“Jasmine Revolution”
Symbol of peace: Flowers placed on the barrel of a tank
in very much calmer protests than in recent days in Tunisia

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011
Mannoubia Bouazizi, the mother of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi. "Mohammed suffered a lot. He worked hard. but when he set fire to himself, it wasn’t about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity." (Peter Hapak for TIME)

1 - TUNISIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

How eyepatches became a symbol of Egypt's revolution - Graffiti depicting a high ranking army officer with an eye patch Photograph: Nasser Nasser/ASSOCIATED PRESS

2 - EGYPT Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

''17 February Revolution"

3 - LIBYA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

5 - SYRIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

"25 January Youth Revolution"
Muslim and Christian shoulder-to-shoulder in Tahrir Square
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
(Subjects: Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" (without a manager hierarchy) managed Businesses, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)
(Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

"If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening."

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

African Union (AU)

African Union (AU)
African Heads of State pose for a group photo ahead of the start of the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa on January 30, 2017 (AFP Photo/ Zacharias ABUBEKER)

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Few words can describe Nelson Mandela, so we let him speak for himself. Happy birthday, Madiba.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Workers claim abuse as China adds Zimbabwe to its scramble for Africa

Workers on Robert Mugabe's pet construction project say they suffer regular beatings and miserable pay and conditions

guardian.co.uk, David Smith in Harare, Monday 2 January 2012

Robert Mugabe is welcomed to Beijing by the Chinese president, Hu Jintao.
China plans to invest up to $10bn in Zimbabwe over the next five years, more
than in any other country. Photograph: Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

In the evening gloom the vast complex emerges into view. Beyond a high security wall, insects dance in the beam of a giant floodlight. Men are still hard at work in the skeletons of concrete tower blocks, and standing at the centre of it all is the arch of a Chinese pagoda.

Zimbabwe's national defence college is under construction within a sprawling, heavily-guarded compound whose brooding presence sends a clear message to any would-be revolutionary. Some have dubbed it the "Robert Mugabe national school of intelligence".

The construction site north of Harare has also become the lightning rod for another source of simmering resentment – Chinese labour practices.

Surrounded by a perimeter wall that runs for a kilometre through what was once farmland, the shadowy military academy is being built by a Chinese contractor whose managers are accused of meting out physical punishments, miserable conditions and meagre pay.

"The beatings happen very often," said a 28-year-old carpenter, wearing blue overalls as he made the long walk home after a 14-hour shift. "They ill-treat you and, if you make a mistake, they beat you up.

"I saw some men beaten up yesterday. A guy complained: 'You're not treating us like human beings,' and the Chinese replied: 'You should appreciate we've come to assist you.' They beat him up and he was fired." He estimated that there were about 600 Zimbabwean and 300 Chinese workers on the site. Around 50 of the Chinese were managers. Some of the Chinese have "nice homes inside" while others live in wooden shacks just outside the complex. The Zimbabweans and Chinese rarely mix, he added. "They don't speak English so we use sign language. The Chinese eat off plates, then give us the leftovers."

The carpenter said he typically gets up at 4am and works from 7am to 9pm every day. For this he is paid $4 (£2.50) a day, but at least it is work so he can feed his wife and three children. "We don't have a choice because we need to survive. But if it was possible to chase all the Chinese away, I would."

Reports of abuse by managers at the Chinese contractor, Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Company (AFECC), are widespread, as are complaints that the government is turning a blind eye because it cannot afford to lose such a valuable partner.

A 26-year-old builder, on his way to a nightshift, said: "We tried to go on strike but the leader of it was beaten up and sacked. The government doesn't say anything, even though it knows people are beaten up. I saw them undress some workers and beat them with helmets. Some of them were crying with the pain.

"We feel angry but we need money, so there is no choice. If you don't work 10 hours, there is no money."

Attempts to contact AFECC by telephone and email were unsuccessful. The company's website refers to projects in Ivory Coast, Mozambique and Zambia, and describes how the project team of the Zimbabwe national defence college raised $4,570 for a carpenter, Chen Zongde, whose son needed treatment for leukaemia.

Zimbabwe received a Chinese loan of $98m to build the college. It will be repaid over 20 years through earnings from the Marange diamond fields, which are being mined by another Chinese firm amid widespread claims of human rights violations under military control.

Okay Machisa, director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association, said: "Parliament approving such a debt without consulting Zimbabeweans is very serious. Why are we prioritising an army intelligence college instead of universities and hospitals?

"Harare has no electricity most of the time and the water is not good for human consumption. It shows we are trying to keep Zimbabwe under the control of state security."

China's commercial empire has expanded enormously in Africa over the past decade and Zimbabwe is trying to catch up. Trade between the two countries stood at $550m last year, according to the Chinese embassy.

The government in Harare has announced that China plans up to $10bn in investments over the next five years, more than in any other country.

Diamonds and other mineral resources are the main attraction, but Chinese entrepreneurs have also seized opportunities in construction, manufacturing and retail. Chinese restaurants are booming, attracting top politicians and businessmen. Shops are flooded with cheap Chinese imports, or "zhing-zhong", of dubious quality. Zimbabwean vendors claim they are being undercut and put out of work.

Just as a recent Human Rights Watch report alleged poor conditions at Chinese-run copper mines in neighbouring Zambia, so there is growing antipathy and mistrust in Zimbabwe. Trade unions have called for action and even members of Mugabe's Zanu-PF party have expressed disquiet.

Machisa said: "We've got alarming, shocking human rights abuses in firms operated by the Chinese. We've got empirical evidence that is going to shock the people of Zimbabwe. They are physically abusing the workers. They are psychologically terrorising the workers.

"But they are not being prosecuted. There is a culture of impunity."

Others believe the problem is a cultural misunderstanding.

A Chinese immigrant, 29-year-old Li Chen, said: "If Chinese people work from 8am till 8pm they have no problem. Sometimes they ask their employees to do the same and it makes them unhappy. It will not happen.

"It's a different culture. If people sit down and talk and understand each other, it should change."

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