News / Asia

Trial Opens for 23 Cambodian Labor Activists

Protesters clash with police as they attempt to move toward the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, in central Phnom Penh, Cambodia, April 25, 2014.
Protesters clash with police as they attempt to move toward the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, in central Phnom Penh, Cambodia, April 25, 2014.
Heng Reaksmey
Demonstrators and police clashed Friday outside the Phnom Penh Municipal Court building where 23 labor activists were brought for trial following their arrests in January.

The activists face charges related to incitement of violence in the protests.

They were arrested following garment sector protests in which security forces killed least four people and wounded dozens more. The workers had been demanding a doubling of the country's minimum wage.

One of the accused, union activist Von Pov, talked Friday with reporters outside the courthouse.

“I need freedom. It's unjust. I do everything for the Khmer people. I am innocent,” he said.

Supporters say the 23 activists are being prosecuted as a deterrent against further labor demonstrations.

About 100 supporters clashed with an equal number of riot police outside the court, with a number of protesters being injured.

Protester Kek Chanreaksmey told VOA she was kicked and beaten by police, but that she stood by the labor activists.

“Our protest is to demand the Cambodian court to deliver justice to us, not just the 23. There must be justice for all of us because the court system must be independent and no one can dictate it,” she said.

The hearings are scheduled to resume May 5.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Khmer service.

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Comment Sorting
by: Victoria Eructation from: USA
April 26, 2014 12:55 PM
In addition to ePodments, rabbit hutch-like apartments of 200 square feet, the homeless, unemployed and poor may soon be relegated to “mini-homes,” tiny dwellings made of straw, casein, junkyard scrap and other cheap materials.
MPHOnline wants to make “mini-home communities viable, cost-effective and sustainable” in response to the economic crisis. It cites as an example Allan Graham’s Community First Village in Austin, Texas.

While helping the poor is admirable, we have to ask: why is there an economic crisis? Why are millions of Americans unemployed and underemployed?

Sheltering folks is certainly required, but so is making sure a tiny international financial cartel does not have the power to command and destroy economies at will.

The current economic crisis was created by the Federal Reserve. It manufactured the housing bubble that burst and took down the economy. It has engineered no less than ten economic recessions since 1950. It admits to having unleashed the Great Depression.

When too big to fail casino banks and corporations go bust, the Federal Reserve bails them out. The Frank-Dodd audit of the Fed revealed an astounding $16,000,000,000,000.00 has been given in bailouts to banks and corporations throughout the world from December 2007 through June 2010 after the manufactured subprime housing bubble popped. The $16 trillion figure dwarfs both the national debt and the annual gross domestic product for the United States.

“From now on, depressions will be scientifically created,” warned Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh Sr. in 1913 when the Federal Reserve Act was passed in the dead of night on Christmas. “The financial system has been turned over to the Federal Reserve Board. That Board as ministers the finance system by authority of a purely profiteering group. The system is Private, conducted for the sole purpose of obtaining the greatest possible profits from the use of other people’s money.”

Homes are needed for the homeless and unemployed. But what is really needed is to deconstruct the Federal Reserve and return America to sound and honest money, not inflated fiat currency designed to benefit a small cabal of international bankers and impoverish everybody else.

If the Fed is allowed to continue its bust polices – we are now told the boom aspect is a thing of the past – we may all soon be living in micro-homes made of garbage recycled from our ancestors.

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