For decades, Australia’s notoriously strict immigration policy has prevented asylum seekers from residing on the mainland of the continent. From 2001 to 2008, Nauru, the smallest sovereign island nation in the world, supported itself economically by hosting an Australian detention center in exchange for medical and financial support. During that time period, the detention center hosted between 200 and 1200 refugees, mainly ethnically Hazara Afghanis. Hazara are a Shi’a sect of Muslims often persecuted by the Sunni majority in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Seeking extra tax revenue to bolster a struggling state budget, the United States state of Pennsylvania passed a bill in 2004 authorizing casinos in the state. The bill, Act 71, legalized the construction of 15 new casinos in the state, two of which would be chosen from among five proposals in the city of Philadelphia. The location, size, management, and other details remained open-ended. As the permitting process began, Philadelphia community members voiced concern to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) about the intrusion of casinos into their neighborhoods.
On November 3, 2008, Chen Yunlin arrived from China on a visit to Taiwan to meet with President Ma Ying Jiao. His visit was met with protests led by the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party), which resulted in violent clashes with the police. In reaction to the protests, police closed major highways, forbade citizens from publicly waving the national flag or saying “Taiwan does not belong to China,” hindered citizens filming around the hotel where Chen was staying, shut down a nearby music store, and executed a number of other repressive actions.
Tunisians overthrow dictator and demand political and economic reform (Jasmine Revolution), 2010-2011
Over the past several decades, high unemployment, high food prices, and widespread poverty have characterized much of Tunisia. Government corruption and a paucity of political freedoms have also painted its landscape, making it exceedingly difficult for Tunisians to express dissent against the ruling Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) party. However, on 17 December 2010, 26-year-old Mohammed Bouazizi doused himself in paint thinner and set himself on fire in front of the Sidi Bouzid municipal office in response to the confiscation of his produce stand, his violent treatment a
According to the World Bank, about $1 trillion (USD) is paid in bribes annually worldwide; in India, alone, the economy is estimated to have lost half a trillion (USD) to corruption since her independence, and more than half of the country is estimated to have first-hand experience paying bribes or influence peddling.
struggle waged by the KTX Crew Workers’ Branch Union signifies the longest
workers’ rights campaign mobilized by women throughout Korean history. For over
500 days, participants implemented a variety of nonviolent tactics, including
public rallies, marches, sit-ins, tent protests, building occupation, hunger
strikes, classroom lectures, and community outreach efforts.
The Irrawaddy river, the largest in Burma, begins at the confluence of the Mali Hka and N’Mai Hka rivers in the northern state of Kachin.
In the 1980’s and 90’s South Korea’s nuclear industry was growing, and the Korean environmental and anti-nuclear movement grew along with it. During the 1980’s, over fifty percent of the country’s electricity came from nuclear power, so that by the end of the decade, storage of the radioactive waste posed a formidable challenge as on-site storage facilities began to reach capacity.
In January 2011, in the wake of the Tunisian revolution and in the midst of the Egyptian revolution, Yemeni students and youth began a yearlong revolution to oust the regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh, president for the past thirty years. This revolution did not come without great cost. More than 2,000 people were killed (including protesters, military defectors and children) and more than 22,000 people were wounded.
On 6 August 1996, Argentinean General Fuel Company, also known as Compañía General de Combustibles (CGC), signed a contract with the Ministry of Energy and Mines in Ecuador without consultation of Kichwa natives of Sarayaku. The contract allowed CGC to exploit and explore 200,000 hectares of Block 23.
The Belene Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in northern Bulgaria was originally proposed in the mid-1980s. The project was cancelled in the 1992, after significant environmentalist campaigning, when it became clear that the seismic risk in the region was unacceptable. Indeed, 120 people had died in an earthquake only 14km from the project site in 1977. There was also concern that the project would not be economically viable.
Peace Brigades International (PBI) protects and aids Guatemalan Mutual Support Group (GAM), 1984-1989
From 1960 to 1996 Guatemalans endured a civil war in which the Guatemalan military and leftist guerrillas fought for control. In order to defeat the guerrillas, the government focused on controlling and depleting the potential guerrilla population- generally the Mayan Guatemalans.
Bryn Mawr College
Twenty-five thousand refugees return safely to Guatemala using international nonviolent accompaniment (Project A), 1993-1999
From 1960 to 1996 Guatemalans endured a civil war in which the Guatemalan military and leftist guerrillas fought for control. In order to defeat the guerrillas, the government focused on controlling and depleting the potential guerrilla population- generally the Mayan Guatemalans. Approximately 200,000 indigenous Mayans were displaced in the early 1980s and in 1987 they decided it was time to head home.
the 2000s a large number of Iran's educated and political activists fled Iran
due to social restrictions, political pressures and economic issues to seek
asylum in European countries in hopes of a better life. This emigration spiked
after the Iranian presidential election of 2009, which threatened political
activists working for democracy. The majority of Iranian refugees, like other
asylum seekers who fled from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, chose Greece because
its borders were accessible. In the past, Iranian refugees had been able to
Clean Air Coalition of Western New York hold Tonawanda Coke accountable for air pollution, 2005-2009
By the start of the 21st century, there were 53
active industrial plants in the area around Tonawanda, New York. Residents of
the area had complained about air quality problems for decades, but regulators
failed to intervene to ensure plants complied with federal law. Many people
living in the area reported severe and chronic health problems, such as
fibromyalgia, asthma, and cancers—including lung cancers in non-smokers.
The Mi’kmaq first nations people are indigenous to what is now New Brunswick, Canada. The provincial government of New Brunswick holds all mineral rights throughout the province, making mining allowable wherever it chooses, including on indigenous land.
In 2013, Fuel extraction companies South Western Energy Resources Canada and Irving Oil proposed natural gas exploration of traditional Mi'kma'ki territory in New Brunswick called Signigtog. Gas extracted from the area would mostly be sent to the United States, but the environmental effects would remain.
Organic Farmer and Shadbush Collective protest development of natural gas well on neighboring farm, 2012-2013.
Maggie Henry and her husband Dale have managed an 88-acre organic farm in North Beaver Township, Lawrence County—located in western Pennsylvania—for the past three decades. The Henry’s produce pork, poultry and eggs, and service Pittsburg area restaurants.
In June of 1967, a Sikh man named Tarsem Sandhu returned to his job as a bus driver in Wolverhampton after a three week break, wearing a turban and newly grown beard. His supervisor immediately assessed that his turban violated the dress code and being unshaven was considered unprofessional, and sent him Sandhu home without pay. Sandhu called upon C.S. Panchhi, a prominent Sikh community leader in Birmingham, for help.
Anti-fracking movements in Romania originated in February 2012 when Bulgarian activists, enthused from their recent victory over their government in anti-fracking legislation, contacted their Romanian counterparts. The Bulgarians informed the Romanians of the potential impending fracking in Romania and from this point on, the Romanian activists began using their Facebook group page to increase awareness of, and actively campaign against the dangers of fracking.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan was first inaugurated as prime minister of Turkey in 2003 and enjoyed wide popular support, contributing to successive elections as prime minister. Erdogan gathered 47% of the vote in 2007, and he came into office in 2011 with 49.95% of the popular vote. However, public dissent began to rise against the increasingly authoritarian and anti-secular Turkish government. The government passed education bills reinforcing Islamism in high schools and elementary schools in 2012, and the sale and consumption of alcohol was banned on college grounds in 2013.
The South Korean railway strike began when Korea Railroad Corporation (KORAIL) revealed plans to establish a new affiliate rail company to manage the bullet train line from Suseo to Pyeongtaek. The Korean Railway Workers Union (KRWU) claimed that this government initiative was the first step in privatisation of the rail company and called for the government to retract its plans. The South Korean government denied such plans for privatisation.
The campaign began 6 June 2013, and ended 21 July 2014, with the South Portland City Council vote to ban the export of unrefined crude from its port.
Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” injects a mixture of water, sand and
chemicals under high pressure into dense shale rock formations to crack
the rock and release oil and/or natural gas. Oil companies began using
the process around 1950, but only in the mid 2000’s did it become a
widespread environmental issue as energy companies began developing new
ways to find oil and gas as the cheaper, easier sources were depleting.
One geologic formation, called the Marcellus Shale, included about 1/3
of southern New York state, including the Catskill mountains and the New
Prime minister John Key and his National Party emerged victorious in the election of 2008 against the incumbent Labour Party on promises to revive the struggling economy. In August 2009, his Energy Minister Gerard Brownlee hinted at changes to the Crown Minerals Act, which protected conservation lands from mining. His speech also included possible plans to allow mineral exploration in lands overseen by the Department of Conservation. Public interest in these proposed changes were low.