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Bangladesh: blackouts trigger violent protests
The International News (Pakistan)
Police fired tear gas and fought running battles with thousands of protesters on Thursday as Bangladesh reeled under the strain of massive power cuts, officials and witnesses said.
In the capital Dhaka, police in riot gear used batons to disperse demonstrators after they torched cars and ransacked an office as anger boiled over at the escalating number of power outages. Officers said riots were triggered when people broke their Ramazan fast on Wednesday evening only to find that there was again no electricity.
“People came out on the street to protest against the power cuts. They were angry and the police had to fire tear gas and baton charge them to disperse them,” police officer Mahmudul Hasan told AFP.
(28 Sept 2006)
Zimbabwe runs dry
Zimbabwean motorists battled for scarce petrol supplies during the weekend as a deepening fuel crisis brought the southern African country to a near halt.
Many fuel stations completely ran dry. Riot police were called in to stop motorists fighting at those, which still had petrol.
In the capital Harare, there were few cars and buses on the roads, with thousands of motorists jamming a dozen or so petrol stations in search of supplies. A litre of petrol was selling for $1,200.
"I have been here since last night, waiting for petrol and I have seen about half a dozen fist-fights and one guy threatening to shoot anyone who tries to jump the queue," one man told The Zimbabwean at a fuel station in central Harare.
Riot police was summoned to those stations with fuel to control rowdy motorists fighting among themselves.
(27 Sept 2006)
Kenya: Student Violence Baffling
The Nation (Nairobi) via AllAfrica.com
Public universities have registered relative calm in the past three years. Student agitation, strikes and violence that were common in the 1980s and 1990s have been infrequent.
On several occasions, students have publicly declared that they had rested the ghost of strike and violence and instead, were pursuing the noble goals of peace characterised by dialogue, tolerance and reason. Indeed, the public was beginning to believe that at last, sanity had been restored at the universities.
Thus, it was surprising that Kenyatta University students decided to go on the rampage on Monday night to protest power outage. In their mindless and misdirected anger, they resorted to stoning motorists on Thika road, and setting ablaze three vehicles, one of them a matatu.
(28 Sept 2006)
I would suggest making sure you see footage of protester violence before necessarily believing media reports of it. Protests in Melbourne in 2000 against the World Economic Forum, went down in media history as a 'riot' however no footage of any protester violence ever aired, nor were any arrests made for violent offences. A former Victorian State Historian documented the media's portrayal.