Activists to Begin Daily Anti-Eviction Protests

A few dozen of the staunchest activists from the evicted Boeng Kak, Borei Keila and SOS communities Monday announced that they had began a campaign of daily protests that will last for the next month to call attention to their ongoing land settlement grievances.

The group plans to convene every morning in front of the U.S. Embassy in Daun Penh district before marching to nearby Freedom Park where they will demonstrate until about 11 a.m.

Chum Ngan, a member of the Borei Keila community who is protesting her resettlement at a poorly equipped relocation site far from central Phnom Penh, said she hoped that the daily protests would help the three communities restart negotiations with City Hall.

“If City Hall calls us to negotiate in one or two weeks, we will stop it,” she said at Freedom Park. “We don’t have a lot of hope that the government will help, but we want to do this every day because if they are shamed, they could help us.”

City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche said the planned protests were unauthorized and would be shut down if they continued.

“They didn’t ask us to protest, so it’s an illegal protest,” he said. “We can’t allow them [to do it], but we will wait to see tomorrow what effects their actions have.”

Mr. Dimanche said the community members should come directly to City Hall with their grievances rather than protest, although he acknowledged that final decisions had already been made over the families’ compensation.

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