Protesters refuse to remove blockade prohibiting access to RUSAL operations

first_img– say will not stop until Russian company meet their demandsEven as loggers and other workers employed at RUSAL complained about being affected by the blockage of the Berbice River, the protesters are not giving up that easily.The blocked Berbice RiverIn fact, Ephraim Velloza, Branch President of the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union (GB&GWU), which is representing the dismissed and displaced bauxite workers of Aroaima, told Guyana Times on Thursday that the wire ropes and other items used to block the waterway will only be removed when RUSAL gives in to the Union’s demands.These demands include the reinstatement of the 91 workers who were dismissed and displaced as well as an increase in workers’ salaries. They also want this agreement to be legal and binding.“There is nothing we can do at the present moment, but the persons them can talk to the Government or talk to RUSAL, let them loose their strong hold. So there is nothing that we can do at the present moment, but let them go and talk to the people, like the Minister of Natural Resources, talk to the forestry department and let them put the pressure on RUSAL. So that RUSAL can release their strong hold, because we are in this thing, because RUSAL has been dealing [with] us unfairly,” Velloza stated during a telephone interview.He explained that the situation was not only affecting the workers but the surrounding communities.“The loggers they are purchasing from the communities. Now if we open and let the loggers pass they won’t make any contribution back to the communities, because they already paid their royalty and I feel if somebody is paying a rent or a royalty, they are supposed to be taken care of or looked after. Now they are coming and calling on us and we are in this plight, they are doing the wrong thing, because I think that they should call on the people in authority.”The GB&GWU is scheduled to meet with RUSAL today to commence their first round of talks on this ongoing issue; however, this does not necessarily mean that RUSAL will be offering anything much, Velloza further stated.“We don’t know how it will go and where it will go from there. They could call us, decide to accept us, but when we reach at the round table, they don’t appreciate our support and they could do otherwise. If RUSAL does not adhere to our proposals, then we will continue and probably take it to the next level,” Velloza added.last_img read more

Trevor Noah gibe over ‘African-ness’ of France sparks debate

first_img0Shares0000France’s win over Croatia was the culmination of a campaign that saw coach Didier |Descahmps, their skipper 20 years ago, draw on a phalanx of players of African heritageWASHINGTON, United States, Jul 19 – A light-hearted quip about a soccer team has sparked a serious debate about identity politics and the merits of France’s “colorblind” republican model versus American multiculturalism.When the host of American television’s popular “The Daily Show” joked that the real winner of the World Cup was “Africa,” it prompted a fierce reaction on social media and drew a pointed rebuttal from the French ambassador to Washington. Trevor Noah, the popular comedian who hosts the TV show, was calling attention to the fact that many of the winning French team’s players are of African origin — immigrants themselves or the children of immigrants.“Africa won the World Cup,” he said, before adding: “I get it. They have to say it’s the French team, but look at those guys: you don’t get that tan in the south of France!”Noah’s gag provoked an avalanche of reactions on social media, reviving angry debates about the very different approaches to race, immigration and assimilation taken by France and the United States.While many commenters found Noah’s remarks amusing, others accused the 34-year-old — who grew up under South Africa’s race-based apartheid system, with a white father and black mother — as doing the work of the extreme right.French Ambassador Gerard Araud immediately sent Noah a stern letter saying that “nothing could be less true.”“The rich and various backgrounds of these players is a reflection of France’s diversity,” Araud said. “Unlike in the United States of America, France does not refer to its citizens based on their race, religion or origin.”“To us, there is no hyphenated identity, roots are an individual reality,” the ambassador continued. “By calling them an African team, it seems you are denying their Frenchness.“This, even in jest, legitimizes the ideology which claims whiteness as the only definition of being French,” said Araud, who regularly defends France’s republican model on Twitter.– Different approaches –That republican model is based on the idea that true equality can be achieved only when the state interacts with people as individuals, not as members of national, racial, religious or linguistic groups.That precludes any official collecting of race-based data, for example, but it also rules out the affirmative action approach used in the US explicitly to overcome — not prolong — years of discrimination.Some French see Americans as relentlessly race-conscious in ways that are needlessly damaging. But some Americans say the French system allows minority groups to live on in official invisibility, facing self-perpetuating social and economic obstacles.For Trevor Noah, the French simply need to get a sense of humor.“When I’m saying ‘African,’ I’m not saying it to exclude them from their French-ness, I’m saying it to include them in my African-ness,” Noah said in a video posted Wednesday on Twitter. “I’m saying, ‘I see you, my French brother of African descent.’”– Double identity –Noah said he recognized that the far right in both France and the US used the argument of people’s origin to attack immigrants and their descendants at a time both countries face sensitive immigration issues.But he added that he found it “strange” to suggest that France’s soccer stars could not be simultaneously French and African.“Why can’t they be both?” he asked. “Why is that duality only afforded to a select group of people?”“What they’re arguing here is in order to be French, you have to erase everything that is African?” Noah continued.“America is not a perfect country, but what I love about this place is that people can still celebrate their identity in their American-ness,” he said.An American can attend a parade to celebrate his or her Puerto Rican or Irish heritage, for example, while still being American, Noah said.The comedian said that some French media and politicians evoke a person’s African origin when the person is unemployed, accused of a crime or “considered unsavory.”But “when their children go on to provide a World Cup victory for France, we should only refer to them as ‘France,’” he added, referencing the case of Mamoudou Gassama, the 22-year-old African immigrant who was granted French citizenship after scaling four floors to rescue a child hanging from a balcony.Noah said he would continue to sing the players’ praises as both Africans and as French.“And if French people are saying they cannot be both, then I think they have a problem — not me.”Former US president Barack Obama touched on the same subject, but a bit less contentiously, during a visit to Johannesburg to mark the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela.Praising the virtues of diversity, Obama singled out the French team, adding with a smile, “Not all these folks look like Gauls to me (but) they are French, they are French!”0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more


first_img“I invited him to the ring,” Alvarez said. “Like we say “I invited him to the ring,” Alvarez said. “Like we say in Mexico …. We dont fight for rings and stuff. We dont come to play. I fear no one in this sport.”At Fridays weigh-in, both boxers scaled 155 pounds, bang on the catch-weight limit. Many Mexicans were in Las Vegas to celebrate the Cinco de Mayo festival weekend, meaning the majority of the crowd was on Alvarezs side.There was also a vocal contingent of Khans fans, who made the trip from Britain for the title fight.Also in attendance at ringside were boxing legends Evander Holyfield, Roberto Duran and Roy Jones as well as fight promoter Oscar de la Hoya. – Third KO of career -====================== The challenge for former junior welterweight champion Khan is to overcome another crushing knockout as his record dropped to 31-4 with 19 knockouts.”I showed my balls by getting into the ring with a big guy. I am one of those fighters who will step in the ring with whoever,” said Khan, who was knocked out for the third time in his career.This was Khans first go at middleweight and he said he has no plans to continue to fight in the 160-pound division.”The challenge came and it was hard to turn down. My natural weight is 147 and I will be going down to that,” he said.Alvarez-Khan was the first boxing match to take place at the 20,000-capacity arena. The USD 375 million facility opened last month. AFP SSC SSCadvertisementlast_img read more