World Popular Resistance Clippings 27/6/2013

Greek militant group claims attack on ruling party

Athens: A newly emerged militant group said it carried out a rifle attack on the headquarters of Greece’s governing New Democracy party earlier this year in protest against cuts imposed by international lenders. In an early morning gun assault in January, attackers opened fire on the building near the centre of Athens with a Kalashnikov rifle. A bullet pierced a window in Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s office but no one was hurt.

The “People’s Fighter Group” posted its claim online on Wednesday, saying its original plan to fire a rocket-propelled grenade had failed. “We promise the struggling Greek people that next time we will be more efficient,” the militant group said in the statement. It called Greece a “colony” of the Troika – the IMF, the European Central Bank and the European Commission – which has agreed to bail out Greece’s crisis-hit economy in return for reforms and cuts.


Protest in Colombian Catatumbo Just

Bogotá, June 26 (Prensa Latina) High Adviser for Social Dialogue, Luis Eduardo Garzón, said the protests staged by 16,000 farmers of the Colombian Catatumbo are just, as there is a dramatic social situation behind them. In remarks to W Radio station, Garzon, who is a representative of the Government, considered that “if there were decentralization in the country, problems like those being suffered by the farmers would not come up.”

Garzon was appointed to mediate the crisis hitting the Catatumbo, in Norte de Santander, for the past 16 days, which has resulted in four civilians killed and more than 30 wounded by police repression. The government has the responsibility of not letting protests to intensify. “A way out has to be found,” he said. Garzon said that if conditions allow it, a dialogue will start tomorrow to find solutuion to the farmers’ problems.

They demand a definition of a Reserve Area and the gradual replacement of illegal crops through sustainable projects. Meanwhile, President of the Association of Catatumbo Farmers, Gilma Tellez, told Telesur network they are outraged for the death of four comrades, and she held the State responsible for the violations committed against the demonstrators. Thousands of people continue joining the protests in Ocana and Tibu municipalities. In a communiqué, the Farmers Association of Arauca expressed today solidarity with Catatumbo residents, who said they will remain mobilized until they are heard by the Government.


Arrested Honduran Indigenous Leader Promises More Mega Projects Protests

The struggle of the Lenca people of Honduras to prevent the building of a mega project on their territory is part of a larger fight against the illegal sale of indigenous territory to transnational corporations according to their recently arrested leader, Berta Caceres, Director of the Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras (COPINH). The protest against the Agua Zarca hydroelectric project on the Rio Blanco (White River) started in April but heated up recently, resulting in the arrest of Caceres and a call for international assistance in protecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples. On May 23rd, after 50 days of protests in Santa Barbara region near the river in northern Honduras, police forcibly removed the indigenous demonstrators from the area with tear gas and arrests.

The next day, May 24th, Caceres was arrested and charged with illegal possession of a weapon. Not long before her arrest she had denounced the police action as being “a very violent attack.” In explaining the reasons for the protest, Caceres stated that the authorities, “…had not taken into account the ancestral titles of the communities to proceed with this eviction.” Three weeks later on June 13th, a Honduran judge suspended the trial of Caceres due to a lack of evidence, although the case against the activist can somehow still be re-scheduled; and the protest that she was leading against the massive Agua Zarca hydroelectric project will continue.

For Caceres and COPINH however, the fight against the construction of the project is part of a larger struggle. In earlier press statements Caceres explained the effect of the project on the Lenca and others. “There is a displacement of the population that has traditionally lived on those lands, practically an eviction,” Caceres said. “…DESA [of Honduras] and SINOHYDRO (a transnational Chinese hydroelectric project builder) have exerted brutal pressure against the communities, with maneuvers such as co-opting leaders and the offering of bribes, and on the other hand repression, systematic harassment, and the occupation of the territory by the army, the police and security guards and gang members.”

“The Rio Blanco case is very important and emblematic,” she asserted. “Because it is a struggle against a very strong transnational power such as SINOHYDRO and it represents the opening of the doors to big capital for the creation of mega projects through the Law of Special Regimes or better known as the Law of Model Cities that gave a chance to not only this transnational, but to large investments in the north.”

“Because of these facts,” Caceres continued, “it’s important to fight against the Agua Zarca project which is the beginning of the plunder and eviction through the Model City projects which is a laboratory for what is being executed in Honduras, within what is perversely known as the Transpacific Treaty.” Caceres also noted that the Honduran government has awarded concessions for projects on 52 rivers and she reiterated what was publicized in a press statement released by COPINH last week, that the indigenous communities of Honduras are asking the international community to apply pressure on the Honduran government to remove the army from those territories and to abide by international laws that protect the rights of communities. While Caceres and COPINH continue with their outreach efforts, as of press time there had been no announcement regarding another trial for Caceres.


UNILAG Students Protest Abuse by Faculty

There was pandemonium on Tuesday morning at the prestigious University of Lagos, UNILAG, Akoka, Lagos following the protest of some Creative Arts students of the institution against sexual harassment and other allegations of misconduct by the university lecturers and other officials. DailyPost gathered from a reliable source that the students in their hundreds stormed the Arts block with placards to register their grievances and later moved their protest to the Social Science Department.

It was gathered that lecturers in the Department have made life miserable for female students by making sex one of the major criteria for passing their examination. However, male students who obviously cannot offer sexual favours to their lecturers are made to part with exorbitant sums of money in place of sex. Management of UNILAG is yet to respond to the allegations as at the time of filing this report.


Kyrgyz Protesters Again Demand Nationalization Of Major Gold Mine

KYZYL-SUU, Kyrgyzstan — Protests have broken out again in Kyrgyzstan’s northern district of Jety-Oguz, with demonstrators demanding the nationalization of the country’s biggest gold mine, Kumtor. Some 500 local citizens gathered in the center of the village of Kyzyl-Suu on June 27, saying the agreement with the mine’s operator, Canada-based Centerra Gold, must be canceled.

African detainees send back meals to protest detention

Around 300 African migrants at the Saharonim detention facility have been sending back meals for the past two days to protest their imprisonment in the facility, the Jerusalem Post has learned. Sivan Weitzman of the Israel Prison Service said Thursday that the protest is not yet considered a hunger strike, only that the detainees “are sending back their meals”. While she said the protest has only been going on for two days, a source in the Eritrean community in Tel Aviv said that inmates at the facility have said that the protest began on Sunday in blocks three and four of the detention facility.

The Hotline for Migrant Workers on Thursday called on the IPS to allow the media and outside medical personnel to visit the asylum seekers, saying that they were told by employees at the facility that the protest started with a hunger strike in block 3 on Saturday, and that the next day it spread to block 4 as well. The Hotline said they also heard reports from Amnesty International about the protest breaking out in block 8 as well.

According to the Hotline, they have received no phone calls from blocks 3 and 4 since Sunday, and that they were informed by people in touch with detainees that they have been stripped of access to public phones. There have been a number of such protests over the past year at the facility. In May, over 300 detainees protested for two days, asking to be released from custody and allowed freedom of movement in Israel. During that protest, the detainees refused to return to their cells for two days, until they were forcibly returned by security personnel.

The protest was held against the Prevention of Infiltration Law (1954), which went into effect last summer and allows the state to jail for three years or longer people who enter the country illegally. In a separate protest at Saharonim in October, 400 to 500 detainees sent back meals for two days, in an action that was started by a group of Eritrean women who were under the impression they were going to be deported to Egypt.

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Chile police evict protesters from schools before Sunday vote

Chilean police on Thursday evicted student protesters from 21 Santiago schools that will be used as polling stations for weekend primary elections, a day after a massive march for education reform in the capital. The Andean country’s powerful student movement has staged massive protests to demand free and improved education in the stratified country, with thousands of students taking over schools and universities intermittently over the past two years.

“We’ve restored order,” Interior Minister Andres Chadwick said in a televised speech on Thursday morning. “As dialogue didn’t yield expected results, and given that we are 72 hours away from the start of the primaries, as the government we had the obligation to avoid any disturbances.” He said most of the evictions in the capital had been peaceful, though 122 people were arrested and one police officer had been injured. Local television showed police bursting into schools barricaded with chairs and showed isolated clashes between youth and police early Thursday, a day after a march for education reform drew tens of thousands to the capital.

Thousands also marched on Wednesday in the southern city of Concepcion. The government says occupying schools hinders democracy and could spook voters on Sunday. Student leaders counter that the political establishment in Chile, ranked the most unequal country of the 34-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, doesn’t represent them. “This is continuing to seek out confrontation and not profound solutions to the problem of education,” said former student leader Camila Vallejo, who is now running for a seat in Congress. Others likened the intervention to the type of tactic used during the 1973-90 Augusto Pinochet dictatorship.

Closure of illegal bus station sparks riot in Kabompo

Police in full riot gear in Kabompo today fought running battles with Musamba illegal bus station vendors, tickets and cigarette sellers. The commotion started from about 09:00 hours to 13:00 hours after Kabompo District Council Management ordered the closure of the illegal bus station at Musamba. In protest to the closure of the illegal bus station, the tickets, cigarette sellers and other vendors blocked the main Solwezi-Zambezi road with huge logs of timber and burning vehicle tires.

Police moved in with tear gas canisters to the riotous protesters who responded with retaliated with stones and sticks. Business operations at Musamba shopping centre and market were forced to close by police and remained closed by press time while buses from Solwezi and Zambezi were being directed by police to the newly opened modern bus station located in central Kabompo Township.



Students wreak havoc in Jinja College strike

Over 800 students of Jinja College (JICO) went on rampage and held a strike on Wednesday morning destroying school property worth millions of shillings. This is barely a month after students of Busoga College Mwiri demonstrated and also destroyed property which led to the closure of the school by district education officials. The strike started at about 1:00am in Tuesday night when students smashed window panes and budged doors of the staff room, classrooms and various administrative blocks, and looted a canteen making off with a large sum of money.

They also poured liquid soap in beans and maize flour; tea and porridge which was being prepared for their breakfast and vandalized fire extinguishers and telephone booths. Some of the teachers rang Police which arrived immediately under command of John Okitoi, the Officer in Charge of Operations at Jinja district Central Police. By the time Police came, the damage had been done and at 6:00am as the sun arose, huge stones and broken glass were seen littered on the verandas of various classrooms.

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