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Uzbekistan: Samarkand Street Sweepers Strike Back

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Armed with only the tools of their trade, a group of more than 50 street sweepers fended off police in the Uzbek city of Samarkand. Not so long ago it would have been easy to describe the events of the morning of August 6 in the ancient Silk Road city as a "rare" protest in Uzbekistan, but that is no longer the case and the street sweepers' protest might only be the tip of the iceberg.
 
The reason for the protest was unpaid wages, according to witnesses to the event who contacted RFE/RL's Uzbek Service, known locally as Ozodlik.
 
Carrying brooms, dustpans, and gardening tools, this group of municipal employees, mostly women, gathered at the provincial administration building and demanded to see the governor. Some 20 policemen quickly arrived at the scene -- only to be met by a picket line of brooms.
 
The group said they had not been paid wages for May, June, and July, they wanted their money, and they wanted the officials responsible for paying them to be held accountable.
 

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Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Uzbekistan: Samarkand Street Sweepers Strike Back

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