Michigan: Rowdy protests inside capitol building end in 11 arrests

Lansing— Eleven protesters were handcuffed and arrested inside the state Capitol on Wednesday, capping a day of noisy demonstrations against Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget and bills in the Legislature opponents say are anti-union.

Five linked arms and were seated on the glass floor of the rotunda challenging State Police to arrest them, which they did. There were more demonstrators outside the building, pounding on the doors hoping to get inside.

All 11 arrested will be charged with misdemeanor trespassing, according to State Police Capt. Gary Nix. One person additionally faces felony charges for allegedly breaking into the Capitol through a bathroom window and allegedly assaulting a police officer.
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Venezuela: Unionist released

From Libcom.org:

Just days after being sentenced to seven and a half years’ imprisonment for supporting a strike, RubĂ©n GonzĂĄlez, General Secretary of the FerrominerĂ­a miners’ union, has seenting his custodial sentence annulled and his freedom partially restored.

Below is a translated version of the El Libertario statement on GonzĂĄlez’ release:


Today, on Thursday 3 March, at 12 noon, judges for RubĂ©n GonzĂĄlez’ case approved an order which allowed the unionist [sic] to step out onto the street. Evidently, his release is the result of generalised denunciation and growing protest over his seven year-, six month- and 22 day-long jail sentence. RubĂ©n has now left prison and has reunited with friends and family in FerrominerĂ­a del Orinoco in order to celebrate after their huge efforts [to attain his release].We must be clear that GonzĂĄlez has not yet received an amnesty, nor has he been completely freed from his prison sentence, which has only been suspended on the condition that he complies with the order’s conditions, one of which being that he reports in person to the judicial authorities every 15 days. As such,El Libertario continues to demand that he is exonerated, since it is not a crime to protest, but a right, and RubĂ©n is not guilty of anything for supporting workers’ demands.

We are pleased to be able to celebrate this crucial victory for social protest, both for workers who are willing to defend their rights, and for those individuals for whom safeguarding all that we have achieved after so much sacrifice is worth the effort.

Total freedom for Rubén Gonzålez!
We have the right to demand rights!
Against the criminalisation of protest!

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Egypt: The revolution is far from over…

CAIRO – While Egypt’s new cabinet ministers are promising to meet the demands of the revolution and save the country from disorder and economic collapse, the opposition wants the new cabinet dismissed immediately.

Meanwhile, thousands of workers throughout Egypt continue their strike for higher wages and the ouster of corrupt management.

Fears are also rising that there will be a backlash from supporters of ex-President Hosni Mubarak’s regime, and of the use of provocateurs to stop the democratic momentum.
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Bangladesh: Cloth dyed in blood

From Libcom.org:

Recent worker deaths in the Bangladeshi garment industry from police repression and from a factory fire.

After lengthy negotiations since 2006 a minimum wage pay scale for garment workers was finally implemented from November 2010(1). But on receiving their wage packets workers in many factories found less pay than expected. Some factories simply ignored the new minimum wage, elsewhere previously agreed arrears payments were missing. Often no account was taken of seniority – workers of many years experience were downgraded to the same level as newcomers. Some employers downgraded their whole workforce in the pay scale, so minimising their wage rises.

As workers realised the shortfall on Saturday, strikes and demonstrations began; in Dhaka, the capital, thousands of workers at Ashulia in Savar, Rupganj in Narayanganj and in Gazipur vandalised factories, blocked roads and fought cops. At Gazipur a dozen workers were injured in an attack by managers after demanding payment according to the new structure, while in Narayanganj ten managers were attacked by workers.

In Chittagong, the south-eastern port city, over 100 garment workers of Young One Group in the city’s Economic Processing Zone (EPZ) walked out to protest the new pay structure; bosses initially tried to confine the workers to the factory by locking the gates, but strikers forced their way into the streets. Marching through the EPZ, workers brought out other factories in solidarity. As the crowd swelled to 2,000, they ransacked several of the company’s units, beat up several company officials and locked them in the factory. The Executive Director and other management personnel were later hospitalised.

(Young One built the ‘world’s largest shoe manufacturing plant’ near Chittagong; the $100 million plant employs 30,000 people and produces 100,000 pairs of shoes a day.)

The unrest continued on Sunday; in and around Dhaka 3,000 workers fought cops and blocked roads – while the Chittagong EPZ was forced to close as 4,000 workers battled police. As clashes intensified police fired 600 rounds of rubber bullets, 150 teargas canisters and made numerous baton charges. Workers replied with missiles and sticks; roads were blocked with burning and vandalised vehicles while 11 factories and 20 other commercial buildings were ransacked.

This was the first major test of the Industrial Police unit recently formed to curb workers unrest – and they sought to show a firm hand. Cops eventually began using live rounds and shot dead four people. Eight others received bullet wounds. Across the country around 200 were injured, including 50 cops.

November 11th: Remembering the Haymarket Martyrs

Haymarket MartyrsFrom IWW.org:

by X341968

In the city of Chicago on the evening of May 4th 1886, a protest meeting was held in the Haymarket Square. The meeting was organized by the anarchist community to protest the murder and wounding of several workers by the Chicago police the day before. The murdered men had been protesting outside the Mc Cormick Reaper Factory, from which they had been locked out by the owners. As some scabs were leaving the factory a confrontation occurred involving fighting and rock throwing. The police attacked the locked out workers first with clubs and then with revolvers. August Spies a militant anarchist labor agitator witnessed the shootings, became infuriated and wrote up a circular calling for “Workingmen to Arms.” A compositor unknown to Spies added the word, “Revenge!” so the circular read, “Revenge! Workingmen to Arms!!!” The evening of May 3rd at Greif’s saloon on West Lake Street, at a gathering of German anarchists, it was decided to hold the protest in the Haymarket Square the following evening at 7:30 pm.

The meeting was not well attended, the sponsors had hoped for a crowd of 20,000 and only 4,000 at best had showed up. The meeting got started late and was attended by none other than Chicago’s mayor Harrison. After listening to most of the speakers the mayor informed his police captain Bonefield he could dismiss most of his forces. Bonefield insisted on keeping his main force of men assembled at the police station only a block away for fear the meeting was only a diversion for some other violent activity. By ten o’clock a storm was blowing in and the crowd was down to only a few hundred listeners as Samuel Fielden was finishing up his speech. Having been informed by one of the many undercover officers in the crowd that Fielden had urged the crowd to “throttle the law,” captain Bonefield marched his police force into the crowd and demanded they disperse. Fielden pleaded “but we are peaceful” and anyway he was just finishing up, he started to climb down from the wagon that was being used as a stage for the speakers. Just then someone (nobody knows to this day who) threw a bomb into the ranks of the police. What ensued was a police riot in which many civilians and several police were shot dead and wounded.

As a result of the bombing eight anarchists, Albert Parsons, August Spies, Samuel Fielden, Michael Schwab, Oscar Neebe, George Engel, Adolph Fischer and Louis Lingg, were arrested, tried and convicted of murder…

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