Canada -10 years in prison if you wear a ‘mask” at a protest #WTFnews


By Jeff Blagdon on June 20, 2013 

 

Gallery Photo:

Canada’s controversial Concealment of Identity Act banning the wearing of masks during riots and “unlawful assemblies” has just gone into law, carrying with it a 10-year maximum sentence, reports CBC News. The private member’s bill was introduced in 2011 by MP Blake Richards in response to the increasing prevalence of vandalism at political protests and sporting events.

 

 

WHAT DISTINGUISHES AN UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLY FROM A LAWFUL ONE?

It’s noteworthy that there is already a federal law in Canada that prohibits wearing a disguise “with intent to commit an indictable offence” and carries the same 10-year maximum. The distinction in language is deliberate: Richards has criticized the existing law for its high burden of proof. Now, instead of requiring intent to commit a criminal act in order to charge a protester, he or she only needs to be in attendance at an unlawful assembly. Richards has insisted that the law is necessary for dealing with protesters “pre-emptively,” before a protest escalates. And what distinguishes an unlawful assembly from a lawful one? The CBC points out that it’s “an assembly of three or more persons who, with intent to carry out any common purpose, assemble in such a manner… as to cause persons in the neighbourhood… to fear… that they will disturb the peace tumultuously.”

Many, such as Osgoode Hall Law School Professor James Stribopoulos, have pointed to the possible “chilling effects” posed by making it unlawful to disguise one’s identity at a protest, say to prevent against reprisals from your boss or coworkers, or to avoid facial recognition software. The CBC notes that exceptions can be made for “lawful excuses” for face covergings, like religion or medical conditions, but Stribopoulos has countered that most judgments about an excuse’s “lawfulness” will fall to police in the field.

Joint Statement – Stop the Police Brutality Against Maruti Suzuki Workers


Joint Press Statement

Kaithal

19 May 2013:

 

                   

Stop the Police Brutality Against Maruti Suzuki Workers

The Haryana Government yet again in a brazen and outright cowardly manner has sought to protect the interest of capital and particularly the management of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd by refusing to allow the victimised workers and their families to undertake a peaceful demonstration planned for today which was expected to draw in ten thousand people from across the state.

A short while ago, police lathicharged a peaceful demonstration of workers families outside the residence of State Industry Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala. Scores have been hurt in the lathicharge and the demonstrators are being arrested.

The Haryana Government, on the eve of this peaceful protest at Kaithal, imposed IPC Section 144 in the town and arrested close to 100 workers and their family members from the dharna site at the Kaithal Mini Secretariat at 11:30 pm last night. Several more were picked up from the entry points to the town including the bus terminus this morning. The workers and their family members have been sitting on an entirely peaceful dharna at the Mini Secretariat from 28 April 2013 demanding release of the 147 workers in Gurgaon Jail and reinstatement of the workers, both permanent and contract, terminated without enquiry following the 18 July incident. Despite the heavy police mobilisation and barricades at entry points of the town, thousands of people from across Haryana have been pouring into the city to gherao the State Industries Minister, Randeep Singh Surjewala at his residence. Wives, mothers and sisters of workers are present in large numbers at this demonstration demanding a just inquiry and an end to the state effort at criminalisation of the workers.

Officers at Kaithal Civil Lines Police Station and at the Office of the Superintendent of Police refused to provide copy of the FIR or even provide details about the arrests since last night to us or even to the advocate of the workers and their families. They even refused to mention under what charges the arrests had been made and where the workers and others who were arrested were detained.

There were two other large demonstrations in Kaithal today – one to celebrate Parshuram Jayanti organised by the Brahmin Samaj addressed by the Haryana Industries Minister, Surjewala and another of the Haryana Janhit Congress. So, the imposition of Section 144 IPC was clearly aimed at denying the Maruti Suzuki workers and their families their democratic right to peaceful protest. The large police mobilisation with tear gas and water cannons was only aimed at the Maruti Suzuki workers.

84 Sarpanches from across Haryana had extended their support to the Maruti Suzuki workers struggle at the last demonstration of the workers at Kaithal on 8 May 2013. The Haryana Government has stopped the funds to these Panchayats. Thus it is using both brute force and its fiscal powers to obliterate the struggle of the workers and put down the solidarity and support mobilised by the Sarpanches across the state.  Elected representatives of the people are refusing to talk to citizens in their attempt to protect the interest of capital.

We continue to stand in solidarity with the struggle of the members of Maruti Suzuki Workers Union and their demand for a fair inquiry, release of the arrested workers and reinstatement of the workers terminated after the 18 July 2012 incident. This struggle against capital and the complicit state is a critical turning point in upholding democratic rights of the working class.
We support the demands of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union:

1. The Haryana Government must immediately stop the assault on the workers of Maruti -Suzuki.

2. The Haryana Government must immediately order an enquiry into the events at Kaithal in the last 24 hours.

3. Government of Haryana should withdraw all charges and release all Maruti Suzuki workers and their family members arrested at Kaithal in the last 24 hours.

4. Government of Haryana should not oppose the bail application of the 147 workers in Gurgaon jail following the 18 July incident.

5.  MSIL must reinstate all permanent workers who were summarily dismissed after the 18 July incident and regularise all contract workers who were on the rolls of the Company on 18 July 2012.

6. MSIL must negotiate in good faith with the MSWU.
Pritpal
Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR), Punjab

Ramesh
People’s Union of Civil Rights (PUCR), Kaithal, Haryana

Kulbir Singh and Ranjana Padhi

Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), Delhi

Gautam Mody

New Trade Union Initiative

 

#India -129 People Jailed for Protesting Against Kalpakkam Reactor #WTFnews


29 March, 2013 — In a bid to intimidate fenceline communities living around the Kalpakkam nuclear reactors, the Tamil Nadu Police has jailed 129 people of the 650 that were detained in wedding halls yesterday. Those detained were protesting to highlight that the nuclear complex in Kalpakkam was all threat and risk to the local community with no benefits either in the form of jobs or electricity.

A peaceful protest involving more than 1000 people was broken up by the police. Nearly 650 people peacefully boarded buses to court arrest. Given the peaceful nature of the protest, and the cooperation extended by the people to the police, those detained would normally have been released by evening. However, the Police invited a magistrate to the wedding hall where 129 people were detained, and filed two separate cases against them — one case naming 27 people (mostly leaders and organisers); and another naming 102 people.

Prominent among those arrested are leaders of the Manithaneya Makkal Katchi and the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

The  police has slapped the following charges against the villagers:
Section 143 IPC: Punishment for Unlawful Assembly
Section 147 IPC: Punishment for rioting
Section 148 IPC: Rioting, armed with deadly weapons
Section 158 IPC: Whoever is engaged, or hired, or offers or attempts to be hired or engaged, to do or assist in doing any of the acts specified in section 141, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both.

or to go armed. or to go armed.– and whoever, being so engaged or hired as aforesaid, goes armed, or engages or offers to go armed, with any deadly weapon or with anything which used as a weapon of offence is likely to cause death, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
Section 353 IPC: Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty.– Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any person being a public servant in the execution of his duty as such public servant, or with intent to prevent or deter that person from discharging his duty as such public servant, or in consequence of anything done or attempted to be done by such person to the lawful discharge of his duty as such public servant, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

All above sections are to be read with Section 7(1)(A) of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1953:
“with intent to cause any person to abstain from doing or to do any act which such person has a right to do or to abstain from doing, obstructs or uses violence to or intimidates such person or any member of his family or person in his employ, or loiters at or near a place where such person or member or employed person resides or works or carries on business or happens to be, or persistently follows him from place to place, or interferes with any property owned or used by him or deprives him of or hinders him in the use thereof, or. . .”

 

India- Children slapped with sedition charges #WTFnews


4 children arrested near Idinthakarai face sedition charges

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, The Hindu

A Coast Guard aircraft flies over anti-nuclear protestors, who began a jal satyagraha against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) by standing the whole day in the sea on Thursday. The year-long protest turned violent on Monday. PTI Photo
A Coast Guard aircraft flies over anti-nuclear protestors, who began a jal satyagraha against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) by standing the whole day in the sea on Thursday. The year-long protest turned violent on Monday. PTI Photo

Four boys, aged between 15 and 16 years, who were arrested by the police during and after Monday’s clash between the anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project protesters and the police near Idinthakarai, are now facing serious charges including sedition.

All the four – one each from Vairaavikinaru, Idinthakarai and two from Kudankulam – have been lodged in the Juvenile Home on the South Bypass Road near the western entrance of Vaeinthaankulam New Bus Stand in Tirunelveli.

If the sedition charges framed against them are proved, they can be punished with imprisonment for life.

The Kudankulam police have registered a case against the boy from Vairaavikinaru under Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with deadly weapon), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 431 (damaging road, bridge, river, channel etc.), 121(A) (conspiring to overawe, by means of criminal force or the show of criminal force, the Central Government or any State Government), 395 (dacoity), 307 (attempt to murder) r/w 149 IPC (unlawful assembly) and Sec 3 of TNPPDL Act (causing damage to public property).

The boy from Idinthakarai, who was reportedly arrested during the clash, is facing charges under Sections 147, 148, 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) r/w 144 Cr. P. C and 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 352 (assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation), 355 (assault or criminal force with intent to dishonour person, otherwise than on grave provocation), 294 (b) (sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place), 307, 427 (mischief to cause minor damage) IPC r/w 149 IPC and Section 13 of Unlawful Assembly Act and Section 3 of TNPPDL Act.

Of the four, the children from Kundankulam are facing grave charges as they have been booked under Sections 147,148, 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 431, 188 IPC r/w 144 Cr. P. C., ,291 (continuance of nuisance after injunction to discontinue), 294(b), 121 (waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government of India), 124(A) (sedition) 307 IPC r/w 149 IPC and 3 of TNPPDL ACT and Section 4 of Endangered Species Act.

T.N. ups vigil as anti-Kudankulam activists threaten to intensify stir


A view of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tirunelveli district. File photo
The Hindu–A view of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tirunelveli district. File photo
 PTI, mAY 9, 2012

Authorities on Wednesday extended prohibitory orders and beefed up security in and around the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant as anti-nuclear activists threatened to intensify their stir against the Indo-Russian project from Thursday.

The district administration has extended the prohibitory orders from 2 km to 5 km radius of the plant since Wednesday morning.

Besides, 11 companies of Tamil Nadu Special Police and Tamil Nadu Armed Police have been deployed, in addition to the existing force in the area.

The police action followed information that People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), which is spearheading the protest against the nuclear plant, was planning to intensify its stir from Thursday, since the State government did not respond to its demand for talks.

“It has been nine days now and the state government has not responded to our hunger-strike. So, we have called our supporters from five villages and would have a meeting to decide further course of action tomorrow,” PMANE activist M. Pushparayan said.

The activists’ move comes against the backdrop of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s assertion that the plant would go critical in the next 10 days and power generation would begin then.

Keywords: Anti-nuclear protests,

Police stop rally against Operation Green Hunt


KHAMMAM, April 11, 2012 ,  The Hindu Activists protest against Operation Green Hunt

BIG TROUBLE:The anti-Operation Green Hunt rally being stopped by police in Charla in Khammam district on Tuesday.- PHOTO: G.N. RAO

BIG TROUBLE:The anti-Operation Green Hunt rally being stopped by police in Charla in Khammam district on Tuesday.- PHOTO: G.N. RAO

Tension gripped Charla on Tuesday when the police stopped a rally taken out by activists of the Committee against Operation Green Hunt in the mandal headquarters town.

Earlier, the police refused permission to the committee’s proposed public meeting and clamped prohibitory orders in the mandal headquarters.

Though the meeting could not be held, activists embarked on a rally from the bus stand to the mandal revenue office in Charla denouncing the Operation Green Hunt.

Police stopped the activists near the bus station and detained some of them. A delegation submitted a memorandum to revenue officials registering its protest against Operation Green Hunt.

APCLC State general secretary and the committee’s convenor Ch. Chandrasekhar, APCLC State vice-president B. Tirumal Rao, Kula Nirmulana Samiti State general secretary D. Prabhakar, and Virasam State committee member Rukmini were among those present.

Earlier, scores of Adivasis from far-flung areas, including neighbouring Chhattisgarh, were prevented by the police from entering the mandal headquarters.

Many of them camped under the trees and in mango orchards on the outskirts of Charla after being denied entry into the town. A large number of police personnel were deployed to enforce prohibitory orders.

Meanwhile, the committee members denounced the restrictions imposed by the police on the movement of Adivasis in the scheduled areas.

Mr. Chandrasekhar alleged that the police action amounted to suppression of the voice of Adivasis and those championing their cause.

PMANE founder’s NGO inspected, wife says no foreign funds


by Pallavi Polanki Mar 30, 2012, Firstspost

The Nagercoil-based education trust run by SP Udayakumar, who is leading the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) from Idinthakarai village against Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, was subjected to a day-long inspection by Home Ministry officials on Thursday (March 29).

Firstpost spoke to Meera Kumar, wife of Udayakumar and trustee of the South Asian Community Centre for Education and Reasearch (SACCER), who spent the entire day answering questions and providing details of the Trust to the officials.

What was the inspection regarding?

There were two officials from the Home Ministry and one local officer. They wanted all the documents and accounts from 2005-06 to 2010-11. The officials were from the FCRA (foreign contribution regulation act) division of the Home Ministry.

Is SACCER receiving foreign funding?

No. We are not registered under the FCRA. On two occasions we got prior permission from the FCRA wing for donations. Both were donations were between 2005-2007.

The founder of PMANE was not present for the inspection. Firstpost

One was for Rs 90,000 from Aid India and the other for Rs 4.35 lakh from Watumull Foundation. Prior permission was received for both these contributions from the FCRA wing. The Rs 4.35 lakh was towards buying a van for the school (SACCER manages a school in Nagercoil). It was a down-payment for the van, the total cost of which was Rs 7.50 lakh or so. The remainder we paid through a loan.

The Rs 90, 000 was for a tsunami related project that my husband did for Aid India. It was an entrepreneurship programme for women. The money was given as cheque to the women and a few sewing machines were also given, I think.

The officials were concerned mainly about these two. They took audit statements for all years from 2005-06 to 2010-11.

Did they ask for accounts from 2011-12?

No. They didn’t ask for any documents or vouchers relating the current financial year.

Did they say what the purpose of the inspection was?

No. They didn’t tell me exactly why they had come. But I understood that they were under a lot of pressure from someone from above. They were very cordial with me. My husband usually handles all the paperwork. So I wasn’t familiar with a few things. So initially, it was bit difficult.

Was the inspection at the office alone?

We have an office at home. So the inspection took place there.

In the afternoon, I was asked to go the Traveller’s Bungalow (the district guesthouse for government officers). They asked me for all the ledgers and cash books. They wanted copies of everything.
They asked me for three certificates. One, on how many passbooks were opened and closed for the SACCER Trust. The second was on staff structure. Some of the vouchers were missing so they wanted me to give in writing that some of the vouchers were not traceable. So I wrote that.

How long did inspection last?

At the office it was from 9 am to 2 pm At the Traveller’s Bungalow, it was 3 pm to 9.50 pm. Most of the time was spent in making copies, compiling, attestation and so on.

Has the inspection concluded?

They have not called me today.

Did Koodankulam come up in conversation at all?

No. They didn’t mention it.

Did they ask for Udayakumar?

Once, the officer asked me where my husband was and if he was reachable. He wanted to know if I had the authority to sign and wanted to know if my husband had to give me power of attorney. We explained to them that I was one of the trustees and had the authority to sign.

Had the officials informed you of their visit?

They had sent us an email saying that we were supposed to be present in room number 9, Jaislamer House,(office of the FCRA division in Delhi) on March 29 and 30. We had replied through a lawyer that we wouldn’t be able to present ourselves. And we had sent a copy of the letter through email. But day before yesterday (March 28), an officer from SP’s office came home and informed us of the visit.

Had you received any communication from the FCRA prior to the email?

Yes. Late last year, they had sent us a questionnaire. It was pertaining to how much foreign contribution we have received. I had explained to them that there were two occasions on which we received contribution and for both we had prior permission from the FCRA. The documents have been submitted.

Did the officials speak to Udayakumar?

On two occasions, I gave the phone to one of the officials to speak to Kumar (who continues to be in Idinthakarai village, which is about 30 km from Nagercoil). My husband was explaining to him why he couldn’t be there and was apologizing for his absence.

How is Udayakumar’s health?

He has been on liquid diet for the last three days. (Udayakumar broke his nine-day fast on Wednesday). His health is a bit down. It looks like he has a flu. He has been treated at the hospital. He is feeling better today.

Has he come home after he called off his fast?

He hasn’t been home since February 28. They say that Section 144 has been relaxed for areas other than Koodankulam. They say it shouldn’t be difficult to get there. I am trying to meet him over the weekend. Since I have school tomorrow, I will to try to meet him on Sunday. I haven’t met him in the last one month.

Breaking News – Peoples Peaceful Protest WINS in Koondakulum


Anti-nuclear activists, spearheaded by S P Udayakumar, today called off their 9-day- old fast launched by them after Tamil Nadu government gave the go-ahead for the controversial Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant. Udayakumar’s decision came hours after a delegation of his supporters met senior district administration officials who assured them that their charter of demands would be conveyed to the government for consideration. “The officials promised to look into the seven demands placed by PMANE (People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy).

We hope that the officials will talk to the government and meet our demands,” Udayakumar, who was on fast along with his associate Pushparayan and some others, told reporters here. Udayakumar broke the fast by accepting fruit juice offered to him by Madurai Bishop Peter Fernando. Besides Fernando, the 13-member delegation which included Rimond, Arivavalavan held talks with Collector Selvaraj, DIG Varadaraju and other officials and presented their seven demands for withdrawing their fast.

The Collector said he could withdraw prohibitory orders in all the areas except KNPP premises and had to convey their other demands to the government. The protestors demanded immediate withdrawal of cases filed against them, recognition of their struggle against nuclear energy and withdrawal of prohibitory orders in Radhapuram taluk. Other demands are release of all those arrested for organising protests, training for people in 32 villages in disaster management, an ‘open and frank’ nuclear liability bill and explanation to locals on how safely nuclear waste would be disposed. The anti-nuclear activists led by PMANE were on fast after Tamil Nadu government gave its go-ahead to the Indo-Russian nuclear project on March 19, clearing the decks for resumption of the work now in full swing. Udayakumar had yesterday said he was ready for talks with government provided cases against PMANE members were dropped.

The decision on actual details of where section 144 will be lifted, and release of prisoners, will only be confirmed by the DM tomorrow – presumably after consultations with high command!

 So until then the relay fasts will continue; kids will not go to school; boats will not put out to sea; and shops will not re-open, until the orders are final and the comrades return home from prisons where they are being held.

This is a victory for the people, for truth and nonviolence.

 there is a long battle ahead.

Urgent Appeal from Koondankulam- Take action- Anti Nuke activists will be arrested soon


Dear Friends,

The hunger-strike in Idinthakarai, Koodankulam today has entered its 9th day. There has been no attempts on the part of the government to end the stalemate and start a process of dialogue with the people on hunger-strike. Even the routine medical check-ups and services extended by the govt in such cases are absent here. Yesterday, one of the 7 women on hunger strike in Idinthakarai, Melret (aged 48) had to be taken to hospital as her blood pressure became too low.

S P Udayakumar has expressed his apprehension that once he and other main activists are taken to hospital, they might be arrested and isolated from the local people. The govt then would use this opportunity to force people into compliance. The local administration has already started meetings with local panchayat (elected village bodies) leaders to distribute the 500-crore package which the PMANE has termed as ‘bribe’ to silence and divide people’s opposition.

The immediate demands of the protesters are simple and the government must be forced to listen to them at the earliest. They are demanding removal of prohibitory orders, adherence to AERB norms which stipulates safety drill before commissioning of reactors and revocation of criminal charges piled up against the activists supporting the Koodankulam movement.

The larger civil society and citizens of India must step in to stop this callousness and contempt of democratic dissent.

4 persons from Idinthakarai village are meeting the District Collector of Tirunelveli today to demand  earliest intervention to end the hunger strike.

Please call/fax/email the  Collector office of District Collector of Tirunelveli Dr R. Selvaraj at the following coordinates:

Phone: 0462-2500828 (O)
0462-2577655, 2577983 (R)
Fax: 0462-2500244

E-Mail: collrtnv@nic.in

Pl sign online petition which is sent to Collector also

 

 

More pics here

URGENT-Call for Participation: A joint march from Nagarcoil to Koodankulam on March 26th


Dear All,

Situation in Koodankulam has precipitated to an unthinkable repression.  More than 6000 police personnel and paramilitary forces have been deployed around Idinthakarai village where about 20,000 people from surrounding villages have gathered to protest. While 16 people have started a fast unto death at Idinthakarai, the police have cut down all essential supplies including food, water and electricity. They are demanding surrender of leading activists like S P Udayakumar, Pushparayan and others. Section 144 has been imposed on the majority of coastal villages in Radhapuram block. Media entry has also been denied in Idinthakarai.

A major intervention from the democratic sections of Indian society is required at this juncture. We have planned a joint march from Nagarcoil to Koodankulam on March 26th (Monday). Different activists groups and organizations in Kerala are supporting this initiative and we hope to ensure participation of around 500 people here. Kerala groups have always participated in the Koodankulam struggle in large numbers. However, without participation of some eminent people, this march would just not create that impact that is required this time.

We are writing to you with a sense of desperation and hope. It is important that you make some extra effort and join us. We will start from Nagarcoil and peacefully begin hunger-strike/sit-in protest where we are stopped by the forces.

We sincerely hope you would be able to join us and support the Koodankulam movement at this crucial hour.

Looking forward to your positive response,

With best regards,

In Solidarity

N.Subrahmanyan,

K.Ramachandran

P.K.Sundaram

Sajeer.A.R

Fr.Augustin Vattoli

K.Sahadevan

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