Friday, May 27, 2011

Bahrain’s Anti-Union Crackdown

As people protest the corrupt and repressive monarchy of Bahrain, the government has responded with violence and mass arrests. Labor Notes reports that they have also fired over 1,300 workers in retaliation for their involvement in the democracy movement, including 12 of the 15 officers of the oil union. Furthermore, they have been examining photos from the demonstrations and marches and are asking employers to fire anyone they can identify from the photos. The government intends to bring oil union leaders before a military court, where they could face the death penalty. Union members have held two general strikes in February and March in response to state violence against demonstrators.

Meanwhile, Democracy Now reported today that the Saudi royal family has been recruiting Muslim nations everywhere for a Sunni alliance against Iran and the Shiite protesters in Bahrain. Saudi officials have already made overtures to Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and many of the former Soviet states of Central Asia, not only to join the alliance, but also to provide military assistance to the beleaguered Bahraini regime.

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