Entries in Protest (18)


Protests in Belfast Ahead of Obama's Trip to G8 Summit

TOBY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images(BELFAST, Ireland) -- Belfast's City Hall was the site of a march on Saturday, ahead of next week's G-8 summit.

According to BBC News, the rally was organized by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. The march took the group from the city's Custom House square to City Hall.

The protesters believe that capitalism and the policies of the G-8 leaders have led to global poverty, BBC News says.

A second protest, consisting of loyalists against a restriction on flying the union flag at City Hall took place at the same time.

The G-8 leaders, including President Obama, will meet in Belfast on Monday and Tuesday.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Cleric Gets Concessions from Pakistani Government as Protest Ends

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ISLAMABAD) -- A moderate Muslim cleric has called off a mass demonstration in Pakistan's capital of Islamabad after apparently getting concessions he demanded from the government.

The four-day sit-down involving thousands of Tahir ul Qadri's supporters ended on Thursday when the government agreed to dissolve the National Assembly and call for new elections.

The decision made by a delegation from Pakistan's governing coalition came after hours of tense negotiations.

Following the agreement, Qadri told his cheering supporters, "You are victorious, and your sacrifices were worth it in the end."

None of those who took part in the "Islamabad Long March Declaration" will be prosecuted, the cleric added.

Qadri returned to Pakistan last month from his self-imposed exile to lead a movement against widespread corruption in his native land.

As it happened, the country's Supreme Court called for the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and others on alleged corruption charges.

While a hero to many, some maintain that Qadri is in the pocket of Pakistan's still powerful military, an accusation he has denied.  Years ago, he served as a lawmaker when President Pervez Musharraf, the head of the military, was still in power.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Thousands Protest in Moscow Against Ban on Adoptions to US

Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Thousands of Russians took to the streets on Sunday to protest Russia’s new ban on adoptions to the United States.

In what organizers called the “March Against Scoundrels” they paraded down a tree-lined boulevard in central Moscow chanting “Hands off our children” and “Russia will be free.” They also carried signs with the faces of Russian politicians who approved the ban and the word “Shame” written on them.

“I am not an apologist for the U.S. I am a patriot of this country. But this monstrous law must be canceled,” leftist protest leader Sergei Udaltsov told the crowd before the march began, according to the Interfax news agency.

As usual, organizers and police disagreed on the size of the crowd. Organizers estimated between 20,000 and 50,000 people turned out. Police put the figure much lower at about 7,000, but overhead photos of the protest appear to show a crowd larger than that.

Significantly smaller protests, some consisting of just a few dozen people, took place in other cities around the country, according to Interfax. A nationwide poll taken in December by the Public Opinion Foundation found 56 percent support for the ban.

But participants in Sunday’s protests accused the ban’s proponents of playing politics with the lives of children.

The adoption ban was a late amendment to a bill retaliating for a set of human rights sanctions that President Obama signed into law in December. It cut off adoptions to the United States, one of the most popular destinations for international adoptions from Russia, starting Jan. 1.

More than 60,000 Russian orphans have been adopted by Americans since the end of the Soviet Union, according to the State Department. Many of them are sick or suffer from disabilities.

But Russian officials have pointed to the cases of 19 children who died after being adopted by Americans. They also noted cases in which American parents accused of abusing their adopted children received, in their view, lenient sentences.

Since the law went into effect, Russian officials have struggled to explain whether the ban would cancel 52 adoption cases that had already received court approval and were within weeks of completion. Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said Thursday that at least some of those adoptions which had cleared the courts would be allowed to proceed, but did to say how many.

The ban was controversial even before it became law. Even though it received nearly unanimous approval from Russia’s rubber stamp parliament, prominent cabinet officials, including Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, came out against the ban. Even President Vladimir Putin himself evaded questions about it when asked during an end of year press conference.

Since the ban was approved, top Russian officials have pledged to devote more resources to reforming the country’s dilapidated orphanages and to encourage more Russians to adopt.

Sunday’s protest was organized by some of the same opposition leaders who organized last year’s anti-Putin rallies. The last such protest, held without city approval and under heavy police presence, drew relatively few people in December, suggesting the protest movement had fizzled. Protest leader and anti-corruption blogger Alexy Navalny, however, told Interfax Sunday that he hopes the adoption ban could rally more Russians to continue protesting.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Russian Opposition to Protest Ban on US Adoptions

Creatas/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) -- Not everyone in Russia agrees with the country's new ban on adoptions to the United States.

Russia's opposition is siding with the American families affected by the ban, and is planning to protest the law in Moscow. Municipal officials have approved a demonstration in the city center for up to 20,000 people on Sunday.

Late last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the ban into law -- part of Russia's retaliation for a set of human rights sanctions signed by President Obama in December.

Americans have adopted 60,000 Russian orphans over the past 20 years. Russian officials, however, point to the cases of 19 children who died after being adopted.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio 


New Delhi Rape Victim Dies

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW DELHI) -- The female student, who was gang-raped last week in a bus in Delhi, died on Saturday morning, according to the BBC.

The 23-year-old was previously treated in a Delhi hospital before being transferred to a hospital in Singapore, where she passed away, reports the BBC.

Her rape has sparked protests in Delhi for better security for women in the city.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Australians Drop Their Pants to Protest Lack of Toilets

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ADELAIDE, Australia) -- Australian beachgoers fed up with a lack of public toilet facilities on their local beaches came up with a very literal way to show their displeasure: by bringing their own toilets to the beach.

On Sunday morning, the dozen protesters, each dressed in top hats and suits, carried their toilets down to the shore at Henley Beach in Adelaide, dropped their pants and sat down for a spell, reading newspapers and shivering in the cold of Australia’s winter as onlookers stared.

The protest was not just a protest but a work of art.  The organizer, local artist Andrew Baines, took photographs of the protesters and plans to paint the scene for an exhibition that will debut in January 2013.

“I think that’s the goal of an artist, is to take these issues to the world community and let people talk about it,” Baines told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

The protesters, who included everyone from a local radio personality to a former immigration minister, dropped their pants to demand that the local council add beachside toilet facilities so that beachgoers don’t have to venture out to use the toilets at nearby local cafes.

The local council says it is working with the community to find the best space for a facility, while café owners say they have been waiting on the council to act for the last 13 years, according to ABC.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Israeli Man Sets Himself on Fire in Tel Aviv Protest

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- An Israeli protester is in serious condition after he poured gasoline on himself and lit himself on fire during a social demonstration on Saturday in Tel Aviv.

The 52-year-old left a letter at the scene that states, “The state of Israel stole from me and robbed me. It left me helpless.”

“Two Housing and Construction Ministry committees rejected me, even though I had a stroke.”

In the letter, he blames “the state of Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, for the humiliation that the weakened citizens go through every day, taking from the poor and giving to the rich.

“I can’t afford medication or rent. I paid millions in tax, I served in the army and in the reserves until I was 46. I won’t be homeless and that is why I am protesting against all the wrongs the state imposes on people like me,” he wrote.

Thousands demonstrated in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa and several other Israeli cities on Saturday to mark the one-year anniversary of the social protests.

Ofer Barkan, an activist from Haifa, told Haaretz that the man was an activist in last year’s protests and he had threatened to set himself on fire several times.

“We met him last summer. He was a completely normative person who lived in Tel Aviv, but then his business went under,” Barkan said. “He became a cab driver and suffered a stroke which left him unemployed. He moved from Tel Aviv to Haifa because he could not afford life in the city.”

According to Haaretz, protesters will hold a rally for the man on Sunday in Haifa.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


South African Women Hold Mini-Skirt March to Protest Harassment 

GETTY(JOHANNESBURG, South Africa) -- Hundreds of women, led by the ruling party's Women's League, marched in Johannesburg to protest the harassment of two women who wore mini-skirts at a taxi rank in December.

Johannesburg streets were paralyzed as women, some wearing mini-skirts, held placards and danced in the streets to support women's rights to choose their clothing. The march was in protest of the groping and harassment of two women by men at the Noord Street  taxi rank in December.

Women's Minister Lulu Xingwana threatened to close the taxi rank if similar incidents occurred, reports BBC News.

One protestor told BBC: "Each time when you go to the taxi rank to get into the taxi, you are always abused and harassed, so we feel it is not fair,” she said. "This is a free country, we have a right to wear whatever we want, nobody must stop us."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Occupy Wall Street Movement Goes Worldwide

Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Occupy Wall Street movement that has been spreading across America went worldwide Saturday morning.

Protests were planned in solidarity from Europe to Australia in what is being called an "International Day of Action" this weekend.

In Tokyo, protesters fought inequality and about 300 Australians chanted the cry that started on Wall Street, "We are the 99%!"

While the worldwide protests get underway, protesters at the movement's home base in Lower Manhattan said they're not done spreading the message of the so-called "99 percent."

There are two major events planned for Saturday—a march to Times Square and a rally at JP Morgan Chase Bank, where protesters say they'll be pulling the money from their accounts and closing them all together.

Elsewhere in the country, protesters like Larry Coleman in Flint, Mich., say they're in solidarity with similar protests against corporate greed and economic injustice.

"There's a lot of things wrong in our county that need to be corrected and the only way to get them corrected is to start with a grassroots movement," Coleman said.

On Friday, protesters camping out at New York City's Zuccotti Park were able to stay put a few more days after the company that owns the park postponed a planned clean-up.

When the real estate company Brookfield Properties, along with the backing of police, told protesters the rules against camping, the protesters saw it as an eviction order.

Protesters vowed to stay in the park and would try to stop cleaning crews from coming in.

Brookfield Properties said in a statement that they postponed the cleaning "at the request of a number of local political leaders."

The company said it hoped "to reach a resolution regarding the manner in which Zuccotti Park is being used by the protesters.”

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on WOR radio Friday that if no agreement is reached, the company will likely attempt the same cleaning next week.

He warned that "it would be a little harder at that point in time to provide police protection."

At least 14 people were arrested Friday for blocking access to the park, authorities said.

It was one of several incidents between protesters and police around the country.

In Denver, police in riot gear moved Wall Street protesters away from the Colorado state Capitol grounds.

In San Diego, scuffles erupted between protesters and police over a tent encampment.

Pepper spray was used to disburse a human chain that was formed around the tents, San Diego ABC News affiliate KGTV reports.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Saudi Women Get Behind the Wheel in Protest of Driving Ban

FAYEZ NURELDINE / Getty Images(DUBAI, United Arab Emirates) -- Women in Saudi Arabia openly took a seat behind the wheel Friday in defiance of an official ban on female drivers. Participants say they want to claim the same rights as their male counterparts.

Activists have received inspiration through the "Women2Drive campaign," which was organized through Facebook and publicized on Twitter. Participants have been using the social networks to communicate with one another and to post pictures of themselves behind the wheel.

One Saudi woman, Maha Qahtani, drove in Riyadh Friday with her husband in the passenger seat. "Why no for us and yes for men," asked Qahtani. "It's my right, it's my right and I have to have it." Quhtani said police did not stop her while she drove. Authorities have, however, taken other female drivers into custody.

Such was the case with Manal Al Sharif, who posted a YouTube video of herself driving and was subsequently arrested and detained for more than a week.

The movement has sparked debate among Saudi rulers between reform and conservative values. Meanwhile, participants pledge to continue driving their cause forward until the male-only driving rule is reversed.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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