Tag Archive | "protest"

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’

 

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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?’

 

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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!’

 

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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.

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

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Mexico: Farmers Begin Protest in the Capital


Secretariat of the Interior building, in Mexico City (photo: Wikipedia)

Secretariat of the Interior building, in Mexico City (photo: Wikipedia)

Some 5,000 peasant farmers from 20 Mexican states marched into Mexico City yesterday, where they set up a protest camp.

Farming organisations are demanding the federal government to be included in the negotiations for an agrarian reform. Álvaro López, from the National Union of Agrarian Workers (UNTA), said that “a democratic reform must come from a wide consultation to all the agricultural sectors and must put forward criteria that generates equality and that ends the great inequalities that we have today.”

Several placards carried by demonstrators also showed some of the farmers’ demands: against the privatisation of their districts, against the expansion of mining and wind energy companies, against transgenic corn, and to put an end to the concentration of land and resources, among others.

The protesters set up tents opposite the Secretariat of the Interior and warned they will remain there at least until tomorrow.

López informed that they will carry out protests before different federal government buildings in order to obtain a satisfactory answer to their demands.

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Brazil: Clashes Between Police and Protesters in Anti-World Cup March


Indigenous protesters clash with police in Brasilia (photo: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/Agência Brasil)

Indigenous protesters clash with police in Brasilia (photo: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/Agência Brasil)

Indigenous people dressed in traditional clothing clashed with police yesterday during a march in Brasilia. The incidents took place outside a new stadium built for the football World Cup.

The group of around 300 indigenous people, who were carrying bows and arrows, marched towards the Mané Garrincha stadium and were joined by protesters from the People’s Cup Committee. In an attempt to keep the protesters from reaching the stadium, the Military Police dispersed the crowds using tear gas. Protesters reacted by throwing the tear gas canisters back at the police as well as by throwing some arrows and stones. The incidents were broadcast live on television.

The Military Police informed that an officer was wounded in the leg by an arrow but is recovering favourably, and that a protester was detained due to the incidents. According to the Missionary Indigenous Council (CIMI), four indigenous people were wounded and one member of the Homeless Workers’ Movement (MST) was arrested.

The MST, which is part of the People’s Cup Committee, they were protesting against “the Cup’s crimes and violations, carried out by FIFA, by the federal government and the government of Brasilia, and by sponsors and contractors against the Brazilian people.” The indigenous groups were protesting against a bill which threatens to decrease the size of some indigenous communities.

As a result of the incidents, the opening ceremony of the World Cup trophy exhibition was cancelled.

 

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The Indy Eye: Anti-Monsanto Protest


On Saturday afternoon, protesters gathered in Plaza San Martín outside of Monsanto’s Buenos Aires headquarters to protest the agricultural giant. The sunny afternoon gave the protest a festive atmosphere, and the information stands and talks were accompanied by music, dancing, and art. The Buenos Aires protest coincided with a larger gathering in Córdoba, a province that has been on the frontline of the battle against the use of genetically modified agriculture, and the use of agrochemical herbicides and fertilisers.

Photos by Hera Chan.

Protesters gathered in Plaza San Martín on Saturday afternoon

Protesters gathered in Plaza San Martín on Saturday afternoon

 

'Murdering Monsanto, Leave!' was this lady's message

‘Murderous Monsanto, Leave!’ was this lady’s message

 

The protest came complete with music...

The protest came complete with music…

 

The protest came complete with music and dancing

… dancing …

 

... information stands ...

… information stands …

 

... and talks, like this one by Colombian Tania Camila Barilla of Marcha Patriótica

… and talks, like this one by Colombian Tania Camila Barilla of Marcha Patriótica

 

It was a beautiful afternoon in Plaza San Martín, outside of Monsanto's offices

It was a beautiful afternoon in Plaza San Martín, outside of Monsanto’s offices

 

Protesters climbed onto the statues in the Plaza

Protesters climbed onto the statues in the Plaza

 

While others chose a more sedentary way to make their voices heard, like this lady's demand for 'Food Sovereignty Now!'

While others chose a more sedentary way to make their voices heard, like this lady’s demand for ‘Food Sovereignty Now!’

 

Artists from the Grupo Interdisciplinario de Arte Periferia were also present

Artists from the Grupo Interdisciplinario de Arte Periferia were also present

 

People shared seeds from the amaranto plant, which is naturally resistent to Monsanto's Roundup

People shared seeds from the amaranto plant, which is naturally resistent to Monsanto’s Roundup

 

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Anti-Chevron Day Marked by Protests


Yesterday saw protests against oil giant Chevron take place in Buenos Aires and Neuquén. The demonstrations were part of International Anti-Chevron Day, a global movement against the corporation organised by a coalition of campaigners from Argentina, Ecuador, the US, Nigeria, and Romania.

Under the slogan “We intend for the whole world to take a stand against corporate abuse and illegality”, protests took place in more than 30 cities in Latin America, Europe, Africa, the US, and Canada. Public figures called for boycotts of the corporation, and #antichevron became a top trending topic on Twitter throughout the day.

Anti-Chevron protesters braved the rain in Buenos Aires (photo by Hera Chan)

Anti-Chevron protesters braved the rain in Buenos Aires (photo by Hera Chan)

The movement was spearheaded by the Mapuche Confederation of Neuquén (CMN), made up of 63 communities from around the province. The CMN led yesterday’s protests in Neuquén, where it denounced last year’s agreement between Chevron, YPF, and the province to exploit the Vaca Muerta oil and gas reserves, where the controversial technique of fracking will be used. The CMN also reported violations of the collective rights of the communities near the Vaca Muerta field. Yesterday’s Neuquén demonstration was accompanied by a smaller protest outside Chevron’s headquarters in Buenos Aires.

Large demonstrations also took place in Ecuador, led by the Union of Texaco’s Oil Operation’s Victims (UDAPT), and with the backing of various members of government. On Tuesday, President Rafael Correa welcomed the international participation in Anti-Chevron Day.

In yestereday’s protest, the UDAPT demanded the clean-up of Texaco-Chevron’s contamination in the Amazon, and for the reparations which have been granted to be paid. Ecuadorian authorities affirm that, for the almost 30 years it operated in the Ecuadorian Amazon, Texaco spilled 16.8m gallons of oil into the ecosystem, as well as 18.5bn gallons of toxic water into the land and rivers.

One of more than 880 pits dug by Texaco in the Amazon to store crude oil waste in the open (photo courtesy of Chevron Tóxico)

One of more than 880 pits dug by Texaco in the Amazon to store crude oil waste in the open (photo courtesy of Chevron Tóxico)

The oil company has refused to comply with a 2011 ruling that ordered it to pay US$9.5bn compensation to the more than 30,000 Amazonian inhabitants affected by negligent oil extraction by its Texaco subsidiary from 1960 to 1990. Controversially, the corporation then retaliated to the ruling by obtaining an injunction from a US judge, and successfully suing the plaintiffs for using “corrupt means” to obtain the ruling in Ecuador, including bribery. The plaintiffs are currently appealing the ruling, pointing out close ties between the oil giant and the US judge.

In launching the International Anti-Chevron Day earlier this month in Neuquén, the CMN published a Global Declaration of the Victims of Chevron’s Practices, signed by over 75 organisations from around the world. The declaration, which was read at all of the protests yesterday, demands that Chevron acknowledges its responsibility for all the damage it has procured to the environment and human rights.

The international day of protests was timed to take place a week before the oil giant’s annual shareholders’ meeting, set for 28th May.

 

 

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Opposition Unions to Protest Today


Union leader Hugo Moyano (photo: Wikipedia)

Union leader Hugo Moyano (photo: Wikipedia)

The two factions of the umbrella union CGT that oppose the government will march to Plaza de Mayo at 3pm this afternoon. Their leaders, Hugo Moyano and Luis Barrionuevo, have called a protest against insecurity, inflation, and for an increase in the income tax threshold. A statement will be read out during the event, but there will be no speakers.

Several transport-related unions will join the march, and although its members are not striking, disruptions to public transport are expected throughout the afternoon. Also, traffic around the downtown area, especially near the Obelisco and Plaza de Mayo, is being affected.

Chief of Cabinet Jorge Capitanich referred to the protest this morning during his daily press conference. He said that “if the protest is against insecurity, they have nothing to do at Plaza de Mayo,” and challenged the unions leaders to “talk to governor [Daniel] Scioli in the province of Buenos Aires, to [governor] José Manuel De la Sota in Córdoba, to [governor] Antonio Bonfatti in Santa Fe, and also to [mayor Mauricio] Macri for his share of responsibility in the City of Buenos Aires.” “Safety is a provincial matter,” he added.
Moyano considered it was “not worth” responding to Capitanich, but pointed out that “everyone protests in Plaza de Mayo; justice, human rights, everyone goes to Plaza de Mayo. And he says Plaza de Mayo is not the place to protest. I think he’s completely wrong.”

 

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Argentina News Roundup: 5th May 2014


Pro-choice organisations protest the hospital's refusal to terminate the victim's pregnancy (photo: Victoria Egurza/Télam/dsl)

Pro-choice organisations protest the hospital’s refusal to terminate the victim’s pregnancy (photo: Victoria Egurza/Télam/dsl)

Teenage Rape Victim Gets Abortion: A 13-year old girl who had been denied a non-punishable abortion at a public hospital last week managed to terminate her pregnancy at a private clinic. A statement released by pro-choice organisations that accompanied the young girl throughout her ordeal confirmed that she “was released [from hospital] on Friday after obtaining a legal termination of her pregnancy with pills in a private clinic, which was concluded at a public hospital outside of the province of Buenos Aires, without any complications during the procedure. The minor is in perfect health and has had no consequences due to the procedure.” The organisations blamed the provincial Health Ministry for not upholding the young girl’s right to a legal abortion, and pointed out that the procedure was carried out thanks to the efforts of the feminist movement. The teenager was raped and impregnated by her step-father in November, and doctors at a public hospital in Moreno refused to carry out the abortion due to the advanced stage of the pregnancy.

Plane Diverted due to Argentine Drug Mule: A flight from Buenos Aires to Madrid was forced to make an emergency landing at Las Palmas airport on Gran Canaria on Saturday, after a female passenger – who was transporting half a kilo of cocaine in her stomach – fell ill. After landing, the Civil Guard’s prosecution felt that the 23-year-old Argentine showed signs of carrying some kind of drugs in her body. The woman, whose initials are E.R.L, was then rushed to Hospital Insular de Las Palmas where the 58 capsules, weighing a total of 496g, were surgically removed. She was then arrested for drug trafficking, although she currently remains in hospital recovering from her operation. The island’s Civil Guard has underlined that transporting drugs in that way is extremely dangerous and there is always a danger that the bags will burst and the mule will die of an overdose, which happens in 2% of such cases.

Truck drivers protest before the town hall (photo: Carlos Brigo/Télam/dsl)

Truck drivers protest before the town hall (photo: Carlos Brigo/Télam/dsl)

Quilmes Rubbish Collection Conflict Resolved: The municipality of Quilmes reached an agreement with the truck drivers’ union over rubbish collection in the city. Marcelo Aparicio, a spokesman for the union, said that the agreement signed with Quilmes mayor Francisco ‘Barba’ Gutiérrez, guarantees the continuity of “the positions, wages, and working conditions” for the 430 workers of the rubbish collection company Covelia, who will be transferred to the municipality as the contract with Covelia expired last week. According to Gutiérrez, the workers will maintain their seniority and a wage equivalent to the truck drivers’ basic wage. The mayor stated he believes that, once in public hands, the rubbish collection service — which cost the municipality $14m per year in fees paid to Covelia — “will improve”. The conflict between the municipality and the union over the fate of Covelia’s workers sparked a strike and protests before the town hall last week.

 

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