing pepper spray at a TV cameraman filming the protests in Sao Paulo. The crackdown has touched a nerve in a country that endured two decades of repression under a military dictatorship that ended in 1985. The protests themselves have rallied around opposition to a 10-cent hike in bus and subway fares to the equivalent of about $1.60, leading some pundits to blame them on inflation running at 6.5 percent annually and an economy that has cooled down considerably after last decade’s boom.
Those issues contributed to a decline of 8 percentage points in Rousseff’s public approval rating in a poll released this week, although it still remains high at 57 percent. Interviews with protesters indicate a wide range of grievances, from rising murder rates to anti-abortion laws to growing frustration with insufficient and overcrowded public transportation. Many of the protesters in Sao Paulo appeared to be middle-class university students, carrying smartphones and high-end cameras, while local media reported a significant presence of left-wing political parties. Some said they were inspired by protests in Istanbul – “Peace is over, Turkey is here!” was one chant on Thursday night. Others said they opposed the notion of bus and subway fares at all, arguing public transportation should be free.
‘A PIECE OF TRASH’
“This city’s a piece of trash and we shouldn’t have to pay anything for terrible services,” Lucia Pereira, a 19-year-old student, told local TV in Sao Paulo. After previous protests severely disrupted traffic and damaged storefronts and subway stations in Sao Paulo, a metropolitan area of about 20 million people and Brazil’s financial capital, local authorities promised not to let a tiny group wreak havoc again – a stance supported by editorials in the city’s two largest newspapers. “Vandalism, violence and obstruction of public roads are not acceptable,” Sao Paulo state Governor Geraldo Alckmin wrote on
Twitter on Thursday night as the crackdown was taking place. “The right to free protest is a basic pillar of democracy. So is the right to come and go and the right to protect public property,” he added. A survey of Sao Paulo residents by polling firm Datafolha, taken before Thursday night’s protest, indicated that 55 percent of respondents supported the demonstrators, although 78 percent thought they had been too violent. Demonstrators said they planned another march in Sao Paulo for Monday evening. Twitter and other social media crackled on Friday morning with calls for more students to join upcoming marches.
Sao Paulo’s newly elected mayor, Fernando Haddad, said he would not backtrack on the fare increase, but he also expressed regret over the violence. “On Tuesday, I think the image was of violence by the protesters,” he told reporters. “Unfortunately, (Thursday), there’s no doubt that the image was of police violence.” Haddad is a prominent member of Rousseff’s left-leaning Workers’ Party, and finds himself in the uncomfortable position of having to confront a cause many in the party support. Alckmin, a former presidential candidate, is from the more conservative PSDB, the leading opposition party.
Two shot dead
TWO residents in Kapasa Township in Lusaka have been shot dead by Zambia National Service (ZNS) personnel who were carrying out an eviction exercise. The third person was rushed to Levy Mwanawasa Hospital in a critical condition after sustaining a gunshot wound on his left leg. According to eye witnesses found on the scene, the two men who had been killed were among others who resisted to be moved from the area by ZNS soldiers who had sealed off Kapasa Township near Kenneth Kaunda International Airport. The eviction exercise sparked a riot by squatters who charged at the officers in an incident which lasted for about three hours. Acting police spokesperson Charity Chanda said she had ‘scanty’ information about the shooting.
“I have received information by officers who rushed there this morning but I am still waiting for more information. Right now, I only have scanty information,” she said. However, bereaved families identified the deceased as Clement Mulongo and Pumulo Lungwangwa, while the wounded man had not been identified. The witness told this reporter that armed officers sealed off Kapasa Township around 05:00 hours and ordered residents to vacate, accusing them of refusing to vacate the area insisting that it belonged to ZNS. It was at that point that confusion erupted and in the process forcing the officers to start shooting which lead to the death of two men and wounding of the other.
“We are shaken. This is our land we have stayed here for years. Now if they remove us from here, where are we going to go because our children do not know any other place other than this one,” one of them complained. The residents had since called on the police to ensure that the culprits were brought to book because they had killed innocent people who were fighting for what belonged to them. But some officers found at the scene said residents started throwing stones and other missiles, forcing ZNS personnel to open fire.
Rejecting Fuel Price Hike, Collegians Clashed with Police
The demonstration action done by Indonesian Christian University (UKI) collegians over the government’s plan to increase fuel price ended up in riot, Friday (6/14). As a result, terrible traffic congestion happened on Jl. Letjend Sutoyo where the riot broke. Based on beritajakarta.com observations, the demonstration action took place at around 5 PM when collegians blockaded Jl. Letjend Sutoyo which located right in front of UKI. The demonstrators burnt used tires next to Cawang-Cempaka Putih underpass, and caused all vehicles coming from Cililitan heading to Cawang Flyover could not pass.
In collegians’ perspectives, the SBY regime’s policy is not right. When the people are suffering from many problems, the government increase fuel price instead, which will surely trigger increase in all daily needs prices. Denis (19), one of the demonstrators, said the demonstration is a form of collegians’ persistent refusal on fuel price hike. “This is our form of resistance and refusal over fuel price hike, and the distribution of direct cash aid as compensation of fuel price hike,” he stated. At around 5.30 PM, dozens of police officers tried to dismiss the demonstration by firing tear gas. The attempt was given a fight back by demonstrators who threw stones towards police officers. This happened until 6 PM.
When the collegians went in to their campus, police officers retreated. Seeing the police retreated, the collegians went out again and continued their action on Jl. Letjend Sutoyo. They even had held captive a mini bus belongs to Geospatial Information Department with license plate number F 7084 F. Soon the police suppressed collegians and made them retreated to their campus. At 6.40 PM, police officers retreated out from campus area and on guard in front of UKI. The clash kept repeating until 7 PM, while police officers kept trying to hold their position in front of the campus.
Chile: Over 320 Student Protesters Arrested Amid Police Repression
Yesterday a march of Chilean students protesting against the latest education policies of President Sebastián Piñera turned violent when riot police intervened. Official reports stated, 324 students were arrested and at least 74 injured, including 24 policemen and 50 youths. Before the conflict occurred, students marched peacefully through the main streets of the Chilean capital to demand free public education in protest against Piñera’s intention to fully privatise the university sector.
According to official reports, there were 214 arrests and 17 police officers injured in Santiago, while the other arrests occurred in various cities across the country. Local media has reported of violent police repression during student protests throughout the country. Later in the day the most serious incident broke out, close to Santiago’s Centro Cultural Estación Mapocho, when a group of masked men split from the main body of marching students and started throwing stones and petrol bombs at the police.
The riots continued at the headquarters of the University of Chile where dozens of policemen entered the building using force and arrested several students. Rector of the university, Víctor Pérez, stated that forceful police entry “broke a tradition of more than one hundred years of respect for the University of Chile.” He also described the intervention as “unacceptable” and furthermore lambasted the policemen’s “brutal invasion to the offices of university’s headquarters, all the while hitting and beating the students.”
The behaviour of the uniformed forces was also condemned by Andrés Fielbaum, President of the Confederation of Chilean Students (Confech), saying the police were “hitting everything that moved.” In the early hours of the night, human rights organisations reported that “at least 50 students suffered various injuries” during the massive march. Around 9pm hundreds of students, parents, and teachers gathered in the university’s grounds to bang their pots and pans in protest against the police repression.
Jail Sentence for Anti-Eviction Activist Upheld
The Court of Appeal on Friday upheld the guilty verdict for anti-eviction activist Yorm Bopha, but reduced her sentence from three- to two-years imprisonment, of which one year was suspended. The ruling means that Ms. Bopha will not be released until late 2014. Ahead of the court hearing, some 400 supporters protested in front of the Appeal Court demanding the release of Ms. Bopha, who was sentenced last year along with her husband, Luos Sakhorn, and her two brothers, Yorm Kanlong and Yorm Seth, for their alleged role in the assault of two tuk-tuk drivers.
Supporters and human rights groups believe that Ms. Bopha was targeted for arrest because of her activism against land evictions in the city’s contentious Boeng Kak lake area. “I decide to uphold the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s verdict with the exception that of her three-year jail term, Ms. Bopha is ordered to serve only two years in prison,” presiding Judge Taing Sunlay said Friday, adding that he had changed the charge against Ms. Bopha from intentional violence with aggravating circumstances to masterminding the assault.
Protests against traffic wardens continue
LAHORE: Protests against Ichhra circle and Shadman sector traffic wardens continued on Friday over torture and manhandling of citizens. Following the persistent protests of traders and residents in the surrounding, now transporters have entered the protest against the traffic wardens.
The transporters continued their protest for the third consecutive day against the brutal torture of one of their fellow and the passengers and his arrest. According to details, Ichhra sector Traffic Inspector M Aslam and his accomplices brutally tortured the passengers and the driver of a van. The wardens also broke up the teeth of a driver and locked him up. When the fellow transporters came to know about the incident, they staged protest demonstration against the wardens in front of the Ichhra Police Station.
An eyewitness said a van driver went for drinking water who parked his van and Ichhra circle warden passed derogatory remarks and took the van to Ichhra Police Station. He said that the warden then with his accomplices brutally tortured him and broke up one of his teeth. When an unknown citizen intervened to normalise the situation, the wardens also manhandled him. Meanwhile, Shadman sector traffic inchrage cruelly tortured a fruit vendor for not giving the fruit fruits free of cost to the traffic inspector and registered an FIR against his son and threatened him of dire consequences