Over 200 arrested in annual Montreal police brutality clash

Nelson Wyatt, Canadian Press | March 15, 2013

[THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorzmontreal-BFbdJHvCMAAqjTtAt an anti-police brutality demonstration in Montreal on Friday March 15, 2013. Police used horses, pepper-spray and kettling tactics to clamp down Friday on an annual protest that has a history of “getting rowdy.”]

MONTREAL — Police wasted little time Friday cracking down on an annual protest that has a history of getting rowdy, deploying charging squads of helmeted officers, cops on horseback and pepper spray to corral demonstrators.

Montreal police, who have been dealing with regular protests since student unrest last year, usually let peaceful marches proceed even if they have been declared illegal under municipal bylaws.

On Friday, police massed platoons of officers around their downtown headquarters — which was the target of the annual rally against police brutality — and had made their first arrest before the march even began.

“We sent up a message right at the beginning,” said Cmdr. Ian Lafreniere of the Montreal police at a late evening news conference after the march. “They haven’t shared a route, they haven’t shared their itinerary, they refuse to give us a location where they were heading. That’s the reason we made a stop to that.” Continue reading

Mexico: 176 arrested as student teachers protest English and other curriculum “reforms” in rural areas

Student protest in Mexico turns violent, 176 arrested

By Agence France-Presse, Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mexico police via AFP

MORELIA, Mexico — Mexican students protesting a new curriculum threw homemade explosives, fired rockets and hurled stones at police in a melee that left 176 arrested and 10 police officers injured, officials said.

The protesting students are preparing to become teachers in rural areas, and they are angry because the new curriculum includes English and computer science, which they see as low-priority subjects in poor rural areas of Mexico.

Police used tear gas and rubber bullets against the students in this city in western Michoacan state.

Students protested after talks with state authorities on the disputed curriculum collapsed. They also fought police with sticks and firecrackers.

The students have been holding more than 40 city buses in their possession since October 4, and during Monday’s protest they set fire to 13 of them.

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176 Arrested in student protests in Mexico

Latino Fox News, October 16, 2012

A total of 176 people were arrested when police stormed three schools in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, where students were holding 82 commandeered vehicles belonging to foreign businesses, state officials said. The police operation, launched in the pre-dawn hours on Monday, was aimed at recovering the more than 50 buses and delivery trucks seized on Oct. 4 and taken to three normal schools in an area of Michoacan populated by Purepecha Indians.

The schools are located in the cities of Cheran and Arteaga, and the town of Tiripetio. Students set 13 vehicles, including buses, patrol cars and private vehicles, on fire. The students had seized vehicles belonging to Coca-Cola and Sabritas to protest changes to the curriculum at Mexico’s normal schools. Those institutions – once common in both Europe and the Americas – prepare young people for careers in teaching. Continue reading

CPI (Maoist): India govt. has unjustly jailed thousands of adivasis, has “no moral right” to denounce Maoist ‘kidnaps’

[The following is a press release from the COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST) CENTRAL COMMITTEE, (dated May 11, 2012):  “Chidambaram has no moral right to talk about ‘kidnaps’ by Maoists while incarcerating thousands of Adivasis and agitators in jails”]

On 9-05-2012 Home Minister P. Chidambaram while replying in Rajya Sabha said – “Maoists ‘kidnapping’ young collectors, elected representatives and foreigners indicates a clear shift in the nature of the Maoist extremism and shows that Maoists are resorting to ‘terror’ tactics to bend the state government to their demands and that Maoists seek to stop development in those districts.” He reiterated his government’s resolve to continue the anti-naxal operations by following a two-pronged strategy of development and security related strategies to face this challenge.

Chidambaram was obviously referring to the recent ‘kidnaps’ of the Italian tourists and Jhina Hikaka (MLA) in Odisha and collector Alex Paul Menon in Chhattisgarh. This statement also comes in the backdrop of the centre pushing hard for the formation of the NCTC. The government wants to put each and every just struggle under the head of so-called ‘terrorism’ and suppress the movements that they are part of. With the May 5th meeting with the Chief Ministers not reaching a decisive conclusion on the formation of NCTC, P. Chidambaram even while trying every trick in his basket to form it, is fast weaving his vicious web to create opinion that would push every action taken by the people for their genuine demands into the so-called ‘terrorism’ vat and consequently makes every citizen who participates in these struggle forms a so-called ‘terrorist’.

Firstly, we want to state that these are not ‘kidnaps’ done for ransom, vendetta, personal demands or settling scores. People are ‘arresting’ them and putting the genuine long-standing collective demands of the oppressed people, particularly the Adivasis in those areas in front of the government. All the demands are pertaining to the severe excruciating state repression that has been unleashed on them, particularly for the release of thousands of Adivasis incarcerated in the jails and their leaders. 3000 Adivasis are in jails in Chhattisgarh while 6000 Adivasis are in jails in Jharkhand. Thousands more are jailed in Punjab, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and other states for fighting against displacement and for Jal-Jungle-Zameen. Peasants fighting the land lords with the slogan ‘Land to the tiller’ and fighting police atrocities have been put in jails in large numbers in areas like Narayanapatna and Lalgarh. They had been implicated under false cases and denied bails in the most unjust manner. Many had been arrested in front of the jail gates after being granted bails and again put in jails after foisting more false cases on them. In fact, most of them would have been released even if they had been sentenced. Such is the callousness of the Indian state towards the Adivasis and the poor of our country and the reason for this is to pave the way for corporate loot of natural resources in the mineral rich forest areas of our country.

The sole reason for such ‘arrests’ is not any so-called ‘terrorist tendencies’ among the people or the CPI (Maoist) leading them but the Indian State. If at all it had delivered justice to the people at any point of their life, people would not have been forced to take up such struggle forms to get their demands fulfilled. A people crushed under the iron heels of the State are very rarely taking up such forms after taking up all kinds of struggle forms like dharnas, bandhs, rallies, protest marches, hunger strikes – in one word every kind of collective struggle form involving hundreds and thousands of people for days, weeks, months or even years together to get their people (ranging from juveniles to very elderly persons) released. The Indian state always answered with bullets, more arrests, more beatings, more custodial deaths, more false cases and more ‘abductions’ of these agitators. The police, paramilitary, judiciary, civil administration, bureaucracy etc that constitute the Indian State are acting like the tentacles of a giant Octopus and entangling the people and making them breathless. The struggles of political prisoners in the jails are also being crushed most brutally. The rights to which prisoners are entitled are also violated most blatantly. It is this suffocating situation inside and outside jails that is leading to arrests of government representatives by people.

With all doors closed for justice, such struggle forms are taken up to find some respite from the umpteen numbers of violations of human rights of the Adivasi people by the central and state armed forces. In a country where media corporations are in cahoots with the interests of the imperialists, MNCs and the big land lords and do not lend their voice or space to the poor people, sometimes such struggle forms are being used by the people to even bring the genuine demands of theirs to the attention of the citizens of this country. Continue reading

1/28/12–Oakland police arresting about 100 Occupy Oakland protesters

CBS News, January 28, 2012

[Police move in on Occupy Oakland protesters on Oak Street and 12th Street as tear gas gets blown back on them in Oakland, Calif. on Jan. 28, 2012. An unlawful assembly was declared as occupiers planned to take over an undisclosed building. (Bay Area News Group,AP Photo/The Tribune)]

OAKLAND, Calif. – Oakland officials say police are in the process of arresting about 100 Occupy protesters for failing to disperse.

Police Sgt. Christopher Bolton says the arrests come after Occupy Oakland protesters marched through downtown Oakland a little before 8 p.m. Saturday, with some of the protesters entering a YMCA building in the city’s downtown.

The arrests Saturday night come after 19 people were arrested in Occupy Oakland protests during the day.

Police used tear gas and “flash” grenades Saturday to break up hundreds of Occupy protesters after some demonstrators started throwing rocks and flares at officers and tearing down fencing.

Three officers were hurt and 19 people were arrested, the Oakland Police Department said in a release. No details on the officers’ injuries were released.

Police said the group started assembling at a downtown plaza Saturday morning, with demonstrators threatening to take over the vacant Henry Kaiser Convention Center. The group then marched through the streets, disrupting traffic. Continue reading

Istanbul: Mass arrests at protest of Turkish government’s massacre in Sirnk Uludere

35 Civilians Dead – Protestors Released

32 people who were taken into custody in Istanbul because they protested the death of 35 civilians were now released. The villagers were killed in an aerial strike in south-eastern Turkey.

Riot police stand guard as Kurds protest after Turkey's air force attacked suspected Kurdish rebel targets across the border in Iraq, killing some 35 people, many of them believed to be smugglers mistaken for guerrillas, in Istanbul, Turkey, Thursday, Dec. 29. 2011. The killings spurred angry demonstrations in Istanbul and several cities in the mostly Kurdish southeast.

Kurds protest after Turkey's air force attacked suspected Kurdish rebel targets across the border in Iraq, killing a dozen people, many of them believed to be smugglers mistaken for guerrillas, in Istanbul, Turkey, Thursday, Dec. 29. 2011.

Istanbul – BİA News Center

03 January 2012, Tuesday

32 people were taken into police custody on 29 December in Istanbul because they protested the death of 35 civilians who were killed in an operation of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in south-eastern Turkey. All of the 32 people in custody, among them conscientious objector İnan Süver, were released on 31 December.

The TSK carried out an aerial strike in the region of Uludere in the Kurdish-majority province of Şırnak in the night of 28 December. Unmanned air vehicles and thermal cameras of the TSK had determined a group of people close to the Iraqi border. Thereupon, an aerial strike was launched in the region close to the Ortasu Village.

35 civilians from the villages of Ortasu (Roboski) and Gülyazı were reported dead after the incident. It turned out later on that these people were not members of the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as supposed by the military but villagers aged between 12 and 37 years old who were smuggling diesel fuel.

After the funerals, relatives of the victims explained the reason why they went to get diesel fuel from Iraq: “Poverty is the reason. This is our only source to get by”. Continue reading

Turkey: Mass arrests of journalists aimed at suppressing pro-Kurdish information and voices

Wave of Condemnation as Turkey Arrests Yet More Journalists

by , 21 December 2001

Istanbul, Turkey- Dawn on Tuesday brought an unfortunate wake up call to many Kurds and especially to journalists as a wave of arrests across Turkey picked up 40 people, most of whom are journalists.

The arrests came under the premise of alleged links to the Union of Committees in Kurdistan (KCK). Turkish “anti-terrorism” police specifically targeted pro-Kurdish media, mainly DIHA and ETHA news agencies, the Özgür Gündem daily newspaper, the Demokratik Modernite magazine and the Gün printing press. Turkish state media alleged that the recent wave of arrests was part of a two year long investigation into the KCK and its members. In addition, French Kurdish photographer Mustafa Ozer, who works for the French news agency Agence France Presse, was detained, smiling as he was carried away by security officers.

This wave of arrests is only the latest in Turkey’s sustained assault against the KCK and all those affiliated with it. The new arrests brings the number of journalists alone in Turkish prisoners over 90, making Turkey one of the worst countries in the world for imprisoning members of the media. Along with journalists, Turkey has been undertaking a systemic campaign of arresting children, activists, academics, politicians, and arguably any other powerful voice of dissent in the country.

Although for the most part Turkey’s unjust actions against the Kurds go unnoticed, the arrest of 40 Kurds, most of whom are journalists, has received some of the criticism is deserves. Hundreds of journalists gathered in Taksim Square in Istanbul to protest the arrests and demand that freedom of the press in Turkey be preserved and protected. “The imprisonment of journalists means the usurpation of our right for information” read the statement released at the demonstration. “We are here today to defend both our colleagues and the right of information.”

In addition, the international organization Reporters Without Borders released a statement saying they were “very concerned” by the latest arrests, and called on the Turkish government and authorities to “stop trying to criminalize journalism, including politically committed journalism.”

The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) also released a statement, calling on all those who support the right of information and freedom of the press to protest Turkey’s many human rights abuses.

The detention of 40 journalists, all seeking to reveal the same truth about the situation of Kurds in Turkey, is in fact affecting the entire profession of journalism. With 40 less people reporting on Turkey’s marginalization of the Kurdish community, Turkey is further quashing voices of dissent in the name of anti-terrorism and clearing the path for even more human rights abuses in the future.

This article first appeared on our website KurdishRights.org.

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Cuffed, Pepper-Sprayed

Published on Sunday, September 25, 2011 by the New York Daily News
by Matt Deluca and Christina Boyle

Women screamed in pain after police rounded them up and sprayed them with pepper spray. (Photo/Jefferson Siegel)

Scores of protesters were arrested in Manhattan Saturday as a march against social inequality turned violent.

Hundreds of people carrying banners and chanting “shame, shame” walked between Zuccotti Park, near Wall St., and Union Square calling for changes to a financial system they say unjustly benefits the rich and harms the poor.

At least 80 people were carted away in police vehicles and up to five were hit with pepper spray near 12th St. and Fifth Ave., where tensions became especially high, police and organizers said.

The National Lawyer’s Guild, which is providing legal assistance to the protesters, put the number of arrests at 100.

Witnesses said they saw three stunned women collapse on the ground screaming after they were sprayed in the face.

A video posted on YouTube and NYDailyNews.com shows uniformed officers had corralled the women using orange nets when two supervisors made a beeline for the women, and at least one suddenly sprayed the women before turning and quickly walking away. Continue reading