Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle

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New York: City College Protest Leaders Suspended As Demonstrations Continue

 

By Jeff Mays, www.dnainfo.com

 October 28, 2013

 

 

City College Protest Leaders Suspended

HARLEM—Two City College students who led protests against the closure of a student-run community center have been suspended indefinitely after officials accused them of trying to incite a riot.

 

Khalil Vasquez, 22, a senior and Tafadar Sourov, 19, a sophomore, say they were intercepted by campus police and an NYPD officer as they attempted to attend class Monday morning and told they were no longer allowed on campus following last week’s protests over the closure of the Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur Student and Community Center on the third floor of the North Academic Center at 138th Street and Convent Avenue. Continue reading

Bangladeshi workers set fire to factories

Bangladeshi garment workers calling for a minimum wage increase clashed with police outside Dhaka. Source: AAP

Bangladeshi garment workers calling for a minimum wage increase clashed with police outside Dhaka. Source: AAP

The Australian, September 23, 2013

ANGRY Bangladeshi garment workers have blocked roads, set factories alight and clashed with police for a third day as protests demanding a minimum monthly wage of $US100 spread outside the capital Dhaka.

Abdul Baten, police chief of the Gazipur industrial district near Dhaka, which is home to hundreds of factories, said on Monday “up to 200,000 workers” had joined the latest demonstrations.

His deputy Mustafizur Rahman said about 300 factories, which make clothing for top Western retailers such as Walmart, were shut on Monday to contain the violence as protesting workers attacked plants that stayed open. Continue reading

Protests Fill City Streets Across Brazil

 

[Antonio Lacerda/European Pressphoto Agency--

Police officers in riot gear faced off with hundreds of demonstrators in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday]

 

 

RIO DE JANEIRO — Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in dozens of cities across Brazil on Saturday and were dispersed violently by the police while mounting some of the most vigorous expressions of anger with governing institutions since an outburst of antigovernment demonstrations shook the political establishment in June.

 

 

Still, fewer people turned out in major cities on Saturday than in the earlier wave of mass protests. That broad flare-up of public ire has given way to an array of more fragmented movements, some of which have been struggling in the face of crackdowns by Brazilian security forces. Continue reading

BRAZIL: Combative protests during the visit of the Pope

[Three videos from Brazil, documenting the massive protests at the corruption and mis-use of State resources for the Pope's visit.  The videos are narrated in Portuguese, and the videos give visual testimony to the ongoing problems of credibility and legitimacy of the Brazilian state, in the face of massive protests of bus fares, World Cup extravagance and Pope extravagance.  Sports and religion seem to have greatly declined in their ability to confuse, distract, and pacify the anger of the masses.  --  Frontlines ed.]

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Scenes of confrontation between PMs and demonstrators during the visit of Pope John Paul II San Francisco to Rio de Janeiro

Jul 22, 2013 — Jornal A Nova Democracia – Yesterday afternoon, thousands of people took to the streets of Sula River to protest against the exorbitant spending on the Pope’s visit to Brazil for World Catholic Youth Day. As on other occasions, demonstrators demanded the impeachment of the governor, Sergio Cabral, and the end of the annihilation of the poor in the slums — and the whereabouts of the worker/resident of the Rocinha slum, Amarildo de Souza Lima, who disappeared after being arrested by PMs of CPE. A barrier formed by 350 police officers of the Shock Battalion was jamming the access to Guanabara Palace, where there was a meeting between the Pope and the political managers of Dilma and Cabral e Paes, declared enemies of the masses. The demonstrators were not intimidated and, with courage and determination, faced the huge repressive apparatus of the old State.

Cenas do confronto entre PMs e manifestantes durante visita do papa Francisco ao Rio de Janeiro

Jul 22, 2013 — Jornal A Nova Democracia — Na tarde de ontem, milhares de pessoas tomaram as ruas da zona Sula do Rio para protestar contra os gastos exorbitantes com a visita do papa ao Brasil para a Jornada Mundial da Juventude Católica. Como em outras ocasiões, manifestantes exigiram o impeachment do governador Sérgio Cabral, o fim do extermínio de pobres nas favelas e o paradeiro do operário e morador da favela da Rocinha, Amarildo Souza Lima, que desapareceu depois de ser detido por PMs da UPP. Um cordão de isolamento formado por 350 policiais do Batalhão de Choque bloqueava o acesso ao Palácio Guanabara, onde acontecia uma reunião entre o papa e os gerentes de turno Dilma, Cabral e Paes, declarados inimigos das massas. Os manifestantes não se intimidaram e, com coragem e determinação, enfrentaram o incrementado aparato repressor do velho Estado.

RJ: exclusive Footage of the courageous resistance of the masses to the violence of the PM in Leblon
July 18, 2013 — Jornal A Nova Democracia – Last Wednesday night, thousands of people have protested in the street where the governor of Rio de Janeiro, Sérgio Cabral Filho, lives. The demonstrators denounced the corruption of Cabral, the theft and waste of public money, the displacement of poor neighborhoods for construction of mega-sports-events, the criminalization and elimination of the youth in the slums, and the attack on indigenous peoples. The demonstrators have walked the streets of Leblon, one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the world. A few meters from the house of Cabral, PMs did not hesitate to attack. But as has happened repeatedly, the masses resisted bravely and faced the repressive troops of the fascist State.
RJ: Cenas exclusivas da corajosa resistência das massas à violência da PM em ato no Leblon
Jul 18, 2013 — Jornal A Nova Democracia – Na noite da última quarta-feira, milhares de pessoas fizeram um protesto no acesso à rua onde mora o governador do Rio de Janeiro,. Os manifestantes denunciaram a corrupção na gestão Cabral, o derrame do dinheiro público, as remoções de bairros pobres por conta dos megaeventos, o extermínio da juventude nas favelas e o ataque aos povos indígenas. Os manifestantes caminharam pelas ruas do Leblon, um dos bairros mais caros do mundo. A poucos metros da casa de Cabral, PMs não hesitarão em atacar. Mas como tem acontecido repetidas vezes, as massas resistiram bravamente e enfrentaram as tropas de repressão do Estado fascista.

 

Police arrest filmmaker from Media Ninja and shoot lethal ammunition at protesters during the Pope’s visit to Rio

July 23, 2013  – Jornal A Nova Democracia — Yesterday afternoon, thousands of people have faced the police, denounced the exorbitant spending for the Pope’s visit to Brazil, and demanded the impeachment of governor Sergio Cabral. After the showdown, PMs chased demonstrators through the streets of the barrio de Laranjeira. A filmmaker of Media Ninja was arbitrarily arrested while transmitting live news of the protest  to thousands of people. One protester identified as Leonardo Caruso was shot with live ammunition and cared for by the red cross, then taken to the hospital de Souza Aguiar, in the Center of the city.
Polícia prende Mídia Ninja e dispara munição letal durante visita do Papa ao Rio

Jul 23, 2013– Na tarde de ontem, milhares de pessoas enfrentaram a polícia em um ato que, entre outras bandeiras, questionava os gastos exorbitantes por conta da visita do papa ao Brasil e exigia o impeachment do governador Sérgio Cabral. Após o confronto, PMs perseguiram manifestantes aleatoriamente pelas ruas do. Um cinegrafista da Mídia Ninja foi preso arbitrariamente enquanto transmitia a manifestação ao vivo para milhares de pessoas.
Um manifestante identificado como Leonardo Caruso foi alvejado com um tiro de munição real e atendido por socorristas da cruz vermelha. Em seguida, o manifestante foi levado para o hospital Souza Aguiar, no Centro da cidade.

Missteps by Brazil Mar Visit by Pope

In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano on Tuesday, July 23, 2013, Pope Francis shares a word with Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff during a welcome ceremony at Guanabara Palace in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, July 22, 2013. Pope Francis returned to his home continent for the first time as pontiff, embarking on a seven-day visit meant to fan the fervor of the faithful around the globe.  (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)

Pope Francis with Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff. Pope Francis, with a long history of support for repressive powers in Latin America, became an object of the ongoing mass protests against Dilma Rousseff’s corrupt and repressive regime — an unintended consequence of a visit planned to “fan the fervor of the faithful” and to distract the anger of the oppressed.

RIO DE JANEIRO — Pope Francis celebrated his first public Mass on Wednesday at one of Latin America’s largest shrines, asking Catholics to shun the “ephemeral idols” of material success, power and pleasure, but his visit to Brazil continued to be marked by tension over blunders by its Brazilian organizers.

The missteps began minutes after Francis arrived in Rio on Monday, when his small motorcade got stuck on a crowded thoroughfare, exposing the pope to a mob scene of people trying to touch him through the open window of his car. On Tuesday, Rio’s subway system broke down for two hours, leaving thousands gathered here for a conference of Catholic youth scrambling to reach a seaside Mass.

Rio’s political authorities have also faced scrutiny over their handling of street demonstrations around the pope’s visit. They acknowledged using undercover agents to infiltrate the protests but denied claims that their intelligence officers were to blame for violence, including the throwing of firebombs. Continue reading

Turkey: Police detain protesters as thousands gather at Taksim Square

Hurriyet, ISTANBUL, Saturday,June 29 2013

Protestors are detained by the plainclothes police officers during an anti-government protest at Taksim Square in Istanbul. REUTERS photo

[Protestors are detained by the plainclothes police officers during an anti-government protest at Taksim Square in Istanbul. REUTERS photo]

Thousands of protesters have gathered at the Taksim square June 29 to denounce the government’s response to the Gezi Park protests, a week after another demonstration was quelled with water cannons and tear gas. The demonstration has been carried out peacefully without tension and most of the protesters dispersed after a couple of hours following police’s warning to end the gathering.

Riot police pushed them away from the square with shields and slow moving water cannon trucks although no water was fired. Announcements were made for protesters to return to their homes.

However, part of the protesters remained in the surroundings of the Taksim area as police entered the side streets chasing the protesters who were gathering back. More than ten protestors were detained, according to Hürriyet. Live footages showed officer in plainclothes taking the protesters into custody. Continue reading

Unlock The Box: The Fight Against Solitary Confinement in New York

(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Jean Casella and James Ridgeway, The Nation, October 2, 2012

On the first chilly morning in September, several dozen demonstrators gathered in front of a limestone skyscraper on Chambers Street in Lower Manhattan. Some wore orange jumpsuits, and two of them held a broad banner with the hand-painted words, “Solitary Is Torture.”

The subject of the protest was the abuse of prisoners—not at Guantánamo, Bagram or some distant black site, but on Rikers Island, less than ten miles away. The protesters, members of a new advocacy group called the New York City Jails Action Coalition (JAC), argue that conditions there—particularly solitary confinement—constitute torture in their own backyard. The target of the protest was the New York City Board of Correction, which oversees conditions for the 13,000-odd men, women, and children who inhabit New York City’s jails on a given day, and whose monthly meeting was taking place inside.

According to the City’s own figures, the number of isolation cells at Rikers has risen to nearly 1,000 and is still growing. The JAC also points to the existence of special solitary confinement units on Rikers Island, designed to hold teenagers and people with mental illness.

“This type of treatment is cruel and inhumane to any human being, especially growing adolescents,” said Lisa Ortega, mother of a 18-year-old with psychiatric disabilities who was placed in twenty-three-hour-a-day solitary confinement on Rikers for weeks at a time, amounting to several months, when he was 16. “The damage done is irreversible.”

Until recently, it seemed like New York’s penchant for solitary confinement might be irreversible too. But a growing number of activists are working to combat the overuse of solitary in both the city’s jails and the state’s prisons. (New York City and New York State isolate their prisoners at the rate of about 10 percent and 8 percent, respectively—both rates more than double the national average.) In addition to JAC, which focuses on city jails, an informal coalition of prisoners’ rights groups and civil liberties organizations has formed to fight for change at the state level. Critical to both efforts are that they involve directly affected individuals—survivors of solitary and their families. And both draw on the work of an older organization, Mental Health Alternatives to Solitary Confinement, which has led a ten-year campaign to limit the use of solitary confinement on people with mental illness. Continue reading

Spain prepares more austerity, protesters battle police

A demonstrator struggles with Spanish National Police riot officers outside the the Spanish parliament in Madrid September 25, 2012. Protesters clashed with police in Spain's capital on Tuesday as the government prepares a new round of unpopular austerity measures for the 2013 budget that will be announced on Thursday. REUTERS-Sergio Perez

By Tracy Rucinski and Paul Day, REUTERS

MADRID | Tue Sep 25, 2012

(Reuters) – Protesters clashed with police in Spain’s capital on Tuesday as the government prepared a new round of unpopular austerity measures for the 2013 budget to be announced on Thursday.

Thousands gathered in Neptune plaza, a few meters from El Prado museum in central Madrid, where they formed a human chain around parliament, surrounded by barricades, police trucks and more than 1,500 police in riot gear.

Police fired rubber bullets and beat protesters with truncheons, first as protesters were trying to tear down barriers and later to clear the square. The police said at least 22 people had been arrested and at least 32 injured, including four policemen.

As lawmakers started to leave the parliament shortly after 2100 GMT in official cars or by foot, a few hundred people were still demonstrating in front of the building. Most dispersed shortly afterwards.

The protest, promoted over the Internet by different activist groups, was younger and more rowdy than recent marches called by labor unions. Protesters said they were fed up with cuts to public salaries and health and education.

“My annual salary has dropped by 8,000 euros and if it falls much further I won’t be able to make ends meet,” said Luis Rodriguez, 36, a firefighter who joined the protest. He said he was considering leaving Spain to find a better quality of life. Continue reading

‘Terrorism Isn’t The Disease; Egregious Injustice Is’

PANINI ANAND interviews ARUNDHATI ROY

photo by NARENDRA BISHT

No one individual critic has taken on the Indian State like Arundhati Roy has. In a fight that began with Pokhran, moved to Narmada, and over the years extended to other insurgencies, people’s struggles and the Maoist underground, she has used her pensmanship to challenge India’s government, its elite, corporate giants, and most recently, the entire structure of global finance and capitalism. She was jailed for a day in 2002 for contempt of court, and slapped with sedition charges in November 2010 for an alleged anti-India speech she delivered, along with others, at a seminar in New Delhi on Kashmir, titled ‘Azadi—the only way’. Excerpts from an interview to Panini Anand:

How do you look at laws like sedition and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, or those like AFSPA, in what is touted as the largest democracy?
I’m glad you used the word touted. It’s a good word to use in connection with India’s democracy. It certainly is a democracy for the middle class. In places like Kashmir or Manipur or Chhattisgarh, democracy is not available. Not even in the black market. Laws like the UAPA, which is just the UPA government’s version of POTA, and the AFSPA are ridiculously authoritarian—they allow the State to detain and even kill people with complete impunity. They simply ought to have no place in a democracy. But as long as they don’t affect the mainstream middle class, as long as they are used against people in Manipur, Nagaland or Kashmir, or against the poor or against Muslim ‘terrorists’ in the ‘mainland’, nobody seems to mind very much.

“India’s democracy is for the middle class; for Kashmir or Manipur, it’s not available. Not even in the black market.”

Are the people waging war against the State or is the State waging war against its people? How do you look at the Emergency of the ’70s, or the minorities who feel targeted, earlier the Sikhs and now the Muslims?
Some people are waging war against the State. The State is waging a war against a majority of its citizens. The Emergency in the ’70s became a problem because Indira Gandhi’s government was foolish enough to target the middle class, foolish enough to lump them with the lower classes and the disenfranchised. Vast parts of the country today are in a much more severe Emergency-like situation. But this contemporary Emergency has gone into the workshop for denting-painting. It’s come out smarter, more streamlined. I’ve said this before: look at the wars the Indian government has waged since India became a sovereign nation; look at the instances when the army has been called out against its ‘own’ people—Nagaland, Assam, Mizoram, Manipur, Kashmir, Telangana, Goa, Bengal, Punjab and (soon to come) Chhattisgarh—it is a State that is constantly at war. And always against minorities—tribal people, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, never against the middle class, upper-caste Hindus.
How does one curb the cycle of violence if the State takes no action against ultra-left ‘terrorist groups’? Wouldn’t it jeopardise internal security?
I don’t think anybody is advocating that no action should be taken against terrorist groups, not even the ‘terrorists’ themselves. They are not asking for anti-terror laws to be done away with. They are doing what they do, knowing full well what the consequences will be, legally or otherwise. They are expressing fury and fighting for a change in a system that manufactures injustice and inequality. They don’t see themselves as ‘terrorists’. When you say ‘terrorists’ if you are referring to the CPI (Maoist), though I do not subscribe to Maoist ideology, I certainly do not see them as terrorists. Yes they are militant, they are outlaws. But then anybody who resists the corporate-state juggernaut is now labelled a Maoist—whether or not they belong to or even agree with the Maoist ideology. People like Seema Azad are being sentenced to life imprisonment for possessing banned literature. So what is the definition of ‘terrorist’ now, in 2012? It is actually the economic policies that are causing this massive inequality, this hunger, this displacement that is jeopardising internal security—not the people who are protesting against them. Do we want to address the symptoms or the disease? The disease is not terrorism. It’s egregious injustice. Sure, even if we were a reasonably just society, Maoists would still exist. So would other extremist groups who believe in armed resistance or in terrorist attacks. But they would not have the support they have today. As a country, we should be ashamed of ourselves for tolerating this squalor, this misery and the overt as well as covert ethnic and religious bigotry we see all around us. (Narendra Modi for Prime Minister!! Who in their right mind can even imagine that?) We have stopped even pretending that we have a sense of justice. All we’re doing is genuflecting to major corporations and to that sinking ocean-liner known as the United States of America. Continue reading

Eviction of Slum Dwellers and Repression of Anti-Eviction Demonstrators in West Bengal

Friday 13 April 2012

Aditya Nigam

It is the same story once again. Cleaning up and beautification of cities in the clamour for urban space for consumption and the luxury of the rich. And as we have seen, it makes little difference whether the government/s are Leftist or Rightist, whether they claim to represent the oppressed poor or not. Thus, on 30th March, 2012 the TMC government forcefully evicted around 300 poor families from the Nonadanga slum area in South 24-Parganas, in the name of ‘development’ and ‘beautification’ of Kolkata. Their shanties were razed to ground by the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority. The homeless slum-dwellers have been staying in an open field and are facing constant police harassment. Despite these harsh conditions, they have refused to depart and are presently on hunger strike. Their demand has to date failed to draw any favourable attention from the government. This neglect comes on the heels of the Planning Commission agreeing to annual Bengal plan around 16 per cent more than last year’s.

But the neglect is not only economic : the state government has intensified its repressive tactics. On 4th April, 2012, the Kolkata police and a gang of ruffians who viciously lathi-charged the dispossessed as they organized a protest march to draw attention to their wretched condition. A large police force attacked the protesters including women and infants; there was not a single female constable in the posse. Rita Patra, a pregnant woman, was seriously injured in the lathi-charge. Ten persons, including a baby boy and two girls in their early twenties, were severely injured. To protest this police brutality, slum demolition and forcible eviction, a day long sit-in demonstration was scheduled at Ruby Crossing, E M Bypass of Kolkata, on 8th April, 2012.
Sit-in by evictees
But this peaceful demonstration was broken by the Kolkata police, who alleged the assembly as ‘illegal’ despite having granted prior permission for the same. 69 protesters of ‘Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee’ (Anti-eviction Committee of Nonadanga) were arrested and transported to Lalbazar police station. A nine-year-old girl child, Manika Kumari, daughter of Dilip Shaw, was in the lock-up for nine hours; Manika Kumari’s detention violated the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, which starkly reminds us of Payel Bagh’s case during the Singur unrest. The police deliberately did not, moreover, issue any Memos of Arrest—another violation of legal procedures.

Continuing with the high-handedness, cases under section 151 of the IPC were slapped on the detainees. During the evening of April 8, all the arrested persons were released on PR bond in the presence of members of the Association for the Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) and other activists through the rear gate of Lalbazar police station. However, seven democratic rights activists were not released and remained in confinement, i.e., Debolina Chakraborty, Shamik Chakraborty, Manas Chatterjee , Debjani Ghosh, Siddhartha Gupta, Partho Sarathi Ray and Abhijnan Sarkar. They have been falsely charged with a number of non-bailable criminal cases. When the released activists and others assembled at Lalbazar became agitated at this unexpected development, all were forced to flee by a huge contingent of aggressive police. APDR members proceeded to the central gate of Lalbazar to speak to the officer in charge and lodged a protest. According to the officers on duty, the seven activists had been charged under various sections including 353, 332, 141, 143, 148 and 149 of the IPC and were to be produced at the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM) court, Alipore, on 9 April, 2012. Continue reading

Spain burns as strikes bring nation to its knees

Nine injured and scores are arrested as austerity protest descends into violence

by Alasdair Fotheringham, The Independent (UK)

Friday, 30 March 2012 — A nationwide general strike fuelled by a groundswell of anger against crippling unemployment levels and severe ongoing austerity cuts culminated in dozens of large-scale evening demonstrations across Spain yesterday.

Approximately a quarter of a million protesters took to the streets in Barcelona, with some fringe groups attacking police vans and smashing shop windows until late into the evening. In contrast Madrid’s almost equally large demonstration, where the crowds of chanting, whistling protestors filled the emblematic Puerto del Sol square and surrounding streets to bursting point, was reported as being totally peaceful.

“There’s lots of people here, but we need even more, this country is going through an awful situation and its going to get worse,” young protester Luis Ferrer, on the dole for three months, told The Independent in Madrid’s demonstration.

“If we don’t make ourselves heard now, we never will. I don’t think we’re going to end up like Greece, but they’re using this recession to take away our rights as workers.It’s just an excuse.”

“The labour reforms they want to bring in are terrible and our wages are awful,” Jose, a protestor in his twenties, added. “They want us to work more and more, put up taxes too and that’s just not on.” Continue reading

Sudan police raid campus, arrest hundreds of activists

Fri Feb 17, 2012

KHARTOUM Feb 17 (Reuters) – Sudanese police arrested hundreds of students in a pre-dawn raid on a major university’s dormitories on Friday, activists said, in a crackdown on a campus that has been at the centre of recent anti-government protests.

The University of Khartoum in the Sudanese capital has been closed for about two months after students staged demonstrations over rising prices, unemployment and other issues.

Police wielding batons entered the student housing early on Friday morning, beating and arresting hundreds of those who had remained in the dormitories waiting for classes to resume, a witness said.

“We were woken in our rooms by the voices and strikes of the police,” said the witness, who asked not to be identified. He said more than 300 students had been arrested.

Sudan’s police spokesman was not immediately available to comment on the reports.

A lawyer who has been monitoring the events, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said police had arrested between 300 to 400 students under a law against inciting unrest.

An activist from the group “Change Now” also confirmed the raid had taken place.

Sudan has not seen mass protests like the ones that ousted leaders in Egypt and Tunisia, but small demonstrations inspired by revolts in other Arab countries have flared up over the past year over inflation and other issues. (Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Alexander Dziadosz; Writing by Alessandra Rizzo)

Police arrest 13 protesting immigration law in Alabama

Demonstrators Caesar Marroquiz, left, of Philadelphia, Penn., and Ernesto Zumaya, 24, of Los Angeles link their arms together and wait to be arrested during a demonstration in the lobby of the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Ala., Tuesday Nov. 15, 2011. Several hundred demonstrators gathered to protest Alabama's strong new immigration law. (AP)

ASSOCIATED PRESS, 2011-11-16

MONTGOMERY: Police arrested 13 protesters in Alabama’s capital Tuesday as they demonstrated against the state’s strict new law clamping down on illegal immigrants.

About 100 people, most of them Hispanic and college-aged, chanted slogans as they marched in light rain around the state Capitol and to the adjacent Statehouse where the legislature works.

“Undocumented, unafraid,” ”No papers, no fear, immigrants are marching here,” and “Ain’t no power like the power of the people,” were among the slogans the protesters chanted as they marched. Later, some were hauled off to jail in a yellow bus normally used by the city parks and recreation department.

Some sat down on Union Street between the Statehouse and the Capitol when police approached and warned them in English and Spanish that they would be arrested if they didn’t move.

None did and police arrested 11 demonstrators, tying their hand with yellow straps and loading them into the bus.

Federal courts have blocked parts of the Republican-backed law from taking effect, but both supporters and critics still call it the nation’s toughest state law against illegal immigration. The Obama administration opposes the law, which is calls an overreach by the state.

One of those arrested was 19-year-old Catalina Rios, a student at Henry Ford Community College in Detroit. She identified herself an illegal immigrant from Mexico.

Looking like a typical American teenager with her long dark hair in a ponytail, Rios said she knew there was a possibility she might be deported as she sat in the street waiting to be arrested.

“I know that I live in fear every single day of that, so this is no different,” Rios said. “I’m doing this for all the immigrant students who struggle every day.”

A Montgomery attorney who volunteered to represent those arrested, Mike Winter, said he understood they were mostly being charged with disturbing the peace, but also could be held for immigration officials.

After walking all the way around the Capitol one time, about 20 protesters entered the Statehouse and went up to the seventh-floor office of state Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, a key proponent of the law.

Once downstairs, two of the demonstrators — college students Ernesto Zumaya, 24, of Los Angeles and Caesar Marroquin, 21, of Philadelphia — linked arms and sat down on the floor of the main lobby. They vowed not to leave until Beason responded to their concerns. Beason did not respond to the protest and Zumaya and Marroquin were arrested peacefully when the building closed for the day.

Both said they are immigrants from Mexico without papers who have lived in the U.S. most of their lives. Marroquin said he always wanted to be a U.S. Marine.

Beason said later that he was not in his office Tuesday afternoon and did not immediately get the message except being told there were people at the Statehouse to see him.

Beason defended the law when asked about the protest.

“My intention is to enforce what’s already in place in federal law,” Beason said. “I make no apologies. I’m trying to do what I feel is best for the people of Alabama.”

A leader of the protest, Mohammad Abdollahi, who said he was an immigrant without papers from Iran who lives in Bessemer, explained that the purpose of the demonstration was for their voice “to be heard.”

Army and police massacre protesters at Maspero, Egypt

October 9th, 2011

The army and police committed a horrible massacre against peaceful protesters today in Maspero, Cairo. Army vehicles ran over protesters. Live ammunition was used. Extensive rounds of tear gas were fired, and showers of beatings from the military police, the central security forces and plainclothes thugs.

At least 19 people have been killed, and more than 150 injured. The toll keeps rising.

The Army also stormed Al-Hurra and 25 January TV stations, and took them off air. The Egyptian state run TV is inciting the public against the “Coptic protesters” and even called on the citizens to take to the streets to “protect the army”!! SCAF is trying to instigate a sectarian civil war.
The protesters are not only Copts. There are Muslims present in the protests too and are talking active part in resisting the police and the army. There are ongoing battles as I’m writing now. The unifying chants in downtown Cairo is against the army and field marshal Tantawi. Protesters are chanting: “Muslims and Christians… One hand!” and “Death to the Field Marshal.”
For continuous updates, please follow the Revolutionary Socialists on Facebook.
see more at: http://www.arabawy.org/2011/10/09/army-and-police-massacre-protesters-at-maspero/