Air Traffic Controllers’ Protest Delays Flights in Warsaw | Business News

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Air travel authorities in Poland are warning travellers of possible flight delays and cancellations at Warsaw’s airport due to a protest and some flight controllers quitting their jobs.

The protest is in reaction to changes made in January to the functioning of the flight regulatory body, the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency, as well as to allegations that it was not properly ensuring airspace security. The controllers have also criticized the new salary system, although it allows those most experienced to earn up to 45,000 zlotys ($10,500) a month.

Of Warsaw’s Frederic Chopin Airport’s 216 flight controllers, 44 quit last month and some 130 area threatening to quit in April. A new head of the regulatory body was appointed March 31 and negotiations are continuing.

On Saturday, a number of arrivals and departures were delayed by an average of 30 minutes at the airport. A spokeswoman for the airport, Anna Dermont, said the situation was the result of shortages in the control tower’s staff.

Poland’s Civil Aviation Authority has posted a warning that flights may be delayed or cancelled in the coming days.

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The state auditing body, NIK, has found irregularities in the air navigation regulatory body’s work, saying there were internal tensions, while controllers complained of overwork.

In mid-March, airspace over eastern Poland was reserved only for military training and defense purposes, due to Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Poland’s eastern neighbour, Ukraine.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Trucker Mandate Protest Hits DC, Snarling Local Traffic | Washington, D.C. News

By RICK GENTILO, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds of truckers and other motorists who have been doing rolling protests on highways encircling Washington made their way into the nation’s capital Monday, snarling already-congested traffic in a demonstration against COVID-19 mandates and other grievances.

The DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency issued a traffic advisory shortly before 2 p.m. that suggested motorists delay travel or use alternative transportation “due to ongoing demonstration activity on I-395, I-695, and I-295.”

The Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department closed a number of streets and exits off the highways to prevent the protesters from coming into the city. “These rolling road closures are occurring in real-time as they are needed,” the announcement said.

The protesters, separated intermittently by the usual congested traffic, waved flags and blew their horns as they drove. When asked why they had come to protest, one unidentified couple with Montana license plates answered “freedom.”

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Area residents took to the police department’s Twitter with a number of the comments holding city officials and the police responsible for the traffic gridlock by shutting down the exits.

Authorities sent out a second advisory about two-and-a-half hours later announcing the demonstration had ended and the freeway exits were being reopened.

The truckers, some from as far away as California and Montana, have been in the area more than a week driving from Hagerstown, Maryland, to the beltway surrounding Washington to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates as well as voice frustration for other grievances.

Last week, organizers of the group met with Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. Cruz joined them for a ride as they circled the Washington area.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Local students begin traveling to Tallahassee for protest against ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

On Sunday night, dozens of high school and college students began a journey to Tallahassee to join a rally in front of the Florida Capitol.

On Sunday night, dozens of high school and college students began a journey to Tallahassee to join a rally in front of the Florida Capitol to rally against HB 1557, the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

The bill has one final stop early this week before being sent to the desk of Gov. Ron DeSantis, which is the State Senate floor.

Miami Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava met students as they boarded a bus.

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People gather at the Peace Bridge to protest COVID-19 mandates on border travel

BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) — A movement involving Canadian truckers who are protesting the vaccine mandate is picking up steam locally as hundreds gathered Saturday by the Peace Bridge to push back on the mandates on border travel.

“The ultimate goal right now, for everyone that’s here, is for the mandates to be gotten rid of. They were needed at one time immediately, but they’ve been overused and extended beyond belief. They’re not needed,” said Frank Kolemann, who was born in Canada but now lives in Buffalo.

Because Kolemann is unvaccinated, he has not been able to cross the border into Canada in two years.

“All of these mandates are doing more harm than good,” he said. “The borders are closed to family. I’m a dual citizen. I have tons of family in Canada I cannot go visit.”

People against COVID-19 mandates gathered with their American and Canadian flags and headed from Tonawanda to the Peace Bridge to get their message across.

“I’m here supporting freedom. We need to have our rights back. We need to have the choice,” said Wendy Dominski, who attended the rally.

Across the bridge in Fort Erie, Canada, there was a vehicle convoy, with people showing support for Canadian truckers against the vaccine mandate.

“It’s a small percentage of people who aren’t happy with government policies, all of us are tired of the government policies but we understand that in order to be safe, protect your neighbors and family, you have to follow certain public health guidelines,” said Fort Erie Mayor Wayne Redekop.

A freedom convoy is set to take place this Sunday at noon near the Peace Bridge.

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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Live Updates: Canada Trucker Protest News




The Canadian Police Work to Clear Protesters in Ontario

A group of police officers stood in a line to move protesters blocking access to an economically vital bridge in Windsor, Ontario. It’s the third week of demonstrations that began as a protest against Canada’s vaccine mandate for truck drivers crossing the U.S.-Canada border.

[Crowd chatter] “They want everybody, as in everybody, out of here.” “All of you are better. Every single one of you are better.”

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A group of police officers stood in a line to move protesters blocking access to an economically vital bridge in Windsor, Ontario. It’s the third week of demonstrations that began as a protest against Canada’s vaccine mandate for truck drivers crossing the U.S.-Canada border.CreditCredit…Geoff Robins/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The Canadian police moved in on Saturday morning to clear protesters at an economically vital bridge in Windsor, Ontario, that connects Canada and the United States, and by midday had shepherded most of the pedestrians onto other streets. About a dozen vehicles remained, blocking the flow of traffic across the Ambassador Bridge to Detroit, an important conduit for the supply chains of the global automobile industry.

A group of police officers wearing heavy jackets but not wielding shields or other riot gear stood in a line, cautiously and progressively edging closer to the protesters. Officers told protesters that they risked arrest if they failed to clear the area.

They were reinforced by a second group of officers in military garb. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the national broadcaster, showed what appeared to be an armored personnel carrier at the scene. The officers were from the Windsor Police Service as well as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada’s national police force.

While one intersection leading to the Ambassador Bridge was cleared by the early afternoon, two other intersections remained blocked by pickup trucks and cars, and protesters moved freely between the two.

After the police pushed back the crowd, more local residents arrived on foot to add to their numbers, honking and yelling in what resembled a party atmosphere.

Joanne Moody, a personal support worker from Chatham, Ontario, yelled at police officers on Saturday morning as they formed a line to push the crowd down the street. She remained at the demonstration into the afternoon, as the earlier tense mood grew festive, with people dancing and waving Canadian flags. Ms. Moody, who had spent the last two weeks at the movement’s original demonstration in Ottawa, said she wanted to see an end to mandated health restrictions.

Deputy Chief Jason Bellaire of the Windsor Police Service would not disclose the number of officers detailed to clearing the blockade, citing operational sensitivity. In an interview outside a police command center bus, he said five other police forces were assisting his department, as well as tow trucks sent across the border by the State of Michigan.

He told the CBC that there had been no arrests, and that the aim was to defuse the situation peacefully and with mediation. Officers would escalate, but only when necessary, he said.

On Saturday there were also concerns about protesters blockading the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie, Ontario, which connects Southern Ontario and Buffalo, N.Y., and which trucks use to transport automotive and agricultural products between the countries.

Constable Philip Gavin, of the Niagara Regional Police Service, said by email that officers were working to manage a convoy that had traveled toward the bridge, and that the Ontario Provincial Police had closed the Fort Erie-bound lanes of Queen Elizabeth Way.

Automakers have been particularly affected by the partial shutdown of the Ambassador Bridge, which normally carries $300 million worth of goods a day, about a third of which are related to the auto industry. The blockades have left carmakers short of crucial parts, forcing companies to shut down some plants from Ontario to Alabama on Friday.

As Canada enters the third weekend of a crisis that has brought thousands of protesters into the streets of its capital, Ottawa, and disrupted international supply chains, officials are turning to harsher measures to try to restore order.

A court order calling for protesters to disband or face stiff fines or prison went into effect on Friday at 7 p.m., and the numbers of protesters has since thinned. But on Saturday morning, dozens of protesters, some dressed in fluorescent construction garb, had still refused to leave, and were milling around at an intersection before the bridge, drinking coffee and holding up Canadian flags. Other protesters remained in their pickup trucks, their engines idling, to stay warm.

Art Jussila, an electrician wearing a hunting jacket, said he had been coming every day to protest. “All the mandates have to go, it’s absolutely not right,” he said, referring to vaccine mandates.

The demonstrations began as a protest against the mandatory vaccination of truck drivers crossing the U.S.-Canada border. But they have morphed into a battle cry against pandemic restrictions as a whole, and the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The prime minister and the premier of Ontario both warned on Friday that the demonstrators would face up to 100,000 dollars in fines and a year in prison if they did not disperse voluntarily.

“We know that the best solution to unlawful blockades is that people decide for themselves that they’ve been heard, that they have expressed their frustrations and disagreements, and that it is now time to go home,” Mr. Trudeau said.

Doug Ford, the premier of Ontario, declared a state of emergency for the entire province, clearing the way for a more forceful government response.

The protests have attracted the attention of far-right and anti-vaccine groups globally, raising millions of dollars and inspiring copycat protests in France, New Zealand and Australia. Organizers of a U.S. convoy announced a protest in Washington on March 5.

Sarah Maslin Nir contributed reporting from Ottawa.

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RCMP, Sonya Savage to provide live update on Coutts protest

Traffic is moving again at the Coutts border crossing in southern Alberta as of early Tuesday after anti-vaccine mandate protesters resumed their blockade just hours earlier.

Alberta RCMP tweeted late Monday evening that both north and southbound lanes at the crossing on Highway 4 were blocked by the demonstration and asked motorists to avoid the area.

But RCMP spokesperson Fraser Logan told Radio-Canada early Tuesday morning that traffic was flowing again, although congestion remained.

The RCMP also said in a late morning update on Facebook that large commercial vehicles traveling south to the United States were being asked to use the Aden, Del Bonita and Carway border crossings to avoid any delays.

“Commercial and passenger vehicles northbound from the U.S. are able to cross freely at the Coutts border crossing,” the update read.

Alberta acting justice minister Sonya Savage and RCMP Deputy Commissioner Curtis Zablocki announced Tuesday they will hold a news conference about the ongoing blockade at 3 p.m.

Earlier closure prompted by disruption of supplies

Marco Van Huigenbos, one of the protest organizers and a town councillor for Fort Macleod, Alta., told CBC News that the Monday night lane closure was a “show of force” that occurred after a supply of essentials, such as food and fuel, was disrupted.

“We’ve been working with the RCMP quite extensively, and the last few days we’ve been getting some very negative pushback on just a positive flow of resources,” Van Huigenbos said.

After the lanes were reopened, Logan told CBC News that the RCMP had agreed to let supporters bring food and gas to the protesters.

Stipulations included that those with supplies must use secondary roads to get close to the blockade, meet Mounties at a checkpoint, leave their vehicle and walk to reach the protest itself.

‘It’s something we’re prepared to do,’ organizer says

Trucks and other vehicles began parking on Highway 4 near Coutts late last month in solidarity with similar protests in Ottawa and across the country. They were protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates for cross-border truck drivers and broader public health measures.

The Coutts blockade became two blockades when a second one appeared farther up the highway near Milk River last week. 

The impasse stranded travellers and cross-border truckers for days, compromised millions of dollars in trade and impeded access to basic goods and medical services for area residents.

Last week, protesters agreed to open a single lane in each direction for traffic and so truckers could haul cargo across the border.

“The blockade, you know, affects southern Alberta and Alberta negatively … we understand that,” Van Huigenbos said. 

“So closing off the border, 100 per cent, all the time, is not something we want to do. It is something we are prepared to do.”

Feds agree to send more RCMP to help manage border

Groups representing a number of Alberta industries have raised concerns about the impact of the border closure, including groups representing the province’s cattle and beef sectors

In a statement Tuesday, a spokesman for Cargill, which operates a southern Alberta plant that processes about a third of Canada’s beef, said they are “monitoring the situation closely and are taking it day by day.” 

“Currently, we are able to receive live cattle and are processing protein at close to our typical volume,” said Daniel Sullivan, adding the company is using its broad supply chain footprint to keep markets moving for producers. 

A spokesperson for the Canadian Meat Council, which represents processors, said its members continue to use alternative routes to cross into the U.S. and adjusting operations as needed. 

Meanwhile, the federal government has agreed to send more RCMP officers to help manage the border dispute.

On Tuesday, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Marco Mendicino told CBC News that after speaking with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, the additional resources will be added to ensure that supply chains continue to move.

“This is no longer about truckers or vaccines,” Mendicino said. 

“It’s about a very small, angry minority who’ve decided they can stand in the way of their fellow citizens, whether it’s occupying a community or blocking an international border, and that’s not how we do things in Canada.”

Protesters to re-evaluate after premier unveils plan

Van Huigenbos said that in the coming days, protesters would like to see all mandates lifted and emergency measures redacted.

Kenney is holding a news conference on Tuesday, and is expected to announce when Albertans will see the end of the COVID-19 public health measures.

On Twitter, he promised a “careful and prudent plan to lift damaging restrictions if pressure on our hospitals continues to decline.”

But some health experts and union representatives have expressed concern to CBC News and on social media that the timing of Kenney’s announcement seems to be based on societal pressure rather than science.

Van Huigenbos said protesters will re-evaluate their position after the news conference.

“There can be no compromise on this,” Van Huigenbos said.

On Tuesday, the Town of Fort Macleod released a statement saying it had received complaints about Van Huigenbos’s involvement in the protest.

It said it is reviewing bylaw 1916, which established a code of conduct for the members of town council, “to ascertain the validity of those complaints and determine any further action that can be taken.”

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Protest convoy prompts advisory against highway travel from south of Lethbridge to U.S. border

RCMP are advising against travel along a section of Highway 4 in southern Alberta, as a large demonstration disrupts traffic Saturday.

Cars, trucks, farm tractors and other vehicles have filled the highway — from south of Lethbridge, Alta., to the Canada-United States border crossing in Coutts — in support of a national trucker convoy that has arrived in Ottawa, with a stated goal of protesting the trucker COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

“This [congestion] is expected to continue for an unknown period of time,” Alberta RCMP said on Twitter.

The protest in southern Alberta Saturday is in concert with a separate national convoy, which launched from the four corners of Canada to go protest the new rules on Parliament Hill. Thousands of participants have arrived in Ottawa, with traffic jams reported throughout the region.

Coutts Mayor Jim Willett says the protest arrived near the village on Saturday morning, though RCMP have been diverting traffic towards Milk River, Alta. (David Rossiter/The Canadian Press)

Earlier this month, federal rules for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated Canadians truckers entering Canada from the U.S. took effect. 

Truckers who are not fully vaccinated must get a PCR test and quarantine.

Organizers reached out to Coutts Mayor Jim Willett earlier this week, letting the office know the convoy would not block entrances to the village.

The protest arrived near the community after 10 a.m. Saturday, and was “everything they advertised it would be,” Willett said.

“It’s very long, stretching off as far as you can see.”

Though he is not a truck driver himself, Jake Zacharias said he attended the protest on Saturday to support his friends who are. He said many plan to stay near the border “until the mandates are lifted.” (Submitted by Jake Zacharias)

The protest came through the truck scale house, then was turned away by RCMP at the first entrance to Coutts prior to reaching the U.S. border, Willett said.

“Anybody in the convoy is being redirected back up the highway back up to Milk River,” he said. “They’re not getting anywhere close to the border.”

Meanwhile, the Canada Border Services Agency is monitoring the situation and is ready to respond to “any events impeding the flow of traffic” at the Coutts border crossing, an agency spokesperson told CBC News.

Border crossings are ports that must not be accessed by people not trying to cross, the spokesperson said.

It’s an offence under the Customs Act to hinder a border services officer from being able to do their work, they added.

Another protest, also in support of the national trucker convoy, arrived at the Alberta Legislature Saturday afternoon.

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Dozens protest B.C. vet following alleged animal abuse at dairy farm – Williams Lake Tribune

Dozens gathered outside an Abbotsford veterinary clinic on Saturday, Nov. 13, demanding further regulatory action against the vet and owner of a dairy farm under investigation by the BC SPCA for animal cruelty.

The organizers are further calling for video-monitoring devices to be installed on all commercial farms, arguing the industry is incapable of treating animals humanely.

“This is more of the same old, same old. This is the industry continuing to regulate itself. This is the fox guarding the henhouse,” said Geoff Regier, organizer and animal-rights activist.

The protest at Abbotsford Veterinary Clinic is a response to the release of disturbing footage of farm employees violently abusing cows, allegedly at Cedar Valley Farms, which is co-owned by Dr. Rich Vanderwal.

Regier says Vanderwal has a history of condoning animal abuse at Fraser Valley farms, and the BC College of Veterinarians needs to revoke his licence.

“All vets and Dr. Vanderwal take an oath … He has repeatedly violated his oath,” said Geoff Regier. “This man needs to be held accountable for his blatant disregard of animal welfare.”

He said the positive perception of dog-and-cat veterinarians allow animal-agriculture vets to operate without question in an industry driven by profit and exploitation.

Vanderwal was the active veternarian at Chilliwack Cattle Sales in 2014 when similar footage of abuse led to six men being charged with animal cruelty and the owners being hit with a $300,000 fine.

One of the men was hired by Vanderwal afterwards, and was documented abusing animals again in 2019, according to Regier.

He was also an animal welfare consultant for the Abbotsford Police Department amid animal-abuse protests at Excelsior Hog Farm in 2019, and told police that welfare conditions were being met.

Regier is one of four activists charged with 21 counts of break and enter and criminal mischief in relation to the hog-farm protests.

Cesar Alonso, a former employee of Cedar Valley Farms, said he was fired after he repeatedly tried to report animal abuse to the owners. He has filed a wrongful termination suit.

He said it was his first job in Canada after immigrating from Mexico, and he was shocked to see baby male calves being killed right in front of their mothers, botched killings of adult cows with 22-caliber bullets, beatings and other numerous incidents of brutality.

“Right at the beginning, I started thinking, ‘Is this normal?’ Because I’d never worked in this industry,” Alonso said. “It was unacceptable for me.”

After two years he became a supervisor, and said he immediately started reporting the abuse to owners, who did nothing.

Alonso said he was fired without reason shortly after reporting an employee for beating a cow so badly he thought it was going to be killed.

“Part of my job is to supervise workers … I always called attention, always reported to the owners. Always, always,” he said. “Nothing happens … They don’t care about the animals.”

BC SPCA announced its investigation into Vanderwal’s farm on Oct. 28, after they received some 300 video clips reportedly taken secretly at Cedar Valley Farms.

The BC Milk Marketing Board immediately suspended the dairy licence after an inspection was conducted following BC SPCA’s announcement.

They reinstated the licence on Nov. 12 with mandatory conditions, such as unannounced monthly visits and an independent third-party consultant.

Regier said he was “furious” by the BC Milk Marketing Board’s decision, calling it premature considering the ongoing investigation, but added he wasn’t surprised.

“They’re called the milk marketing board, they have a clear conflict of interest. Their purpose is to promote milk, it’s not to care for animals,” Regier said.

He’s skeptical the board’s mandatory conditions will have any effect, and said it’s against their interests to draw attention to abuse in the industry.

Investigations into commercial farms only account for only a small percentage of BC SPCA’s animal-cruelty investigations, despite farm animals accounting for the vast majority of domestic animals in B.C., Regier said.

“It’s backwards,” he said.

He provided briefing notes from a 2021 meeting between Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham and the BC SPCA, attained through an FOI request. Out of aproximately 8,500 animal cruelty investigations BC SPCA conducts annually, only 10 to 20 relate to enforcement on commercial farms,.

Cedar Valley Farms provided a written statement to The Abbotsford News on Tuesday (Nov. 9), saying they are saddened by the recent events and are working with the agencies involved “to get clarity on the facts of the case.”

“Staff on our farms are our responsibility for continuous training and oversight, and if we discover that animals are not treated with dignity and care in all stages of their life, it is on us to correct these wrongs,” they said.


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Patrick Penner photo.

Patrick Penner photo.

Geoff Regier, organizer and animal rights activist, speaking in front of Abbotsford Veterinary Clinic. He said the BC College of Veterinarians needs to revoke Dr. Rich Vanderwal’s licence. Patrick Penner photo.

Geoff Regier, organizer and animal rights activist, speaking in front of Abbotsford Veterinary Clinic. He said the BC College of Veterinarians needs to revoke Dr. Rich Vanderwal’s licence. Patrick Penner photo.

Patrick Penner photo.

Patrick Penner photo.

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Moroccans protest vaccine pass required for work, travel

RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Demonstrations have been staged in cities across Morocco against a coronavirus vaccine passport required to access indoor activities and travel. Proof of vaccination has been mandatory since Oct. 21 for all Moroccans to enter their place of work and restaurants and for domestic and international air travel. The North African kingdom’s vaccination rate is the highest in the continent, with more than 58% of its 36 million people fully inoculated. But a vocal minority is opposed. Protests were held Sunday in the capital of Rabat, Casablanca, Tangiers in the north and Agadir in the south. 

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Afghans from all around the U.S. travel to Washington D.C. to protest for a Decentralized system & Ethnic Representation & pledge support to H.E. Ahmad Massoud

Jawid Paymani, a protestor who made the trek from Los Angeles on a 40 hour drive, stated taking the health risk for the long protest is a small sacrifice compared to defending the important achievements of the past 2 decades such as women’s rights, democracy, and the continued preservation of freedom of speech.

The protestors filled the Washington sky with banners, one of which read   “A decentralized political system will allow social justice, democracy, and national unity to prevail in Afghanistan!” 

The Afghan activists are worried mistakes of the 2001 Bonn Conference would repeat, excluding any of the key ethnic groups will be a roadblock to achieving peace, in a nation that already requires healing. The landscape has eerily resembled that of the early 90’s. The Afghan peace talks should include all ethnic groups and guarantee a just and lasting peace that is acceptable to all parties within the country. Both the unitary presidential system which is more centralized than any modern Monarchy and the Taliban’s proposed emirate system are unjust and unacceptable for Afghans. A just system is one in which all ethnic groups have: equal representation, autonomy for cultural and religious freedoms, and most important of all, the guarantee of all ethnic group’s human rights. Only with the Decentralization of power from the existing tyrannical centralized system and an equitable distribution of wealth and resources can Afghanistan enter a new age of peace

The Afghans had among the banners with the calls for decentralization, images of Ahmad Shah Massoud who defeated the red army in the 1980s and for years single handedly defended the world against The Taliban & International Terrorism. 

The protestor’s chants roared through the Capital grounds, in favor of Ahmad Massoud, the son of Ahmad’s Shah Massoud. He entered politics earlier this year, and has since become  a new source of hope to Afghans across the world from the United States, to France, India, and Russia.  Ahmad Massoud is currently reviving his father’s movement and is demanding that only through decentralization of power and the equal distribution of wealth can peace and social justice be established in Afghanistan.

Wahab, an activist leader among the crowd, shared the vision that had inspired them to protest. A vision that Ahmad Massoud had published last year in the New York Times about Decentralization in Afghanistan, entitled “What is Missing From Afghan Peace Talks”. 

The link for H.E. Ahmad Massoud’s vision for peace published in the New York Times, can be read on the link below:

SOURCE Yusife Nazir, Monarch Strategy LLC

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