World Popular Resistance Clippings 3/10/2013


Leaflets with malicious speeches on RMG sector seized in Chittagong

Police says the contents of those leaflets were inciting

An intelligence team from the Industrial Police in Chittagong on Wednesday seized hundreds of leaflets from CEPZ, KEPZ and other readymade garment (RMG) factories in Chittagong. Police alleged the leaflets contained malicious content aimed at creating unrest among the workers. The leaflets were anonymous and urged workers to “unite and be conscious of their rights, especially salaries,” said sources at the Industrial Police.

The leaflets claimed a salary scale of Tk8,160 was “badly needed” and urged workers to push for it by undertaking movements. The leaflets urged RMG workers to gather at the CEPZ factory gate yesterday around 8am. However, no crowd was seen there in the morning, said SM Abdur Rashid, general manager of Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority (BEPZA) in Chittagong. Arifur Rahman, an inspector (intelligence) of the Industrial Police in Chittagong, said in an initial investigation police had found clues suggesting that workers who were suspended from different RMG factories for various reasons may be involved in the conspiracy.

Police found the leaflets in front of factories and on roads but no workers had anything to say about the matter. However, they are yet to identify anyone or any organisation involved with the distribution of the leaflets. A worker at a foreign RMG factory, seeking anonymity, told the Dhaka Tribune that he, along with some of his colleagues, had gotten the leaflets but they did not follow the instructions. “We did not follow what the leaflets said, but others who got them may be encouraged by them and create unrest,” he said. Several hundred workers from a factory staged a demo in Chittagong city’s Kalurghat area yesterday morning protesting the sudden closure of their factory, Inspector Rahman said. “They also attempted to involve workers from the adjoining RMG factories,” he claimed.

The conspirators might have changed the location of the demonstration to Kalurghat, he said. Industrial Police are looking into the matter and are prepared to avoid the occurrence of any untoward situation, he added. SM Abdur Rashid told the Dhaka Tribune that factory owners had been instructed to mitigate any problem through discussions with workers and keep strong vigilance over their factories. “Some people are trying to create disorder, but we are prepared from all sides,” he said. Industrial Police and BEPZA met yesterday over the matter. “Our intelligence teams are working with BEPZA around the clock to avoid any disorder,” said inspector Rahman.

RMG workers stage demo in Chittagong

The workers also vandalise the windows of the factory building Workers of a garment factory at Kalurghat Bisic Industrial Area in Chittagong city staged a demonstration on Thursday morning protesting the announcement of the factory’s sudden closure for an indefinite period. The agitated workers performed various acts of vandalism in and around the area, Industrial Police sources said. Arifur Rahman Arif, inspector (intelligence) of Industrial Police in Chittagong, told the Dhaka Tribune that hundreds of workers of Savar Seawater, owned by Azim Group, started their demonstration in front of the factory at around 10:15am when they found out that the factory was declared closed for an indefinite period without any prior notice.

The workers also vandalised the windows of the factory building, hurling bricks as they could not enter the establishment, while the unrest also triggered workers from four other readymade garment factories to protest as well, he said. Later, Industrial Police rushed to the spot and dispersed the mob after a chase and counter-chase between police and the agitating workers, said the inspector. Inspector Arif said an argument had arisen between authorities and the workers a few days ago over the issue of piece rate for each unit of sweater manufactured, but they reached a compromise on Wednesday night after a meeting between both the groups was held. “But, the factory authorities on Thursday closed the factory suddenly that grew the workers’ agitation,” he said.

Brazilian police stop Indians from storming Congress

(Reuters) – Brazilian police used pepper spray to stop hundreds of protesting Indians from storming Congress on Wednesday, clamping down on the second day of indigenous rights marches. Tribes across Brazil blocked highways and occupied government offices to oppose what they see as a steady undermining of their rights to ancestral lands by farmers supported by politicians in disputes that have occasionally turned violent. “We have lost lots of land and they want to take away what we have left,” said Mayalú Txucarramae, a young Kayapó leader from the Xingú reservation in Mato Grosso state, one of about 1,000 indigenous demonstrators camped out in front of Congress.


Protesters, police clash in Mexico City

Mexico City – Protesters clashed with riot police in Mexico City on Wednesday, leaving dozens injured as thousands of people marched to mark the anniversary of a massacre of students in 1968. The Red Cross said at least 51 people were injured as a group of masked protesters threw rocks and firebombs at police who used tear gas and threw stones back at them. The city’s public security department said 32 officers were injured by mostly masked and “self-declared anarchists”.

At least 97 people were detained. Dozens of protesters broke the windows of stores, bus stops and a national newspaper office. Police officers used shields to defend themselves but also charged at protesters and journalists alike. At least 10 journalists were hit by both police officers and protesters, according to the press rights group Articulo 19. Two other reporters were detained. Three AFP journalists were among those attacked by police and were lightly injured. An AFP video journalist was attacked by protesters who used an aerosol can to blow fire at him, and broke his camera.

Fifteen charged over Aurukun riot

FIFTEEN people have been charged for rioting outside a police station in a far north Queensland indigenous community. Police say the disturbance began at a shop in Aurukun then spread to the local police station on Monday after a local man was taken into custody.

It has been alleged police tasered the man during a riot at the general store. Rocks were then allegedly hurled at the police station and vehicles, so police had to call in reinforcements from Cairns and Thursday Island. A 33-year-old man has been charged with serious assault, assaulting police, obstructing police and causing a public nuisance. He is expected to reappear at the Cairns Magistrates Court on Thursday. A further twelve men and two teenage boys have been charged with a range of offences, including rioting while armed, wilful damage of police property, serious assault of police while armed, wilful damage and for entering premises and committing an indictable offence by breaking and entering.

Government critics march through Haiti’s capital

Riot police in Haiti broke up the tail end of an anti-government demonstration that drew thousands of people marking Monday’s anniversary of the 1991 ouster of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. A handful of protesters responded by setting up fiery barricades that blocked a major thoroughfare that cuts through the heart of downtown Port-au-Prince. Critics of Haitian President Michel Martelly gathered under a heavy police presence Monday morning and then proceeded to march through the capital’s shanties, all Aristide strongholds.

The initial crowd swelled to several thousand. Some of them demanded that Martelly resign because of corruption allegations while others protested the absence of elections. Riot police fired tear gas at the demonstrators after they veered from the approved route. Haiti was supposed to have held legislative and local elections two years ago. But infighting among the different branches of the government has delayed the vote.



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Policeman killed in Paraguay ambush

Suspected leftist rebels shot and killed a policeman in an ambush in Paraguay on a vehicle carrying human rights trainers, officials said Wednesday. Interior Minister Francisco de Vargas said the group came under attack just after nightfall Tuesday in a wooded area near Tacuati, a town about 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of Asuncion, where the Paraguayan Peoples Army, or EPP, has been active.

Police officer David Burgos was shot in the head by a sniper using an M-16 rifle, as he drove a van carrying trainers from the Interior Ministry’s Human Rights Office, according to initial reports. “We were saved by a miracle,” said the unit’s human rights chief Hugo Samaniego. “We came to give a talk on human rights to military troops and police stationed in Tacuati and the attack took place as we were driving back to Asuncion.” Samaniego and six other members of the group were injured when the van overturned after Burgos was shot.

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