A Mahan Sangharsh Samiti member talks about her involvement in the campaign against Mahan Coal Limited. © Vivek Muthuramalingam

Our roundup of links to innovative and interesting mobilisation campaigns that caught our eye (and yours) in the past few weeks:

Garment Factories Close as Thousands Protest

In Dhaka, Bangladesh, more than 300 garment factories shut down after hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in a days-long protest to increase wages.

The latest round of protests began on Sept. 21, with approximately 50,000 women rallying in Dhaka, and were still going three days later. The rally appeared to be aimed at stopping production rather than appealing to public officials or the international community. The factories supply clothing to Walmart and other western companies.

People employed in Bangladesh’s garment factories protest unsafe conditions and low wages. (Flickr/Dblackadder)

The workers are seeking a wage increase of up to $103/month, which would more than double the women’s current salaries. About 10,000 women blocked the highway north of the capital city, while other rallied outside various factories. 
Via wagingnonviolence.org

Cyclists Mobilise for New Bike Lane

Cyclists in Fortaleza, Brazil, successfully pressured authorities for a bike lane. The cyclists, which include members of the Massa Crítica Fortaleza group, took matters into their own hands Aug. 4 when they created their own bike lane on Ana Bilhar street. They used a shopping cart and tubing to spread paint on the asphalt to create the lane, and recorded it on video. The video was shared on social sites that day, generating community response.

Though the lane was removed the following day by the Transit, Public Services and Citizenship Municipal Authority, a meeting was later held where the decision was made to officially reinstate the lane.
Via GlobalVoicesOnline.org

Activists in Peaceful Protest against Russian Oil Giant Detained

Greenpeace activists are facing two months behind bars in Russia and an investigation for possible piracy after engaging in a peaceful protest against oil drilling in the Arctic.

They took action on Sept. 18 at the giant Prirazlomnaya oil rig, where Gazprom intends to become the first company to pump oil from icy Arctic waters. Two activists were detained and held overnight on a Russian Coast Guard vessel. The following day, the Russian Coast Guard illegally boarded the Greenpeace International ship Arctic Sunrise while it was in international waters. The crew were held under armed guard as the ship was towed to the port of Murmansk. Upon arrival, the activists were taken from the ship and held by authorities on land.

The Greenpeace International ship Arctic Sunrise was attacked by the Russian Coast Guard.

The Greenpeace International ship Arctic Sunrise was attacked by the Russian Coast Guard.

Twenty eight activists, as well as a freelance videographer and a freelance photographer, were refused bail. Greenpeace is demanding the immediate release of all activists, the ship, and an end to offshore oil drilling in the Arctic. Supporters are encouraged to send the Russian Embassy a letter and tweet using the hashtag #FreeTheArctic30 and can follow along via Twitter.
Via Greenpeace.org

Film Documents Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign

Northwestern University filmmakers Jessica Murphy and Elissa Nadworny created a short documentary highlighting the work of the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign. Called Taking Over, Taking Back, the video brings to light the struggle in Cabrini Green, which was one of the nation’s largest public housing projects until it was rapidly depopulated and then demolished. Homeless, homeowners and renters have come together through the campaign and taken over vacant, bank-owned houses.

Opening shot of documentary Taking Over, Taking Back (WNV/Taking Over, Taking Back).

This is a different angle to the mainstream media’s coverage of the five-year anniversary of Lehman’s collapse. People highlighted in the film show how a grassroots movement for economic justice needs to meet people’s needs so they can continue to fight.
Via wagingnonviolence.org

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