Displaying items by tag: protests
Kazakhstan’s ongoing civil unrest shows the need for meaningful progress against corruption. Last week there were countrywide protests over inequality, poverty and corruption, also calling for meaningful reforms. The wealth the country’s political elite have amassed through corruption has been a particular concern throughout the protests. Kazakhstan has made some progress in fighting corruption in recent years - in a 2019 study people and small businesses saw things improving on the ground - but serious concerns remain, such as the flawed anti-corruption framework, lack of responsiveness in policy-making, and state control of the media. Pray for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and other independent voices who are urging the government to resolve the ongoing unrest peacefully. Unless the violence stops immediately, the way out of the crisis is uncertain for the already struggling Kazakh society.
Prime minister Abdalla Hamdok resigned after pro-democracy protests by thousands against his power-sharing deal with the army. Chanting ‘power to the people’, they called for a return to full civilian rule. The military responded with force, and Hamdok's resignation left them in full control, damaging Sudan's attempt for democratic rule. Mr Hamdok said that Sudan was at a ‘dangerous turning point threatening its survival’, and he had tried his best to stop the country from ‘sliding towards disaster’. He added, ‘Mediation attempts with civilian and military officials to achieve the necessary consensus to deliver to our people the promise of peace, justice and no bloodshed have failed.’ An economist by training, he is widely respected in the international community, having previously worked as an official with the UN. He helped negotiate removal of some of Sudan's debts, but this involved removing fuel subsidies, leading to higher prices of goods and then anti-government protests.
Education secretary Nadhim Zahawi said Oxford University should explain to Jewish students why it took a total of £12.3 million from the Mosley family, as anti-Semitism is not simply a historic debate. The Mosley charitable trust houses the fortune of Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists. The university is now facing a donor backlash. One benefactor vowed not to give St Peter’s College another penny, and four British Nobel laureates have urged the university to reconsider giving a professorship in the name of Mosley’s grandson, saying that doing so ‘dishonours’ their subject. On 9 November police were called to the London School of Economics, where activists carrying Palestinian flags demonstrated against Israel’s ambassador, who was addressing the university's debating society. They chanted that Israel is a ‘terrorist state’. Next week the debating society is hosting Husam Zomlot, head of the Palestinian mission to the UK.
There have been anti-Covid vaccine protests outside 420 schools up and down the UK. The Association of School and College Leaders said it is not a fringe concern even though most protests stem from just two groups on the messaging app Telegram. One organiser has allegedly visited every secondary school in Hartlepool, and another group is coordinating multiple daily school visits from Kent to Cheshire. Protesters left Gateshead students distressed after showing them pictures of what appeared to be dead children. They target teachers with sham legal documents, and hand children leaflets with QR codes leading to extremist and conspiracy content. Some protesters think it is wrong to vaccinate children, or say the whole pandemic is a hoax. Sir Keir Starmer said it was sickening that protesters were spreading ‘dangerous misinformation’ to children, and wants exclusion zones set up around school gates.
The Sudanese military have declared a state of emergency and dissolved civilian rule, an event which many had feared. They have been at odds with civilian leaders since Omar al-Bashir was overthrown two years ago. time. Recently there was a pro-military sit-in outside the presidential palace, then a week later counter-protests were held, supporting the civilian government. Now more protests have been called by pro-democracy groups to ‘counter the military coup’. Sudan could be set for yet another period of showdown between the armed forces and the people. The country has made huge strides in normalising ties with the West and unlocking much-needed funding. The promise of democracy has kept many allies hopeful. But that is at risk now. The World Bank and the US have stopped aid to Sudan, and the African Union has suspended Sudan from all its activities. See
On 17 October Sri Lankan fishermen launched a flotilla of boats from the northeastern fishing town of Mullaittivu to Sri Lanka’s northernmost tip, Point Pedro away. They are demanding that the government does more to protect the nation's prawn-rich northern waters from poaching by Indian fishing trawlers in the narrow Palk Strait which separates the South Asian neighbours. Bottom trawling was banned from Sri Lankan waters in 2017 because it involves dragging heavy nets across the seafloor to catch a large volume of fish, causing severe damage to the marine ecosystem. However, the authorities have failed to stop Indian poaching even though their fishing community has been complaining for years. Mass poaching takes valuable fish stocks away from Sri Lankan fishermen, so they struggle to make ends meet. Palk Strait is a rich fishing ground known for jumbo prawns. Sri Lanka regularly detains large numbers of Indian fishers and seizes their boats, but poaching continues.
Since the February 1st military takeover, at least 1,045 protesters have been killed by security forces, and over 6,000 are currently in detention. The UK’s foreign ministry said it would impose an asset freeze on conglomerate Htoo Group of Companies and its founder Tay Za, who is involved in arms deals on behalf of the military coup leaders. The military junta has shown no signs of halting its brutal attack on the people of Myanmar and the UK with its partners will continue to restrict the junta’s access to finance and confine the supply of arms used to kill innocents, including children. The US has sanctioned Myanmar’s Minister of Information Chit Naing, Minister for Investment Aung Naing Oo, Labour and Immigration minister Myint Kyaing, and Thet Thet Khine, the minister for social welfare, relief and resettlement, as well as three members of the powerful State Administrative Council and their families – who are linked to the military coup.
Activists have begun two weeks of London protests 'targeting the root cause of the climate crisis'. On 24 August protesters lined London streets with placards, waved banners and erected obstacles to disrupt and block roads around Westminster. They blocked off roads, glued themselves to a giant table, and formed a human chain around the area cordoned off by police. Dozens were carried to police vans by officers who used loudspeakers to warn the crowd to leave or risk arrest. At least 10,000 people congregated near the rallies; by 26 August 196 people had been arrested. The group's co-founder gave a speech expressing solidarity with nations disproportionately affected by climate change. Pray for all the police forces to respond appropriately and proportionately to protest activity in the next fortnight, and for a workable policing plan.
Two days after the Taliban captured Kabul, Iran's foreign ministry said its embassy continues its normal operations. Its consulate in Herat, close to the Iranian border, also remains fully operational. Iran's embassy is among a handful of foreign missions still open, including the embassies of Russia, China and Pakistan. All have signalled possible recognition of an emerging Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. In the midst of the withdrawal of American and foreign troops from Afghanistan, Tehran hosted Taliban and government delegations in an effort to be a key player in the political scene. Iranian officials and state-funded media face accusations of attempting to ‘canonise the Taliban’. The move is not welcomed by the Iranian public or pro-reform papers. Iran's social media is inundated with messages of solidarity with the ‘betrayed’ Afghan people. Individual Iranians are volunteering to adopt abandoned Afghan children.
General Min Aung Hlaing, who led Myanmar’s coup, declared himself prime minister and said military rule and a state of emergency will continue until 2023; then the country will hold elections. This contradicts his earlier claims that political freedoms would soon be restored. People protested in Mandalay and the police shot them with no warning. Since February, security forces have killed 1,000 people and arrested 5,000. Covid-19 is rampant. Cemeteries are full and the government is not helping by blocking oxygen shipments. On 8 August fresh protests broke out against military rule, to coincide with the anniversary of 1988 pro-democracy protests. Civilians, including healthcare workers, quit working to protest the military’s overthrow of an elected government. Christians have been giving out food and water to the needy - widows who cannot get out for any kind of food. They mention they’re doing this because they’re followers of Christ. Unfortunately, that is interpreted as insurrection.