Fragments from the streets: March 30
The struggle continues in Syria, where rebels killed for military members this week: Credit: Freedomhouse2
Fragments from the streets: March 30

Fragments from the Streets is our roundup of news from struggles and successes on the road to liberation. Here's some of this week's news you may have missed:


Writer, feminist dies


Feminist poet and essayist Adrienne Rich died in her Santa Cruz, Calif. home at the age of 82 on Tuesday. Rich's poems dealt with issues tied to her identity as a woman and a lesbian. She was awarded the McAurthur “genius grant” in 1994. She died of complications from rheumatoid arthritis.


Still seeking justice for Trayvon


Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) brought the Trayvon Martin hoodie protests to the U.S. Congress this week. Rush put on the gray hooded sweatshirt, as he addressed the legislature about racial profiling on Wednesday. Presiding Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) had Rush removed from the chamber because he was violating a long-standing ban against wearing hats on the House floor.


Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot and killed more than a month ago as he was walking, unarmed to his father's girlfriend's house. George Zimmerman, who is accused of killing Martin, has not been charged with a crime because investigators say he was acting in accordance with Florida's lenient self-defense laws. Earlier this week, an official source leaked information to the press that suggested Zimmerman's head had been bloodied badly in an attack by Martin. But a video released Wednesday shows Zimmerman being taken to the police station immediately after the shooting. He is bald, and no head injuries are visible.


Residents demand stop to bogus NYPD investigations


Protesters gathered outside the New York Police Department headquarters on Wednesday to criticize the department's investigation of non-violent religious and political groups that pose no threat to residents. According to a recent series of Associated Press stories, the NYPD has monitored Muslim groups outside the city and officers traveled to New Orleans to spy on a gathering of left-leaning groups that oppose U.S. economic policies.


More punishment for “green” prisoners


Tim DeChristoper, an activist who was sentenced to two years in prison for disrupting an oil and gas rights auction, is now being held in solitary confinement. According to an announcement by his supporters, DeChristopher was moved from a minimum security prison on March 9, after an unidentified Congressman complained about an email DeChristopher had written to a friend.


Prison officials have restricted communications between a married couple who is serving nearly eight-year-long prison terms for their part in a 2001 car-dealership arson. Reportedly, the couple is not allowed to write letters to each other because Joyanna “Sadie” Zacher is unrepentant. Zacher and her husband, Nathan “Exile” Block have been allowed to write each other for the past four years. The couple is expected to be released to a halfway house this year, where they will be reunited.


Repelling activists arrested in Mexico


About 30 Greenpeace activists in Mexico who rappelled down the side of a resort hotel to hang a banner were arrested on Tuesday. The banner called for Mexican President Felipe Caldaron to halt construction of a beach-front resort planned in Baja, Calif. The resort would bring more traffic to the Calbo Pulmo corral reef, which is considered a model for how degraded reefs can be rejuvenated.


Quebec students garner more police attention


Students in Montreal continued their protests of proposed tuition hikes this week. On Wednesday, police helicopters trailed a group of students as they marched throughout the city.


Kingston residents demand stop to police shootings


Residents of Kingston, Jamaica rallied against a recent spate of police shootings. During a March 16 raid of one neighborhood, a mother of two was shot in the head and killed. Police say they were battling gunmen in the Cassava Piece neighborhood, but people who live there deny any residents were shooting. Jamaican police have killed about 50 people so far this year.


March to Israel begins


Dozens of pro-Palestinian groups traveled to Lebanon on Wednesday to participate in Land Day protests. Land Day marks the 1976 death of two Israeli Arab activists who were killed as they demonstrated against Israeli land policies. Protesters this year are expected to march up to the Israeli border.


China official's visit to India draws protests


Tibetan exiles in India were arrested during illegal protests of Chinese President Hu Jintao when he visited the country for a meeting with Indian, Russian, Brazilian and South African officials on Wednesday.


Woman dead after gristly attack


An 18-year-old woman whose brutal gang rape and assault sparked protests in her rural Ukrainian town has died. Oksana Makar was gang raped, partially strangled and set afire. Hundreds of protesters marched in her support when three of the men accused of attacking her were released earlier this month. Two of the men were again arrested and police involved with the protest were disciplined. It is common practice for wealthy young Ukrainians to escape punishment for their crimes. At least one of the suspects' parents is a former government official.


Japanese history books ignore ugly truths


South Koreans burned pictures of the Japanese prime minister on Thursday to protest Japan's claims on a small group of islands. A recently approved Japanese textbook reasserted Japan's claim that it controls the islands, which are called the Dokdo islands in Korea. Protesters say the textbooks also ignore uglier parts of Japan's history, including troops' use of Korean women as sex slaves during World War II.


Herders facing end of traditional lifestyle


Reindeer herders in Mongolia may soon lose their livelihoods because of climate change, deforestation and pollution, according to a United Nations Environmental Program report. There are an estimated 200 reindeer herders living in the Khovsgol Province.


Kony: Someone's out to get him, but it's not Jason Russell


The African Union announced its plans to hunt Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony using a 5,000 member military unit. Kony was recently the subject of an online publicity campaign that called for his capture. The campaign was criticized for its portrayal of Ugandan people and for its narrative, which focused on the white, American filmmaker.


Arab Spring, a year later


The long-beleaguered Syrian rebels struck a small blow against that country's military on Thursday, killing four members of the government forces. Rebels attacked a stronghold of President Bashar al-Assad's supporters in Beirut and killed two colonels. In a separate action in Hama, the opposition killed two soldiers while attacking an army truck. The uprising in Syria has been ongoing for more than a year, and more than 8,000 people have died.


Egyptian activists are calling for an end to military trials for civilians. Earlier this month, a military court ruled against seven women who were subject to brutal “virginity checks,” - which involved forced vaginal penetration – after they were arrested by troops during protests last year.


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Leslie's picture

Leslie Wilber is a journalist who has covered police misconduct, courts, high school sports and other disasterous things. She lives in Denver and is an editor at The Precarious.

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