Turkey erupts in protest over death of 274 coal miners as crowds demand government resign

[Capitalism kills, again.  Notoriously unsafe working conditions (defended by Prime Minister Erdogan) led to an explosion and a mining industry mass murder.  The miners work like slaves, their lives in constant jeopardy, while the owners-exploiters take it all to the bank.  When hundreds died in this accident, and hundreds more injured, thousands gathered in grief and anger, and protests erupted and continue across Turkey.  Scroll through the pictures below. — Frontlines ed.]

Anger and grief boiled over into violent protests across Turkey, as officials announced at least 274 miners died in an explosion and fire in the town of Soma – the country’s deadliest mining disaster.

Nearly 450 other miners have been rescued, the mining company said, but the fate of an unknown number of others remained unclear.

Mass graves were being dug in the town, as it prepared to bury those who were brought to the surface by nightfall, in line with Muslim tradition.

Tensions were high as hundreds of relatives and miners jostled outside the coal mine waiting for news, countered by a heavy police presence.  In downtown Soma, protesters mostly in their teens and 20s faced off against riot police in front of the ruling NKP party headquarters.

The protesters smashed the party’s office windows with rocks and some in the crowd shouted that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was a ‘murderer!’ and a ‘thief!’ .

And in Istanbul, hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the headquarters of mine owner Soma Komur Isletmeleri A.S. , Erdogan, coal mining, Continue reading

Committee to Protect Journalists: “China must allow free reporting in Inner Mongolia”

[China has had repeated conflicts with ethnic minorities and people in non-Han areas, which have grown more intense since the restoration of capitalism led by Deng Xiao-ping after the death of  revolutionary leader Mao Zedong. — Frontlines ed.]
Paramilitary police block the street during a protest in Xilinhot, Inner Mongolia. (Reuters/Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center/Handout)
Paramilitary police block the street during a protest in Xilinhot, Inner Mongolia.
(Reuters/Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center/Handout)

New York, June 1, 2011–Authorities in the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region must allow journalists to report on protests that have been ongoing for more than a week, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Information authorities restricted domestic reporting on the student-led protests, which were sparked after Chinese coal mine employees killed two ethnic Mongolians who voiced complaints about the environmental impact of mining in mid-May, according to international news reports. Demonstrators angered by the two attacks gathered in several cities in the northern region, expressing frustration on a range of issues, including the destruction of the Mongolian grassland and tensions between the local population and Han Chinese leaders, the reports said. Continue reading