Refugee Action Coalition: Four long-term Iranian asylum seekers occupied the roof of the Northern Immigration Detention Centre from Wednesday April 18 unitl Thursday, when a Serco tactical response group broke up thier protest. The four protesters taken off the roof are now in the high security isolation section of the detention centre.
Another Iranian asylum seeker attempted suicide in the NIDC on Friday evening. The high security facility is notorious for its toxic environment – producing one of the highest rates of self-harm and attempted suicide of any of the detention centres.
Over the Easter weekend, Serco management warned NIDC asylum seekers that any moves – even waving a hand – to support protests outside the centre would result in their files being handed to the federal police and put an end to any hopes of the detainees being released on community detention.
April 16: Surabaya, East Java. Thousands of residents affected by the Lapindo mudflow blockaded the railway, stormed the governor’s office and clashed with police in a protest about delays in compensation from the company that caused the mudflow.
Thousands of families lost their land when a mud volcano erupted in May 2006. The eruption was caused by the blowout of a natural gas well drilled by PT Lapindo Brantas, although company officials contend it was caused by a distant earthquake. It is now the biggest mud volcano in the world. People are angry about a delay in compensation payments promised them by Minarak Lapindo Jaya, the holding company for the gas drilling firm.
Protesters at the East Java governor’s office demanded that high-ranking officials come out and meet them. When officials refused, protestors forced their way into the governor’s building and threw stones and bottles at the police officers.
The demonstration’s main orator, speaking through a loudspeaker, tried to get people to simmer down: “Let’s not get provoked. We’re here to hold a peaceful rally. Don’t do anything anarchic. Calm down.”
16 April: Luka Kita. Today was the third day of the Occupy Dataran protest camp at Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square), Kuala Lumpur. The camp started on Saturday (April 14) after students and youth marched through the streets of Kuala Lumpur protesting for the abolishment of PTPTN (the Malaysian version of student loans) and the establishment of free tertiary education.
Occupy Dataran started last July as the KL manifestation of the Take The Square Movement, inspired by occupations of public space in Spain and Tel Aviv. The first Occupy Dataran was held on July 30, last year, and the first official KL People’s Assembly was held the following week on August 6. As many occupiers in KL, including myself, love to point out to everyone we can, the first Occupy Dataran was held 7 weeks before Occupy Wall Street began (but unfortunately the Malaysian media still refers to Occupy Dataran as a local offshoot of Occupy Wall St, merely expressing solidarity with the Occupy Wall St movement). Since then, Occupy Dataran has been a weekly assembly at Dataran Merdeka (or various other public spaces depending on how the police are feeling on the night) as a platform for experimentation with participatory democracy based on the popular assembly model. Apart from the assembly, the weekly gathering often involves a Really Really Free Market (Pasar Percuma), Speakers’ Corner, People’s University (Universiti Rakyat), workshops, music and other activities.
As I’m writing here from my bedroom in Sydney, I can’t write about the events from my own observations and involvement as I normally would. So, instead I’ll try to piece together a good view of what’s going on in KL from the fragments I can glean from Twitter, Facebook, news sites and conversations with friends who are involved. Continue reading “Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Occupy Dataran Protest Camp”
Hidup Biasa (translation from Kokemi): At the second sitting of Hidayat’s trial, on 16th April 2012, the court decided to set him free after taking into account the time he had already spent inside. The hearing, which started late and continued for almost one hour, was attended by his friends, lover and his mother.
Hidayat, who had been charged with article 170 of the Indonesian penal code, was sentenced to the time he had already served and set free after consideration of his need to continue his studies, as well as his health, which had been deteriorating in prison. After the defence presented its case orally, the judge rapped his gavel to declare his judgement. Hidayat’s mother burst into tears after hearing the decision
The editors of Kokemi blog hope that the fire that burns in our hearts is not dampened by the fear of the Wanted Persons List and the threat of prison – many of our comrades are still in prison and solidarity will continue as long as is necessary, until the prisons lie in ruins.
23-year-old Hidayat (Yaya), was arrested in a mass protest in Makassar on 26th December 2011, in an act of solidarity with the struggle of the people of Bima who were brutally repressed by the Indonesian police in Sape port on the 24th December 2011. In that incident four people were killed and dozens injured. The people of Bima reject mining in their area and demand that PT Sumber Mineral Nusantara’s mining permission be withdrawn.
Hidayat was arrested in the solidarity action because he was accused of damaging a police outpost and bank property. Hidayat was being held at the Category I Prison on Jalan Sultan Alanuddin, Makassar, charged with article 170 of the Indonesian criminal code (criminal damage committed together with others), and faced up to five years in jail.
18 April: From Stuff: More than 100 protesters were gathered outside a police station in that Auckland suburb of Glen Innes tonight to demonstrate against what they say was excessive force used against them by police.
Contractors started work on April 2 to remove 40 state houses from Silverton Ave, Glenn Innes, and last night police and protesters clashed as houses were moved from two properties.
A woman required hospital treatment and witnesses have claimed police were heavy handed, something they deny.
Protesters, which included affected tenants, the Tamaki Housing Group, Occupy Auckland and Mana Maori, tonight picketed and chanted “Our civil rights are under attack! Stand up! Fight back!”.
Marion Peta claims six protesters were “manhandled” by officers last night.
“It’s my first experience with being pushed around like that. They were so rough with us and they walked over us. Police absolutely over reacted.”
Police have not addressed the protesters.
A woman needed hospital treatment after a confrontation between protesters and police in Glen Innes last night where activists including John Minto were arrested.
anarchy.org.au: Last night on Q&A, Nicola Roxon (current Federal Attorney General) made this bizarre comment, in the context of government spooks intimidating questioning anti-coal protestors.
…Peaceful protest is one thing. Sometimes peaceful protests can break the law. But there is also a lot of industrial sabotage which gets to a point where it is the commission of quite a serious crime. So there might be people who were involved in that. I would expect that the contact, if there was any of that behaviour, would be police, both State and Federal, rather than ASIO. Unfortunately we see a growing number of leaks across some groups who are anarchists, others who meld into some religion sometimes and intent with committing a terrorist offence that might link in with other protest groups. You do see a bit of merging. There are a lot of people involved individually and intend to cause no harm and would have no reason to fear that ASIO was in any way monitoring what they were doing.