The government of the United Arab Emirates has fired the leaders of the Teachers Association and replaced them with state scabs, according to the Teacher Solidarity blog. The Teachers Association had signed a declaration calling for democracy in the UAE, which is the third largest oil producer in the world and an ally of the U.S.
Human Rights Watch has called on the UAE to “immediately stop their hostile takeover of civil society and free the peaceful democracy activists” (from the World Bulletin). However, there never really was much of a civil society in the UAE, which is a federation of seven monarchies that have always been run autocratically. Only 2% of the population has the vote, political parties are illegal, and the thousands of migrant workers are treated like virtual slaves.