India Land Grab: Forced Evictions in Orissa

on Jan 27, 2012

Police and security guards forcibly removed people from land earmarked for a Vedanta toxic waste dump.

Research by Amnesty International and other local and international groups documents the serious and continuing pollution caused by the refinery’s operations. Despite the string of decisions against Vedanta, the company has failed to remedy the pollution.

“This decision vindicates the ongoing peaceful protests by the local communities near Lanjigarh to prevent this expansion from going ahead as it would further pollute their lands and water sources,” said Amnesty International’s India researcher Ramesh Gopalakrishnan.

“The Indian authorities have remained silent on the issues of cleaning up the refinery and monitoring the health of local communities. They must act on this now,” he added.

by, January 31, 2012

India’s great land grab continues, with police forcibly evicting tribal villagers in Orissa from land sold to UK-based Vedanta Resources to use as a toxic waste dump, Amnesty International reports.

The evictions come amid a fraught battle between the mining industry and India’s tribal peoples, as well as environmental activists.  Orissa is among India’s poorest and least developed states, but its mineral riches have led to a breakneck race to strip the land of iron, bauxite and other metals needed to fuel the country’s infrastructure and manufacturing sectors.

To gain access to these riches, however, the state government has conspired with industry to run roughshod over the rights of its indigenous peoples, according to their advocates.  Local resentment has also helped to make Orissa one of the flashpoints in India’s simmering Maoist insurgency — a crisis that recently resulted in the deployment of some 50,000 police and paramilitary personnel. Continue reading

Crisis hitting Eastern Europe, massive protests continue to grow

A woman passes by a fire set up in the middle of the road by protesters at the University Square in Bucharest, January 15, 2012.

Romanian PM warns protesters on fifth day

Monday, January 16, 2012

By Radu Marinas and Luiza Ilie

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romania’s prime minister warned anti-austerity protesters gathering for a fifth day on Monday that violence would not be tolerated after 59 people were injured in clashes between demonstrators and riot police at the weekend.

The country’s worst unrest for more than a decade has seen riot police using tear gas against protesters throwing bricks, smashing windows and setting fire to newspaper stands and rubbish bins in central Bucharest since it began on Thursday.

Thousands of demonstrators gathered peacefully in central Bucharest and other cities on Monday afternoon, demanding Prime Minister Emil Boc and his close political ally President Traian Basescu resign.

The numbers were expected to rise in the evening and analysts predicted more protests but did not see them affecting the austerity measures passed by the ruling coalition’s small but stable parliamentary majority.

The country had hitherto avoided the kind of violence that has shaken Greece and other indebted European states despite a 25 percent cut in public sector pay and five percentage point increase in VAT imposed in 2010 to maintain an IMF-led bailout. Continue reading

The “democratic rights” of the growing opposition in the U.S.

[The lofty democratic claims of US imperialism often evoke the language of the First Amendment to the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  But the common practice of the capitalist state toward oppressed and targeted communities, or when facing growing anti-capitalist movements, is contrary to such stated “rights.” — Frontlines ed.]

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12 Most Absurd Laws Used to Stifle the Occupy Wall St. Movement Around the Country

As protests spring up in cities across the country, authorities are thinking up creative ways to contain this peaceful uprising.

by Rania Khalek, AlterNet
October 14, 2011 — As Occupy Wall Street protests spring up in cities across the country, authorities are thinking up creative ways to contain this peaceful and inspiring uprising. Although laws and municipal ordinances vary from city to city, there is a consistency in the tactics being used to stifle the movement. More importantly, as demonstrated by the protesters at Zuccotti Park who kept strong in the face of a looming eviction that never came to fruition, these maneuvers are not working.

Still, there is no shortage of justifications and rationales behind the constantly evolving schemes being implemented to destroy the spirit of Occupy Wall Street. Here are 12 desperate and unsuccessful measures the authorities are using to discourage, deter and crack down on peaceful protests.

1) No Snoozing In Public

Most cities have an anti-camping ordinance on the books that prohibits camping or sleeping in public spaces, particularly public parks, to minimize the risk of nighttime criminal activity. But the ordinances are frequently used to cleanse cities of the inconvenient and uncomfortable scenery of homeless people; police in San Francisco are known for enforcing the city’s camping ordinance primarily against the homeless. Continue reading