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March 21, 2005

Democratic Reform Demanded in Kyrgyzstan

According to the LAT and WaPo, protestors are demanding that President Askar Akayev resign in Krgyzstan. The protestors took over a goverment building in Jalal-Abad in early March, lost control of the building on Sunday, re-occupied the building and then took over a police station - freeing political prisoners and setting it on fire.

This poses a slight problem for the USG, since Krgyzstan is one of the many re-fueling stops for the United States' Imperial Army.

More info:
"Kyrgyz Protesters Burn a Police Building: Demonstrators venting anger over the results of recent elections, which they call fraudulent, attack the headquarters in a southern city." by David Holley in the LAT
"Protesters in Kyrgyzstan Denounce Ballot Fraud: Police Station Burned; Offices Overrun" by Kadyr Toktogulov, Associated Press in WaPo

found via Today's Papers

Posted by cj at March 21, 2005 11:32 AM

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Protests are VERY important. It shows that we are unified about certain issues. How do you think the labor movement came about? What about rights of women to vote? Voting rights of African Americans? Of course we have a long way to go, but without showing that we have "POWER IN NUMBERS" our democratic party is NOTHING. That's what democracy is based on and we all know what the republican party is based on: MONEY. We don't have the money, but we have the people. And, now is NOT THE TIME to back down and forget our power.

Posted by: Shawn at March 21, 2005 4:09 PM

First of all, Shawn, not everyone who disagrees with the current government is a member of the Democratic Party. Second, the Democratic Party is just as big of a money machine as the Republican Party is. The only place in modern American politics where the power of numbers sometimes helps is at the ballot box, and progressives have done a really poor job of getting out the vote.

The labor movement came about from striking workers - some of whom were killed in the process of standing up to their inhuamane bosses. The suffragist movement was a right that was fought for over a long period of time - the same women who fought for the end of slavery were demanding the right to vote, but their voices were silenced for a long time. Jim Crow laws were defeated by a combination of lawsuits and boycotts. The marches were mostly symbolic.

But the point is not whether or not marches helped in the past - its about the fact that it has done *nothing* to sway popular opinion and *nothing* to change the course of policy post 9-11-01. More people marched against the war before it began than did last Saturday, yet they were unable to stop the war from starting. The only thing you accomplish by marching is feeling like you accomplished something.

Posted by: C.J. at March 21, 2005 4:28 PM

MOVEMENTS are just that>>>>movements. Sometimes movements are slow, start out small. Sometimes they move fast. Sometimes it takes being hit over the head with a brick or for a country to start taxing your basic needs, such as water, to get people to take a stand. But, at least there is a movement in Chicago. And, when people are ready, at least they know there is a movement out there that they can join. And, we will be ready. It may just take a while. Apartheid did not break up overnight. The slaves were not freed overnight and women did not get the right to vote overnight. So, lets combine all our efforts and stop dissing certain parts of our movements because the truth is, with all of the efforts together, we are going to be the most effective. I did not ever say that we cannot use more strategy, but we need to do something. Complaining about things without action is the worst thing that one can do. We DO need to get our friends and neighbors to understand issues. But, negativity never gets anyone anywhere but depressed.

Posted by: shawn at March 24, 2005 1:20 PM

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