Tag Archive | "protest"

The Indy Eye: #NiUnaMenos March against Gender Violence


Hundreds of thousands marched on Plaza Congreso in Buenos Aires yesterday afternoon to demand a judicial and legislative response to the issue of gender violence and femicide under the slogan ‘Ni Una Menos’ (Not one less). They were joined by thousands more in cities across Argentina and neighbouring countries.

The historic march was convened by activists, artists, and journalists, who demanded the government consider a series of points to reinforce the fight against femicide and its related issues. These included the full implementation of the Law 26.485, aimed at eradicating violence against women, more transparency in the publication of gender violence statistics, as well as guarantees of safety for those who do report cases of abuse and the opening of more refuges and centres for victims of such abuses.

“We don’t want any more women killed by femicide. We want to stay alive. All of us. Not one less,” shouted one of the women on stage as the crowd commemorated victims of the crime.

“We do not want any more children born and orphaned,” cried Julia Carroscal, whose daughter was a victim of femicide. “We’re not objects, we’re human beings, and women bring life to life. I have great faith that hopefully this will change.”

Gregoria Mendoza, member of a group therapy for violence, said that the change must start with the government “complying with laws accordingly and [the fulfilment of] those who are responsible for doing the work.” However, she said that the underlying problem lies in society and she would like to see a change in the educational system to promote safety for women.

The act concluded with a warm round of applause mixed with feelings of frustration and hope as the speakers concluded with the statement: “We affirm the right to say no to what is not desired: a couple, a pregnancy, a sexual act, a prescribed way of life. We affirm the right to say no to social mandates of submission and obedience. And because we say no, we say yes to our decisions about our bodies, our emotional lives, our sexuality, our participation in society, at work, in politics and elsewhere.”

Femicide in numbers - in 2014 there were 277 women murdered in Argentina. What will be the number for 2015? (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

Femicide in numbers – in 2014 there were 277 women murdered in Argentina. What will be the number for 2015? (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

Medical care workers also joined the march (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

Medical workers also joined the march (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

"To be a man is a different thing, guys" (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

“Being a man is a different thing, guys” (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

Nora Cortiñas, of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo, was present at the Congreso Square as well. (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

Nora Cortiñas, of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo Línea Fundadora, was present at Plaza Congreso. (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

You don't need to be a grown up to be a feminist. (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

You don’t need to be a grown up to be a feminist. (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

"A woman's fear of a man's violence is a reflection of a man's fear of a woman unafraid" Eduardo Galeano (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

“A woman’s fear of a man’s violence is a reflection of a man’s fear of a woman who is not afraid” Eduardo Galeano (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

"Your grandmother gave you your mother, your mother-in-law will give you your girlfriend, your girlfriend will give you your daughters and your daughters will give you your granddaughters. Do you need another reason to respect them?" (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

“Your grandmother gave you your mother, your mother-in-law will give you your girlfriend, your girlfriend will give you your daughters, and your daughters will give you your granddaughters. Do you need another reason to respect them?” (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

"No kid is born a machist" (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

“No kid is born machista” (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

"I'm alive, I can tell the story", cries Elvira Baruch, a victim of gender violence (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

“I’m alive, I can tell my story,” cries Elvira Baruch, a victim of gender violence (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

"If the officials take part in the human traffic, there will always be one less" (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

“Whilst officials are involved in human trafficking, there will always be one less” (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

Members of a female football group, La Nuestra, play the ball wearing "Vivas nos queremos" ("We want ourselves alive") T-shirts (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

Members of a female football group, La Nuestra, play the ball wearing ‘Vivas nos queremos’ (We want to stay alive) t-shirts (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

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“She is neither yours, nor a whore. She’s a woman!” (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

"Ni una menos! I have a daughter, a mother, a niece and a friend!" (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

“Ni una menos! I have a daughter, a mother, a niece, and a friend!” (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

"Feminism has never killed anyone. Machism does everyday" (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

“Feminism has never killed anyone. Patriarchy and machismo does everyday” (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

Enough of the femicides. (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

“Enough of femicide.” (Photo: Michalina Kowol)

 

Hugh Stanley was also on the scene in Córdoba, where police estimated upwards of 50,000 people took part in the march, which ended in Plaza Velez Sarsfield with a concert.

'How many more' ask the protestors who demand the emergency law be passed. Their shirts read 'I don't want to be the next victim'. (photo Hugh Stanley)

‘How many more deaths?’ ask the protestors who demand the emergency law be passed. Their shirts read ‘I don’t want to be the next victim’. (Photo: Hugh Stanley)

(photo: Hugh Stanley)

L: “The day that love overcomes violence, women will reign in the world” (Flora Tristan); R: Protestors hold a banner commemorating the victims of gender violence (photos: Hugh Stanley)

 

 

Posted in Human Rights, Photoessay, Social IssuesComments (2)

Chile: Teachers Strike against Education Reform Bill


'Teachers and students united in the struggle' (photo courtesy of Colegio de Profesores)

‘Students and teachers united in the struggle’ (photo courtesy of Colegio de Profesores)

This morning, thousands of Chilean teachers began an indefinite strike in protest of the government’s proposed education reform law.

The bill, called ‘Carrera Docente’, introduces a new pay scale system for teachers, which would include periodical tests as a prerequisite for climbing the pay scale ladder. It also details new grounds for dismissal for teachers who do not meet the academic requirements, and an increase in “non-teaching” hours for activities such as meetings, planning, and marking.

“We dialogued for more than three months, and presented our proposals, but little of that was reflected in the bill,” objected union leader Jaime Gajardo.

Responding to the strike, Economy Minister, Nicolás Eyzaguirre, said he lamented the decision, arguing that there had been a genuine dialogue with the teachers, and that they had been aware of the details of the law project. “I would call for continued talking. We believe that Carrera Docente is a tremendous leap forward for teachers,” the minister assured.

Conversely, in a letter to President Michelle Bachelet, the union criticised the “informality with which the Ministry of Education handled the discussions”, and the consequent mistrust and discomfort it had caused among their representatives.

The teachers also accused the project of being based in a fundamental mistrust in educators and stripping the training institutions of their responsibility, saying that teacher training institutions “have made education a cheap degree to implement in order to achieve greater economic benefits.” For the educators, the certificates and the tests for the pay hikes shift the responsibility from the training institutions to the teachers themselves. In addition, the union stated that the project “sustains the market-based education model”.

In Chile, municipalities are in charge of the public schools. The Chilean Association of Municipalities (ACHM) expressed its discontent with the strike, and called for the ministry and the union to continue negotiations. ACHM communicated that even though the teachers have promised to make up for any missed classes, “there is always a loss of hours that affects the performance and continuity of our students.”

The teachers’ union similarly called for the Education Ministry to establish another round table of dialogue. In the meanwhile, there will be marches in Santiago today and on Wednesday 3rd June, when the teachers will be joined by a column of the students’ union, Confech, which has expressed its solidarity with the teachers. On Friday the teachers will hold a national assembly of their delegates to decide on the continuation of the strike and to draft another letter to the president.

Education is a salient political issue in Chile. The student movements have been mobilizing since 2011demanding that the government fulfils its promises of free university education and ending private profit in education. The protests often result in violent confrontations between the police and the demonstrators. Reforming the sector is one of the major promises for President Bachelet’s second term in office. Carrera Docente, which would be implemented in 2016, is the government’s attempt to deliver the reform.

Posted in News From Latin America, Round Ups Latin AmericaComments (0)

Brazil: Teachers’ Protest Leaves Scores Wounded


The protests culminated outside of the Paraná State Assembly

The protests culminated outside of the Paraná State Assembly

Thirteen people have been arrested and a further 213 injured after a teachers’ protest turned violent in the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba yesterday.

Thousands of teachers, who had travelled from all over the state of Paraná to participate in the demonstration, protested the changes to their pension plans, which had been approved earlier that day by the state congress. Under the new law, which has yet to be signed off by the governor, teachers will have to start contributing to the pensions system with part of their salary.

Their demonstration turned violent when a group of teachers tried to break through a police barrier that had been set up around the legislature. Police reacted with tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets, causing teachers to respond with sticks and stones.

According to authorities, 20 police officers were also wounded in the confrontation.

The Paraná Teacher’s Union repudiated the police action in a statement: “Hundreds of police were deployed from all regions to the capital, just in order to ensure the vote took place. We could have found consensus with the proposal through dialogue, but the incompetence of the governor led to this confrontation.” The union also said that the strike continues.

The Department of Security has announced it will open an inquiry into yesterday’s events, which involved the participation of a total of 1,600 police officers.

The protest came after a state-wide teacher’s strike was announced on Saturday, which has left thousands of children without classes.

Posted in News From Latin America, Round Ups Latin AmericaComments (0)

Wichí Protest Violently Supressed in Formosa


Protest in solidarity with Wichí communities in Formosa (photo: ANRed)

Protest in solidarity with Wichí communities in Formosa (photo: ANRed)

A protest by a Wichí indigenous community in Ingeniero Juárez, Formosa, was violently suppressed yesterday evening. The community had already denounced the violent actions of police on Tuesday.

The incidents occurred when the protesters where blocking route 81, some 460km from the provincial capital of Formosa. According to ANRed, men, women, and children were injured. Wichí leader Agustín Santillán was allegedly beaten up and 50-year-old Reyes Torres was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet.

The Qom protesters who are currently camping on Av. 9 de Julio, in Buenos Aires, blocked the street last night in solidarity with the Wichí.

Qom leader Félix Díaz told ANRed: “We’re concerned because there’s a brother who was hurt in the eye and Agustín [Santillán was hurt] in an arm. There was a brutal repression by the Formosa police, which is why we’re here [on 9 de Julio], protesting to support our brothers. They’re not giving medical attention to the brothers wounded in Ingeniero Juárez.”

On Tuesday 24th March, the same Wichí community was violently evicted from route 81 by the police. “The police came, and without saying anything, they started pushing and shooting,” said Santillán about the incidents on Monday. “I have five impacts of rubber bullets and I think a lead bullet grazed my arm, because the flesh exploded.” According to Santillán, a woman also seemed to have been shot with a lead bullet, and other women, as well as men and children, were beaten up and shot at.

“We’re demanding housing, the title deeds of our lands, work, and [a solution to] the water problem in the communities,” said Santillán.

 

Posted in News From Argentina, Round Ups ArgentinaComments (0)

Paraguay: Thousands of Campesinos March to Demand President Resign


The march started last week in many parts of the country (photo courtesy of Partido Paraguay Py

The march started last week in many parts of the country (photo courtesy of Partido Paraguay Pyahurã)

Thousands of campesinos marched to the government palace in Asunción yesterday, to demand the resignation of Paraguayan president Horacio Cartes.

The arrival in the capital was the culmination of days of walking for many of those who had come on foot from the north and east of the country to protest the government’s economic and social policies, in the so-called ‘Long March of the Poor for a New Homeland’.

The protestors said that Cartes was not governing in favour of the majority and demanded the installation of a “patriotic junta”.

Eladio Flecha, general secretary of the Paraguay Pyahurã party, which had organised the march, said that the country’s democracy is in danger, because of narco-politics and mafia in all of the State institutions.

“Citizens understand the situation the country is facing. We are worried that democracy is moving backwards,” he said, adding that the president is not responding to the social sectors and that the government lacks public policies.

“If Cartes is not going to serve the majority, he should resign and a patriotic junta should be set up, which could design a different model of State, and a model of development according to the needs of the people.’

Despite traffic disruption, the march was peaceful from start to finish, something that Flecha highlighted.

The protests within Paraguay were accompanied by manifestations by Paraguayan diaspora around the region. In Buenos Aires, a demonstration that took place outside of the Paraguayan embassy went on into the night.

 

Posted in News From Latin America, Round Ups Latin AmericaComments (0)

Mexico: Congress Approves Anti-Protest Measures


Protesters march for the 43 missing students in Mexico City (photo: AFP Photo/Ronaldo Schemidt)

Protests, such as this march for the 43 missing students in Mexico City, could be criminalised under the changes (photo: AFP Photo/Ronaldo Schemidt)

In the middle of nationwide protests surrounding the disappearance of 43 students in Guerrero state in September, Mexico’s congress has approved constitutional changes that allow authorities to stop demonstrations.

Governing party PRI was joined by PAN, PVEN, and Panal in approving the changes on Tuesday. The modifications had been first drafted in April, but critics say they have been rushed through congress to allow authorities to crack down on the protests that are currently gripping the nation.

The changes to articles 11 and 73 of the constitution guarantee the universal right to movement, and give municipal, state, and federal authorities the right to emit laws which will impede street protests, and stop demonstrators from cutting streets for marches.

Opponents to the measure have said that such laws would criminalise the protests that are currently taking place over the student disappearance.

The protestors are demanding the president Enrique Peña Nieto resign over his government’s handling of the student disappearances, and also for the more general security situation that the country is facing.

Posted in News From Latin America, Round Ups Latin AmericaComments (0)

The Indy Eye: Hundreds Attend March in Solidarity with Palestine


Hundreds of people marched on the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires earlier today, demanding the end to Israel’s bombing of the Gaza Strip and calling for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Groups also called for the end of the Free Trade Agreement between Israel and Mercosur, and for a boycott of Israeli products by consumers. The demonstration, which was organised by the Argentine branch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, was entirely peaceful, despite a heavy police presence.

Since Israeli assault began a week ago, over 200 people have been killed, including 38 children. Human rights groups report that 80% of the victims are civilians, and medical organisations working on the ground have reported injuries to be consistent with the use of banned weapons such as dense inert metal explosives, which have led to amputations and horrific handicaps in many of the 1,500 wounded. The attacks have also led to the destruction of almost 1,500 homes, in an area which had not been fully rebuilt after the Israeli army’s 2008-9 incursion, mostly due to the Israeli government’s blockade which stops basic building materials from entering the 360km2 terrain.

Patricio Murphy was there to document the event.

 

'Israel out of Palestine' (photo by Patricio Murphy)

‘Israel out of Palestine’

 

'Stop bombing Gaza' (photo by Patricio Murphy)

‘Stop bombing Gaza”

 

Protestors (photo: Patricio Murphy)

 

 (photo: Patricio Murphy)

‘Stop the genocide in Palestine. Israel kills’

 

indy_murphy_gaza_protest-20140716_008

 

Mohammed Khdir (16 years old). Tortured and burnt to death by xxx occupation. Who is the terrorist?

‘Mohammed Abu Khdir (16 years old). Tortured and burnt to death by settlers of the occupation. Who is the terrorist?’

 

indy_murphy_gaza_protest-20140716_013

 

A women holds a poster that says 'Israel lies and lies', followed by facts

A women holds a poster that says ‘Israel lies and lies’, which lists ‘lies’ and ‘reality’.

 

 Photo by Patricio Murphy

 

'Israel: Enough!'

‘Israel: Enough!’

 

indy_murphy_gaza_protest-20140716_005

 

indy_murphy_gaza_protest-20140716_010

 

Posted in Multimedia, Photoessay, TOP STORYComments (6)

Anti-Monsanto Protesters Denounce Police Repression


Policemen and detainees at the parking lot (photo: ANRed)

Policemen and detainees at the parking lot (photo: ANRed)

A group of demonstrators who were protesting before the House of Córdoba in Buenos Aires last night denounced being repressed by the Federal Police. Twelve people were arrested and one of them was hospitalised.

The demonstrators were protesting against last week’s incidents in Córdoba, when the provincial police suppressed a protest outside of the legislature against a new Environment Law.

“We were protesting against the repression in Córdoba and the modification in the environment law. We don’t want the production model of Monsanto, Syngenta, or BASF. Here, in Buenos Aires, it’s the first time we’re repressed, but in Córdoba it’s like the eighth time,” said a protester to the Agencia de Noticias Redacción (ANRed).

According to ANRed, protesters were met by police as they arrived at the House of Córdoba on Callao 332, which was completely fenced off. There, the demonstration was supressed using tear gas and rubber bullets. The protesters were then chased up until they reached a parking lot around the corner, where 12 of them were arrested.

A worker from the Children’s Rights Secretariat, who witnessed the incidents, told ANRed: “My colleagues and I heard the rubber bullets being shot. We looked out the window and saw the police chasing the protesters. A couple of them kept running, others went into the parking lot and the police went in as well and started the repression against them. And they had more than one person -we saw at least four or five people- already on the ground and between five or six [policemen] they were kicking and beating them with their batons.”

Reporters from ANRed have also denounced being mistreated by the police, as well as other journalists, such as a photographer from Diario Popular and a cameraman from alternative TV channel En Movimiento, who were allegedly hit in the face.

Posted in News From Argentina, Round Ups ArgentinaComments (0)

Córdoba Passes Controversial Environment Law amid Protests


Yesterday's disturbances turned violent and led to police intervention (photo: Irma Montiel/Télam/jcp)

Yesterday’s disturbances turned violent and led to police intervention (photo: Irma Montiel/Télam/jcp)

Protests continue in Córdoba after last night’s approval of the province’s controversial new Environment Law. Yesterday, dozens of demonstrators vocally shared their disapproval of the law, and their manifestations turned violent, leading to 26 arrests and dozens of injuries, including some ten police officers.

The bill was first sent to Córdoba’s legislature in February by governor José Manuel de la Sota, with the purpose of aligning the provincial and national laws, to promote “environmental coexistence”.

However, critics say the new law comes in response to the protests against the construction of a Monsanto seed plant in the province’s town of Malvinas Argentinas, and have dubbed the law ‘Ley Monsanto’.

“The law has been created so that Monsanto can legally move into the province,” said Sofía Gatica, from Madres de Itzuzaingó, who was among the protestors. Gatica and women from Malvina Argentinas formed a human chain outside of the legislature to act as a barrier to demonstrators in an attempt to restore the calm, after protestors threw rocks and broke windows in the city’s legislature. However, Gatica herself was later arrested in the police crackdown.

Local media were yesterday tweeting that the police were detaining “anyone who looked like a protestor” in the repression, which activists reported sparked the second wave of violence.

All blocks voted in favour of the law, except for the Frente de Izquierda y de los Trabajadores (FIT). Cintia Frencia, a FIT legislator, shared her opposition to the law. “We are here to vote on a law that is cheating the people,” she said to the session, before casting her vote against the project.

The new law guarantees an Environmental Impact Evaluation prior to authorisation of projects that could have a significant impact on the environment. Large scale projects are detailed in a list numbering 48 activities, including silos and seed plants with a capacity of more than 2,500 tonnes. This process includes an environmental impact study and a public hearing on the project, and if the study is rejected, the project cannot go ahead. There can also be a referendum on large scale projects, which can be initiated by the governor, the legislature, or by the citizens themselves, if they gather the required number of signatures, ranging from 3-20%, depending on the scale of the project.

For smaller scale projects, there has to be public notice of the plan and citizens can also request a public hearing.

As Monsanto’s controversial seed plant planned to be built outside of Malvinas Argentinas would have a capacity of 29,500 tonnes of seeds, it would fall under the large scale project, and its own environmental impact study was rejected earlier this year. However, the law is not retroactive, and as such Monsanto can still present a new study under the law. 

Once the study is presented, the new law will apply and a referendum can be called by either the government or the residents of Malvinas Argentinas, if the required 20% of citizens call for it.

FIT are now calling for those detained to be released, and three protestors have since been freed without charge, including one minor.

 

 

Posted in News From Argentina, Round Ups ArgentinaComments (0)

Dozens Injured and Detained after Violent Repression in Chaco


Dozens of police were involved in the crackdown on the protest (photo: Germán Pomar/Télam/ddc)

Dozens of police were involved in the crackdown on the protest (photo: Germán Pomar/Télam/ddc)

Over 30 people have been injured and a dozen detained after a march was violently repressed yesterday in Resistencia, the capital of Chaco province.

Among the wounded was journalist Mónica Kreibohm, of newspaper Norte, who was hit by rubber bullets when she tried to prevent a woman who had fainted from being arrested. Police officials have also said that some ten officers were injured, and four of them are in a serious condition.

The protest involved members of unions, social movements, campesino organisations, and indigenous groups who had travelled from El Impenetrable. The protestors, numbering around 3,500, had marched peacefully to the provincial government house in Plaza 25 de Mayo to demand better wages and improved welfare programmes.

A little after 1pm, violence erupted after members of the demonstration threw “missiles” at the police, according to the provincial government. The organisers deny any objects were thrown to spark the violence, and say the government ordered the heavy-handed crackdown on their freedom of expression, which involved a truck with a water cannon, teargas, rubber bullets, and some 50 police on motorbikes and 40 on horseback.

The Partido Obrero has reported that the police were also firing lead bullets, an accusation that has been denied by the government, who say the bullets were shot by demonstrators who had brought home-made guns to the march.

The organisers are now considering a second march in the coming days to demand the resignation of Acting Governor Juan Carlos Bacileff Ivanoff, noting that a peaceful march last month also ended in similar violence.

 

Posted in News From Argentina, Round Ups ArgentinaComments (0)

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