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We Need Food!

Posted by msrb on June 2, 2008

Food Riots Break Out in Bangladesh Again

Thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers protesting over low wages and soaring food prices clashed with the police on Sunday during fresh protests over low wages and soaring food prices.

“They smashed dozens of vehicles, attacked nearby factories and pelted stones and bricks at our officers. Police fired shotguns to disperse the unruly workers,” police chief said.

Four protestors, including two with bullet wounds, were admitted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital A nurse said.

Bangladesh’s garment industry employls about 2.5 million workers, or 40 percent of the industrial workforce, and accounts for about 80 percent of the country’s export earnings. The average garment worker earn a basic minimum wage of about 25 dollars a month.

Bangladeshi households spend nearly 70 percent of their income on food. Prices for rice, the country’s staple food have doubled in the past 12 months mainly because of floods last summer and a major cyclone that caused severe damage to the crops in November.

Unions have demanded a major increase in salaries, saying the existing basic payment fixed in late 2006 has become redundant due to rocketing prices of food and other commodities over the past year.

In April, at least 20,000 protesting garment workers clashed with police and 50 were injured.


Bangladeshi demonstrators protesting against rising food and fuel prices on the outskirts of Dhaka in April, 2008. Police clashed with thousands of garment workers in southwest Bangladesh Sunday during fresh protests over low wages and soaring food prices. (Image may be subject to copyright. see MSRB Fair Use Notice.

Food Riot in Kenya

About a thousand Kenyan demonstrators protesting against rising food prices were assaulted by the riot police who fired teargas to disperse them on Saturday.

Widespread food shortages have led to skyrocketing food prices amid political corruption. Annual inflation rose by an average 24.2 percent in April and May.

“The government must subsidize the cost of food, it is not fair for the poor to be suffering with high food prices yet the government has not increased salaries,” said one of the organizers.

Disputed presidential election has also triggered violent clashes across Kenya killing 1,600 people and displacing about one half of a million people since December 2007.

Food and fuel riots, protests and strikes have erupted this year throughout the “third world” countries in Africa Asia and the Americas including Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cameroon, Egypt, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mozambique, Pakistan, Philippines Senegal, Singapore, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen (other countries may have been omitted inadvertently).

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Posted in Africa, against nature, agriculture, Americas, asia, basic needs, biocapacity, China, collapse, ecosystems, Energy, environment, Food, Global Warming, government, money, politics, staple diet, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

China Earthquake, Heavy Death Toll, Corruption, Criminal Incompetence

Posted by msrb on May 18, 2008

Wen Jiabao, Hu Jintao and the Politburo Gang: Criminally Incompetent, or Calculating Mass Murderers?

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and President Hu Jintao represent the worst of a country mired in corruption and sleaze. The criminal gang in the Chinese Politburo have once again proven that the Chinese people may not count on them for their safety and protection.


Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and President Hu Jintao (R) upon Hu’s arrival in Mianyang, a city in quake-hit southwestern Sichuan Province, May 16, 2008. Photo distributed by China’s official Xinhua News Agency. REUTERS/Xinhua/Ju Peng (CHINA).

What Others Say About the Corrupt Politburo Gang in China?

The Anguished Cries of China Quake Nurse

  • Why was the quake nurse reduced to tears and had to beg the soldiers to rescue children?
  • If rescuing the children wasn’t their priority, and clearly it wasn’t, what were the soldiers ordered to do?
  • What were the orders soldiers own general gave them?
  • When did the authorities decide they couldn’t cope with too many quake survivors?

“Although the time for the best chance of rescue, the first 72 hours after an earthquake, has passed [exactly as planned by CPC], saving lives remains the top priority of our work [believe what I say, not what I do, you ‘ignorant peasants’],” the [doublespeaking] Chinese president, Hu Jintao, told the survivors. (Source)

Chinese paratroopers rescuing survivors or preventing plague?

The Riddle of the Chinese Paratroopers

1. There are an estimated 30,000 people burried in the area. How could 100 paratroopers help rescue such large number of victims?

2. The paratroopers landed two days after the mainshock had struck. By then the survival chances of the victims who had been buried alive had already been reduced by about 80 percent.

3. Anyone rescued from the rubble would need medical attention, freshwater, food, blankets, tents … to survive. Did the paratroopers carry all of the vital supplies in their rucksacks?

Therefore, the question remains: Are the paratroopers sent to rescue the “survivors,” or to “finish off the job,” i.e., bury everyone, alive or dead, to prevent potential outbreaks of plague and other pandemics? [The Beijing Olympics are just around the corner!]

Chinese Leaders Incapable of Handling Quake Aftermath

To climb a tree to catch a fish is talking much and doing nothing.” —Chinese Proverb

Wen Jiaboa and Hu Jianto, like the rest of the ruling gang in China are criminally incompetent officials, incapable of protecting the interest of the Chinese people.

“Wen, seen repeatedly on state TV cradling infants and offering hope to earthquake victims, hailed the ‘order the country has maintained for the past 80 hours,’ the report said.”

What if the order does break up? Will the ruling criminal regime send in the special forces to do a Tiananmen Square job?

Q: Is a corrupt, criminally incompetent regime in China good for the “Free world?”

Beijing’s quick response to disaster won’t cover cracks of corruption

About 6,900 classrooms were destroyed – weaker than other buildings in withstanding the shock. It has also said that as many as 390 dams could be at risk.

China is earthquake prone, Sichuan in particular experiencing a similar scale earthquake in 1933. China’s geologists had warned there was a one-in-10 chance of a recurrence within 50 years and buildings and dams should have been built to strict regulatory standards. They weren’t, especially those built most recently. This is not just corner cutting in the quest for fast growth, or the kind of loose practice that comes to light after disasters everywhere. It is the consequence of systemic non-enforcement of regulations in return for bribes – and everyone in China knows it.

Professor Hu Angang, an economist at Tsinghua university, estimates that one yuan in six is, in effect, corrupt. Even army officers buy their rank.

One mother told the Guardian: ‘Chinese officials are too corrupt and bad … They have money for prostitutes and second wives but they don’t have money for our children.’ It is the same story when it comes to food safety, drug standards or environmental regulations, of which only 10 per cent are enforced. Corruption is ubiquitous, which is why so many buildings were deathtraps. Another woman drew attention to the government and party buildings that remained standing, plainly built to the right specifications.

Almost five million left homeless, China says

Water shortages have become “extremely serious” in Sichuan province, according to Chinese Housing Minister Jiang Weixin. There is no running water in 20 counties and cities in the disaster area, he said.

Corruption blamed for rising death toll in China

A doctor, who had worked for two days without a break in the ruins of school buildings that entombed 900 students, lashed out at those responsible for sub-standard buildings that failed to protect victims of the earthquake.

“It’s nothing but corruption – they must have used sub-standard cement and steel,” said Dr Tian, who was reluctant to give his other name.

Parents’ grief turns to anger at shoddily built deathtrap schools

Three days after the quake struck, troops and fire engines queued idly along the roadsides waiting for orders.

“I saw a doctor walking along the lines of bloody bodies, checking pulses and looking at wounds. If he shook his head the nurses were instructed not to take the person to the operating theatre but move them to another room to die. It was like a scene from a war film,” she said.

Posted in asia, bribes, China, ecosystems, environment, government, money, politics, sleaze | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments »