US, Ferguson: cops receive beauty treatment “…police officers were shot at Tuesday night, as they tried to investigate a burglary call at one of the town’s many buildings burned down in anti-cop riots. Officers were called to the shell of the old Beauty Town store on West Florissant Avenue on Tuesday night around 6pm, and found several suspects stealing hair products from the building’s basement. While trying to arrest the suspects, the officers heard gunfire coming from the Park Ridge Apartments located behind the store. They ducked for cover and then heard another round of fire coming from another location across the street. …They called for back-up and 15 to 20 minutes later, the area was cleared out and no one was injured. ”
banner used on Santa Cruz demo (31st December), which ended up smashing County Jail vehicles
…The following reflections about armed attacks on the forces of the state, from a guy in South Africa, seem pertinent, and should certainly stimulate some consequential thinking and discussion (I don’t agree with everything said here, but I’ll leave this till later when I’m not so tired or busy with other stuff):
“…it would be good for all concerned to start paying serious attention to these questions before events impose difficult decisions without offering any chance at an adequate preparation. In 1977 when the Italian struggle began to drive many more people in the direction of Brinsley [the guy who killed the 2 New York cops on December 20th], Sanguinetti cautioned: ‘The lack of clarity in theory and practice on strategic issues, such as the issue of weapons, is likely to produce very serious effects if the radical movement cannot quickly overcome it. Weapons should not be used until everyone is ready to use them. They will be available for use when their use has become essential. The question is not tactical, but strategic. Those who play with guns today are playing with power, and power is much better armed than we are. When it comes to power, you don’t play with it; you destroy it.’
While the above certainly doesn’t provide any fail-safe recipe for conduct (and certainly was never intended as the basis for more-radical-than-thou denunciations of acts which, however misguided, cannot be condemned by anyone who wants even to pretend a semblance of seriousness when it comes to overthrowing the everyday violence against which ‘terrorists’ act in self-defence) it bears repeating.
It is interesting to note, however, that the historical development of class struggle has tended towards a definite REDUCTION of class violence over the years — especially in the US. Whereas, for example, it was not uncommon for American strikers and scabs to engage in shoot-outs during the 19th century, and the most radical situations of the early 20th century tended to be precipitated by crises involving mass slaughter (All of which followed the model of the Paris Commune erupting from the Franco-Prussian war: WW1 which precipitated revolutions and near-revolutionary uprisings across europe; the build-up to WW2, more violent in Spain than anywhere else, that precipitated the Spanish revolution; Hungary 1956 that began as something like a nationalist war of independence) those of the latter half of the 20th century, while certainly not pacifist, saw the role of armed struggle significantly diminish (France 1968, Italy throughout the 70s, the fall of fascism in Portugal and Spain, the movements in Poland and South Africa) to the point where it was often more of a spectacular distraction, assisting in the work of repression — first of all repression of the forms of proletarian violence whose organisation is ACTUALLY called for by the circumstances of the moment, secondly as a justification and obfuscation of the state repression directed against proletarians in the name of combatting terrorism & the parastate repression which under these conditions almost always constitutes the terrorism itself. Even in Italy it is possible to trace how over the course of the decade the social war involves actually radical armed struggle at the start, during the uprisings in Battipaglia and Reggio Calabria in 1970 where proletarian self-organisation was only in its infancy, localised and poorly co-ordinated, whereas by 1977, when these embryonic councils had got to the point where in ‘Milan, for the first time, 3000 delegates from 350 factory councils gathered in a common assembly’, it was not proletarians who were shooting at cops, but the specialists in armed struggle who no doubt would turn their guns against the proletarians — who even when they did fight the police would loot gun shops and then throw the weapons in the river — the moment they took power. The situation in South Africa, where Mandela and his cronies prestige was almost entirely based on the image of an armed struggle which never actually existed except when, during the democratic transition, it was waged by every competing fraction of the ruling class (and ruling-class-in-waiting) against the proletariat and its violent self-activity as a whole. Finally, the 1997 Albanian revolution confirmed everything Sanguinetti said as the use of guns became revolutionary precisely at the moment when everyone siezed them from the cops and turned them from tools of hierarchical oppression into toys of ludic subversion — the population doing target practice by taking potshots at the embassies of foreign states and the crosses of churches, and so on. Once the proletariat rose up en masse with the determination to seize weapons for its own use, the cops could do nothing to stop them and, once armed, there was very little need to use their weapons, since there was no one left to oppose them. The uprising in Southern Iraq during the Gulf War was again initiated spontaneously by masses of proletarians — the mass desertions in the army taking on such a revolutionary character precisely because they threatened to dissolve a significant portion of the forces of specialised violence, merging into the generalised revolt on their return and putting weapons in the hands of a people already up in arms.
The dismal record of failed revolutions in the present century only confirms this tendency. From the 2001 revolt in Algeria to the revolution in Ukraine this year, not a single insurrectionary situation has been initiated or even aided by groups specially organised around armed struggle. Rather, the immediate targets of these rebellions have always been precisely these groups, namely, the security forces of the state. Where rebels have looked for assistance from these groups, such as in the 2011 Egyptian protests when the army was welcomed as an ally against the Mubarak regime, they either remained neutral (as was the case until after Mubarak was already dead in the water) or imposed their own dictatorships, as happened in Egypt after the fall of Mubarak and again when the Muslim Brotherhood was toppled, as was the case with Libya in the same year, and in Syria and Thailand this year. It seems clear then, that the global revolutionary movement must struggle with weapons that are available to everyone, but this is not to say it must resort to pacifism until the moment insurrection magically materialises out of the ether. Opposition movements around the world, which are as I write drawing millions into ever fiercer combat against the established order, demonstrate eloquently just what weapons are available to everyone: petrol, matches, sticks and stones, barricades and occupations, strikes and sabotage, courage and communication, fury and self-organisation. It is precisely from the effective deployment of these that other more sophisticated forms of arms become both possible and necessary.
Strangely enough, around the same time Brinsley iced the pigs I was reading an essay by Hilaire Belloc about how, in the absence of a socially regulated outlet for the release of mental pressure and wild passions through regular bouts of reckless festive irreverence as once occurred when the Lords of Misrule presided over the Saturnalia, that same pressure and those same passions tend to express themselves individually in various far more malignant forms. It seems to me that, despite all the above, there is definately a need for some sort of collective combat which will allow those at the sharp end to release the pressure and passions constantly accumulated by their position in an effective socially regulated way. Probably, as you say, this will require them ‘to connect to other struggles and to white working class people resisting in some way or another but not with any understanding of the race question (ie probably supporting Wilson and the state in this situation) and to think up new intitiatives not just involving attacks on the cops, banks etc., maybe something involving riots and occupations as well as theoretical elucidations of the contradictions we set ourselves against.’ It may also need to involve, as a means through which such initiatives might be mediated and sustained, the development of ongoing forms of collective self-defence that will be able to harness the anger, frustration and despair for which struggles against the direct agents of oppression is obviously the most immediate outlet. “
Vice has just published this about New Black Panther Party (NBPP) gun clubs in Dallas. Considering how fearful they were about all independent forms of opposition, like looting of black-owned shops, during the riots in Ferguson in August, we can assume that this elitist form of armed struggle is a classic hangover from Leninism worthy of our contempt and disgust. Much of this is the victory of apparently “cool” style and image over any clear revolutionary content or goal. As a guy from St.Louis wrote about the NBPP during August: “Their role in the events has been to direct traffic, protect shops that others were attempting to loot, telling people to go home and obey the state imposed curfew, marshalling crowds onto sidewalks, projecting terror into peoples’ minds by declaring that we will all be massacred unless we obey police commands thus ignoring or attempting to hide the middle ground that people have been occupying since the beginning: somewhere between all out war and compliance. The NBPP even goes so far as to don berets, sunglasses and leather jackets. A testament to just how out of touch they are with the current moment and generation. Fitted hats, t-shirts as masks, high top sneakers: these would all be better choices for a uniform. “
France, Senlis: wild pig joins fight against the more domesticated ones “A Customs Officer on a motorbike was hit by a wild pig. His condition is serious according to early diagnosis.”
Spain, Barcelona: demonstration against state arrests of anarchists – windows of banks, hotels and posh shops broken, barricades of containers; demos in several other cities, including Madrid, Zaragoza, Burgos, Castellón and Segovia
Nigeria, Ushongo: youth killed by cops, 4 critically injured, when cops clash with youths to prevent them going to their annual picnic “over 2,000 youths from across Ushongo had converged at Lessel town for a procession to the popular Ushongo Hills for their annual Christmas picnic. According to the witness, ….“From what we heard, the District Head was acting on the orders of the paramount ruler of the local government council, the Ter Ushongo, Chief Ambrose Iortyer, who cited the security situation in the country and the immoral acts that usually take place at the annual fiesta for his decision.”
US, St.Louis: demonstration against new cop killing briefly blocks motorway….Christmas in Oakland….march turns beautiful: “A “Black Lives Matter” march against police brutality in Oakland turned ugly, with protesters reportedly attacking a journalist, smashing shopfront windows, throwing bottles, and defacing the main Christmas tree in the heart of the city….around 30 storefront windows were smashed and liquor looted. The Chronicle reported one of its photographers received an injury to her hand after a protester lobbed a bottle at her. The Christmas tree in the square also served as an easy target for some of the more unruly demonstrators, who tore lights and ornaments off of its branches.”
France, Dordogne: sabotage of internet lines “…fiber optic cable, transmitting Internet data, was cut along the railway track, at Razac-sur-l’Isle and Chancelade. “We do not know the reasons why the person did it, said Emilia Abrantes, deputy prosecutor of the Republic of Perigueux. It could be an act of vandalism or attempted theft because the fiber could be confused with a copper cable, a popular metal. One thing is certain, she adds, it was not an accidental act, but a voluntary act. “
Nicaragua, Rio San Juan: 2 dead after confrontations between farmers and state over canal construction/land & life destruction “A police crackdown on hundreds of Nicaraguan farmers protesting the construction of a US$50 billion (NZ$56.8 billion) canal across their land has left two dead, an activist and opposition leader say….Protests followed the inauguration of the canal on Monday by President Daniel Ortega and Chinese billionaire Wang Jing. Wang won a 100-year contract to build the canal in 2013. The environmental, technical and financial studies of the 280km-long route have been kept secret.” More here: “Scores of Nicaraguan protesters have been arrested and dozens injured as Nicaraguan police broke up road blocks set up by demonstrators protesting this week against possible eviction from their lands due to the construction of an interoceanic canal in the country. Protesters in Rivas blocked the Pan-American Highway shortly after the official ceremony marking the beginning of construction work. Another road block on the Managua-San Carlos Highway was set up by protesters from the community of El Tule and the municipality of Nueva Guinea, which are also on the proposed canal route. Although in a recent press conference, Chinese businessman Wang Jing, the president of HKND Group, the company building the canal, promised to pay “compensation according to market principles in a fair, open and transparent way”, many peasants complained of a lack of information when workers turned up to measure their land accompanied by police officers and soldiers. ….At a meeting of protesters in November, one farmer told the Guardian, “We’ll use machetes, stones, anything to protect our land. My grandparents were born here. They say they are going to pay me, but I never put the land up for sale.” …The road block in El Tule was broken up amid violent scenes in the early morning of Christmas Eve, with La Prensa initially reporting over 50 campesinos injured in clashes with the police. …[Police Chief ] Granera stated that the protesters were violating people’s rights to move around the country freely, affecting commerce and tourism. She stated that the police acted with “tolerance and peace…Faced with the use of firearms, machetes, stones and sticks by the protesters, the special troops responded with tear gas and rubber bullets,” Granera said. Fifteen police officers were injured, with three seriously injured, she said. One of three was shot in the lung and is in critical condition…Critics have highlighted the lack of information in a project fast-tracked through the Nicaraguan parliament with little debate – things like major environmental consequences, particularly to Lake Nicaragua, and the fact that it will cut through lands belonging to Creole communities and the Rama indigenous community.”
Tunisia, Sidi Bouzid: demonstration against election result – main road blocked overnight with burning tyres, municipal depot looted…regional office of agricultural HQ set on fire…Souk Lahad: National Guard post, and 2 other state buildings, set on fire
US, St.Louis: clashes with cops as another young black guy is killed by cop (interesting text about this killing here) “…Gradually handfuls of people headed over to smash and loot the QT while leftists and other angry people recovered from the pepper spray and continued yelling at the police. This large group of angry protesters forced the police to continue holding their line at the Mobil station. If everyone had left this point of conflict at once, the half hour or so of people looting the QT may not have been possible. Someone in the median chanted, “QT! QT! QT!” and told people across the street that we needed to hold the line. It wasn’t until people yelled excitedly that the QT was on fire that a dozen cops, some carrying rifles, moved across the street to guard the QT. By now, someone had already put out the fire, and people dispersed….”
UK, London: empty bank in Trafalgar Square occupied to feed poor &/or homeless (report of eviction here; Christmas day report on permission granted to feed homeless here)
Ivory Coast, Abidjan: handicapped protesters demanding equal employment opportunities release 3 of them arrested by cops in heavy confrontations “…the protesters, in response to their progression towards the police, were attacked with tear gas grenades, which, as they exploded at their level, were caught and thrown back at the police, some of whom used the disableds’ canes like truncheons…Three demonstrators were taken to the police van after being beaten but …were released by the intervention of their comrades. At no time did the police use firearms – only fists, tear gas and sticks were used to deal with protesters and push them back.”
Tunisia: several riots in response to the elections (continuing into the 23rd Dec) “A number of riots erupted in many regions and cities after the announcement of the election results announcing the victory of Beji Caid Essebsi. The damage assessment to the town of El Hamma at Gabes is the heaviest in the country. Sixteen security guards were wounded, police stations, the post of the National Guard and the district security building were burned… in Jomna under the jurisdiction of Kebili Sud, a group of youths barricaded the road between the two jurisdictions of Kebili and Douz with burning tires during the day on Monday, December 22, 2014…The popular neighborhood of Kram ….on the night of Monday to Tuesday, December 23, 2014 was the scene of violent clashes between police and dozens of “protestors”. Tear gas was fired to disperse the crowds…”
Peru, Lima: “vandalism” on demo against new law restricting rights for 18-24-year-old workers “…the five detainees had their faces covered and backpacks in which cutting weapons, stones, Molotov cocktails were found, among other weapons. …a policeman was injured during the confrontation. The mobilization on Monday, in which over 10,000 young people, both from university and workers, participated was organized through social networks to demand the repeal of a new labor …law, championed by the government of Ollanta Humala, which removes work benefits from people aged 18-24, along with the payment of bonuses and life insurance, in order to encourage companies to hire staff that age .”
Madagascar, Toamasina: riots over electricity cuts; brutal cop response as usual “Hundreds of young people took to the streets Monday, marching late into the night against the periodic “rolling blackouts” — controlled interruptions of power — that have affected the island nation in the past few months. According to local reports, protesters looted stores and attempted to storm the headquarters of Jirama, Madagascar’s electricity and water services company. The demonstrations, which brought the city to a standstill and forced markets and stores to close, resumed Tuesday afternoon.” More here “Hundreds of people attempted to ransack the offices of Madagascar’s electricity and water services company Jirama in protests that began Friday, burning the front door and smashing the windows with rocks.”
Morocco, Oujda: clashes as riot cops raid student sit-in “… riot police used tear gas and a water cannon to push back a stone-throwing crowd of protesters, mainly students. The clashes lasted for more than two hours and left over 40 policemen injured and several police cars damaged. The number of student injuries, on the other hand, remains unknown, since most of them refused to go to Al Farabi Hospital of Oujda, out of fears of being caught by police… ….Seriously injured, two police officers were hospitalized “in intensive care”….the student sit-in was stormed on its 30th day … students decided to go to the sit-in rather than their exams.”
US, Minnesota: as about 2000 people demonstrate about cop brutality in shopping mall on biggest shopping day of the year, cops stop workers standing in solidarity (more here and here) “The practical problem …objectively posed to the workers isn’t the problem of disarming the police, but that of arming the proletariat.” (from here)
hôtel de Rennes métropole
Congo, Goma: high school students throw stones at school and at cops after girl is killed by school’s supervisor; schools closed for 2 days as demonstrators demand an end to violent punishment at school
Argentina, Tupungato: workers work-to-rule in struggle for bosses to honour 2012 contract forces closure of all but one lane of motorway as they are meant to sweep clean the roadway Why put this here? Because work-to-rules seem to have largely disappeared as a tactic mainly because the rules have been re-written to favour what bosses like to think of as “flexibility” – ie workers must become as pliant as plastocene, and with the same lack of backbone. And yet, it seems worthwhile for workers to look more carefully at any aspect of the rules that, if very pedanticly and rigidly applied, might favour their interests. In the post-war period in the UK – up until the triumph of Thatcherite neoliberal brutality – work-to-rules (eg. demarcation disputes, where if the task – say, changing a light bulb – wasn’t part of the contract workers refused to do it) were very successful in helping workers avoid work and putting pressure on the bosses for improved pay or ameliorated work conditions.
Gabon, Libreville: students riot after arrest of student union leader “Riots broke out immediately in front of the university where protesters burned a parked minibus following clashes with security forces. “
Colombia, Medellin: heavy clashes between community and cops when cops try to arrest young man “”There were several police trying to catch a delinquent but the community wouldn’t allow it”
Brazil: clashes with cops as indigenous tribes try to break into Congress “Police were called to stop the group and a policeman’s toe was injured after his boot was pierced by an arrow during the confrontation. The group was protesting a bill that would relax regulations for demarcating indigenous lands, and a second bill that would transfer the power to demarcate those lands from the executive branch to the legislative branch.”
Spain: report on new repressive laws…Barcelona: anarchists clash with cops “Protesters shattered the windows of banks and a real estate agency, set containers on fire and hurled objects at the riot police when the latter prevented them from reaching the central government’s delegation offices…The rally began at 7pm under the slogan “Freedom for the arrested anarchists,” attracting more than 1,000 sympathizers.Hours earlier, the Catalan police had arrested 11 people suspected of planting homemade bombs in banks and churches in 2012 and 2013. “
US, Oakland: temporary blockade of police department “… demonstrators scaled poles to replace OPD flags with those memorializing unarmed black people killed by police. Meanwhile, others blocked a major intersection leading to a major freeway nearby.”
France, Ales: national inspection office for education occupied in protest about lack of school access for certain impoverished individuals (no link, for the moment)
Algeria, Tebesbest: town hall partially burnt in furious confrontation over land distribution “Administrative documents and equipment were destroyed in the fire…It all started on Saturday night when the worst off people got wind of the list of beneficiaries of plots of land allocated by the municipality as social aid. … the angry protesters barricaded the road with tires that they set alight. The intervention of the police turned to confrontation. Clashes that lasted all night, increased in the day with the burning of the town hall….protesters put forward social demands related to drinking water supply and allocation of land…These incidents happened ten days after the deadly riots that occurred in the town of Nezla in the same daïra of Touggourt, and for the same reasons, riots that resulted in thirty dead and as many wounded. “
Mexico, Guerrero: violent clashes with cops over missing students (video here) More here “A police official told The Associated Press that eight officers were injured, including five who were run over by a vehicle. Three others were beaten by protesting teachers, leaving one officer with “severe brain damage.” The official was not authorized to talk to the press and spoke on condition of anonymity. The Tlachinollan human rights group, which supports the relatives of the missing students, said the violence left at least 13 people injured, including students, teachers, parents of the missing students and two journalists, including a photographer who was working with the AP.”
One officer with “severe brain damage.”? As Dorothy Parker said on hearing of US President Calvin Coolidge’s death, “How can they tell?“
UK, London: some nice posters go up around town Though this shows an essentially liberal reformist take on the cops….
….this one, though hardly a radical critique of work, is better:
New Zealand, Aukland: railway riot “… dozens of youths from Coca Cola Christmas in the Park and other events occupied its platforms and hurled missiles over turnstiles at outnumbered security guards and Maori wardens …fights between rival groups began as early as 10pm, when ballast rocks were thrown from the rail tracks into carriages.” Just to state the obvious – I do not think that throwing rocks at passenger-filled railway carriages is a useful way forward, but the contradictions of nihilism points in 2 contradictory directions – attacking the guardians of the commodity and attacking proletarians without reason.
US, New York: passive peaceful demo mars blockade of Brooklyn Bridge and hospitalisation of 2 cops “Protesters streamed onto Brooklyn Bridge Saturday night, closing traffic in both directions for nearly an hour. Debris, including a trash can, was thrown from the bridge’s walkway at police officers escorting protesters on the roadway below…The windows of one squad car were smashed by protesters”
Switzerland, Zurich: anti-cop riot “The rioters, wearing masks and protective clothing, and armed with iron bars, gathered on Friday evening. They launched a provocation at law enforcers, a police statement said…. A police car was set on fire and officers’ equipment was stolen before police arrived on the scene….The offenders then threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at police, setting more cars and trash bins on fire. They also shattered storefronts and attacked a restaurant…Seven police officers were hospitalized after the “deliberate attack,” officials said in a statement on Saturday….The unrest in usually quiet Zurich – Switzerland’s largest and one of Europe’s wealthiest cities – resulted in hundreds of thousands of euros worth of damage.” (communique here)
“…a number of fishermen blocked a main road to the airport in the city of Temuco in Cautín province. Police fired teargas and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters. Several people were injured. The demonstrators overturned a police car and put tires on fire to avoid the smell of teargas. “
Madagascar, Morondava: rioters attack gendarmerie after 7 workers on strike are arrested for participation in riot in November – at least 2 rioters killed “…a mob of furious strikers armed with sticks and stones, invaded the precincts leading a genuine intifada. The building was the target of stone-throwing, windows were shattered and five tractors, four trucks, a backhoe, a grader, a water-tender van, minibus and three trucks have been damaged….”…the rabid mob that invaded the camp had spears, stones, sticks, knives and even rifles. The attackers were very dangerous. …”, said a senior officer” More here: “The labor protest started when the plant’s seasonal workers demanded contracts that offer better pay and better conditions, according to reports. The Chinese embassy said the requests were unreasonable and that the workers began to block the factory early last month, cutting off utilities, harassing other employees and sabotaging equipment.The confrontation escalated after Madagascan security forces arrested two strike leaders.On Wednesday, about 500 workers rushed to a base of the security forces to demand the release of their colleagues and police fired tear gas and live ammunition, the Madagascar Tribune reported. Two people died. Police said they were acting in self-defense because some workers had guns and machetes. Beijing’s official China News Service said the workers were armed with axes, slingshots and rocks. Rioters then converged on the factory, looted its sugar supply and set fire to a building. Some carried bags of sugar on their backs or in carts and wheelbarrows and some of it was quickly sold on the illegal market, reports said.”
Eire, Dublin: up to 100,000 demonstrate against water charges – minor clashes with cops as traffic is blocked for hours… video here …this movement has been going on for sometime – for example this: Prime Minister’s car attacked back in mid-November
US, Berkeley: 5th night of angry protests “… the protesters’ numbers had dwindled to about 50 people, the statement said, some of whom broke windows at a T-Mobile store and a Chase bank. Looting also was reported in an area of small businesses at a downtown intersection, it said. “An officer outside the Oakland Police Department was assaulted and an arrest was made,” the statement said. A Reuters photographer witnessed an undercover police officer, who had been marching with the demonstrators, pointing his pistol at protesters after he and his partner were attacked” (more here) …a policeman’s lot is not a happy one “Officers say that many protesters are trying to provoke them into doing something wrong by yelling at them or even tossing full bottles of liquor at them that were looted from nearby stores.”
See also this: From Ferguson to Oakland: 17 Days of Riots and Revolt in the Bay Area / CrimethInc. Ex-Workers’ Collective “I can’t breathe” – Eric Garner’s last words whilst being choked to death by NYPD officers. “It has never been like this before. There’s no breathing room” – an unnamed Oakland police officer lamenting the current wave of protests.
UK, London: clashes with cops as demonstrators march through shopping precinct in solidarity with anti-killer-cop demos in the US (video)…76 arrests “Police were forced to use kettling tactics as violence broke out when members of the group assaulted security staff and caused damage to property.”
US, Berkeley: report of 3rd and 4th night of demos and roadway blockades A friend told me the fact that these interstate/motorway blockades are happening on a regular basis all over the place is a major shift, an enormous break with the previous epoch of depressing normality; in the past people would avoid doing such things because, for one, it’s a major felony but also because drivers didn’t give a shit and would drive straight into people because the freedom of the car is sacrosanct. He told me of a “Reclaim the streets” situation back in the 90s where someone was hooked up high on some contraption blocking the road and that a truck driver was told that if he drove on the guy was sure to die; the driver just drove into the thing; fortunately at the last moment the protester managed to quickly hook up onto an overhead wire, and was saved, but this incident put a stop to these kinds of actons. All that is changing…Berkeley council cancel meeting...elsewhere in California: 300 high school students walk out…simplistic, but in some kind of way moving, call to take over everywhere (video)…MTV get in on the act (video)
Ukraine, Vinnytsia: 7 cops hospitalised in clashes Not at all sure what this is about, as the article doesn’t even give us a hint…though using Google translate for this reveals that “activists stormed the building of the regional council”.
Sweden, Stockholm: molotovs and rocks chucked at cops “”What is quite unusual here is that this was seemingly somewhat planned ahead,” police spokesman Kjell Lindgren said. He said firebombs and piles of paving stones were already prepared when police arrived and the approximate 30 people behind the riot were reported to have been masked. No people were harmed but around 10 cars were set on fire. Police cars were damaged and a Ragsved police office also saw some damage.” (videos here)
US, Berkeley: shops looted, cop injured, as protest gets angry; rubber bullets fired by cops (deliberately confusing article by pacifists blaming COINTELPRO for the violence)
UK, Brighton: minor clashes with filth over tuition fees and tax avoidance by rich (typical liberal ideology that misses the point: as if tax isn’t mostly used to build a system that totally escapes our control, that dominates and humiliates us )
Greece, Athens: anti-state riot in support of anarchist hunger striking prisoner (slightly absurd but kind of funny video here)
Switzerland, Basle: clashes with cops on demo against the world’s largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization “Bottles, firecrackers and other objects were thrown at the police, who responded with rubber bullets and tear gas…Garbage cans were set on fire and public transport was blocked for a long time”
Haiti, Port-au-Prince: anti-government demo, largely dominated by political-electoral considerations, pushes through National Palace security perimeter “Protesters in Port-au-Prince burned tires and threw rocks at police, who responded with tear gas.”
US, Colorado: several school walk-outs over killer cops…New York: Apple store on 5th Avenue taken over by Garner protesters…Oakland: protesters against killer-cops shut down BART station…Miami: as spontaneous blockade of main road by 800 people develops, here’s an arty “radical chic” recuperation trivialising this anti-cop movement “If you wanted to get the eyes of art people wanting to party, that was the time, because we’re talking about 7.30pm Friday night – I mean that’s prime cocktail hour…and some of the biggest satelite art fairs around actually enjoyed some of this disruption”
UK, Warwick: sit-in against cops use of tasers and CS gas against students previous day CS gas is no ordinary tear gas. I knew a French woman in the late 70s who’d been subjected (along with tens of thousands of others) to CS gas in May 1968 in Paris, and 10 years later still had problems with her eyesight (some slight irritability of the eyes, needed contact lenses and was often mistaken for staring at people when she wasn’t).
A friend writes: “Edgy. Thats how I would describe things here now. The storm has passed, but so much hasn’t settled out. Last weekend six Rams (the American football team) players did the “hands up” gesture at the game. Caused quite a stir. The local police union demanded the league fine the players and the team apologize. The league refused to fine them, though they had clearly broken rules- I suspect if they had fined them the protests would have spread to other teams, and the NFL knew that. These players may be millionaires, but most of them sure didn’t grow up that way. The weakness of using these spectacular sporting events as a way to “provide a distraction” and “help heal the city” (both real quotes from players and management before the game) is that it relies on the athletes to feel outside of the world around them, to discount their experiences as young black kids seeing the underbelly of American glitz. Anyhow, the team even refused to apologize. And later the Ethical Society of Police (!) a mostly black cop organization, supported the Rams “free speech expression.” Meanwhile, during the game, riot police met protesters outside the Dome. Later a cop bar in south city declared they weren’t going to show Rams games anymore. The next night protesters (which are still remarkably decentralized) showed up as Rams fans and were denied entrance sparking a lively protest.
Early this week, in the Bosnian part of town, a Bosnian guy was beaten to death with hammers by a group of kids. Some signs show it was a group of kids saying something about “Fuck the white people, Kill the white people.” But the mayor and police chief are playing down the racial dynamic. That night though, the Bosnian community in that neighborhood, blocked the main street to protest violence against them. Police responded with negotiators, but around the corner was a column of riot police ready to go. The following night saw an even larger march down that main street, with calls for more police protection. Really yucky racialized stuff. The city seems really on edge.
A dozen or so high schools had social-media organized walkouts. Every high school in North County I think, one in posh Clayton, some in the city and even one in South County. A couple of the ones in North county had mini-confrontations with the police (banging on a car, yelling…). The South County one is interesting because its a mostly white, working and middle class part of the region, with a growing Bosnian population. Schools still bus in students from across town as a part of the desgregtion policies from the days of old. But video of the South County walkout showed it was a mixed crowd. There’s also unconfirmed reports that there was a big fight between Bosnian and Black students that day. But this is being fed by local right-wingers. Some facebook posts confirmed that some Bosnian kids took part in the walkout though.
A different cop bar was robbed in deep south city in what seemed like a Wild West shootout between customers and robbers, 6 shot, 1 dead.
Amidst all this, the mayor is calling to increase the number of city cops by 15%. So much is in motion right now.
The NAACP has been marching to the capitol in Jefferson City for the past week. Recently in a small town, they were met with a nasty counter-protest in scenes reminiscent of 1960s Mississippi.
I can’t help but feel the obsessive racialization of the struggle by certain loudmouths has helped create this newfound racial edginess to the city (and maybe country). Like you said during the pumpkin riots in New Hampshire, some people here chose to separate themselves from what happened, instead of identifying with it and broadening the struggle. Maybe this is the result?
The protests continue here, like I said earlier, in a mostly decentralized form. A protest outside the Ferguson police department yesterday afternoon connected the struggle against the massacre of the Mexican students to the struggle unfolding here. Later, when the NYC Eric Garner stuff came out, protests hit the Fergusn PD, the downtown St. Louis Federal Building, the fancy Central West End (where demonstrators were hit by a van whose driver flashed a gun, later knocking out his back window & they also occupied the lobby of the nicest hotel), and then downtown inside the casino and on the main shopping strip.
In Ferguson, a controversial private group of current and ex-military volunteers dressed in camoflauge continue to protect business by standing atop them with rifles.
Nothing I said here was remotely normal before August. I hadn’t seen riot police in the city since 2004 and the tail end of that Trayvon mini-riot last year, now they seem ready on a moment’s notice.”
South Africa, Kimberley: 5th week of protests against Municipal manager and town hall corruption This report states as fact what the municipal manger himself stated as his opinion (classic dominant journo manipulation), but also has some interesting information: “Ongoing protests by a group of residents, who are calling for the removal of the Dikgatlong Municipal Manager, the mayor and various councillors, have turned the town into a war zone, with rocks, poles and remnants of burnt tyres obstructing several streets, while houses have been petrol bombed and burnt to the ground since the protests started in October.”...Eastern Cape: 2 “off-the-back-of-a-lorry” finders killed “Two members of the community were fatally wounded by members of the SA Police Service in Mbizana, while trying to bring a violent mob under control,” said Brigadier Marinda Mills… A truck transporting sugar and rice got stuck on a steep incline on Tuesday morning. The driver then reversed the vehicle to the side of the road to prevent a traffic jam. “This caused some of the goods to fall off the back of the truck and community members came and helped themselves with the fallen truck load,” said Mills. Police were then called to the scene and managed to stop people from looting the goods off the truck. However, community members became “volatile” when the manager of the truck company arrived at the scene and started to recover the goods which had fallen from the truck. …”Members of the public became violent and grabbed the manager, threatening to kill him as they forcefully pulled him.” However, when police intervened and freed the manager from the group’s grasp, they started throwing stones. “The group became increasingly more aggressive and started pelting the manager and the police members with stones while advancing again towards the direction of the truck and its load,” said Mills. “The police members fired warning shots but it seemed not to have the desired impact to scare the mob away.” Police then opened fire. Eleven other people were injured and were taken to the Bizana Hospital in the Mbizana area….A police officer and the manager of the truck company also sustained slight injuries during the incident. Mills denied allegations that police were involved in looting the goods off the truck.”