Battles break in Athens following protest and celebration

Published on 17 Nov 2013
Riots broke out in Athens’ Exharchia square Sunday evening, following a commemoration of the 1973 Polytechnic School uprising. The youthful crowd burnt rubbish dumpsters as makeshift barricades, whilst others broke paving stones to throw at the surrounding police.

The clashes sparked amidst a tense environment following a day of protest and arrests of demonstrators. The disturbances were, however, not related to the day of commemoration in any direct sense, with the vast majority out in the streets avoiding being embroiled.

More than 6,000 police were deployed on the streets of the Greek capital as tens of thousands gathered, celebrating the day when Greece’s military government fell in 1974.

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Students protests in Sofia

Published on 13 Nov 2013
Bulgarian police say they have made around 50 arrests in the wake of anti-government protests outside parliament in Sofia.

The demonstrations continued on Wednesday, the day after clashes between police and students trying to blockade the building.

Four people were hurt and more than 20 detained in Tuesday’s confrontation.

Protesters want to oust the Socialist-backed technocrat government, claiming it has corrupt ties with business.

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Madrid street cleaners’ in strike second week

Published on 11 Nov 2013
Madrid street cleaners and gardeners protested on Monday against plans by City Hall to lay off over a thousand workers. Demonstrators chanted “they save bankers and sack workers” and “a job is not for sale, it should be defended.” Signs refering to the Madrid’s mayor read “Botella Out.”

Some 6,600 outdoor maintenance workers joined the walk-out last Tuesday (November 5), after three private companies, contracted by Madrid’s city hall, proposed cutting salaries by up to 40 percent and laying off 1,144 people.

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People in Albania against Chemical Weapons

Published on 14 Nov 2013
The Assembly commenced its parliamentary activities in tensions due to the intense debates over protests that started in the country in opposition to the proposal for the disposal of Syrian chemical weapons in Albania. While the plenary hall was surrounded by different citizens protesting, the opposition in Parliament handed the initiative to realize a popular referendum warning of an even more decisive positioning on the issue.

The Albanian government is expected to formally reject the international proposal for disposal of Syrian chemical weapons in Albania. After returning from his visit to Montenegro, Prime Minister Rama is expected to gather members of the cabinet where the final decision shall be reached.

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Standing man silent protest in Turkey

Published on 13 Nov 2013
A silent, standing protest by performance artist Erdem Gunduz has been taken up by hundreds of anti-government demonstrators and spread to several Turkish cities.Mr Gunduz appeared in Istanbul’s Taksim Square at around 18:00 (15:00 GMT) on Monday and remained there until 02:00 when police moved in.

His protest quickly captured the imagination of the protest movement. The hash tag ‘duranadam’ (‘standing man’) dominated Turkish-language Twitter on Tuesday morning. Hundreds of people in Istanbul and Ankara took up the protest on Tuesday.

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Thousands protest Thaksin Shinawatra amnesty bill

Thousands of people took streets of Bangkok on Wednesday to protest over a controversial amnesty bill which was passed in the lower house of parliament. Under its provision, the blanket amnesty would absolve all parties involved in the political unrest of the last few years and pave a way for the return of deposed ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra who was ousted in a military coup in 2006.

Critics of the bill have taken to the streets since last week to protest what they see as a way for Thaksin to escape his corruption conviction and return from his exile. Since last week the upper house has rejected the bill, sending it back to parliament. Yet protests have continued as the opposition Democrat party has taken advantage of the unrest to call for the resignation of the government which they see as a proxy for Shinawatra.

Wednesday marked the first of a three day period where opposition leaders have called for a programme of civil disobedience where people are asked to skip work and school and come to the gatherings. Since the rejection of the bill by the upper house the numbers at the protests have dropped.

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