Tag Archives: protests

Demonstrations Against Iran In Europe

Those who rule Iran have scant interest in how the world regards their behavior. As nuclear development proceeds, as Iran grows into itself and the world of religious fanatics increasingly destroys domestic enemies, there is a desire to show the world of its lack of need for their feelings, let alone those of any domestic opposition leader. Over the past few days, five political activists were executed in order to send a message to those who dare speak against the all powerful clerics. Demonstrations of protest become ever more dangerous so while there was quiet in Iran, protests broke out in Copenhagen and Stockholm where Iranian refugees expressed the anger that could not be seen in Tehran.

The people of Iran are quiet. Let us hope it is for the moment.

Mousavi Stirs Pot Of Dissent In Iran

Forces of opposition to the government of President Ahmadinejad refuse to go away in quiet, but continue demonstrating and organizing in ways that have not been seen for years in Iran. Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi is planning to unveil a new political group which will continue the protest campaign until either they are forcibly shut down or changes made in the electoral process. According to Mousavi aide, Alireza Beheshti, “the establishment of this front is on Mir Hossein Mousavi’s agenda and we will soon announce its establishment.” The group most probably will focus on defending the rights of citizens to speak and protest against what millions believe was a stolen election. Ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was quotes as saying in a newspaper article that “the elite and academics voted for Mousavi and they can help Mousavi in establishing such a front.”

One wonders if Aytatollah Khamenei and Ahmadindejad misread the situation in the country. They probably did not forsee that Mousavi and hundreds of thousands would take to the streets and refuse to cease expressing their ideas. Mousavi continues to visit the families of those who died which undoubtedly keeps his name in the public eye and links him to those who have grown weary of Ahmadinejad.

Failure on the part of the government to arrest Mousavi weeks ago suggests there is debate within government and clerical circles on how to proceed.

Tehran Youth Continue Demonstrating!

At least twenty Iranian protestors have been killed, hundreds had their heads bashed in by the thugs of President Ahmadinejad, but the spirit of democracy will not die in Iran. Even as Tehran’s governor, Morteza Tamaddon warned, “if some individuals plan to conduct anti-security moves through listening to a call by counter-revolutionary networks, they will be smashed” hundreds of students gathered to shout “death to the Dictator.” Groups of students have been gathering at street corners to hurl words of defiance at authorities. Security forces run toward them with batons held high, but the young people flee only to return elsewhere. It is estimated a group of 700 Tehran University students gathered to express their disdain for the illegal government of Iran.

Ahmadinejad and Khamenei have won the first round of a struggle that will go on for years. The young people of Iran will not accept defeat and they will continue challenging the power elite. Some will die, many will be beaten, and hundreds will wind up in prison, but their spirit lives on and the world will support them in any way that can be done.

Military Deaths In America

Perhaps, no war in the history of America has generated more controversy over the manner in which those who have fallen in battle are treated. The Bush administration imposed a blackout on showing dead soldiers and even refused to allow photographs of returning caskets of those who died in the fighting. For some reason, those who have died are treated non-people after they are dead. Several communities have imposed laws prohibiting protests at the funerals of those who died, particularly since some religious sects have staged bizarre protests which include demonizing the fallen claiming they died because God punished them for defending a society which allows homosexuality.

A Kansas judge has ruled anyone can protest at a funeral and just because there are strange ideas society must allow them to surface. Death be not proud in a land which doesn’t want to see or hear from the dead.

Russians Protest Economic Conditions

The current economic collapse which is impacting nations throughout the world is the first serious one to hit Russia since the Putin gang took power in the nation. Putin assumed office just as oil prices zoomed and he had access to large amounts of money, but today Russia, along with other nations is feeling the impact of lower production and lower prices for oil. The Russian Communist Party believed it could draw millions in protest demonstrations in the nation. There were thousands in the streets holding signs and shouting, “Where is the money, Dima?”(President Medvedv). Viktor Ilyukhin, a Communist Party official, said demonstrators were reflecting anger in the country. “Many families are on the edge of survival, unemployment is growing.”

It will be interesting to discover if the current economic crisis can really stir anger within Russia against Putin and his crowd. Will it be enough to awake Russians from their lethargy and demand truly free elections? Only time will tell.

Sounds Of The Sixties In Modern France?

The Sixties in France was a scene of protesting young people who were angry at war in Vietnam and the uncertainties of dealing with the Cold War in Europe. They demanded creation of a new society in which there was equity. At this moment, hundreds of thousands of French people are protesting in the streets in demonstrations that are expected to attract at least a million people. They are angry at closing of factories and extensive job cuts which have followed the financial crisis that began in America. Jean-Claude Maillyu, head of the large Force Ouvriere Union, believes the protestors “have a profound sense of social injustice, and that, I think, is something that neither the government nor the employers have understood.”

Perhaps, we are witnessing the birth of a reaction against unbridled capitalism which has run wild over the past three decades and left in its wake societies characterized by economic gaps in which a small number of people have amassed a large segment of the fruits of labor. The end result might be emergence of a hybrid economic system in which capitalism fuses with basic socialist ideals of equity. Is something new being born?

China Blankets Tibet With Troops

Large numbers of Chinese troops have been sent to Tibet as its government, in essence, acknowledges the existence of widespread opposition on the part of people in Tibet to the continued presence of Chinese in their nation. Tourists and journalists are not being allowed into most areas of Tibet. Thousands of paramilitary troops abord at least 80 trucks were seen traveling along the main road winding through the mountains into southeastern Tibet. Others set up camps and patrolled streets in riot gear helmets and rifles in the town of Tiger Leaping Gorge. Further north, the town of Zhongdian was being guarded by soldiers who were prepared to use tear gas on any protest group.

The last remaining foreign journalists in Lhasa, Georg Lume of Germany and Kristin Kupfer of Austria were forced to leave in order to impose a blackout on news to the outside world. An offical with the exiled Tibetan government estimates at least 99 are dead and hundreds wounded. The Dalai Lama has publicly offered to meet with Chinese officials in order to work out a peaceful resolution of the situation.

Chinese televison is showing scenes of wild protests and burning on the part of Tibetans but there are no video clips about actions of Chinese troops to quell the riots.

Tibet Violence Escalates And China Uses Force!

The Chinese government on the eve of staging the Olympic Games is facing a huge public relations disaster as violence continues in Tibet. Fighting between protestors, who were shouting, “Free Tibet” and police and army units, has resulted in at least four deaths and hundreds injured. Demonstrators set fire to shops and cars as police opened fire on them while all monasteries were reported surrounded by hundreds of soldiers in order to halt monks from participating in action against Chinese authority in Tibet. A Han woman told reporters: “It was chaos everywhere. I could see fires, smoke, cars and mortorcycles burning.” A tibetan guide who refused to give his name said police in riot gea were backed by armored vehicles and were blocking major intresections in the city. The US embassy in Beijing has received reports from Americans in Lhasa of gunfire and rioting.

The open resentment of demonsrators has undoubtedly shocked Chinese officials who continue believing their rule over the Tibetan people is welcomed by one and all. A Tibetan demonstrator told a reporter, “I have a mesage for Tibetans abroad: don’t stop supporting us. If you stop, it makes the risks we’re taking useless.”

China has two choices: continue present policies which are resented by Tibetans or move in a direction of offering the people of Tibet genuine local autonomy. If China uses excessive force it risks creating conditions that might spark a boycott of the Olympic Games and damage its image in the world for a decade.

Kenya Impasse Continues With Threats Of Violence

President Kibaki entered the chambers of Parliament to greet the new session while his opponent, Raila Odinga sat a few feet away, neither man glancing in the direction of the other. The new Speaker of the House, Kenneth Marenden promised reforms, but none that would be capable of altering the current stand-off between Odinga, who most probably won the presidential election, and Kibaki who forced himself into the presidency through vote manipulation. In the meantime, streets of Kenya towns witnessed peaceful demonstrations by the Orange Democratic Movement. Nairobi’s streets were peaceful in the morning, but when after arrived with ODM demonstrators, tear gas greeted their arrival.

Famous people tried their best to persuade President Kibaki to rethink his victory, and, if nothing else, at least form a coalition govenment that would include members of the oppositiion ODM. Kibaki has dug in his feet and will not compromise. How does a man who apparently loves his country and people refuse to take action that would avoid bloodshed and violence? Only Kibaki knows the answer to that question.

Hundreds Of New Zealanders Protest Anti-Terror Raids

Hundreds of New Zealanders protested across the nation against this week’s massive police sweep aimed against terrorists. During the police action, vehicles were halted and people searched. There was considerable anger because the police halted school buses, entered waving guns and frightened hundreds of children. A bus driver described the police entering his bus with weapons and upsetting children. Protestors carried signs saying, “He taonga te mukopuno”– children are out treasures. Greg O’Connor, head of the Police Association said complaints came from usual sources — politicians and those who were halted and searched.

For some reason police assumed school buses were places on which terrorists were hidden. Mr. O’Connor is right, the children who were harassed and their parents actually protested. Is he arguing parents should allow armed police to board school buses for some ridiculous reason that terrorists are hiding on them and not protest! The “terrorist hysteria” is getting out of hand.