PKK Revokes Cease-Fire in Turkey

The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) ends the six-month cease-fire in a statement published on its news agency, Firat. The statement blames intransigence on the part of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for the decision.

The PKK had said it would hold the cease-fire until June, the month in which Turkey is to hold general elections. Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union list the PKK as a terrorist organization. The group has been fighting a war in Turkey since 1984, in which 30,000-40,000 people are estimated to have been killed.

The status of Turkey’s Kurds is among the most politically explosive issues in the country. Any compromise by the government was unlikely in the lead-up to elections, while an uptick in violence could influence voting, analysts said. Opinion polls suggest the AKP will win re-election easily.

In its statement, the PKK said that from now on “our forces will defend themselves more actively, but will not carry out military actions against the forces which do not attack, which do not carry out operations and attack the public.” Continue reading

India: Two die in protest against proposed power plant

Press Trust Of India, Feb 28, 2011

Visakhapatnam: Two persons were killed and five injured when police opened fire to control villagers protesting against setting up of a thermal power plant in Andhra Pradesh’s Srikakulam district on Monday.

“Two persons were killed and five sustained injuries in the incident at Vadditandra village,” said Srikakulam SP KVV Gopal Rao, adding some several policemen were also hurt.

The situation at the project site where East Coast Energy Pvt Ltd is developing a 2,640 MW Super Critical Coal fired power project in Santhabommali Mandal continues to be tense for the past two days after the policemen disrupted the fast undertook by some fishermen and villagers on Saturday. Continue reading

Oman protests intensify as Sultan struggles to appease demonstrators

Oman protests come with calls for economic improvements and political reform, but stop short of demanding removal of the Gulf state’s Sultan Qaboos.
  • Omani nationals watch smoke rise from Lulu hypermarket in Sohar, Oman, Monday Feb. 28. Omani security forces have blocked roads to Sohar, about 120 miles northwest of the capital of Muscat, after deadly clashes between pro-democracy protesters and riot police.

    Omani nationals watch smoke rise from Lulu hypermarket in Sohar, Oman, Monday Feb. 28. Omani security forces have blocked roads to Sohar, about 120 miles northwest of the capital of Muscat, after deadly clashes between pro-democracy protesters and riot police.

After avoiding the wave of protests sweeping the Middle East for months, Oman has entered its third day of continuous demonstrations. Local media is reporting that demonstrators have set fire to a supermarket, cars, a police station, houses, and the governor’s residence amid protests calling for economic improvements and government reform.

The nation’s ruler, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, has so far announced the creation of 50,000 new government jobs and an unemployment program that will pay job seekers $390 per month until they find work, reports CNN.

These concessions appear to have done little to quiet protesters, whose demands include an increase in power for the legislative body, although they have stopped short of calling for the resignation of Sultan Qaboos. The leader has so far replaced six cabinet members, the Guardian reports.

“We want new faces in the government and we have a long list of social reforms,” Habiba al-Hanay, a 45-year-old civil servant, told the Guardian. “We just hope he will hear us and make changes.”

The most violent protests have taken place in the industrial port city of Sohar, where thousands of demonstrators are said to have clashed with police on Sunday. There are conflicting reports as to whether police fired live ammunition or rubber bullets at demonstrators and how many people have died in the protests. Oman’s health minister said only one protester died in Sohar, but Reuters reports that doctors in Sohar’s main hospital recorded six deaths. Continue reading

Wisconsin Protests Draw More Than 70,000 In Largest Rally Yet

AP/The Huffington Post

PATRICK CONDON and TODD RICHMOND

02/27/11

 

Wisconsin Protests

MADISON, Wis. — Chanting pro-union slogans and carrying signs declaring “We are all Wisconsin,” protesters turned out in cities nationwide to support thousands of public workers who’ve set up camp at the Wisconsin Capitol to fight Republican-backed legislation aimed at weakening unions.

Union supporters organized rallies from New York to Los Angeles in a show of solidarity Saturday as the demonstration in Madison entered its 12th straight day and attracted its largest crowd yet: more than 70,000 people. Hundreds banged on drums and screamed into bullhorns inside the Capitol as others braved frigid weather and snow during the massive rally that flooded into nearby streets.

“I want to thank you for coming out here today to exercise those pesky First Amendment rights,” actor Bradley Whitford, who starred in television’s “The West Wing,” said as he rallied his hometown crowd. “This governor has to understand Wisconsin is a stubborn constituency. We fish through ice!”

Republican Gov. Scott Walker has introduced a bill that includes stripping almost all public workers of their right to collectively bargain on benefits and work conditions. Walker has said the bill would help close a projected $3.6 billion deficit in the 2011-13 budget, and argues that freeing local governments from collective bargaining would give them flexibility amid deep budget cuts. Continue reading

UC Irvine: Stand With the Eleven–protest Israeli Ambassador at UCI


Feb 11, 2010
VISIT http://www.irvine11.com for updates

On February 8th, 2010 Israeli Ambassador Micheal Oren spoke at UCIrvine. During his speech Oren was interrupted by 11 protesters who had every right to speak out. Now they are charged with disrupting the peace and are being targeted by hostile university administrators.

On UC Irvine’s selective punishment against the Justice for Palestine movement:

Univ. of California-Irvine: 11 Students prosecuted, student group banned for protest of Israeli speech

[As the US student movement grows, a central focus is building support for justice in Palestine, and opposition to the exclusivist Jewish state of Israel with its history of ethnic cleansing, apartheid, and brutal attacks such as the siege of Gaza.  In California, the student campaign has taken up the struggle to boycott Israeli goods and divest public funds from investment in Israel, and it has challenged propagandists of Israeli's denial of human rights for Palestine.  In February, 2010, a student protest at UC Irvine was suppressed by police.  Students were arrested, and a student group was banned from campus.  The story continues, below.  For more information, see  http://www.irvine11.com/ -- Frontlines ed.]
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The Stand with the Eleven Campaign mobilizes community support & raises awareness about the Irvine 11, who are unjustly facing prosecution by the Orange County DA for protesting during a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren.

What Happened?

“Michael Oren, propagating murder is not an expression of free speech!”

Unable to continue his intended statement, this student’s voice of protest was quickly drowned out by the threats and verbal harassment of others in the crowd.

A little over a year after Israel’s massacre in the Gaza Strip, the student was protesting a visit by Michael Oren, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, for his refusal to acknowledge Israel’s war crimes and violations of humanitarian law.

A police officer walked up to the row from which the protester had stood up to be heard. Accompanied with backup, he gestured to the protester to leave the event. The protester willingly stepped out and was led by police out of the hall into another room where he was patted down and arrested.

Another nine individuals chose to rise up and exercise their right to free speech by sharing their own statements throughout the first half of the event. Each time, there was no resistance, no violence and no misconduct. After making his statement, each student would readily follow police orders to leave the room. Despite each individual’s ready compliance with officers, throughout the event school officials consistently felt the need to reassure the crowd that consequences were to be had, disciplinary action was to be taken, and possible suspension and expulsion was in order if the individuals continued to practice their freedom of speech.

After the tenth individual was escorted out by the police, about a third of the room, consisting of students from different races, ethnicities and religions, peacefully rose from their chairs and marched out chanting slogans, calling for justice both at home and in Palestine. During this time, the cops discreetly arrested one individual – a young man who was a part of the chanting crowd – whose reason for arrest remains unknown. This brought the number of arrests to eleven: the Irvine Eleven. Continue reading

Uprising spreads further across Libya


Feb 28, 2011
Libya’s uprising is moving ever closer to Tripoli with rebels taking Zawiyah.
There are reports that troops loyal to Gaddafi are waiting to launch a counter-attack.
Zawiyah’s strategic significance lies in it being only 50 kilometres from the Libyan leader’s stronghold in the capital Tripoli.
But each gain for the rebels has not been without cost. Fierce fighting has left an unconfirmed number dead.
A doctor told reporters that he had been in Zawiyah for three days and he had seen 24 people shot dead….

http://www.euronews.net/