ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for July 2009

In Turkey.

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LabourStart reports on the plight of trade unionists in Turkey:

“Recently, the Turkish government has been systematically pressuring KESK (the Confederation of Public Employees Trade Unions) with banishments, dismissals, investigations, detentions and arrests. The operation against KESK started on 28th May 2009 in the early hours (about 04:00 AM), and 22 trade unionists including KESK women’s secretary Songül Morsümbül, former General Secretary Abdurrahman Daşdemir, women’s secretary of EĞİTİM-SEN Gülçin İsbert and former one Elif Akgül Ateş were arrested and the number of KESK arrested members increased to 32. These people are now in “F-Type”, or small group isolation prisons. On 28th May 2009, the headquarter of KESK, its branches in İzmir and Van and houses and workplaces of the detained members were raided and searched by the Gendarmerie. In the search of the office of Songül Morsümbül in KESK all official documents, national and international documents about women’s issues and trade union activities were seized as evidence of crime. These proceedings took place in contradiction of the Code of the Constitution and Criminal Procedure. In Turkey, collective “talks” by which the living and working conditions of public employees are to be determined, are going to be launched on 15th August. KESK took the first step of our struggle for transforming Collective Talks into Collective Agreements on 15th May. KESK had organized a great demonstration against the effects of the economic crisis in Ankara on 29th November and in İstanbul on 15th February with the participation of more than 100.000 people. On May Day KESK demonstrated in Taksim Square. On 5th June 2009, the march of Eğitim-Sen (the biggest teachers’ union) was prevented by the police using very extreme violence. KESK calls on the Turkish government to secure the immediate release of all trade unionists, to take any necessary steps to guarantee their safety and to abide by the international norms ratified by Turkey.

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26/07/2009 at 17:31

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Boston Vigil.

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Over at Iranian Freedom ganselmi describes events in Boston on the global day of action for Iran.

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26/07/2009 at 03:45

Over In Honduras.

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Reuters is reporting:

EL PARAISO, Honduras, July 24 (Reuters) – Honduran troops and police tightened the border with Nicaragua on Friday against an attempt by deposed President Manuel Zelaya to enter the country after he was removed in a military coup and sent into exile.

Security forces fired tear gas at dozens of pro-Zelaya supporters trying to reach the border to greet the president near the coffee town of El Paraiso, said Reuters reporter Esteban Israel, who witnessed the scene.

The leftist president, toppled on June 28, has sworn to return to Honduras from northern Nicaragua this weekend but the de facto government that replaced him says he will be arrested if he steps on Honduran soil.

Troops killed a Zelaya supporter at the Tegucigalpa airport in a previous attempt by the president to return to the country earlier this month.

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24/07/2009 at 20:23

25th July 2009.

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United 4 Iran has an inspiring video for the 25th July global day of action:

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24/07/2009 at 19:18

CST Reminds “Anti-Zionists” Of What’s What.

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The CST has a follow up to their recent report, which states something worth repeating, several times over, just so “anti-Zionists” get the message:

“Let’s be clear about something else, too, before anyone makes the familiar accusation: this is not a call for anti-Israel campaigners to stop their activities, despite what some may claim. It would be wrong to tarnish all with a single brush. People are perfectly entitled to campaign against Israel and criticise its actions or policies, just as they are entitled to do so against the actions or policies of any other state. But that does not mean that they can disregard or contextualise any associated antisemitism in a manner that they would not dream of doing were it any other form of racism.

Read on.

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24/07/2009 at 18:41

Four Questions About That Fiddle Election

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An article on Huff Post asks four questions, and one of them is a bit obvious:

Four major issues warrant focus: (1) The Iranian government’s ability to gather, transport, and count 40-plus million hand-written ballots within a few hours in a country approximately one-fifth the size of the United States of America and nearly seven times the size of the United Kingdom; (2) Whether the protests really have spread beyond universities and major cities; (3) The role of technology in spread and suppression of dissent; and (4) What motivates the protestors and major political players in Iran.”

Elsewhere Mousavi confirms he will formalise things by what the BBC calls “a new broad-based political front.”

Update:
A reader has asked me to tell you about July 25th designated Global Day of Action for Iran.

Also see www.united4iran.org to find rallies in your area.

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24/07/2009 at 14:43

Vestas Update.

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The Isle of Wight County Press has more information:

“MASSED ranks of supporters from trade unions and environmental groups from across Britain descended on the Island in a graphic demonstration of solidarity with the sit-in Vestas workers.
A protest camp of around a dozen tents has been pitched outside the factory gates, where mass demonstrations have been taking place all week in support of the 25 employees who have shut themselves inside.”

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24/07/2009 at 13:41