Fifteen Colombia soldiers killed in rebel ambush: govt
Fifteen Colombian soldiers have been killed in an ambush by leftist FARC rebels, the country’s president said Sunday, raising concerns about peace talks launched last year, AFP reports. “Our hearts are with the families of the fifteen heroes who sacrificed their lives in Arauca for the tranquility and security of their fellow citizens,” President Juan Manuel Santos said.
He said the soldiers, guarding a pipeline, were attacked Saturday in the eastern region bordering Venezuela by about 70 rebels, twelve of whom were captured by government forces. Five of those seized were wounded, he added. “These attacks are not the way. They will be confronted forcefully,” Santos said. “I instructed our forces not to stop shooting until the conflict is over.”
French court sentences youth in veil riot case
A French court on Monday sentenced a 19-year-old youth to six months in prison in connection with the weekend’s violent clashes in the Parisian suburb of Trappes, which were sparked after police stopped a woman who was wearing a full Islamic veil. The teenager was charged with committing acts of violence and throwing projectiles at the police during the riot in Trappes on Friday night. Two other defendants were acquitted.
The sentencing by a criminal court in Versailles came hours after French Interior Minister Manuel Valls defended the country’s ban on wearing full-face veils in public. “Police did their job perfectly,” said Valls in an interview with French radio station, RTL, on Monday. “The law banning full-face veils is a law in the interests of women and against those values having nothing to do with our traditions and values. It must be enforced everywhere.” As tensions simmered in the southwest Paris suburb, Valls announced that reinforced police deployments would remain in place “as long as necessary until a lasting calm is restored” in Trappes.
Riots at Serenje Technical School Forces Closure
Government has with immediate effect closed down Serenje Technical High School in Central Province after pupils on Sunday morning ran amok damaging school property. The school becomes the second learning institution that resorted to riots after Evelyn Hone College in recent days. Evelyn Hone College students protested and damaged property leading to a two-weeks closure. In the latest development, Education deputy minister David Mabumba announced the closure in Serenje on Sunday after meeting school management and pupils’ representatives.
The pupils rioted because the school has not explained why they have not sat for practical examinations despite paying for the subjects. Mabumba says pupils in examination classes will report in August while non -examination classes will resume on September 9, 2013. ZNBC’s Jacqueline Siulemba, who rushed to the school reports that Police has at least detained 29 pupils. Some of the pupils told ZNBC that the subjects affected are Wood Work, Biology, Physics and Chemistry. Central Province Minister Philip Kosamu who is Serenje Member of Parliament (MP) said the decision to close the school announced by Mr Mabumba was aimed at protecting school property.
He said he was saddened with the extent of damage to property where the entire administration block was burnt and appealed to pupils to exercise restraint each time they were aggrieved. “I can confirm that the Ministry of Education has ordered the premature closure considering the extent of damage to property and to avoid recurrence of the riot,” he said. He also confirmed that examination classes would be re-opened on August 12, 2013 while the others would return to school on September 9, 2013.
And Central Province Commissioner of Police, Standwell Lungu also confirmed the detention of the pupils in an interview with ZNBC News. Police said that they picked up 29 pupils and a teacher to assist with investigations and were still looking for two ring leaders linked to the riot which left property worth hundreds of kwacha damaged. “We are investigating reports that the teacher had harboured some of the rioting students because we believe a number of pupils were found in his house,” Lungu said.
According to police, the incident happened on Saturday around midnight when the pupils protested against the school administration over the move to stop them from holding jubilee celebrations. The celebrations were moved to September after the pupils had already paid money towards the function. The pupils were also not happy with the deteriorating poor diet saying they were now feeding on rotten beans.
The pupils went on rampage and set ablaze the administration block destroying property with only the headmaster’s office surviving the inferno. By late afternoon today , some pupils had started vacating the school while others were reported to have no money to transport them back to their respective homes. The school’s storeroom and tuck shop were looted by the pupils while the computer laboratory room had its window panes shattered. This is the second time that pupils at the same school engage themselves in riotous behaviour. Recently, the pupils rioted and destroyed school property before storming a market where they smashed windscreens to more than 10 motor vehicles. The irate pupils also destroyed windowpanes at Pep and Bata stores but failed to loot goods from the shops because of burglar bars. This was in protest against a teachers’ strike.
Protesters egg anti-riot cops, burn Aquino effigy
MANILA, Philippines — Protesters burned an effigy of President Benigno Aquino III and egged anti-riot police to mark Monday’s opening of the 16th Congress where Aquino is expected to deliver his 4th State of the Nation Address later in the day. Led by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in Southern Tagalog, the militants hurled eggs at a police blockade near Ever Gotesco in Commonwealth after burning an effigy of Aquino. The eggs are supposed to symbolize Aquino’s “failing grade” of his three-year leadership, the militants said. Police, who were in their full anti- riot gear, were told to exercise maximum tolerance.
Police estimate the number of protesters to be about 400 but expects this to swell to a thousand in the afternoon. The effigy, dubbed as “Pison,” is supposed to depict “a machinery constructed and controlled by Uncle Sam that drives over and kills innocent civilians in its way.” “Aquino’s character as the primary subservient to US imperialist powers in the Asia Pacific region has alreadt been exposed. What the people need to do is to unite and fight against this oppressive system.
Only through people’s collective actions can hope for a better future flourish,” said Mark Adrienne Ng, spokesperson of Bayan in Southern Tagalog. Militants slammed the government’s program such as public-private partnership and the Internal Security Plan Bayanihan,among others. “Aquino has proven that his so-called straight path is actually a straight path to death, with policies that target the destruction of the livelihood, homes and even the lives of the urban poor,” Ng said. Protesters started their program as early as 6 a.m. on a makeshift stage. Another effigy will be burned by the same time Aquino delivers his speech at the Batasan Complex.
Hinds Co. inmates break out of cells
Ten to 15 inmates broke out of their cells Sunday afternoon at the Hinds County Detention Facility in Raymond. Sheriff Tyrone Lewis said they were able to leave their cells because of malfunctioning locks, an ongoing problem at the facility. The Jackson and the Hinds County SWAT team responded along with K-9 officers. Sheriff’s Department spokesman Othor Cain said the SWAT team was called in more as a “show of force” than anything else. “We wanted to show them that even though we have these maintenance challenges, they are still in jail,” Cain said. Cain said he would not classify Sunday’s incident as a riot — or even a disturbance. “It’s just an everyday occurrence at the correctional facility,” he said.
30 Injured In Fresh Clashes, 3 Critical; Skirmishes In Old City, Islamabad Srinagar, July 21:
Two days after lifting of curfew, Kashmir observed a complete shutdown to protest Gool killings on a call given by Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, while clashes broke out several places leaving around 30 persons injured with 3 critically injured youth undergoing treatment at SKIMS Soura. Shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic was off the roads across Kashmir today. People across the Valley observed complete strike in protest against the Gool killings and alleged excesses by forces. Shops, petrol stations and other business establishments across the Valley were closed and traffic was largely off the roads.
Among the injured two youth one from Noorbagh area of Srinagar and another from Baramulla are stated to be critical and are admitted in SKIMS Soura. Clashes erupted in scores of places in old Srinagar, Baramulla, Shopian, Pulwama, Tral and Kupwara.
In Srinagar, clashes broke out between youths and forces in Noorbagh after a youth identified as Jan Muhammad Khanday fell from a two storied house, while he was chased by police and CRPF during a protest demonstration in the area against Gool killings. Khanday was rushed to SKIMS, where his condition is stated to be critical. Intermittent clashes in the areas continued whole day and ding-dong battles were going on when this report was being filed. Officiating Medical Superintendent SKIMS, Dr Farooq Ahmad Jan told Greater Kashmir that Khanday has received D12 fracture and blood clotting in brain. “He is under examination,” Dr Jan said.
Clashes between youth and forces were also reported from Gojwara, Rajouri Kadal, Habba Kadal and Khanyar areas of old Srinagar. Forces burst tear smoke shells to quell protestors in these areas. Incidents of stone pelting and subsequent clashes were also reported from Qamarwari, Bemina, HMT, Barzulla, Humhama and Rambagh areas of Srinagar. Police used pepper gas in Barzulla to disperse protestors. Protestors in these areas used public address system and raised anti-establishment slogans. Police imposed curfew at Soura after violent clashes broke out in the area. Agitated youth burnt tyres on roads in Batamaloo to show resentment against Gool killings and desecration of Holy Quran.
In Srinagar, undeclared curfew remained imposed in the jurisdictions of police stations Rainawari, Maharajgunj, Safakadal, Khanyar, Nowhatta and Zadibal. Clashes also erupted in Batamaloo, Tengpora and Zakoora areas of Srinagar. To thwart any protest demonstrations, the authorities have deployed huge contingents of forcers on Srinagar roads. In central Kashmir district of Budgam clashes erupted at two places however no one was injured. A complete shutdown was observed in Ganderbal district to protest Gool killings.
All public and private transport was off the roads. However Yatra vehicles, Leh and Kargil bound vehicles plied on the Srinagar-Leh highway. Wearing riot gears and bullet proof jackets armed with sticks and sophisticated weapons, forces remained deployed in the main markets of the district including Beehama Chowk, Gousia Chowk, Hospital road Dudarhama, Tawheedabad and several other places. Reports of clashes between forces and the youth were received from some parts of the district. In Ganderbal tehsil incidents of stone pelting occurred at Darend, Beehama, Dudarhama and Nunar. In Kangan tehsil minor incident of stone pelting was reported from Kangan Chowk.
At least three persons including two policemen were injured in protests and clashes that erupted at several places in frontier district of Kupwara. Normal life was disrupted in Kupwara due to the strike called by Hurriyat Conference (G). The roads in Kupwara wore a deserted look as public and private transport remained off the roads. Additional Police and CRPF men were deployed at several places in Kupwara town and other townships as well. Shutdown was also observed in some other areas of the district including Kulangam, Handwara, Trehgam, Kralpora, Lolab and Langate. Sopore Tehsil of Baramulla district also witnessed a complete shutdown to protest Gool killings.
Authorities deployed large contingents of forces in the town to thwart protest demonstrations. At least three youth were injured during clashes that erupted in Baramulla town Sunday. Police fired pellets during clashes resulting in injuries to these youth. Police also arrested Sarpanch of Palhallan area on charges of stone pelting. One of the injured youth identified as Danish Maqbool Moon S/O Muhammad Maqbool Moon, resident of old town Baramulla received pellet in his head during clashes at Khanpora bridge this afternoon and was immediately rushed to SKIMS Soura after the doctors at the district hospital Baramulla stated his condition to be critical.
“The injured patient was brought here with head injury. The X-ray of the patient revealed that he has pellet injury in head and his condition was critical. We have shifted him to SKIMS Soura hospital for the specialized treatment” said Deputy Superintendent District Hospital Baramulla, Dr Masrat. Condition of other two injured was stated to be stable and they were discharged from the hospital after treatment. The use of pellet guns here have surprised many as the situation on Sunday was far better than last two days. “There were intermittent clashes going on at Khanpora bridge. Compared to past two days, police used few tear smoke shells on Sunday, however, we don’t understand why police resorted to use of pellets when the situation was not so tense,” said Bashir Ahmad of old town Baramulla.
In Palhallan village of Baramulla district, police arrested Sarpanch of the area on charges of stone pelting. The arrested Sarpanch has been identified as Muhammad Akbar Bhat of Palhallan. While confirming the arrest of Sarpanch, station house officer (SHO) Pattan said that the Sarpanch was involved in stone pelting in the area. “We have arrested him as he was actively involved in stone pelting in the area” said SHO Pattan, Mehboob Ahmad.
The family members of the Sarpanch alleged that police resorted to ransacking of their house before his arrest. “Police entered our house at around 7 am and started ransacking the house. They broke the windows of our house and damaged some home appliances before arresting our father. He has already gone through four surgeries. However, police beat him to pulp before his arrest,” said Shabir Ahmad, son of the Sarpanch. Later clashes between police and protesting youths erupted in Tantray Mohalla and Raipora Mohalla of Palhallan area. Police fired several tear smoke shells to disperse the agitating youths.
Amid complete shutdown several people were injured in the clashes that broke out between forces and protesters in various areas of South Kashmir. Five civilians including two minors were injured after forces fired rubber bullets to disperse protesters in Kulgam town. Reports said that shops and other business establishments remained closed while traffic was completely off the roads in entire South Kashmir. Police and paramilitary forces wearing riot gears were deployed in all major towns to thwart any attempts of protests.
However, clashes broke out in several areas. In Redwani and Khudwani areas of Qaimoh in Kulgam protests and clashes continued for the third consecutive day. Reports said that people came out on streets and held pro-freedom demonstrations. “Police and CRPF men resorted to baton charge and lobbed tear smoke canisters to quell the protesters who retaliated by pelting stones and bricks,” eyewitnesses said. They said clashes continued throughout the day with many including cops sustaining injuries. “Protesters also attacked CRPF camp with stones,” witnesses said. On Saturday the forces had fired on the protesters at Khudwani injuring five including three women.
One civilian was injured earlier in firing on Friday. All the injured are undergoing treatment in various hospitals, and their condition according to the doctors is stable. In Kulgam town five civilians were injured after forces fired on the protesters on Saturday late evening. “As soon as the deployment was withdrawn people came out on the streets and held pro-freedom demonstrations, Police rushed to the spot and used force to disperse the protesters by firing rubber bullets injuring four civilians including two minors.
They were identified as Raju (age 10 years) s/o Abdul Gaffar Ahanger resident of Rangrezpora Kulgam, Bilal Ahmad Shah (age 15 years) son of Muhammad Anwar Shah of Kulgam. Both the minors are undergoing treatment in Bone and Joints hospital, Srinagar. The other two injured Javed Ahmad and Aadil Wani were treated at District hospital, Kulgam. The locals alleged that police and CRPF men went berserk barged into several houses and smashed the window panes of the houses.
“They also damaged several vehicles,” they alleged. Clashes between forces and youth continued on Sunday too. Youth pelted stones on the forces at various places who retaliated by lobbing tear gas canisters. In Pulwama town clashes broke out between the protesters and forces at several places including Murran Chowk and Main Chowk. Reports said that youth pelted stones on the forces who retaliated by lobbing tear gas canisters.
Shutdown was also observed in Awantipora, Kakapora, Pampore and Rajpora areas of the district with reports of sporadic clashes from these areas. Several people were injured in the clashes that broke out in Tral area of Pulwama district. Reports said that people were protesting against the arrest of youth in the town. “The protesters resorted to heavy stone pelting which was retaliated by the forces by baton charge and tear gas shelling,” witnesses said. Several cops also sustained injuries in the clashes. Around 8 youth have been reportedly rounded up by the police. Shopian town and its adjacent areas also witnessed clashes between forces and protesters throughout the day.
“ Youth resorted to stone pelting at Bonabazaar, Gole Chowk, DC office and adjoining village of Gagran which police retaliated by tear gas by lobbing tear gas shells. “A policeman was also roughed up by the protesters,” reports said. Reports said that two teenagers were detained by the police. In Islamabad town amid complete shutdown sporadic clashes erupted in several areas of old town including Kadipora and Laizbal. “Severe restrictions were put in place in many areas of the town,” reports said.
Massive protests rocked Islamabad late Sunday evening after a youth was beaten by the forces. Reports said hundreds of people attacked police station Sherbagh and clashes were going at scores of places when this report was being filed. Reports added that the youth Danish Ahmad was snatched by the protestors from the forces. The people were calling from the public address systems asking the residents to come for protests. Shutdown was observed in Bijbehara and Mattan towns too while clashes were witnesses in Seer area of the district. “Six boys mostly teenagers were detained by the police,” reports said.Highway town of Qazigund which had witnessed violent protests in last three days remained relatively peaceful.
Anjuman Jamait-ul-Ulema Madrasa Isna Ashriya Islamia School Kargil today organized a massive protest rally here against the attack on the holy shrine of granddaughter of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Hazrat Zainab (SA) in Syrian capital and desecration of Holy Qur’an in Gool and killing of 4 innocent people in Ramban district. More than thousand of people participated in the protest rally. The protest rally started from Islamia School and passed through Main Bazaar and ended up at Islamia School Chowk.
People in the protest rally were shouting slogans against the culprits. While condemning the attack on the holy shrine of Hazrat Zainab (SA) in the Syrian capital, Damascus, Member Youth Wing Murtaza Khalili said mortar shells hit the holy shrine of Hazrat Zainab (SA) in the suburbs of the Syrian capital. He called on international circles, particularly Islamic bodies, to fulfill their responsibility toward safeguarding Islamic sanctities and do their best to prevent crimes against humanity, which run counter to international and Islamic regulations. He also condemned the desecration of Holy Quran, the Masjid and killing of 4 innocent people in Gool area of Ramban district by security forces.
Jalazoi Camp IDPs protest violently
NOWSHERA: Scores of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the Jalazoi Camp protested violently on Chiraat Road after they did not receive Ramazan food packages. The protesters went on a rampage, burning down sign boards and pelting stones on vehicles and pedestrians. Carrying sticks in their hands, a large number of women and children joined the male protestors and shouted slogans against the camp’s administration and PDMA. The protestors alleged that the government had sold foreign aid sent for the IDPs. The IDPs further demanded of the KP government to take notice of the issue at the earliest and carry out appropriate action against the Jalazoi Camp’s administration.
Protest against water pollution turns violent
A protest by activists against alleged water pollution by an Indo-Japanese joint venture company in the district turned violent today, as the protestors allegedly pelted stones and police resorted to lathi charge to control the crowd. Several people, including 18 police personnel, were injured in the stone pelting and lathicharge, police said. The activists were protesting the alleged discharge of effluents into the Chalakudy river by the plant, a joint venture between Japanese firm Nitta Gelatin Inc and Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation.
Trouble arose when police stopped the activists of NITA Action Council, spearheading the protest, when they set out on the march to break the pipelines carrying the waste. A section of the protesters pelted stones at the police, police said, adding, 18 of their personnel were injured. Police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the protesters. The injured were admitted to hospitals at Chalakdy, Angamaly and Thrissur, police said but did not specify the number of the wounded protesters. The Action Council called for a strike in the district tomorrow to protest against the police action.
Hundreds Protest Nickel Mine
VORONEZH — Hundreds of people gathered in a small town in Voronezh region on Sunday for a new protest in their year-long campaign against plans to open a nickel and copper mine in the area, police officials said. The demonstration was organized by the local anti-mine movement and residents of Novokhopersk who called for halting the mining project. The rally organizers said that about 3,000 people took part in the demonstration, including those from neighboring provinces, while the police put the number at 900.
It is the first mass gathering of the campaigners after the 13-month standoff exploded last month with a crowd of several hundred storming the premises of a geological exploration party and torching cars, construction trailers and drilling rigs. The miner, privately owned Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company (UMMC), has denied that its mine would harm the environment.
Kenya: Nakuru Matatu Drivers Protest Against Shooting
MORE than 500 Matatu in Lanet yesterday held a demonstration on the Lanet route. They were protesting against Thursday’s shooting of driver Peter Njoroge by a police officer. Central police station officers fired teargas to disperse the matatu operators who had blocked the Nakuru-Nairobi Highway. The matatu operators said Nakuru police boss Bernard Kioko defended the officer who shot Njoroge. James Mwaniki said Kioko is trying to twist the story and shift blame on the driver.
He said matatu operators will continue to hold demonstration against the shooting. “We will demonstrate because Kioko is trying to defend his officer,” he said. The drivers said traffic police have been harassing them. They said they want legal measures to be taken against the rogue cop who attempted to kill Njoroge.
Herders Blocked From Travel to Beijing
Chinese authorities in Inner Mongolia have beaten and arrested dozens of ethnic Mongolian herders preparing to travel to Beijing to protest forced eviction from their traditional grazing land, a rights group said Friday. Nearly 100 public security officers detained 38 herders from Zaruud (in Chinese, Zhalute) banner (county) as they waited for a train at the station in Tongliao on July 15, New York-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC) said in a statement.
The herders planned to hold a public protest in the Chinese capital over their forced eviction from grasslands near Zaruud’s Khan-Uul (Hanshan) Forest Area and what they say was a poorly planned resettlement program. “The 38 Mongolian herders, mostly female, represented the entire displaced herders’ community of the Khan-Uul forest area,” SMHRIC said. “All of their train tickets, cell phones and other belongings were confiscated before they were taken away by the Public Security personnel. Those who resisted were beaten up.” SMHRIC quoted a fellow herder from Zaruud as saying that the group was still in detention at the Tongliao Municipality Public Security Bureau Detention Center, and that “no family members are allowed to visit them.” “When asked to give a legal explanation, the Public Security people told us that the herders need to be ‘educated’ and are being ‘educated’ in the detention center,” said the herder, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Authorities forcibly relocated around 183 herder households from the Khan-Uul Forest Area to the capital of Zaruud, Lubei, in September 2008 for the purpose of creating a “nature reserve,” SMHRIC said, citing an appeal letter dated March 18 and signed by the residents of the affected community. According to the letter, which was posted online by U.S.-based Mongolia News, authorities had promised to provide the evictees with employment opportunities, adequate housing and other benefits, but never followed through on their pledge. “We were forcibly relocated to Lubei Township abandoning our cozy nest behind. Yet, we don’t even know whose property we are thrown into. How can we make a living and survive in the city,” the appeal read.
Ownership of the housing provided to them is in question and the building they were relocated to is of inferior quality, it said. Use of land The group also expressed concern that authorities were inviting companies to open up the confiscated land near the Khan-Uul Forest Area in the name of development for the purpose of generating profits. “The Banner Government promised, after we move off the land, to make the Khan-Uul Forest Area a ‘no man’s land’ where farming, livestock grazing, baling hay and any illegal activities are strictly prohibited,” the letter said. “However, currently some miners have already entered the area and unscrupulously opened up mines,” the herders said, asking “how can you call this type of area a ‘nature reserve’?”
The herder who spoke with SMHRIC said this kind of forced eviction “is how the authorities kick us Mongolians out of our ancestral land and put their own Chinese people [there] to occupy our land forever.” SMHRIC said that based on a November 2011 announcement on the website of the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources, which lists the Zaruud Banner Khan-Uul Forest Area Polymetallic Ore Inspection Project as one of “21 key projects in 2010,” the herders concerns appear justified. In the announcement, Tongliao Municipality Party authorities exhort relevant parties to “speed up and complete the detailed inspection as quickly as possible in consideration of starting the mining operation by the end of next year .”
Locals oppose construction of Indonesia-Japan initiated power plant
JAKARTA, July 22 (Xinhua) — Hundreds of people living in Batang Regency, Central Java Province, staged a protest on Monday against the construction of a mega coal-fired power plant project initiated by Indonesian and Japanese governments. The protests was conducted by at least 150 locals living around the planned project, who demanded cancellation of the project as it would harm their livelihood and risk the sustainability of fishing area waters that has been supporting their life.
“We strongly oppose the construction of Batang coal-fired power plant. We urge Indonesia and Japan governments to cancel the project as the investment would confiscate our land, ruin our way to earn for our living, threat further life of our children and grand children,” said Kasmir, a Karanggeneng villager who took part in the protest. The construction of the mega project that requires up to 500 hectares of land would submerge five villages in Batang Regency that comprised of Karanggeneng, Roban, Ujungnegoro, Wonokerso and Ponowaneng. Protesters said the project would submerge 124.5 hectares of productive agriculture plantations that are already facilitated with irrigation system.
Besides, the project would take the fish and coral reef-rich Sea Conservation area in Ujungnegoro and Roban villages, they added. The protest was to respond the recent meeting between a senior deputy minister in Japanese cabinet Yasutosho Nishimura and Indonesian Coordinating Economy Minister Hatta Radjasa regarding the project, which has a capacity of 2,000 mega watt. During the meeting, the Japanese official asked Hatta to speed up the land acquisition process so as to soon commence the project.
If the construction is successful, the coal-fired power plant would be the largest one in Southeast Asia region. Indonesia is now intensifying efforts to construct infrastructures, aiming to facilitate investors who intend to operate in the country. The country has attained high growths above 6 percent in the last few years, which attracted investors for its proven economic resilience and provided lucrative market for their businesses.
Hyundai Says 82 Employees Injured in Clash With Activists
Hyundai Motor Co. (005380), South Korea’s largest automaker, said 82 employees at its biggest assembly plant were hurt in a clash with labor activists demanding better conditions for temporary workers. The three-hour dispute on July 20 between activists from the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, an umbrella group of labor unions, and security guards and managers caused about 2.2 billion won ($2 million) in damage, Seoul-based Hyundai said in an e-mail yesterday.
About 100 people were injured in total, the trade union said in a statement on its website. Workers at Hyundai, the subject of periodic wage protests including an August 2012 walkout that cost the company a record 1.7 trillion won in lost production, weren’t part of the activist group in the brawl. Some members of the group tried to use force to enter the plant in Ulsan, throwing bamboo sticks and stones at Hyundai security personnel, who used fire hoses to keep them at bay, the automaker and labor body said.
The activists demanded Hyundai convert all 6,800 of its temporary workers, hired by subcontractors, into regular employees to enjoy better benefits and pay. The carmaker said in December that it will convert 3,500 workers by the first half of 2016, an offer that was rejected by the union.