protest

The Extinction Rebellion protest in London
Demonstrators glue their hands to the London stock exchange during the Extinction Rebellion protest in London, Britain April 25, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

April 25, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – Environmental activists plan protests outside banks including Goldman Sachs, the Bank of England, Rothschild and Nomura on the final day of protests aimed at forcing Britain to take action to avert what they cast as a global climate cataclysm.

The Extinction Rebellion group is also planning protests outside Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Canada and Rabobank, according to a document seen by Reuters.

(Reporting By Guy Faulconbridge. Editing by Andrew MacAskill)

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The Extinction Rebellion protest in London
A protester glues her hand to a train during the Extinction Rebellion protest in London, Britain April 25, 2019. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

April 25, 2019

By Dylan Martinez and Emily G Roe

LONDON (Reuters) – Environmental activists glued themselves to the London Stock Exchange and climbed onto the roof of a train at Canary Wharf on the final day of protests aimed at forcing Britain to take action to avert what they cast as a global climate cataclysm.

The Extinction Rebellion group has caused mass disruption in recent weeks across London, blocking Marble Arch, Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge, smashing a door at the Shell building and shocking lawmakers with a semi-nude protest in parliament.

At London Stock Exchange’s headquarters on Thursday, six protesters dressed in black suits and red ties were blocking the revolving doors of the building.

At the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) station in Canary Wharf, five protesters from the group climbed aboard a train and unfurled a banner which read: “Business as usual = Death”. One glued herself to a train.

“Extinction Rebellion to focus on the financial industry today,” the group said in a statement. The “aim is to demand the finance industry tells the truth about the climate industry and the devastating impact the industry has on our planet.”

Police said 1088 arrests have been made since the main protests began last Monday.

The group advocates non-violent civil disobedience to force governments to reduce carbon emissions and avert what it says is a global climate crisis that will bring starvation, floods, wildfires and social collapse.

The group is demanding the government declare a climate and ecological emergency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 and create a citizen’s assembly of members of the public to lead on decisions to address climate change.

(Writing by Andrew MacAskill; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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Occupy Central pro-democracy movement founder Chu Yiu-ming cries as he speaks to the media after getting his suspended sentence on his involvement in the Occupy Central, also known as
Occupy Central pro-democracy movement founder Chu Yiu-ming cries as he speaks to the media after getting his suspended sentence on his involvement in the Occupy Central, also known as “Umbrella Movement”, in Hong Kong, China April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

April 24, 2019

By James Pomfret and Jessie Pang

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A Hong Kong court jailed four leaders of 2014 pro-democracy protests on Wednesday amid heightened concerns over the decline of freedoms in the China-ruled city nearly five years after activists took to the streets in mass protests.

The sentencing of the nine activists followed a near month-long trial that was closely watched as China’s Communist Party leaders have put Hong Kong’s autonomy under increasing strain, stoking concern among foreign governments, rights groups and business people.

Law professor Benny Tai, 54, and retired sociologist Chan Kin-man, 60, were both jailed for 16 months for conspiracy to commit public nuisance tied to the protests that paralyzed parts of the Asian financial center for 79 days in late 2014 and became known as the Umbrella Movement.

Their sentence had been reduced by two months given their clean criminal record and positive character, Justice Johnny Chan said.

Pro-democracy lawmaker Shiu Ka-chun and activist Raphael Wong were both jailed for eight months for inciting public nuisance.

“We maintain our determination to achieve universal suffrage … this won’t change,” Wong shouted out in court as he was taken away.

Since the city returned to Chinese rule in 1997, critics say Beijing has reneged on a commitment to maintain Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and freedoms under a “one country, two systems” arrangement.

The protesters had demanded that China’s Communist Party leaders allow genuine universal suffrage in Hong Kong to select its leader. Police cleared the demonstrators in December 2014, and authorities granted no democratic concessions.

Chan, in passing sentence, acknowledged the right to civil disobedience and the right to assembly and free speech, but said the protracted road blockages had caused suffering to the public and that some restrictions on freedoms were necessary in a democratic society.

Retired pastor Chu Yiu-ming, 75, received a suspended sentence, as did veteran democrat Lee Wing-tat and former student leader Eason Chung, with the judge taking into account their ages, public service and clean records.

Another former student leader, Tommy Cheung, was ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service.

Tanya Chan, a lawmaker, had her sentencing postponed until June 10 on medical grounds.

Several hundred supporters, many wearing yellow bands and holding yellow umbrellas, a symbol of the protests, gathered outside the West Kowloon Law Courts. Some sobbed after the sentences were announced while others chanted demands for genuine democracy.

The trial of the activists was considered the most significant legal maneuver by authorities to punish those involved in the 2014 protests, called Occupy Central, in reference to the city’s central business district.

The demonstrations were Hong Kong’s biggest and most protracted in recent decades and one of the boldest challenges to China’s leaders since pro-democracy protests in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Organisers estimated that more than one million people took part in the protests over nearly three months.

EXTRADITION LAWS

Authorities have clamped down on opposition forces, disqualified democratic legislators, jailed activists and banned a pro-independence political party.

Before the sentencing, rival political groups outside the court had taunted each other, with pro-democracy activists calling for Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to step down, while Beijing loyalists chanted: “Go away. Go occupy London.”

The activist leaders earlier urged supporters to take to the streets this Sunday to protest against proposed extradition laws that would allow people to be sent from Hong Kong to mainland China for trial.

Critics fear the laws, which are expected to be passed this year, could further erode legal protections.

All nine had argued the protests were intended as peaceful, non-violent civil disobedience, only to benefit society and make positive democratic progress.

But Justice Chan said their “martyrdom … was a concocted one”, noting that the price the defendants were prepared to pay had also to be borne by an inconvenienced public.

A court found the nine guilty of public nuisance charges on April 9.

Amid growing international concern about the erosion of Hong Kong’s freedoms, the U.S. government said it was concerned by the sentence, which might stifle fundamental rights.

“It is important for Hong Kong to respect its residents’ rights of freedom of speech and peaceful assembly. Societies are best served when diverse political views are respected and can be freely expressed,” a spokesman for the U.S. consulate in the city said.

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said in a statement that it “deeply regretted” the court’s decision, which it said showed the failure of “one country, two systems” to protect political rights.

(Additional reporting from Greg Torode in Hong Kong and Yimou Lee in Taipei; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore, Robert Birsel)

Source: OANN

Pro-democracy activists arrive at the court for sentencing on their involvement in the Occupy Central, in Hong Kong
(L-R) Pro-democracy activists Chan Kin-man, Benny Tai and Chu Yiu-ming arrive at the court for sentencing on their involvement in the Occupy Central, also known as “Umbrella Movement”, in Hong Kong, China April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

April 24, 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A Hong Kong court on Wednesday jailed key leaders of the 2014 pro-democracy “Occupy” movement in a move that highlights political divisions nearly five years after protests rocked the China-ruled city.

The sentences came after nine leaders of the Occupy movement were found guilty of public nuisance during the protest in a trial that critics said underscored the decline of political freedoms in the former British colony.

Law professor Benny Tai, 54, and retired sociologist Chan Kin-man, 60, were each jailed for 16 months for conspiracy to commit public nuisance. Retired pastor Chu Yiu-ming, 75, received a suspended sentence.

The trio were found guilty of conspiracy to commit public nuisance over their leading role in planning and mobilizing supporters during the 79-day protest. They had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

(Reporting By James Pomfret and Jessie Pang; Writing by Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Michael Perry)

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Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, viewed the less-redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Monday, saying there is no reason for Democrats not to do the same, the Washington Examiner reported.

Select Democrats allowed to see the less-redacted report have refused to do so in protest of how Attorney General William Barr has handled its release.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler issued a subpoena last week for the full report and its underlying documents, giving the Justice Department until May 1 to turn over the information.

“With the special counsel’s investigation complete, I encourage Chairman Nadler and Democrat leaders to view this material as soon as possible – unless they’re afraid to acknowledge the facts this report outlines,” Collins said, adding that “The report’s 182-page look at obstruction questions includes only four redactions in total, and both volumes reinforce the principal conclusions made public last month.”

Collins also criticized Nadler for making “wildly inaccurate claims” about the report by saying Mueller “made it very clear” he wants Congress to reach a determination on whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice, according to The Washington Times.

Collins said that isn’t true, emphasizing that a “plain reading of the report does not at all indicate – let alone make ‘very clear,’ as you claim – the Special Counsel intended for Congress to decide whether President Trump obstructed justice. In fact, it is the exact opposite.”

The Democrats who declined the Justice Department’s invitation wrote last week in a letter to Barr that “Unfortunately, your proposed accommodation — which among other things would prohibit discussion of the full report, even with other committee members — is not acceptable.”

Source: NewsMax Politics

Extinction Rebellion protest in London
FILE PHOTO: Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg speaks during the Extinction Rebellion protest at Marble Arch in London, Britain April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

April 22, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – The number of environmental campaigners arrested during eight days of direct action in London topped 1,000 on Monday, police said, adding that Waterloo Bridge, one of the sites blockaded by the protests, had re-opened to traffic.

Climate group Extinction Rebellion has targeted sites in central London, such as Oxford Circus and Parliament Square, in a campaign of non-violent civil disobedience with the aim of stopping what it calls a global climate crisis.

Police said 1,065 people had been arrested in connection with the protests, and they had charged 53 with offences including obstructing the highway.

Oxford Circus and Parliament Square were re-opened to traffic on Sunday, they said, while Waterloo Bridge was cleared overnight.

Police had appealed to activists to move to Marble Arch, where they are allowing protests to continue.

Swedish teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg addressed crowds at Marble Arch on Sunday, urging them to never give up their campaign to save the planet.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle, editing by Louise Heavens)

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Sudanese demonstrators chant slogans as they attend a mass anti-government protest outside Defence Ministry in Khartoum
Sudanese demonstrators chant slogans as they attend a mass anti-government protest outside Defence Ministry in Khartoum, Sudan April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

April 22, 2019

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan’s ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) warned on Monday against protesters blocking roads and limiting the movement of citizens as protests continued after president Omar al-Bashir was forced from power.

The TMC also said it was unacceptable that some young people were exercising the role of the police and security services, in violation of the law, a reference to youths who have been searching protesters taking part in a sit-in outside the Defense Ministry.

The TMC and the opposition have traded threats since Sunday, with the Sudanese Professionals’ Association (SPA), the main organizer of the protests, saying it would suspend talks with the Council.

“We have decided to opt for escalation with the military council, not to recognize its legitimacy and to continue the sit-in and escalate the protests on the streets,” Mohamed al-Amin Abdel-Aziz of the SPA told crowds outside the Defense Ministry on Sunday.

The protesters have kept up the sit-in outside the Ministry since Bashir was removed by the military on April 11 and have demonstrated in large numbers in recent days, pressing for a rapid handover to civilian rule.

TMC head Abdel Fattah al-Burhan told state TV on Sunday that the formation of a joint military-civilian council, one of the activists’ demands, was being considered. “The issue has been put forward for discussion and a vision has yet to be reached,” he said.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates said on Sunday they had agreed to send Sudan $3 billion worth of aid, throwing a lifeline to the country’s new military leaders.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Yousef Saba; Editing by Gareth Jones and David Holmes)

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People protest against the construction of a hydropower plant near Birkiani
Participants attack police officers during a rally held by residents of the Pankisi gorge, who protest against the planned construction of a hydropower plant, near the village of Birkiani, Georgia April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Ekaterina Anchevskaya

April 21, 2019

TBILISI (Reuters) – Georgian police used tear gas and rubber bullets on Sunday to break up a protest by residents of a mountainous region against the construction of a hydropower plant, the independent Rustavi-2 TV station reported.

Around 300 residents of the Pankisi gorge gathered near the village of Birkiani to protest against the planned plant, saying it could damage the environment and force them to leave their homes. Some threw stones at the police, Rustavi-2 reported.

The TV station showed several residents with minor injuries from rubber bullets and said some police officers were also hurt.

Interior ministry officials and a spokeswoman were not immediately available to comment.

(Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Mark Potter)

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Extinction Rebellion protest in London
Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg speaks during the Extinction Rebellion protest at Marble Arch in London, Britain April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

April 21, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – Swedish teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg on Sunday urged hundreds of climate-change protesters in London to never give up their campaign to save the planet as police arrests over disruptions to the city’s landmarks rose above 830.

Climate group Extinction Rebellion has targeted sites such as Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge in a campaign of non-violent civil disobedience with the aim of stopping what it calls a global climate crisis.

Police said the number of arrests in connection with the protests rose to 831 on Sunday, and 40 people had been charged with offences such as obstructing a highway and obstructing the police.

Thunberg, a 16-year-old student, spoke to hundreds of activists at Marble Arch, one of a number of London landmarks that have been brought to a standstill over seven days of direct action. Police were allowing the protest to continue at the site.

“We are the ones making a difference – we the people in Extinction Rebellion and the children’s School Strike for the Climate – we are the ones making a difference,” she told cheering crowds.

“And we will never stop fighting, we will never stop fighting for this planet, for ourselves, our futures and for the futures of our children and grandchildren.”

Thunberg inspired a movement of children against global warming when she took a stand in front of Stockholm’s Parliament House last August with her “school strike for climate” sign.

Thousands of students around the world have since copied her, and the schoolgirl took her campaign to European leaders in Strasbourg on Tuesday and to the Vatican, where she met Pope Francis, on Wednesday. [nL5N21Y566] [nL5N21Z31L]

London police said they had moved protesters from roads around Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus and Parliament Square, and they were working to re-open Waterloo Bridge.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said on Saturday that the protests had caused “miserable disruption”. She said there were now 1,500 police officers, up from 1,000 previously, working to clear the roads. [nL5N2220GH]

(Reporting by Hannah McKay, Writing by Paul Sandle; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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A Sudanese protester waves a national flag as he arrives a mass protest in front of the Defence Ministry in Khartoum
A Sudanese protester waves a national flag as he arrives a mass protest in front of the Defence Ministry in Khartoum, Sudan, April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

April 21, 2019

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudanese protest leaders on Sunday vowed to escalate demonstrations to confront the country’s military rulers, as part of a widening campaign to push for the transfer of power to civilians.

Addressing a rally outside the Defence Ministry in central Khartoum, a protest leader said that demonstrators no longer recognized the Transitional Military Council that assumed power after the ousting of President Omar al-Bashir last week.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz in Khartoum and Ahmed Tolba in Cairo, writing by Sami Aboudi, Editing by William Maclean)

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