Tag Archives: Protests

NSW Climate Camp 2010

6 Dec

According to this SMH report, 67 people have been arrested in NSW, near Muswellbrook at ”Climate Camp” for offences ‘related to anti-social or criminal behaviour’.

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A pledge is not a pledge if…

5 Dec

In an exclusive interview with The Independent, the Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told the paper that he did not regret the party’s proposal on the increased university tuition fees despite student backlash.

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Expect protests for G20 Seoul summit

6 Nov

Expect protests and counter-repression tactics during the upcoming G20 Seoul summit happening between 11 and 12 November. According to the NGO coalition, Put People First! Korean People’s G20 Response Action, which consists of an alliance of student, trade unions and other civil society participants, 200 foreign activists have already been banned from entering Seoul during the intergovernmental meeting.

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Anti-Olympics protests in Vancouver 2010 – protests and police reaction

18 Feb

In my previous post, I had mentioned that a broad umbrella of groups including those fighting against homelessness and indigenous rights were actively campaigning against the Vancouver Games by 2008. Prior to the event, they also documented the kind of damages done to the city such as the rising rate of homelessness and the erosion of civil liberties.
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Al Jazeera Clips on Burma’s protest

29 Sep

This exclusive Al Jazeera Youtube clip shows the video journalist interviewing a crowd of Burmese who told him repeatedly that there is no democracy, no democracy, no democracy in the country. One of them even said the Burmese military is “dangerous”.

In another Al Jazeera news segment, Frost Over The World, Sir David Frost interviews Razali Ismael, former UN envoy to Burma and exiled dissident, Zoya Phan.

In this interview, Razil mentioned that economic and political change must happen. However, he felt that the international community has a role to play to “impress” upon the military generals to make those changes.

Zoya, who is more blunt, believed that the number of reported deaths are likely to be lower than the actual figures; and that the current uprising is a result of the people being “fed up” with the regime.

When David Frost concluded by saying that he hopes to see a “happy ending”, Zoya was quick to reiterate what this blog has mentioned before – that the Burmese military will need to enter into a dialogue with the Opposition. She puts it succinctly,

“To have a happy ending, what we need to see is the UN Security Council to pass a binding resolution, to set up a deadline, then force the regime to enter into a political dialogue with ethnic nationalities, opposition and have a genuine national reconciliation in Burma. The only way to have change in Burma is to force the regime.

In this third news clip, David Hawkins interviewed two army deserters from the Burmese military. Despite harsh punishments such as imprisonment, as many as one third of the soldiers have chosen desertion. The two interviewers revealed why the military is unpopular with the Burmese. One of them confessed that he was forced to be in the army while the other said, ” I saw their hate on people’s eyes when they look at me.”

Daw Daw Saw from the National League for Democracy, appealed to the international community to step in. She expresses the excessive brutality of the regime, “They will shoot and shoot on the peaceful demonstrators…”

Burmese shrug off military rule

26 Sep

It should not come as a surprise that the Burmese riot police has finally retaliated with violence on the protesting monks. The restraint that the military regime has practised until recently has somewhat bolstered the protestors’ confidence, which had the uncanny effect of causing the mass protests to further swell.

Now that the regime has lost their head by attacking the revered monks, the option of no longer NOT using violence is basically thrown out of the window. The effect of this outright display and actual violence on the protestors and monks is likely to escalate and either:

a) cause the size of the protests to dwindle as the monks or people fear physical retaliation; or

b) further expand because the ordinary Burmese are no longer willing to watch idly while the monks, highly respected in their society are attacked.

The second probability is more likely to occur since the increase in fuel hikes has caused far too much misery to the livelihoods of the ordinary people that they feel they have no choice but to publicly protest; despite knowing the severity of the repercussions.

This is a crucial period where international pressure is likely to play an important role in ensuring that violence is reduced or stopped.

As Bush announces more sanctions against Burma, China has urged the latter for stability.

Yet, asking the Burmese military regime to stop the violence cannot be executed without urging for a process of immediate dialogue.

To this end, ASEAN can and should play a decisive meditative role by urging the Burmese military government to:

a) release Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest;

b) release the activists and monks who have been imprisoned for participating in the protests;

c) engage in a tri – party dialogue process (consisting of the Burmese military; Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy leaders; and ASEAN acting as the arbitrator)

The aim of the dialogue, not only to reduce and stop the violence, could also pave the way for the generals to “relinquish their authority” while allowing the country to transit towards a process of democratisation – from military to civilian rule.

The likelihood of ASEAN to initiate this process is slim considering it has always advocated a “non-interference on internal affairs” approach towards its members.

However, ASEAN also understands that if it does not act to ensure that violence stops in Burma, its credibility as a trade- security bloc which tries to embody a human rights mechanism (with its newly drafted ASEAN Charter) will merely be an empty call.

China and India, which are close trading partners with the regime should also exert pressure on the government.

This is perhaps the tipping point where the Burmese needs more international pressure and aid more than ever, if they ever wanted to shrug off military rule. People in other countries can help by signing petitions or protesting outside the Burmese embassy in their own countries. They could also write to the Burmese government and or their elected members of parliament to urge them to take up the cause of allowing the Burmese their right to freedom of assembly and stopping the violence.