Youth and workers in the streets of Rio de Janeiro July 11th
Photos from the recent mobilization in Brazil via the revolutionary newspaper A Novo Democracia
Energy-poor Jordan faces explosive electricity hikes
AMMAN, Jordan, July 11 (UPI) — Jordan’s government says it will introduce much-postponed and politically explosive electricity price hikes shortly as it battles with disruptions to its supply of Egyptian natural gas. There’s a danger the wildly unpopular price hikes will trigger anti-government — and anti-monarchy — riots amid seething discontent in the resource-poor Hashemite kingdom, a key U.S. ally on war-torn Syria’s southern flank that has so far escaped the full force of the unrest that has been roiling the Arab world since 2011.
But on the energy issue, King Abdullah II faces deep trouble whatever he does to try to resolve the worsening energy crisis. Amman is holding talks with neighboring Israel to become the first country to buy the Jewish state’s natural gas from its new-found fields in the eastern Mediterranean. That would be an infinitely cheaper method of generating electricity than the costly oil the kingdom has to import from Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
But even that option carries serious political risks for the pro-Western Abdullah, whose 14-year-old rule is being increasingly challenged by Jordan’s 6.5 million people, more than half of them Palestinians. His late father, the widely revered King Hussein, signed a peace treaty with Israel in October 1994, but it remains immensely unpopular with Jordanians. If Abdullah has to turn to the Jewish state for economic salvation, he could find himself in even deeper trouble than he is now. When his government scrapped fuel subsidies and raised prices in November 2012 — part of a program of tough budgetary reforms to meet the terms of a $2 billion International Monetary Fund standby agreement — riots erupted across the largely desert country squeezed between violence-torn Syria and Iraq, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
But amid the cries of dissent there was also anger boldly directed at the monarchy itself, established by Abdullah’s great-grandfather under British protection after World War I. Most worrying of all, this anger came from the so-called East Bankers, the Bedouin tribes who’ve been the bedrock of the Hashemite monarchy since it was established and provide the manpower for the army and the intelligence services.
Libya oil worker strikes persist
Austrian energy group OMV on Wednesday (July 10th) said that most of its production had been halted since June 25th because of the current conditions in the country. The company has been operating in Libya since 1975. Last year, it was able to produce 90% of its pre-revolution production levels, even with unrest, sit-ins and closures of oil ports. Meanwhile, Spain’s Repsol had not yet resumed operations.
It is reportedly holding negotiations with striking workers at the al-Sharara oilfield. The site produces some 350,000 barrels per day. Workers want site security to be handled by state-run units, rather than by Zintan armed brigades. They have also demanded raises and risk allowances.
Barricades Set up in Several Spots of Chilean Capital
Santiago de Chile, Jul 11 (Prensa Latina) Several spots in the Chilean capital and the city of Concepcion reached today’s dawn blocked with barricades, in the beginning of a day for national strike and other mobilizations, called to by the Unitary Workers’ Union (CUT). Groups of citizens in twenty street crossings in this capital set tires on fire and placed other obstacles to hinder traffic. Agents of the Special Police Forces charged with water cannons and tear gas against the demonstrators, some of whom were hooded. In a sector of the emblematic avenue Alameda, protesters demanded re-nationalization of the natural resources, in order to be eligible for subsidies to buy apartments or houses.
Areas near the airport of Santiago were also blocked by demonstrators. The media reported that in the city of Concepcion, in the south central part of the country, several spots were blocked. Numerous guilds, public and private-sector workers, social movements and other organizations joined the strike called to by the CUT, including the Chilean Studetns’ Confederation. The protest marches planned for today should begin after 10:00, local time. The workers are demanding to put an end to Pension Fund Administrative Companies, a new labor institutions and a tax reform that distributes income and contributes to eradicate inequality in the country, as well as other demands by the social movements
South Africa: Police On Alert As Miners Go On Strike
The police in Limpopo have deployed their Public Order Policing members to monitor the situation at JCI Consmurch Mine in Gravelotte where miners affiliated to the National Union of Mine Workers (NUM) have embarked on a strike. On Tuesday approximately 134 workers started protesting underground demanding payments of their shares and have refused to resurface ever since. The strike action intensified on Thursday when 200 NUM-affiliated miners refused to go underground and staged a protest outside the mine’s premises. The striking miners dispersed peacefully but vowed to continue with their strike on Friday.No incidents have been reported but the police are keeping a close eye on the situation. The miners underground have been supplied with food by the mine management.
Issued by: South African Police Service
Evelyn Hone College shut
GOVERNMENT has closed Evelyn Hone College for two weeks following a wave of riots which left property worth K540,000 damaged at the institution. Over 70 students (49 females and 21 males) have been apprehended by police for their alleged involvement in the riots. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education John Phiri said at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that it had become necessary to close the institution.
The students yesterday protested the lack of fresh bursaries for vulnerable students and delays in completing a hostel project. They are expected to vacate the campus by 10:00 hours today. The early morning rumpus caused panic and confusion on Church Road and motorists rammed into each other while trying to escape the wrath of the students. The rioters pulled down part of the college wall fence, set ablaze one block of a prefabricated classroom, shattered window panes, broke a padlock to a Zesco transmitter and destroyed a Zamtel billboard on Church Road. The students also smashed some window panes at the Fire Brigade offices opposite the campus.
“I have viewed the damage caused to the college and other facilities and to facilitate repair works, it has become necessary that the college goes on a two-week recess,” the minister said. Dr Phiri said the closure would not be extended and appealed to students to remain calm and observe the law. “Investigations are going on. Some people may be released and more students may be arrested,” he said. Dr Phiri said police would investigate the matter fully and charge students who would be found wanting.
“Wrong-doers must be prosecuted and culprits must face disciplinary action from college management. We will not entertain anybody trying to block this process,” he said. He said Government would explore all avenues to ensure that the teaching and learning environment is restored. “Government will not tolerate anarchy; anarchy is not part of our menu in the Patriotic Front. The PF is a party of order and order will be instilled,” he said.
Brazil Indians end blockade of iron ore miner Vale’s railway
(Reuters) – Brazilian Indians seeking better public services have stopped blocking a key railway carrying iron ore from global miner Vale’s giant Carajas mine to port, the company said on Thursday. Vale did not say how much iron ore had been held up by the blockage that started and ended on Wednesday. The railway, known as EFC, carries close to 100 million tonnes of iron ore a year, or nearly 10 percent of the world’s 1 billion tonnes of seaborne exports.
The line connects the Carajas mining complex in Brazil’s Amazonian state of Pará with the Port of Ponta da Madeira near São Luis, the Atlantic port capital of Maranhão state on Brazil’s northeast coast. The railway moves one-third of Vale’s iron ore output of about 300 million tonnes a year and is being expanded along with Carajas to make up for declining output in Brazil’s central highlands. COAPIMA, an organization representing indigenous groups in Maranhão, said various tribes were demonstrating in the area to demand better services, including health care, on their reservations. Brazil, which has set about 13 percent of its territory for Indians, is struggling to defuse a series of conflicts with natives over farmland, proposed hydroelectric dams and mines.