Tag Archive | "protest"

Widespread Protests to Stop Violence Against Women


On Wednesday, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women was observed throughout the globe. In Buenos Aires, people of all ages gathered in Plaza Congreso at 5pm and marched towards Plaza de Mayo, heeding a call issued by the National Campaign to Stop Violence Against Women and 30 of its sister organizations. Participants also paid tribute to all those women who have perished at the hands of gender-based violence; a crime that has already claimed 233 victims over the first ten months of 2015.

Activists reminded those present of ongoing campaigns that fall under the cause, such as #NiUnaMenos, sex-trafficking, and gender violence. The Foundation for the Study & Research of Women’s Issues (FEIM) has worked hard alongside other organisations to advance the implementation of law 26,485 and the National Action Plan for the Prevention, Assistance and Eradication of Violence Against Women. Although the plan provides for the creation of shelters for battered women, subsidies for the victims and free psychological care as well as legal advice, the much-needed resources for the widespread implementation of these provisions are still lacking, FEIM says.

Although legal advances have been made to secure the rights of women —as exemplified by law 26,485— participants of the march also clamoured for an end to the impunity enjoyed by those who exert violence against women, as well as tougher prison sentences for these crimes. The lack of reliable statistical data tracking crimes against women has also represented a latent issue for the National Campaign. The activists have further noted that in order to be implemented effectively, the plan requires not just accurate data, but also that adequate control and monitoring mechanisms be put in place.

The issues experienced by working women have also gained notoriety in this edition of the march. The right to equal pay, free child care and job security appeared in the banners of many a protester.

Finally, within the framework of this internationally-observed day, the Argentine campaign in particular has highlighted the need for education. Sexual education in particular has been on the organisations’ agenda, who believe this domain requires more attention in order to disseminate better information about the use of contraceptives and in doing so, preventing unwanted pregnancies, clandestine abortions, and maternal deaths. Activists also hope to include the issue of violence against women within school curricula, in order to diminish the incidence of femicides, rape, and other crimes against women in the long run.

The march closed at the May Pyramid monument in Plaza de Mayo, with a speech that declared a “state of emergency” in the domain of women’s rights in Argentina, calling for an end to the “patriarchal, classist, sexist, and xenophobic justice system” and asking the incoming government to heed their call for action.

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women was instituted on 25th November in remembrance of three sisters from the Dominican Republic; Maria Teresa, Patria, and Minerva, who were murdered  by order of the country’s former dictator, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. Acts were also carried out in cities throughout Argentina, including Mendoza, Rosario, La Plata, and Tierra del Fuego.

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

Paraguay: Farmers Protest, Demand President’s Resignation


Thousands of Paraguayan farmers have mobilised from all corners of the country, heading towards Asunción in droves, to protest President Horacio Cartes’ agricultural policies.

The Paraguay Pyahurã political party and the National Farmers’ Federation (FNC) have called for the demonstration, that will convene before the Paraguayan Congress and demand the resignation of President Cartes. This rally represents the culmination of a week-long protest against what the FNC refers to as an “unsustainable development model”, heavy on exports, which generates widespread “disease, death, and poverty” for the working class.

Instead, they propose the creation of a “patriotic junta” to rule the country and protect farmers’ rights.

Soy fields in Paraguay (photo: Patty P)

Soy fields in Paraguay (photo: Patty P)

The prevalent system of farming in Paraguay continues to be the latifundio, or division of land into large estates that are in the hands of the few. Local farmers have long called for land reform in Paraguay.

In an interview with a local radio station, Marcial Gomez, a peasant leader, expressed that “with Horacio Cartes’ policymaking, the people receive little more than crumbs and repression. We demand the resignation of both Cartes and his immediate line of succession at the governmental level. We also demand a comprehensive political transformation that encompasses health, housing and employment, amongst others.”

Local labour unions have promised to join the farmers in their protest.

The government has not issued an official comment on the issue. Thus far, some 300 police officers have been deployed to escort the protesters and redirect traffic. Several of Asunción’s main arteries have been clogged as a result of the demonstration. Traffic has been described as “chaotic” by the local press.

The protesters have erected a makeshift stage at the square in front of the Paraguayan Congress. Peasant leaders will take the stage to voice their complaints. Their interventions will be followed by musical acts to close the week’s events.

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

Police Repress Anti-Mining Protest in Famatina


Police shot rubber bullets at the protesters (photo: UCR Press)

Police shot rubber bullets at the protesters (photo: UCR Press)

A peaceful anti-mining march headed towards the Midais mining site in La Rioja was forcefully put down by police using tear gas and rubber bullets this morning.

The march was made up of anti-mining groups and citizens from Famatina, the site of widespread protests in 2007 and 2012 when Canadian mining companies Barrick Gold and Osisko both tried unsuccessfully to begin projects.

Provincial police and the infantry came to break up the rally, which began in the town of Angulos, and though there were no serious injuries reported, they did shoot national UCR deputy Julio César Martínez with a rubber bullet in the neck.

The 25 environmentalists involved in the rally were ordered to not be within three kilometres of the mine. The police were called in when this was violated.

Many locals are against mining projects such as this one because they fear the environmental damage, the health risks, and the lack of economic benefits for themselves.

Residents of Famatina have been successfully able to thwart mining projects in the past by showing the companies do not have a ‘social licence’ to operate.

Posted in News From Argentina, Round Ups ArgentinaComments (1)

Sovereignty Tent: Protesting Against the ‘Extractive’ Model in the Heart of the City


A plethora of activist groups are uniting for one week in a protest against multinational corporations that harm the environment and people.

The protest, called the Carpa de la Soberania (Sovereignty Tent), began on Friday at the Obelisk in the centre of Buenos Aires where a large tent was erected. Protesters milled about among locals and tourists in the shadow of the symbol of the city to bring attention to their cause.

Artisans playing djembe drums for the crowd (Photo: Natalia Cartney)

Artisans playing djembe drums for the crowd (Photo: Natalia Cartney)

The goal is “to inform the community about the serious social, cultural, and environmental situation in the country because of the so-called ‘extractive’ model imposed by the government,” read the event description.

“It’s to create visibility,” said Exequiel Escuer, 35, one of the protest’s organisers and a member of the group Todos los 25 hasta que se vaya Monsanto (Every 25th until Monsanto leaves). “More people will see us here.”

“People don’t talk about this issue and so it becomes invisible. That’s why we’re in the street. To show people.”

Protest organiser's table, selling badges reaffirming that protests will occur every 25th of the month until Monsanto leaves (Photo: Natalia Cartney)

Protest organiser’s table, selling badges reaffirming that protests will occur every 25th of the month until Monsanto leaves (Photo: Natalia Cartney)

There were people beating drums and selling handicrafts around the tent as it was erected and tables where activists were passing out information and flyers.

One of the groups’ concerns is the proposed seed law, which would allow companies like Monsanto to patent genetic material. Escuer also expressed frustration over adverse effects on the community from pesticides, fracking, mining, and debt, which he said were caused by corporations who act with impunity.

Multinational corporations like Du Pont, Bayer, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Cargill are also targeted by the protesters.

The week-long event will feature a packed schedule of live music, debates, independent film screenings, and art exhibitions and will wrap up on 2nd October.

Signing of a petition by the EcoSocialismo group against the use of Glyphosate, a broad spectrum systemic herbicide. (Photo : Natalia Cartney)

Signing of a petition by the EcoSocialismo group against the use of Glyphosate, a broad spectrum systemic herbicide. (Photo: Natalia Cartney)

Lead image: Pop-up exhibition by photographer Paola de la Cruz, including photos documenting the successful protest against the construction of Monsanto processing plant in Cordoba. (Ph: Natalia Cartney)

Posted in Current Affairs, News From ArgentinaComments (0)

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)

_DSC0171-2

“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)

Follow us on Twitter
Visit us on Facebook
View us on YouTube

As a possible ‪Grexit‬ looms in the old continent, we revisit Marc Rogers' article comparing Greece's current situation to Argentina's own 2001-2 crisis.

    Directory Pick

Magdalena's Party in Palermo

Magdalena’s Party has daily 2 x 1 Happy Hour specials til midnight, and the "best onda".
Sign up to The Indy newsletter