NZ: Government minister Anne Tolley’s office firebombed

The smashed door glass shows where the firebomb entered Tolley's Whakatane office.

5 Feb – Molotov cocktails were thrown into Government minister Anne Tolley’s Whakatane office overnight and anti-TPPA graffiti was scrawled on a wall outside.

Police said Tolley’s office was under police guard following the attack, which comes at a time of high tensions over the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

The attempted firebombing comes after vandals broke into Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee’s Christchurch office on Monday morning and poured fuel in a room before leaving.

“When the police tell you that it’s a pretty determined effort, it does shake you up a bit – they went to a lot of trouble to try and burn my office down, so it’s a bit scary, and pretty tough on the staff.”

“I think the police patrol caught it quite early on…if it had been on carpet or something that could have caught alight quickly.”

Tolley said she hadn’t expected any attacks on her office, with anti-TPPA marches in her electorate run in a “well-organised and well-contained” manner.

“Some people get quite aggressive when they’re talking to you, but generally people are quite reasonable – they’re passionate, but violence is an extreme reaction.”

The office would be closed over the weekend while police finished their work and damage was dealt with, Tolley said.

In a statement, Prime Minister John Key said he was disappointed by the attack.

“People always have the right to peaceful protest and are free to do so, as long as they don’t break the law or put anyone in harm’s way.

“Incidents like these are hugely disappointing because our MPs work incredibly hard for their communities as do the staff who work in their offices. They have a right to feel safe in their workplaces and I would urge people to respect that.”

The fire appeared to have happened overnight but had been reported to police soon after 7am, said Senior Sergeant Denton Grimes of the Bay of Plenty District Command Centre.

“From a police point of view it’s now determining what caused it and who is responsible, if it’s suspicious.”

Auckland: Rowdy demo against TPP shuts down city streets

Anti TPP protesters outside TVNZ

5 Feb – The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement was signed at Sky City in Auckland this morning, amid large protests in the central city.

Detective Superintendent Richard Chambers has spoken about the large police operation in central Auckland.

He said there were no arrests made and several hundred officers were involved in the operation.

He is aware of images circulating of protesters potentially being treated with a heavy hand by officers but says he is confident they operated appropriately to stop people from running onto on-ramps and putting themselves and others at risk.

Protesters and police stand off at the Hobson Street motoway entrance.

“There have been thousands of people in the city, many of those people were there to voice their thoughts on TPP,” he said.

“I’m very disappointed there were a group among them who chose to disrupt traffic.”

He says officers were abused, had their clothing and hats pulled, but displayed “outstanding professionalism”.

A massive group of protesters had gathered at the intersections of Victoria West St and Hobson St, while a steady stream of protesters also made their way down Nelson Street, parallel to Hobson Street, while chanting profanities directed at police.

A large number of people from several iwi groups had gathered at Victoria Park, and later boarded buses heading for Waitangi.

“The world is watching the hikoi today, whanau,” one of them said.

Protesters in central Auckland, TPP

 

Thailand: Vendors Shut Down Police Counterfeit Crackdown

Angry vendors went on a rampage Wednesday when officers arrived to seize counterfeit products being sold in Sa Kaeo province near the border with Cambodia.

3 Feb — Police are licking their wounds after an enraged mob of vendors chased them away when they tried to seize fake goods at a market near the Cambodian border.

Twelve officers were injured Wednesday when police and French Embassy observers went to the Rong Kluea market at Aranyaprathet in Sa Kaeo province to seize items such as fake perfume that violate intellectual property law, according to the Department of Special Investigation.

A DSI statement said about 400 Cambodian laborers surrounded the officers, pelted them with rocks and bottles and pushed over a police pickup truck. It said the police were withdrawn to ease tensions.

 

Kampong Speu: villagers block road they say companies damaged

Villagers block a road in Kampong Speu province on Monday during a protest against quarry trucks using the road. Photo supplied

Villagers block a road in Kampong Speu province on Monday during a protest against quarry trucks using the road

3 Feb – A hundred people from 10 villages in Kampong Speu on Monday blocked a road to a mountain where construction supply companies operate rock quarries.

Villagers had complained for years that three companies damaged the road with their trucks but avoided paying compensation despite promises.

Two of the companies, HTTK and Khmer ISS, belong to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s nephew, Hun To. The third is a Chinese company whose name the activists and local authorities said they didn’t know.

“We have been waiting for [them to keep] their promise but we don’t see them taking any action,” said Kong Sameurn, a farmer in Phnom Sruoch district.

The villagers requested that all three companies set a timetable to fix the road and pay compensation.

Hun To defended himself yesterday, saying his companies are just two out of six or seven that are active in the area.

“Do not blame me just because I have relatives or connections with the government,” he said. “My companies have the legal right to work here.”

Sam Tith Seyha, a human rights monitor for rights group LICADHO, said that villagers would continue to block the road until the companies agree to negotiate.

Previous complaints by villagers bore no results, “because the authorities have less power than the companies”, he said.

NZ: Vandals attack MP Gerry Brownlee’s Christchurch office

A window was smashed and fuel found inside Gerry Brownlee's Ilam office on Monday morning.

1 Feb – Vandals have smashed a window and poured or thrown fuel inside MP Gerry Brownlee’s Christchurch office.

Police were called to the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister’s office in Greers Rd, Ilam, on Monday morning after staff discovered the building had been damaged.

Detective inspector Greg Murton said CCTV footage showed two men breaking a window to gain access to the Earthquake Recovery Minister’s Greers Rd office just after 3am.

They poured accelerant in a ground floor room, then left shortly after.

Police are appealing to the public to help identify these two vandals who broke into MP Gerry Brownlee's office early Monday morning.

“They appear to have approached the property heading south-west along Greers Road and have left the scene in the opposite direction heading north-east,” Murton said in a statement.

It was believed the two men arrived and left on motorcycles, wearing identical clothing and “distinctive trainers”.

A scene examination was carried out on Monday, and police were working with Brownlee’s office, Murton said.

Cambodia: Residents protest land clearing on Chroy Changvar peninsula

Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation uses bulldozers to clear land on Phnom Penh's Chroy Changvar peninsula yesterday.

Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation uses bulldozers to clear land on Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar peninsula

26 Jan – Several families yesterday burned tyres to protest the bulldozing of their land to make way for a road that will run next to a billion-dollar satellite city project on Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar peninsula.

Built by City Hall, the road will be set 100 metres west of National Road 6A. It will run alongside the Chroy Changva Satellite City, planned by tycoon Pung Khieu Se’s Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation, which is embroiled in a land dispute with six communities living on the site.

As four bulldozers levelled plots they claim belong to them and security guards watched on, the families said they were offered inadequate compensation in exchange for about a third of their holdings.

“We are not against building the road, but the company and authorities should compensate us . . . in advance; don’t just come and clear our land like this,” said Uy Phary, who claimed she was offered $15 per square metre for land which she believed is worth $400 per square metre.

Her neighbour, Hul Savoeun, 45, said she had owned the property since 1993 and called the clearing of her crops and fence a “serious offence”.

Chroy Changvar District Governor Klang Huot said compensation would only go to residents whose houses are threatened by the road, calling those with who were only losing parts of their “huge land” narrow-minded and greedy.

Australia: Statement on the disruption of Melbourne Pride 2016

Insurrection News

aSTATEMENT ON THE DISRUPTION ON MELBOURNE PRIDE 2016

Today at the Melbourne ‘Pride’ March, on Boon Wurrung land, a group of queer and transgender activists staged a peaceful sit-in with the aim of disrupting the march. We drew attention to the ties of ‘Pride’ with environmentally destructive and socially unjust corporations as well as police and political parties that institutionalise oppressive systems.

Our group wanted to remind people that ‘Pride’ is not simply a celebration, but a protest fighting for liberation for everyone harmed by heteronormativity, cisnormativity, misogyny, ableism, racism and other forms of oppression.

Several onlookers – many of whom were drinking alcohol at the adjacent pub – violently assaulted us. They sprayed us with a hose, threw large buckets of dyed yellow water, threw glass bottles and some attempted to violently take a transgender flag. Victoria Police and some Pride attendees also assaulted a physically and visibly disabled…

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