“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.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Benin voters boycott polls with only one choice

CNA – AFP, 29 Apr 2019

A polling official empties the ballot box at the end of the vote at a polling station during
the elections for a new parliament in Cotonou on Apr 28, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Yanick Folly)

PORTO-NOVO: People in Benin on Sunday (Apr 28) boycotted in large numbers parliamentary polls with no opposition candidate to choose from, as rights groups warned of a crackdown on basic freedoms.

As national radio stations pleaded for voters to "fulfil their duty as citizens" and elect 83 new members of parliament - choosing from two parties both allied to President Patrice Talon - the internet was cut.

The small West African state was long held up as a model for democracy, but the country's main opposition parties were effectively barred from fielding candidates by tough new eligibility rules.

Instead, they asked their supporters to protest by boycotting the polls.

Many of the five million registered voters seemed to stay away, with voting booths in the economic capital Cotonou quiet, streets empty and shops closed all day.

Internet Shutdowns

In 10 polling stations visited by AFP in the largely opposition area of Seme-Podji, no more than 35 voters had cast their ballots out of the more than 400 people registered. The situation seemed similar in other parts of Benin visited by AFP reporters.

"We have never seen such a thing," one election commission official said. "The people have not come out."

In the run up to polling, protests were broken up by force. Internet access was initially tightly restricted with blocks on the main social media and messaging apps.

Amnesty International called the internet shutdown a "blunt violation of the right to freedom of expression."

Then later in the day, internet access was shut down entirely.

"It is effectively silencing human rights defenders, journalists and bloggers who are monitoring contested parliamentary elections without opposition candidates," Amnesty said in a statement.

'Going to far'

Even supporters of the president did not vote.

"I'm not a fierce opponent, I actually support President Talon," said Wilfrid Pokini, a trader in the capital Porto Novo. "But I do not support this election - an unopposed election, what is that? It is going too far."

People say they are "stunned" and "shocked" by the situation, but blanket bans on demonstrations ahead of voting has kept people off the streets.

"The wave of arbitrary arrests of political activists and journalists, and the crackdown on peaceful protests, have reached an alarming level," Amnesty International researcher Francois Patuel said.

Before 1991, Benin struggled under decades of authoritarian rule. The transition to democracy brought a flowering of political competition - five years ago, voters could chose from 20 parties for the 83 seats in parliament.

But this year, lawmakers from the ruling party pushed through a new electoral code.


Talon, elected in 2016, portrays himself as a reformer and modernist. He has defended the electoral code, saying it would bring together the scores of political parties - more than 250 parties in a country of some 12 million people - into simpler blocs.

But critics say the rules were too tough and bureaucratic. Only the two parties allied to Talon - the Republicans and Progressive Union - met the new conditions, effectively barring the opposition from taking part.

Several international and domestic observers scrapped their missions to monitor the polls. Some warn of the risk of unrest.

"Banning peaceful protests and detaining those who speak up against the exclusion of opposition parties from the legislative election will only fuel political turmoil," Amnesty's Patuel added.

The president is, however, apparently not worried. There seems little doubt that the new parliament will back the presidency in its entirety.

"The resentment will pass," presidential spokesman Wilfried Houngbedji said. "On Monday, life will resume its normal course."

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