Bosnia & Herzegovina: All power to the plenums?
February 23, 2014

It’s been two weeks since the start of the Bosnian rebellion. A recent poll has shown that 88% of the people in the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina support the protests. These protests are still going on, but they are peaceful now and hence the media attention is no longer as great, even though the protests remain a much discussed topic in the region. However, perhaps the main locus of the protest movement has now switched to the direct democratic plenums (general assemblies) emerging all around Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The plenums

General assemblies in their various forms are a very old means of direct democratic organization of the oppressed during times of protests, rebellions, strikes and revolutions (like the 1905 and 1917 revolutions in Russia, 1936 in Catalonia or 1956 in Hungary). The earliest versions of some kind of general assemblies were already present in ancient Athens, while many ‘theorists of utopia’ imagine some kind of general assemblies in their blueprints of potential democratic societies in the future.

The sudden emergence of the plenums in large parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina has taken everybody by complete surprise. One could even say that the plenums themselves are the greatest positive development in the protests in Bosnia and Herzegovina so far. The first plenum appeared in Tuzla, the center and starting point of the protests, where the protesters were most articulated and most organized from the start. After that, plenums started to appear in other cities as well, taking Tuzla as their example.

The following cities now have their own plenums: Sarajevo (the capital), Tuzla, Zenica, Mostar, Travnik, Brčko, Goražde, Konjic, Cazin, Donji Vakuf, Fojnica, Orašje and Bugojno. Right now, regular sessions are taking place where people discuss political problems and make demands on the government (the most common being the revision of privatization issues, various social demands, taking away the privileges of the political class, and so on). There are also efforts ongoing to try to coordinate all the already existing plenums on the state level in order to develop universal and not just local demands. The first joint plenum is also planned in Sarajevo, with the arrival of the delegates of local plenums.

This is not the first time that the word plenum is used in the region with this concrete meaning, referring to a direct democratic ‘general assembly’. The first time the word was used in reference to general assemblies was during a great wave of university occupations in Croatia back in 2009. The same term later appears during the 2010 university occupations in Austria and Germany (though it’s not clear if this has some kind of direct link to the Croatian student movement or if it’s just a very strange coincidence), and in 2011 during the university occupations in Slovenia and Serbia (where there was a direct influence of the Croatian student movement).

The protesters who are organizing the plenums in Bosnia and Herzegovina openly acknowledge that they are using the experiences of the Croatian student movement and their how-to-make-a-general-assembly manual called The Occupation Cookbook. Of course, all these plenums are very similar to the general assemblies the world witnessed in 2011 during Occupy Wall Street and elsewhere, so one can also indirectly relate them to the ‘Occupy tradition’ of the last couple of years. In any case, it is quite clear that one can find common patterns of horizontal organization around the world, which have very old roots, but have also been reinvigorated in recent times.

What is to be done?

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the plenums have certainly shown to be a highly useful method in organizing the protesters and articulating their demands. In the last couple of days, there are signs of evolution in the plenums, with their structure becoming more complex. Thus, just like in the Croatian student movement or during Occupy Wall Street, the plenum in Tuzla has organized working groups that are to deal with special issues, mimicking the ministries of the Tuzla canton: education, science, culture and sports; development and entrepreneurship; spatial planning and environment protection; coordination with workers, administration of justice and governance, industry, energy and mining; interior affairs; health care; agriculture, water management and forestry; commerce, tourism, transportation and communications; work and social policy; finances; war veterans’ problems; legal problems.

But the plenums are not without their faults. First of all, they are indeed a useful way to organize protesters, but they are not really representative of the general population. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, there are reportedly plenums with more than 1.000 people in attendance and in many case there are also live online feeds. However, 1.000 people at the Sarajevo plenum cannot really be representative of the whole city, which has more than 300.000 inhabitants. Not to mention the fact that the plenums are usually taken to represent not only one city but whole cantons, while for people living outside of the canton centers , getting to the plenums can be costly in terms of both time and money.

Of course, even if everybody could come it would be impossible to have a general assembly with tens of thousands of people. While bearing in mind that bourgeois representative democracy also has many flaws of its own and that it remains at best a very limited kind of democracy, still one should strive at making direct democracy as expansive and participatory as it can be. The unified plenums on the level of a city or canton are a great and completely legitimate way to start organizing during the protests, but they can hardly be a final solution. Even now there are plenums in smaller cities (like Cazin, Fojnica or Donji Vakuf), which are not cantonal centers and are concerned with more local issues (and not with canton-wide politics in general), but there seems to be no strict coordination between lower and upper level plenums (which is not necessarily a surprise in this early stage of plenum development).

There are a number of problems at stake here. One is whether the plenums can maintain their numbers after the protests subside (which has to occur at one point or another) and after their aura of novelty has gone. This appeared to be a great problem in the Croatian student movement, where the plenums have in time — after the occupations finished — diminished and slowly ceased to function, in one case only after a couple of years, but still (though it must be noted that, at least at some universities, the plenums still exist in a way, as they can always be assembled when deemed necessary). The future of the plenums in Bosnia and Herzegovina will partly depend on their successes. Some victories have already been achieved: in Tuzla the politicians, responding to the demand of the Tuzla plenum, have already given up some of their privileges (a yearly wage after they go off duty).

Still, it is generally difficult to expect a mass presence at the plenums forever. People have their own personal interests and, indeed, they have to work for a living (if they are lucky enough to work, since the unemployment rate stands at about 45% in Bosnia and Herzegovina). You cannot really expect someone working 8 hours (or more) per day to spend a couple of hours at a general assembly afterwards (if we want to achieve some kind of direct democracy we should obviously be striving towards a reduced working day). Also, it is hardly realistic to expect that everybody will want to decide on everything all the time.

That said, however, the idea of direct democracy is not that everybody has to decide on everything all the time. The point is that direct democracy should provide everybody with the possibility and the means of deciding directly on certain issues (if that is what they want to do). Thus, in theory we can indeed vote directly on everything, but in practice we’ll do it only when we want to and when there’s a very important decision to be made.

In bourgeois representative democracy, that is usually not possible (exceptions like Switzerland, with its many referenda, are rare), because almost all the decisions (except for a referendum here and there) are taken by the chosen representatives, who can do basically whatever they want during their elected term. In a direct democratic system, the difference would reside in the fact that the chosen representatives would not so much make their own decisions (except in the case of small, technical, everyday affairs), but would rather act upon the general decisions agreed upon by the assembly, which they would just carry out.

These “representatives” would be more like some kind of administrators who would be recallable at any time (again, through general assemblies, referenda, or other direct democratic means) if people do not approve of their work. How many decisions would in practice be left to the “administrative autopilot” (if we’re pleased with it) and how many decisions would be taken directly by everyone — at local, city, region or country level — would be a matter of choice, concrete circumstances and political needs.

Full article

cultureofresistance
america-wakiewakie:

Venezuela: it’s the opposition that’s anti-democratic | Roar Mag
Don’t be fooled by the sight of protests in Venezuela: this time the anti-democratic villains are not in government but in the US-backed opposition.
I’ve been away for the past week so I wasn’t able to write anything on the unfolding turmoil in Venezuela, but I’ve been following the situation closely and in recent days have grown increasingly frustrated with (a) the total lack of balanced reporting on Venezuela in the international media, including left-liberal publications like The Guardian; (b) the seeming ease with which comrades on the libertarian left ignore the events in Venezuela as if it were somehow “irrelevant” to our cause, simply because we’re not supposed to have any close ideological affinity with chavismo; and (c) the ill-informed basis on which many activists and even several major movement pages have taken the side of the protesters against the government, unquestioningly sharing the propaganda of the right-wing opposition and echoing dangerously superficial and wrongheaded interpretations about the protests. I intend to write more on this later, but here are some initial reflections:
1. Just because there’s people in the streets doesn’t mean they’re on our side. We live in the era of the protester, and violent protest has become a media spectacle par excellence. In the wake of Tahrirand Occupy, we have been conditioned to automatically feel sympathy for all men and women taking to the streets and facing down lines of riot police. Now there’s a YouTube clip floating around the web of a Venezuelan girl with an obnoxious upper-class American accent recounting the story of Venezuela’s heroic student uprising against an “illegitimate government”. At first sight, the video — which garnered over 2 million views so far — seems to neatly fit the narrative of the global uprisings. But anyone who cares to do some fact-checking or background research will quickly discover that the protests in Venezuela are rather different from Occupy or the Chilean student movement.
2. The protests in Venezuela are (at least partly) orchestrated by the right-wing oligarchy. Let’s get the facts straight: plenty of Venezuelans are taking to the streets with legitimate grievances about violent crime, high inflation and food shortages — and there is no doubt that the Venezuelan riot police are indeed behaving violently towards many of these protesters. All police brutality should be roundly condemned. The people of Venezuela should be allowed to freely express their indignation in public without fear of repression. But it bears emphasizing in this respect that at least two of the protesters’ main grievances have been deliberately escalated by the oligarchic elite itself: through extensive hoarding and smuggling of consumer products (giving rise to shortages and fueling price inflation) and massive speculation on the foreign currency market (pushing down the Bolívar and feeding into further inflation). This is precisely the type of economic warfare that the US-backed Chilean opposition drew upon prior to the overthrow of Salvador Allende in 1973.
Moreover, even though the protests initially began as a student mobilization on Venezuela’s national Youth Day (February 12), they have in the past week become effectively subsumed under the leadership of the most right-wing section of the opposition alliance, Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD), led by Maria Corina Machado and Leopoldo López. As the firebrand leaders of the most anti-democratic faction of the oligarchic elite, López and Machado have been actively calling for the overthrow of Nicolas Maduro’s democratically-elected government and have urged the continuation of violent protest until he resigns. In the last 15 years, these people have shown themselves to be intent on restoring their class privilege at any costs, even if it requires casualties among the general population. They are deliberately fueling violence and social unrest in order to delegitimize and oust the government.
(Read Full Text)

america-wakiewakie:

Venezuela: it’s the opposition that’s anti-democratic | Roar Mag

Don’t be fooled by the sight of protests in Venezuela: this time the anti-democratic villains are not in government but in the US-backed opposition.

I’ve been away for the past week so I wasn’t able to write anything on the unfolding turmoil in Venezuela, but I’ve been following the situation closely and in recent days have grown increasingly frustrated with (a) the total lack of balanced reporting on Venezuela in the international media, including left-liberal publications like The Guardian; (b) the seeming ease with which comrades on the libertarian left ignore the events in Venezuela as if it were somehow “irrelevant” to our cause, simply because we’re not supposed to have any close ideological affinity with chavismo; and (c) the ill-informed basis on which many activists and even several major movement pages have taken the side of the protesters against the government, unquestioningly sharing the propaganda of the right-wing opposition and echoing dangerously superficial and wrongheaded interpretations about the protests. I intend to write more on this later, but here are some initial reflections:

1. Just because there’s people in the streets doesn’t mean they’re on our side. We live in the era of the protester, and violent protest has become a media spectacle par excellence. In the wake of Tahrirand Occupy, we have been conditioned to automatically feel sympathy for all men and women taking to the streets and facing down lines of riot police. Now there’s a YouTube clip floating around the web of a Venezuelan girl with an obnoxious upper-class American accent recounting the story of Venezuela’s heroic student uprising against an “illegitimate government”. At first sight, the video — which garnered over 2 million views so far — seems to neatly fit the narrative of the global uprisings. But anyone who cares to do some fact-checking or background research will quickly discover that the protests in Venezuela are rather different from Occupy or the Chilean student movement.

2. The protests in Venezuela are (at least partly) orchestrated by the right-wing oligarchy. Let’s get the facts straight: plenty of Venezuelans are taking to the streets with legitimate grievances about violent crime, high inflation and food shortages — and there is no doubt that the Venezuelan riot police are indeed behaving violently towards many of these protesters. All police brutality should be roundly condemned. The people of Venezuela should be allowed to freely express their indignation in public without fear of repression. But it bears emphasizing in this respect that at least two of the protesters’ main grievances have been deliberately escalated by the oligarchic elite itself: through extensive hoarding and smuggling of consumer products (giving rise to shortages and fueling price inflation) and massive speculation on the foreign currency market (pushing down the Bolívar and feeding into further inflation). This is precisely the type of economic warfare that the US-backed Chilean opposition drew upon prior to the overthrow of Salvador Allende in 1973.

Moreover, even though the protests initially began as a student mobilization on Venezuela’s national Youth Day (February 12), they have in the past week become effectively subsumed under the leadership of the most right-wing section of the opposition alliance, Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD), led by Maria Corina Machado and Leopoldo López. As the firebrand leaders of the most anti-democratic faction of the oligarchic elite, López and Machado have been actively calling for the overthrow of Nicolas Maduro’s democratically-elected government and have urged the continuation of violent protest until he resigns. In the last 15 years, these people have shown themselves to be intent on restoring their class privilege at any costs, even if it requires casualties among the general population. They are deliberately fueling violence and social unrest in order to delegitimize and oust the government.

(Read Full Text)

randycwhite
To all those prepared to resist the agenda of big business—in Seattle and nationwide—I appeal to you: get organized. Join with us in building a mass movement for economic and social justice, for democratic socialist change, whereby the resources of society can be harnessed, not for the greed of a small minority, but for the benefit of all people. Solidarity.

#OcupaLosPinos: Mexican protesters clash with riot police on the way to protest at President Enrique Peña Nieto’s residence

Yesterday (June 1) at the Tacubaya subway station in Mexico City, a group of police confronted about 100 protesters who were heading to occupy Los Pinos President Enrique Peña Nieto resides.

This occupation, according to local reports, was part of a civil disobedience movement formed by #MéxicoSOS in response to the last year’s presidential election. 

Mexico has seen an increase in youth uprisings with the Yo Soy 132 movement, a growing student/teacher mobilization calling for accessible education & recent protests against media giant Televisa’s corrupt political ties & negative social influence.

Photo 1, 2, 3, 4

Activists outside L.A. Times protest co-opting, capitalist Kochs
May 29, 2013

About 200 protesters rallied Wednesday outside the headquarters of the Los Angeles Times to protest a potential sale of the newspaper to the politically conservative Koch brothers.

The rally was one of a dozen nationwide at media properties owned by Tribune Co., which is considering selling The Times and seven other daily newspapers after emerging from bankruptcy late last year. Activists are seeking to pressure Tribune not to sell the papers to Charles and David Koch, billionaire siblings who fund a range of conservative causes.

Wednesday’s marked the third major protest in L.A. this month by unions, environmentalists, subscribers and others. As in earlier rallies, the protesters illuminated the truth about the Koch brothers – that they’re radical ideologues who would use the paper as a mouthpiece to advance their political objectives.

“Honest, credible journalism is the keystone of our democracy,” Kathay Feng, executive director of California Common Cause, told the crowd. “The Koch brothers have an agenda and they are willing to spend their billions of dollars on it.”

Protesters chanted and carried signs with slogans such as “Keep the L.A. Times out of the Kochs’ clutches.”

“Here’s the headline I want to see tomorrow in the L.A. Times – ‘L.A. to Koch Brothers: Drop Dead,’ ” said Sean McGrady, regional director of Greenpeace.

Other potential capitalists bidding for the propaganda resource include Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. as well as a group of wealthy Southern Californians headed by Austin Beutner, a former investment banker and ex-deputy mayor of Los Angeles. 

The Courage Campaign, an activist group that spearheaded the rally, handed a box to Times security guards with what it said were signatures from almost 500,000 people nationwide opposing a sale to the Kochs. The group requested that the signatures be delivered to Times publisher Eddy Hartenstein.

Last week, about 100 activists gathered in Beverly Hills in a demonstration targeted at Bruce Karsh, Tribune chairman and co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management, a Los Angeles investment firm that is the largest single holder of Tribune stock. The protesters focused on Karsh because Oaktree manages pension investments on behalf of unionized government employees, including those in the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. Unions have opposed selling The Times to the Koch brothers, who unapologetically want to skew the paper’s coverage to favor anti-union objectives.

Koch Industries Inc., based in Wichita, Kan., is one of the nation’s largest privately owned businesses, with interests in energy, fertilizers and building products. The company is a major contributor to political groups that advocate less regulation, less safety and a wider disparity of wealth between the elite super-rich and the growing group of impoverished people in the world. The brothers have been prominent backers of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose high-profile battle with that state’s public-sector unions drew nationwide attention.

Source

Photos are from several demonstrations against the Kochs’ purchasing of various aspects of our democracy.

criticallymisanthropic
Still more fatal is the crime of turning the producer into a mere particle of a machine, with less will and decision than his master of steel and iron. Man is being robbed not merely of the products of his labor, but of the power of free initiative, of originality, and the interest in, or desire for, the things he is making. Real wealth consists in things of utility and beauty, in things that help to create strong, beautiful bodies and surroundings inspiring to live in. But if man is doomed to wind cotton around a spool, or dig coal, or build roads for thirty years of his life, there can be no talk of wealth. What he gives to the world is only gray and hideous things, reflecting a dull and hideous existence,—too weak to live, too cowardly to die. Strange to say, there are people who extol this deadening method of centralized production as the proudest achievement of our age. They fail utterly to realize that if we are to continue in machine subserviency, our slavery is more complete than was our bondage to the King. They do not want to know that centralization is not only the death-knell of liberty, but also of health and beauty, of art and science, all these being impossible in a clock-like, mechanical atmosphere.
Emma Goldman (via sirloined)
curiouskitty
curiouskitty:

thepeoplesrecord:

whitehouse:

Share the news: Our economy added 176,000 private-sector jobs last month, while unemployment dipped to its lowest rate since December 2008. http://at.wh.gov/kGdc9

Share the news - Barack Obama is a war criminal.
Share the news - poor people don’t know what you’re talking about, we’re still jobless or over-worked & underpaid and yes, poor. 
Share the news - we want a private-sector DEATH. We want private-sector abolition!
Share the news - it was a really bad idea for the White House to get a Tumblr. You are not welcome here. 
Share the news!

Why would you want to get rid of the private sector when that’s the sector that actually produces the majority of jobs and actually produces money rather than spends it?

Because of this silly little idea we value called democracy. Because in the private sector, driven not by the will of the public or the well-being of the people, but rather by the undemocratic profit-motive, terrible things happen.
A few examples from the last couple of weeks:
Private fossil-fuels companies are able to literally high-jack our natural resources and destroy our air, water, and health without recourse. (Think Progress) If our productive sector was public, and not private (aka: capitalism was abolished), then we could vote at our workplaces to prevent these types of terrible decisions that are so bad for most of us but so good for just a few.
Factory owners/capitalists are able to make unsafe decisions about work conditions, resulting in their over-worked, underpaid, exhausted, exploited wage-slaves dying by the hundreds as a direct result.  (The Guardian) 
Media is purchased by corporate owners who prevent fair & honest coverage about the terrible decisions the ruling class makes for the public. (The Nation)
One of the many problems with a productive sector driven by competition, instead of democratic will, is that corporations eventually win those competitions. Competing businesses eat each other up, and then a few large corporations, led by a few capitalist oligarchs, purchase the democracy that their corporations exist in. So our private sector eats our public sector, we get 0 democracy, and the capitalist oligarchs get all the power, all the money, and everything they need to destroy everything that belongs to all of us.
Concentrating power in the hands of a few instead of the will of the many, is problematic. It leads to disaster. It leads to devastation. We HAVE to change the system. There isn’t another choice.
That’s why. Thanks for asking!

curiouskitty:

thepeoplesrecord:

whitehouse:

Share the news: Our economy added 176,000 private-sector jobs last month, while unemployment dipped to its lowest rate since December 2008. http://at.wh.gov/kGdc9

Share the news - Barack Obama is a war criminal.

Share the news - poor people don’t know what you’re talking about, we’re still jobless or over-worked & underpaid and yes, poor. 

Share the news - we want a private-sector DEATH. We want private-sector abolition!

Share the news - it was a really bad idea for the White House to get a Tumblr. You are not welcome here. 

Share the news!

Why would you want to get rid of the private sector when that’s the sector that actually produces the majority of jobs and actually produces money rather than spends it?

Because of this silly little idea we value called democracy. Because in the private sector, driven not by the will of the public or the well-being of the people, but rather by the undemocratic profit-motive, terrible things happen.

A few examples from the last couple of weeks:

One of the many problems with a productive sector driven by competition, instead of democratic will, is that corporations eventually win those competitions. Competing businesses eat each other up, and then a few large corporations, led by a few capitalist oligarchs, purchase the democracy that their corporations exist in. So our private sector eats our public sector, we get 0 democracy, and the capitalist oligarchs get all the power, all the money, and everything they need to destroy everything that belongs to all of us.

Concentrating power in the hands of a few instead of the will of the many, is problematic. It leads to disaster. It leads to devastation. We HAVE to change the system. There isn’t another choice.

That’s why. Thanks for asking!

Hungarians have protested by the thousands against proposed changes to their constitution that they believe will limit their democratic rights.
March 9, 2013

Opponents of the proposed constitutional changes say they fear they will curb citizens’ democratic rights. This led to two days of protests in Budapest, the first taking place on Thursday with dozens of protesters. On Saturday, thousands turned out to voice their concerns.

The parliament is to vote on the proposed amendments on Monday.

“A really worrying oppressive system is being built up here, like a dictatorship,” Milan Rozsa, a 25-year-old protester, told the AFP news agency.

Critics argue that the proposals seek to reinstate measures that Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government had previously introduced, but which were struck down by the country’s constitutional court in recent months.

They say the proposed changes would have restrictive implications for higher education, by requiring students who receive state grants to stay and work in Hungary after their studies.

Another provision would restrict election campaigning to state media, something critics say would damage Hungary’s democracy. Among the other proposals is a ban on sleeping on the streets.

The changes would also curb the powers of the constitutional court by rendering any of its decisions made before the current constitution came into force last year invalid.

International concern over the upcoming vote is growing.

The European Commission, the Council of Europe and human rights organizations have expressed concern over the upcoming vote.

In a phone call on Friday, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told Prime Minister Orban that his government and the parliament should address concerns “in accordance with EU democratic principles.”

Orban responded in writing to Barroso, pledging that Hungary would conform to the norms and rules of the European Union, but he failed to offer details.

The Council of Europe, the European institution responsible for defending human rights, also weighed in on the issue last week, urging Budapest to postpone the vote. The Hungarian government rejected the request.

Saturday’s protest was organized by various human rights organizations, including Amnesty International.

Source

& check out that 99% sign in the background of the top picture! <3

Guinea protesters continue to clash with oppressive security forces
February 28, 2013

Guinea security forces fired live ammunition and tear gas at thousands of anti-government protesters in the seaside capital Conakry on Wednesday in clashes that wounded more than two dozen people, sources said.

The violence in the West African state is a result of soaring tensions ahead of a parliamentary election the opposition says is being rigged by the administration of President Alpha Conde.

"We don’t know how it started, but the security forces charged the crowd and fired tear gas," said Ousmane Camara, a Conakry resident at the protest in the city’s Hamdallaye neighborhood, an opposition stronghold.

Another witness said security forces had wounded at least two people, including a child, with live rounds and were using truncheons to push back other demonstrators, who threw stones and chunks of concrete, and set fire to tires.

A security official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that 16 police and gendarmes had been admitted to hospital with wounds after the initial clashes. Sources said injuries among the protesters were likely higher.

It was unclear if there were any dead, and witnesses said demonstrations were ongoing.

Guinea’s opposition coalition had called for widespread protests in Conakry after announcing last week it would boycott preparations for long-delayed legislative polls, claiming the run up to the vote was flawed.

The election set for May 12 is intended to be the last step in Guinea’s transition to civilian rule after two years under a violent army junta following the death of long-time leader Lansana Conte in 2008.

President Alpha Conde won a 2010 presidential election in the world’s top supplier of bauxite, the raw material in aluminium, but delays in the legislative vote have deepened a political deadlock and led to intermittent violence.

The opposition says the elections commission chose the poll date unilaterally and that two companies contracted to update voter rolls have skewed the lists in Conde’s favor. They also want Guineans living abroad to be allowed to vote.

Thousands of people had participated in peaceful protests across Guinea last week in support of opposition demands. The parliamentary poll was originally due to be held in 2011 but has already been delayed four times.

Source

Three Bahraini Shia protesters have died as the government continues to weaponize tear gas to extra-judicially kill opposition protesters.

Since February 14, which marked the 2nd anniversary of Bahrain’s pro-democracy movement, protesters have filled the streets of Bahraini cities. Police have tried to disperse rallies with teargas & firing guns into large crows. 

Mahmood Al-Jazeeri, 20, was the third protester to be fatally injured when he was shot directly in the face by a teargas canister as close range. He was unarmed & died in the hospital on February 22. Sixteen-year-old Hussain Ali Ahmed Abrahim was also shot & killed by shotgun wounds on February 14. Another unnamed protester died the same day as a result of being hit with a teargas canister. 

Pro-democracy protests around Bahrain have continued today. 

Teenager dies during opposition protests in Bahrain on second anniversary of uprisingFebruary 14, 2013
Bahraini security forces have fired teargas, rubber bullets and birdshot at demonstrators hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails in street battles that left one teenager dead and dozens more people injured on the second anniversary of the country&#8217;s failed pro-democracy uprising.
The main opposition group, al-Wefaq, said 16-year-old Ali Ahmed Ibrahim Aljazeeri died from his injuries about an hour after being shot early in the morning in the village of Diya, near the capital Manama. &#8220;He was shot with three rounds from a birdshot gun and died of critical injuries to the upper body and lungs,&#8221; the group said. &#8220;Witnesses confirm he was posing no threat to any police officers at the time.&#8221;
Dozens of other people were also hurt in the violence, al-Wefaq said, some by teargas and others more seriously. It posted pictures online of some of the wounded, including a photograph of the dead youth with bandages on his stomach.
It accused the Bahraini authorities of deploying &#8220;large numbers of armoured vehicles, police cars and buses, convoys of military vehicles and troops … to face peaceful protests demanding freedom and democracy&#8221;.
Dozens of videos posted by activists showed groups of youths setting up roadblocks and barricades and hurling stones and firebombs at security forces, who responded with teargas.
Bahrain's chief of public security, Major General Tariq Hassan al-Hassan, said in a statement that the death came after a group of some 300 rioters attacked police &#8220;with rocks, steel rods and Molotov cocktails. Warning shots were fired but failed to disperse the advancing crowd who continued their attack. Officers discharged birdshot to defend themselves.&#8221;
Hassan confirmed &#8220;at least one protester was injured&#8221; and &#8220;a short time later, a young man was pronounced dead at [the country&#8217;s main hospital] Salmaniya Medical Complex&#8221;. He warned the public not to try to &#8220;exploit the death for political purposes, or as an excuse to engage in criminal or riotous behaviour&#8221; and insisted most areas of the country were calm and traffic was flowing freely in Manama.
Bahrain has seen almost daily protests since the mass protests of 14 February 2011. Demonstrators want greater rights for the country&#8217;s Shia majority and an end to the absolute power of the ruling Sunni al-Khalifa dynasty, which picks all key government and military posts. Opposition demands for far-reaching reform include a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister to replace Prince Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, who has held the job since independence in 1971 and is an uncle of King Hamad. The government denies discrimination against Shias.
The violence could derail reconciliation talks that resumed last weekend between al-Wefaq and other, mostly Shia Muslim, opposition groups and Sunni envoys. Alistair Burt, the UK foreign office minister, said on Twitter it was &#8220;important everyone remains committed to the national consensus dialogue – it&#8217;s the only way to promote peace and stability in Bahrain&#8221;.
But one prominent activist, Ala&#8217;a Shehabi, said the protests showed the irrelevance of the government&#8217;s dialogue initiative. "The majority of Bahrainis really just want to live in basic dignity and freedom," Shehabi, founder of the campaign group Bahrain Watch, told the Guardian. "They don&#8217;t believe the current royal family is willing to deliver that."
Shehabi said the opposition was sceptical about the national consensus dialogue because no senior members of the government or royal family are involved. &#8220;To the youth on the street, the dialogue initiative is irrelevant. Even opposition members who have taken part stress the importance of the street protest movement. There is so much scepticism about the sincerity by the government over these talks that no one is really taking them seriously.&#8221;
An international inquiry said 35 people died during Bahrain&#8217;s uprising; the opposition puts the toll at more than 80.
Amnesty International has called for the Bahraini authorities to release political prisoners, lift restrictions on freedom of expression and prosecute security force members responsible for human rights abuses.
Its Middle East and North Africa deputy director, Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, said the government &#8220;cannot carry on imprisoning people simply because it can&#8217;t take criticism. It&#8217;s time that people detained simply for exercising their right to freedom of expression be released and for the harassment of other activists to desist.&#8221;
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Teenager dies during opposition protests in Bahrain on second anniversary of uprising
February 14, 2013

Bahraini security forces have fired teargas, rubber bullets and birdshot at demonstrators hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails in street battles that left one teenager dead and dozens more people injured on the second anniversary of the country’s failed pro-democracy uprising.

The main opposition group, al-Wefaq, said 16-year-old Ali Ahmed Ibrahim Aljazeeri died from his injuries about an hour after being shot early in the morning in the village of Diya, near the capital Manama. “He was shot with three rounds from a birdshot gun and died of critical injuries to the upper body and lungs,” the group said. “Witnesses confirm he was posing no threat to any police officers at the time.”

Dozens of other people were also hurt in the violence, al-Wefaq said, some by teargas and others more seriously. It posted pictures online of some of the wounded, including a photograph of the dead youth with bandages on his stomach.

It accused the Bahraini authorities of deploying “large numbers of armoured vehicles, police cars and buses, convoys of military vehicles and troops … to face peaceful protests demanding freedom and democracy”.

Dozens of videos posted by activists showed groups of youths setting up roadblocks and barricades and hurling stones and firebombs at security forces, who responded with teargas.

Bahrain's chief of public security, Major General Tariq Hassan al-Hassan, said in a statement that the death came after a group of some 300 rioters attacked police “with rocks, steel rods and Molotov cocktails. Warning shots were fired but failed to disperse the advancing crowd who continued their attack. Officers discharged birdshot to defend themselves.”

Hassan confirmed “at least one protester was injured” and “a short time later, a young man was pronounced dead at [the country’s main hospital] Salmaniya Medical Complex”. He warned the public not to try to “exploit the death for political purposes, or as an excuse to engage in criminal or riotous behaviour” and insisted most areas of the country were calm and traffic was flowing freely in Manama.

Bahrain has seen almost daily protests since the mass protests of 14 February 2011. Demonstrators want greater rights for the country’s Shia majority and an end to the absolute power of the ruling Sunni al-Khalifa dynasty, which picks all key government and military posts. Opposition demands for far-reaching reform include a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister to replace Prince Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, who has held the job since independence in 1971 and is an uncle of King Hamad. The government denies discrimination against Shias.

The violence could derail reconciliation talks that resumed last weekend between al-Wefaq and other, mostly Shia Muslim, opposition groups and Sunni envoys. Alistair Burt, the UK foreign office minister, said on Twitter it was “important everyone remains committed to the national consensus dialogue – it’s the only way to promote peace and stability in Bahrain”.

But one prominent activist, Ala’a Shehabi, said the protests showed the irrelevance of the government’s dialogue initiative. "The majority of Bahrainis really just want to live in basic dignity and freedom," Shehabi, founder of the campaign group Bahrain Watch, told the Guardian. "They don’t believe the current royal family is willing to deliver that."

Shehabi said the opposition was sceptical about the national consensus dialogue because no senior members of the government or royal family are involved. “To the youth on the street, the dialogue initiative is irrelevant. Even opposition members who have taken part stress the importance of the street protest movement. There is so much scepticism about the sincerity by the government over these talks that no one is really taking them seriously.”

An international inquiry said 35 people died during Bahrain’s uprising; the opposition puts the toll at more than 80.

Amnesty International has called for the Bahraini authorities to release political prisoners, lift restrictions on freedom of expression and prosecute security force members responsible for human rights abuses.

Its Middle East and North Africa deputy director, Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, said the government “cannot carry on imprisoning people simply because it can’t take criticism. It’s time that people detained simply for exercising their right to freedom of expression be released and for the harassment of other activists to desist.”

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