This from a new Obama campaign ad: Miners were told that attendance at a Mitt Romney campaign rally was mandatory. Not only that, the miners were not paid for the time they were forced to spend at the rally, and then Mitt Romney used the miners in an ad for his campaign.
A South African court is set to release 270 miners who were arrested on charges of murder after police there gunned down 34 of their co-workers, and wounded 78 others.
The release was due to start on Monday around 2:00pm (12:00 GMT), after the public prosecutor on Sunday provisionally dropped murder charges brought against the miners for the killings by police at platinum giant Lonmin's Marikana mine.
"We still have to establish what the numbers [due to be released] are and get a true reflection of what the intention of the prosecution was," Mapule Keetse, the lawyer for the detained, told the AFP news agency.
Murder had been added to the chargesheet against the miners last week, after they were originally charged with public violence, illegal gathering and attempted murder.
"The murder charge against the current 270 suspects, which was provisional anyway, will be formally withdrawn provisionally in court on their next court appearance," Nomgcobo Jiba, acting national director of prosecutions, announced on Sunday.
Jiba said other charges, including public violence, would remain.
The announcement of the release follows intense criticism from political parties, trade unions, civil society and legal experts.
The strike by the miners of Gold Fields' KDC gold mine is said to likely continue. The miners were seeking a wage increase to $1,500 a month.
The Peruvian government has declared a state of emergency in the mountain region of Cajamarca where thousands have gathered in recent days to protest the expansion of a gold mine owned by the U.S.-based Newmont Mining that is already the largest in South America. Using live ammunition against the protesters, police have killed five people this week alone. In a dramatic video broadcast nationally on Peruvian television, police severely beat Marco Arana, a former Roman Catholic priest, who had rallied protesters despite emergency measures restricting freedom of assembly. We speak to journalist Bill Weinberg, who was recently in Cajamarca. "Every time the company, Yanacocha, proposes an expansion of the mine, the local people there get organized, and they block the roads, and they shut down the businesses," Weinberg says.
Blood flows down the face of an injured protester who was injured during clashes between supporters of Spanish coal miners and riot police as they ended a "Marcha Negra" (Black March) near the Industry Ministry in Madrid July 11, 2012 (Reuters/Paul Hanna)
At least 76 people have been injured in Madrid as clashes flared up between protesters and police, the latter using rubber bullets. Thousands of Spaniards turned out against new cuts introduced by the government.
Those injured include 33 police officers and 43 protesters – miners and their supporters.
Minor arrests have been made so far, with eight people being detained. Three of those arrested reportedly threw bricks at police, local El Pais newspaper reported. The police have confirmed that there were no miners among the arrested.
Witnesses and demonstrators claim that police started the attack without any warning.
Protesters disagree with a 63 per cent cut in subsidies to coal mining companies, major contributors to the Spanish energy market. Unions say the plan threatens 30,000 jobs and could destroy their livelihoods.
Miners, who were hiking from the north of the country for the past two weeks, have been joined by tens of thousands of Spaniards also protesting against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s tax hike.
The prime minister announced his decision to raise VAT by 3 per cent as part of the plan to trim the public budget by 65 billion euro over the next two-and-a-half years. Rajoy also declared a 3.5-billion-euro cut to local government spending.
Many protesters marched more than 400 kilometers (250 miles) from mines in northern Spain.
As protesters call for more demonstrations to make their voices heard journalist and writer Miguel-Anxo Murado told RT that the government seems to underestimate the protests.