DEMONSTRATE AGAINST KILLINGS IN GUINEA
Monday 29 January 2007, 12.30pm
Meet outside Charing Cross station near the Burger King.
Demonstrators will then make their way towards Trafalgar Square.
There we will be demonstrating and protesting for about 3/4 of an hour.
Then a delegation of about 40 people will head to the Embassy of Guinea at 48 Onslow Gardens, SW7, in South Kensington off Fulham Road. Very near South Kensington tube.
See background below
At least 59 people have been killed by the military in Guinea since a general strike started on 10 Jan 2007.
Workers’ World, 26 Jan 2007
Moktar Ba, a reporter for Radio France International in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, says the real reason for the general strike is the people’s growing misery.
Most people survive on less than $1 a day-even though Guinea is the world’s second biggest producer of bauxite, the source of aluminum, and possesses about one-third of the world’s reserves.
It also is a major producer of gold. The union movement called two widely followed general strikes last year.
The Independent, London
Soldiers open fire on Guinea protesters
By Alex Duval Smith
Published: 23 January 2007
At least 17 people were killed yesterday when soldiers opened fire on street protesters in Guinea in the deadliest day since the start of a mass uprising against the regime of West Africa’s longest-serving president.
The violence has claimed at least 37 lives since the start of a general strike two weeks ago and threatens Guinea’s war-scarred neighbours, Sierra Leone and Liberia, on whom Britain and the United Nations continue to spend millions of pounds to secure fragile peace.
Trade unions and opposition parties in Guinea – a poor country despite having one of the most mineral-rich subsoils in the world – are protesting against the autocratic 23-year rule of Lansana Conté.
They are supported by the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches as well as prominent Muslim leaders.
“We have total support,” Rabiatou Serah Diallo, the leader of the National Confederation of Guinean Workers, said.
“The resolve of the people is enormous. You can see that because they are prepared to continue turning up for peaceful marches despite the fact that the security forces now clearly have orders to open fire.”
The trade unions called the strike after President Conté, 73, last month ordered the release of two of his friends who had been jailed for corruption.
“That arrogant show of impunity was just too much for the people,” Jean-Marie Doré, the leader of the opposition Union Pour Le Progrès de la Guinée, said. “
They are fed up with living in a country where nothing works even when there is not a general strike. People have nothing to lose.”
Since it started on 10 January, the general strike has spread rapidly beyond the capital, Conakry, to the former French colony’s railways and its mining industry, which includes the world’s biggest source of aluminium ore (bauxite).
President Conté has, however, maintained a low profile since the start of the protest.