Showing posts tagged as "protests"

Showing posts tagged protests

18 Aug
Cricket star Imran Khan overplays hand in Pakistan power game | Katharine Houreld
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Cricket hero Imran Khan rode a wave of discontent to finally break through as a serious player in Pakistani politics at last year’s election. Now he is aiming even higher, leading thousands on a march to the capital in a bid to unseat the prime minister.
But in taking his campaign to force out Nawaz Sharif on to the streets of Islamabad, Khan may have overplayed his hand. This weekend his crowd of followers was already thinning out, and without overt support from the military his protests are unlikely to be a game-changer.
Thousands showed up for his rally on Saturday, but some supporters grumbled they had slept out in the rain while Khan relaxed in his nearby mansion.
"The path he’s chosen is one of protest," said Samina Ahmed, South Asia director of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group think tank. "Now the question is: does he have a strategy beyond the protest?"
FULL ARTICLE (Reuters)
Photo: Carol Mitchell/flickr

Cricket star Imran Khan overplays hand in Pakistan power game | Katharine Houreld

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Cricket hero Imran Khan rode a wave of discontent to finally break through as a serious player in Pakistani politics at last year’s election. Now he is aiming even higher, leading thousands on a march to the capital in a bid to unseat the prime minister.

But in taking his campaign to force out Nawaz Sharif on to the streets of Islamabad, Khan may have overplayed his hand. This weekend his crowd of followers was already thinning out, and without overt support from the military his protests are unlikely to be a game-changer.

Thousands showed up for his rally on Saturday, but some supporters grumbled they had slept out in the rain while Khan relaxed in his nearby mansion.

"The path he’s chosen is one of protest," said Samina Ahmed, South Asia director of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group think tank. "Now the question is: does he have a strategy beyond the protest?"

FULL ARTICLE (Reuters)

Photo: Carol Mitchell/flickr

13 Aug
Thai junta aims to restart Muslim south dialogue
More than a year after previous talks stalled due to Thailand’s political crisis, the military has announced it will attempt to restart a peace dialogue with insurgents in the country’s Muslim-majority south demanding political autonomy.
The bitter conflict, rooted in historical distrust between Malay Muslims and Thai Buddhists, has killed over 6,000 people and injured around 10,800 since January 2004.
National Security Council Secretary-General Thawil Pliensri declared over the weekend that the talks with southern rebels would reconvene before the end of this month, in agreement with the junta.
The dialogue was initially started in March 2013 by then Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s civilian government, but was suspended last December as massive anti-government protests paralyzed the capital.
Since the May 22 coup, the junta has installed a series of reforms aimed at bringing together the two quarrelling factions - Red Shirts (opponents of the military and bureaucratic establishment) and Yellow Shirts (ardent royalists opposed to the governments of Yingluck and elder brother former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra) protesters - before new elections are held in October next year.
It now appears to be turning its attentions to the south.
FULL ARTICLE (World Bulletin)
Photo: Thomas Wanhoff/flickr

Thai junta aims to restart Muslim south dialogue

More than a year after previous talks stalled due to Thailand’s political crisis, the military has announced it will attempt to restart a peace dialogue with insurgents in the country’s Muslim-majority south demanding political autonomy.

The bitter conflict, rooted in historical distrust between Malay Muslims and Thai Buddhists, has killed over 6,000 people and injured around 10,800 since January 2004.

National Security Council Secretary-General Thawil Pliensri declared over the weekend that the talks with southern rebels would reconvene before the end of this month, in agreement with the junta.

The dialogue was initially started in March 2013 by then Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s civilian government, but was suspended last December as massive anti-government protests paralyzed the capital.

Since the May 22 coup, the junta has installed a series of reforms aimed at bringing together the two quarrelling factions - Red Shirts (opponents of the military and bureaucratic establishment) and Yellow Shirts (ardent royalists opposed to the governments of Yingluck and elder brother former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra) protesters - before new elections are held in October next year.

It now appears to be turning its attentions to the south.

FULL ARTICLE (World Bulletin)

Photo: Thomas Wanhoff/flickr

13 Jun

Watch Hugh Pope, Crisis Group’s Turkey/Cyprus Project Director, discuss the unrest in Turkey on the Charlie Rose Show

Photo: Flickr/Alan Hilditch

7 Jun
Erdogan can win by engaging Turkey’s park protesters | Bloomberg
By Hugh Pope
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been in tighter spots: He was thrown in jail for alleged Islamism, saw his last political party closed down and survived a showdown with the once all-powerful Turkish military.
Yet the street protests that erupted first in Istanbul and then across the country at the end of last month present a challenge he has never faced before. So far, he has mishandled the situation, and on June 6 showed no sign of backing down. That’s a mistake, because he has the ability to turn the protests to his advantage and the country’s.
Erdogan is Turkey’s most effective leader since the republic’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and much of his success has been based on determination, populist rhetoric and a focus on business. Born into one of Istanbul’s notoriously tough neighborhoods, he is both the unyielding bulldozer of Turkish politics and the fix-it charmer. Almost 50 percent of the population voted for his Justice and Development Party two years ago.
What is happening in Turkey today is mostly about the other 50 percent of the country’s 76 million people. An opinion poll by academics at Istanbul’s Bilgi University found that 70 percent of the protesters had no strong political affiliation. The protests have been full of humor, volunteer enthusiasm, modern women, celebrities and bands of idealistic children skipping school. For the first week, the crowds were leaderless, the only things uniting them being social-media networks and a common slogan: “Tayyip, resign!”
FULL ARTICLE (Bloomberg)
Photo: Flickr/Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung

Erdogan can win by engaging Turkey’s park protesters | Bloomberg

By Hugh Pope

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been in tighter spots: He was thrown in jail for alleged Islamism, saw his last political party closed down and survived a showdown with the once all-powerful Turkish military.

Yet the street protests that erupted first in Istanbul and then across the country at the end of last month present a challenge he has never faced before. So far, he has mishandled the situation, and on June 6 showed no sign of backing down. That’s a mistake, because he has the ability to turn the protests to his advantage and the country’s.

Erdogan is Turkey’s most effective leader since the republic’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and much of his success has been based on determination, populist rhetoric and a focus on business. Born into one of Istanbul’s notoriously tough neighborhoods, he is both the unyielding bulldozer of Turkish politics and the fix-it charmer. Almost 50 percent of the population voted for his Justice and Development Party two years ago.

What is happening in Turkey today is mostly about the other 50 percent of the country’s 76 million people. An opinion poll by academics at Istanbul’s Bilgi University found that 70 percent of the protesters had no strong political affiliation. The protests have been full of humor, volunteer enthusiasm, modern women, celebrities and bands of idealistic children skipping school. For the first week, the crowds were leaderless, the only things uniting them being social-media networks and a common slogan: “Tayyip, resign!”

FULL ARTICLE (Bloomberg)

Photo: Flickr/Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung

(Source: ekathimerini.com)

4 Feb
Egypt Conflict Alert
Brussels/Cairo | 4 Feb 2013
It is difficult to know which is most dangerous: the serious uptick in street violence; President Morsi’s and the Muslim Brotherhood’s serial inability to reach out to the rest of the political class inclusively; or the opposition clinging to the hope of some extraneous event (demonstrations, foreign pressure, judicial rulings or military intervention) allowing it to gain power while bypassing arduous compromise and politics. They are tied of course: the president’s cavalier treatment of the constitution-writing process and the judiciary and the opposition’s lethargic approach to politics and rejection of Islamist legitimacy alike have eroded the authority of state institutions. This encourages in turn unrest and contributes to the economic slide. Together, these heighten risks of a complete breakdown of law and order. For two years, political factions repeatedly have failed to reach consensus on basic rules of the game, producing a transition persistently threatening to veer off the road. It is past time for the president and opposition to reach an accommodation to restore and preserve the state’s integrity.
Since President Mubarak’s ouster, the level of violence has ebbed and flowed, yet each new wave brings the country closer to tipping point. Already, some police officers, beleaguered by attacks on their headquarters, are considering removing their uniforms and going home; there is talk of brewing discontent among Central Security Forces, the riot control police; and criminal gangs along with looters profit from the chaos. There are new shocking images of police brutality. Many young Egyptians increasingly appear disillusioned with electoral politics, and some are drawn to anarchical violence.
The situation is made worse by deteriorating economic conditions. As foreign currency reserves decline, the government finds it ever more difficult to prop up the Egypt’s pound or maintain fuel and food subsidies. One should not be surprised to see larger segments of the population joining in socio-economic riots. By current trends, Egypt could find itself in a vicious cycle of economic under-performance and political instability, the one fuelling the other.
FULL ALERT
Photo: Maggie Osama/Flickr

Egypt Conflict Alert

Brussels/Cairo | 4 Feb 2013

It is difficult to know which is most dangerous: the serious uptick in street violence; President Morsi’s and the Muslim Brotherhood’s serial inability to reach out to the rest of the political class inclusively; or the opposition clinging to the hope of some extraneous event (demonstrations, foreign pressure, judicial rulings or military intervention) allowing it to gain power while bypassing arduous compromise and politics. They are tied of course: the president’s cavalier treatment of the constitution-writing process and the judiciary and the opposition’s lethargic approach to politics and rejection of Islamist legitimacy alike have eroded the authority of state institutions. This encourages in turn unrest and contributes to the economic slide. Together, these heighten risks of a complete breakdown of law and order. For two years, political factions repeatedly have failed to reach consensus on basic rules of the game, producing a transition persistently threatening to veer off the road. It is past time for the president and opposition to reach an accommodation to restore and preserve the state’s integrity.

Since President Mubarak’s ouster, the level of violence has ebbed and flowed, yet each new wave brings the country closer to tipping point. Already, some police officers, beleaguered by attacks on their headquarters, are considering removing their uniforms and going home; there is talk of brewing discontent among Central Security Forces, the riot control police; and criminal gangs along with looters profit from the chaos. There are new shocking images of police brutality. Many young Egyptians increasingly appear disillusioned with electoral politics, and some are drawn to anarchical violence.

The situation is made worse by deteriorating economic conditions. As foreign currency reserves decline, the government finds it ever more difficult to prop up the Egypt’s pound or maintain fuel and food subsidies. One should not be surprised to see larger segments of the population joining in socio-economic riots. By current trends, Egypt could find itself in a vicious cycle of economic under-performance and political instability, the one fuelling the other.

FULL ALERT

Photo: Maggie Osama/Flickr

31 Jan
Egypt’s armed forces chief warns unrest could cause collapse of state | The Guardian
By Patrick Kingsley
Continuing civil unrest may soon cause the collapse of the Egyptian state, the head of the country’s armed forces warned.
Parts of Egypt are in turmoil following five days of rioting in which 52 people have been killed and more than 1,000 injured after protests against President Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood and police brutality turned violent. The unrest comes two years after the start of the 2011 revolution that toppled the former dictator Hosni Mubarak.
General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s comments have sparked fears that the military might once again intervene in the day-to-day governance of Egypt, a country effectively ruled for most of the past century by army officers.
FULL ARTICLE (The Guardian)
Photo: Maggie Osama/Flickr

Egypt’s armed forces chief warns unrest could cause collapse of state | The Guardian

By Patrick Kingsley

Continuing civil unrest may soon cause the collapse of the Egyptian state, the head of the country’s armed forces warned.

Parts of Egypt are in turmoil following five days of rioting in which 52 people have been killed and more than 1,000 injured after protests against President Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood and police brutality turned violent. The unrest comes two years after the start of the 2011 revolution that toppled the former dictator Hosni Mubarak.

General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s comments have sparked fears that the military might once again intervene in the day-to-day governance of Egypt, a country effectively ruled for most of the past century by army officers.

FULL ARTICLE (The Guardian)

Photo: Maggie Osama/Flickr

15 Nov
Riots Erupt Across Jordan Over Gas Prices | The New York Times
By Jodi Rudoren
JERUSALEM — Violent protests broke out across Jordan on Tuesday night after the government announced an increase in fuel prices, inciting what appeared to be an unparalleled show of anger directed at the king after months of mounting tension in the strategically important and politically fragile kingdom.
Demonstrators burned tires, smashed traffic lights and blocked roads in several Jordanian cities. Riot police officers tried to quell some of the crowds with tear gas. There were calls for a general strike on Wednesday.
FULL ARTICLE (The New York Times)
Photo: Kaj17/Flickr

Riots Erupt Across Jordan Over Gas Prices | The New York Times

By Jodi Rudoren

JERUSALEM — Violent protests broke out across Jordan on Tuesday night after the government announced an increase in fuel prices, inciting what appeared to be an unparalleled show of anger directed at the king after months of mounting tension in the strategically important and politically fragile kingdom.

Demonstrators burned tires, smashed traffic lights and blocked roads in several Jordanian cities. Riot police officers tried to quell some of the crowds with tear gas. There were calls for a general strike on Wednesday.

FULL ARTICLE (The New York Times)

Photo: Kaj17/Flickr

5 Oct
Some Protesters in Middle East Regret Anti-U.S. Outbreaks | The New York Times 
By Kristen McTighe 
CAIRO — Ahmad Aggour is a 24-year-old Egyptian activist who was shot in the face by the police during clashes last November on Mohammed Mahmoud Street in Cairo and again in his legs in February at protests that followed soccer riots in Port Said. In short, he has no qualms about protesting.
Yet Mr. Aggour said he was embarrassed when a mob of angry protesters breached the United States Embassy’s walls in Cairo on Sept. 11 to protest a short trailer for an amateur film mocking the Prophet Muhammad.
FULL ARTICLE (The New York Times)
Photo: Iban Zawaar/Flickr 

Some Protesters in Middle East Regret Anti-U.S. Outbreaks | The New York Times 

By Kristen McTighe 

CAIRO — Ahmad Aggour is a 24-year-old Egyptian activist who was shot in the face by the police during clashes last November on Mohammed Mahmoud Street in Cairo and again in his legs in February at protests that followed soccer riots in Port Said. In short, he has no qualms about protesting.

Yet Mr. Aggour said he was embarrassed when a mob of angry protesters breached the United States Embassy’s walls in Cairo on Sept. 11 to protest a short trailer for an amateur film mocking the Prophet Muhammad.

FULL ARTICLE (The New York Times)

Photo: Iban Zawaar/Flickr 

3 Oct
Tunisia woman accused of indecency after alleged rape by police | LA Times
By Emily Alpert 
Hundreds of protesters thronged to a Tunis courtroom Tuesday as a woman and her fiance who accused police officers of rape and extortion defended themselves against allegations of indecency.
The case has outraged Tunisian feminists and human rights groups, who said the charges are an attempt to humiliate and frighten the couple, discouraging others from reporting police abuse. It has focused new attention on police impunity and the rights of women in the North African country, the birthplace of the “Arab Spring” uprisings, as it tries to set its path after the ouster of autocratic President Zine el Abidine ben Ali.
FULL ARTICLE (LA Times)
Photo: Amine Ghrabi/Flickr 

Tunisia woman accused of indecency after alleged rape by police | LA Times

By Emily Alpert 

Hundreds of protesters thronged to a Tunis courtroom Tuesday as a woman and her fiance who accused police officers of rape and extortion defended themselves against allegations of indecency.

The case has outraged Tunisian feminists and human rights groups, who said the charges are an attempt to humiliate and frighten the couple, discouraging others from reporting police abuse. It has focused new attention on police impunity and the rights of women in the North African country, the birthplace of the “Arab Spring” uprisings, as it tries to set its path after the ouster of autocratic President Zine el Abidine ben Ali.

FULL ARTICLE (LA Times)

Photo: Amine Ghrabi/Flickr 

16 Sep
Libya Consulate Attack Poses Hard Questions About Unfinished Arab Spring | Huffington Post
By Joshua Hersh
A timely new report from the nonprofit International Crisis Group warns that Libya’s internal disarray poses a significant threat to the safety and security of the country during its post-Arab Spring transition to democracy. The report, released Friday, arrives on the heels of the devastating assault at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, in eastern Libya, that left four American diplomats dead, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
FULL ARTICLE (Huffington Post)
Photo: Crethi Plethi/Flickr

Libya Consulate Attack Poses Hard Questions About Unfinished Arab Spring | Huffington Post

By Joshua Hersh

A timely new report from the nonprofit International Crisis Group warns that Libya’s internal disarray poses a significant threat to the safety and security of the country during its post-Arab Spring transition to democracy. The report, released Friday, arrives on the heels of the devastating assault at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, in eastern Libya, that left four American diplomats dead, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

FULL ARTICLE (Huffington Post)

Photo: Crethi Plethi/Flickr