Melbourne, Australia, 29.03.16: Banner at Richmond railway station in solidarity with vegan anarchist prisoner Osman Evcan, on hunger strike since 22nd February in Turkey for the right to receive vegan meals as well as improvements to basic living conditions and communications with the outside world.
Refugee Action Coalition
NAURU PROTESTS CONTINUE DESPITE THE FENCE
Nauru asylum seekers in the family compound RPC 3 have protested their long-term detention for the tenth day in a row. Despite the fence erected across the main detention road to prevent the protesters actually reaching the gate of the detention center, women, men and children march to the fence to hold their protest.
Immigration panic as Manus court challenge looms
Meetings in the Manus Island detention centre compounds this morning (Tuesday 29 March) have outlined a series of moves by Australian and PNG Immigration attempting to resolve the detention and resettlement issue before the Supreme Court challenge to the Manus Island detention centre, scheduled for the end of April.
Asylum seekers and refugees were told (i) that all refugee processing will end by 31 March; (ii) those with negative determinations will…
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28 March – A Malaysian designer’s caricatures of the scandal-plagued prime minister as a sinister clown have become a viral phenomenon, spurring a wider protest-through-images movement and making the artist a target of authorities.
The parodies of Prime Minister Najib Razak have rapidly become Malaysia’s most controversial images, earning designer and activist Fahmi Reza comparisons to street-art provocateurs like Banksy.
Shared widely on social media, they have sparked copycat variations and struck a chord with Malaysians outraged by corruption allegations levelled at Najib and his moves to thwart investigations.
“Our country is being governed by fools and crooks,” Fahmi, a punk-rock aficionado, said in an e-mail interview while on an extended trip overseas. He seeks to “point out the hypocrisies [of Malaysian politics], to draw attention to these absurdities, and get people to laugh at it.”
— Sally Neighbour (@neighbour_s) March 26, 2016
But Malaysian authorities are not amused. Fahmi, 38, who has been arrested previously for his activism, was questioned by police and told to stop posting the images, which show Najib in powder-white clown make-up, with evilly arched eyebrows and a garish blood-red mouth.
He said police were investigating possible violations of multimedia laws that could bring five years in prison.
A Green Rubber company checkpoint burns in a Preah Vihear ELC on Monday after protesting villagers set it on fire.
23 March – More than 200 people from five villages in Preah Vihear and Siem Reap provinces on Monday burned two rubber company guard posts to the ground in protest of the planned clearing of at least 1,000 hectares of disputed farmland and forests.
In 2012, the government granted a 70-year, 6,000-hectare economic land concession (ELC) spanning both provinces inside the Kulen Prom-Tep Wildlife Sanctuary to Ly Chhuong Construction and Import Export (later renamed Green Rubber).
Following protests from villagers, who claimed they had lived on the land since 1998, the government excised 473 hectares from the concession in 2014. However, other villagers have continued to contest parts of the concession. In total, 2,000 hectares remain in dispute.
Pang Yiet, Kulen’s district governor, said that authorities and company representatives met residents of five villages on Monday, telling them that the company this year planned to clear 1,000 hectares, including land on which some of their farms were located.
The villagers reacted by setting fire to two of Green Rubber’s outposts in the ELC, he said.“We told them in the morning and they burned things down in the afternoon; they did not listen to us,” the governor said yesterday.
NOTE FROM DISACCORDS: Funnily enough, we actually don’t know have anything to do with these posters in Sydney, but we are glad to have fans in the city promoting the website.
18 March – Police are hunting a ‘deranged group of thugs’ who are inciting members of the public to physically attack transport officers, ticket inspectors and council rangers.
The cowardly vandals are also urging people to destroy train and bus ticket machines, Opal card readers and parking meters.
Going by the name Free Transport, Full Communism, the anarchist group also encourages public transport passengers to refuse to pay fares.
The group, which police have yet to track down or identify, has been plastering anti-establishment posters near train stations throughout the inner city.
Under the heading “Transport Officers Are Scum” and an image depicting two ticket inspectors with telescopic rifle sights on their faces, the poster refers to an anarchist website called “disaccords” which uploads articles about people rebelling against government.
“Spit venom and throw bricks at Transport Officers, Police, Rangers and every other stooge physically enforcing capitalist law,” it says.
The posters, which have been shared by thousands of Facebook users, have caused alarm among police, state and local government and transport and police unions, who fear people’s lives are at risk.
Rail staff have already been suffering a high rate of violent attacks. About 80 per cent of train guards on Sydney stations have experienced confrontations with violent or aggressive customers, according to a rail union survey.
Head of the Police Transport Command Max Mitchell confirmed rail officials and police in the Joint Transport Intelligence Group were searching for the anarchists.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance was appalled by the posters: “It’s disgusting to see material like this distributed in our community.”
Rail Tram & Bus Union state secretary Alex Claassens described those behind the poster campaign as “grubs”.
Police Association president Scott Weber described the use of violence as cowardly. Police have asked the public for help in finding the group.
18 March – 18 March – The “full force of the law” should be brought to bear on protesters who trashed Senator Cory Bernardi’s office and targeted his children’s school, he says.
The university students and high-school pupils, who were protesting against his opposition to the Safe Schools anti-bullying program and ongoing debate about same-sex marriage, engaged in abuse, vandalism and threats.
Both Flinders and Adelaide universities released statements condemning the action.
Branding the protesters “a bunch of cowards”, Senator Bernardi labelled the fracas a form of intolerance and intimidation that only “strengthened his resolve”.
He said: “They also headed down to my children’s school and sought to target it as well. They had to lock gates and take other preventive measures.
“If peaceful protests turn into violent and damaging protests the people responsible for that need to be held to account.
“I’m happy for the full force of the law to be brought upon those who’ve done property damage and threatened my staff.”
18 March – More than 200 Preah Vihear families are locked in a land dispute with a Phnom Penh police officer over a 7-hectare burial site, with villagers alleging the officer drew his service pistol on them.
Um Vanna is a Phnom Penh-based officer in the National Police’s riot squad. To the protests of local residents, Vanna lay claim to a burial site in Preah Vihear’s Sangkum Thmei district early last year.
Sun Chanda, 31, lives nearby and is among the villagers who oppose Vanna’s claim to what they say is the resting place of their ancestors.
“Vanna wants people to hand the ancestral graveyard to him for his private property, but we want to preserve it as collective property,” said Chanda.
Chanda is one of eight villagers accused in a lawsuit brought by Vanna in December of “violently grabbing and intentionally vandalising” his property.
14 March – 14 March – A group of Kuoy ethnic minorities commandeered a truck attempting to move a huge log out of Preah Rokar community forest in Preah Vihear’s Cham Ksan district on Friday.
According to community member Min Yut, close to 50 villagers surrounded the truck and six workers from a company called Ratanak Sambath. The employees fled, leaving the truck and two chainsaws behind, he said.
A representative from the company later negotiated the return of the truck, in return for $1,500, Yut added.
“We agreed and took the compensation to use for patrolling our forest,” he said, adding that the log and chainsaws were impounded.
The company could not be reached for comment yesterday and local authorities said they were not yet aware of the case.
According to Yut, this was the second illegal logging case involving Ratanak Sambath this year.
In February, he said, the company had negotiated the return of two trucks impounded by the community group in a similar incident for $800.
13 March – At Mary MacKillop Place, near where the tomb of Australia’s first saint rests, people – including nuns – gathered on Sunday to learn the principles of non-violent resistance.
They were shown how to body block and deal with police in preparation for the possibility they would need to protect asylum seekers looking for sanctuary in the church from being taken by Australian Border Force officers.
The North Sydney-based Sisters of St Joseph, along with more than 100 other church groups across Australia, have pledged to provide help to asylum seekers in the community who may seek refuge.
This includes the 267 asylum seekers in community detention in Australia who are slated for return to Nauru.
15 March – A man known locally as ‘Bear’, who armed himself with a chainsaw and doused himself and police in petrol before being tasered and arrested, has died in hospital.
The 51-year-old was involved in a dispute with an energy company whose employees arrived to shut down the electricity at his home on Regent St, Riverstone about 11.15am on March 8.
‘Bear’ became hostile at the thought of losing his power and took a chainsaw outside and started cutting down a power pole near his house.
Police responded to the incident and the offender threw petrol over officers and himself as they were talking to him.
Officers then used OC spray and a taser, which ignited the petrol and set him on fire, before they extinguished him at the scene.
‘Bear’ ran back into his house and refused to come out, as police set up a perimeter before he surrendered after 45 minutes of negotiations and was taken to Westmead Hospital under police guard.
He was treated at Westmead Hospital for burns and charged by police during a bedside hearing with burning or maiming using a corrosive fluid, resisting or hindering police in the execution of duty and destroying or damaging property.
He was later moved to Concord Hospital but a NSW Corrective Services spokeswoman confirmed he died today.
“An offender being treated at Concord Hospital has died this morning,” the spokeswoman said.
“Police will prepare a report for the coroner who will determine the cause of death of the 51-year-old man.”
‘Bear’ was well known in Riverstone after living in the area for 15 years.
He owned at least eight rottweilers which were taken by council rangers at the time of the attack.
A police officer from Quakers Hill Local Area Command was injured during the incident.
He experienced petrol exposure to his eyes and was taken to Blacktown Hospital for treatment.