april 2015

women writing8

SS164CRmalamulele dance

“All moanday, tearsday, wailsday, thumpsday, frightday, shatterday till the fear of the Law” – James Joyce, Finnegans Wake

Thumpsday, 30/4/15:

Israel, Jerusalem: Ethiopian Jews riot against cop harassment “…some 1,000 protesters blocked roads and the Jerusalem Light Rail, and threw rocks and bottles at police sent to quell the rioting. At least three police officers and eight demonstrators have been injured. The protests over alleged police brutality and racism were sparked by the two beatings this week of Ethiopian-Israelis, both captured on video.” (video here)

France, Lille: report of shopkeepers arming themselves against massive increase in shoplifting, aggression etc. “A lot of shopkeepers are armed, from  pump action shotguns to Magnum 357s…We’ve lost 30% of our finances…It’s become like Chicago here”

US, Philadelphia: light clashes with cops on Freddie Gray  solidarity rally“Several times, the clash of protesters and police officers at Broad and Vine Street resulted in heavy pushing and shoving. In one photograph, a protester sitting on the shoulders of another wore a police cap that had been tossed into the air….About an hour later, the demonstrators rallied at the Federal Bureau of Prisons on Chestnut Street. Once there, they blocked the doors of the building. Prisoners inside the building could be heard banging on the windows and flashing their lights….A crowd eventually gathered at a statue of Frank Rizzo, a former police commissioner and mayor of Philadelphia from 1972 to 1980. …someone spray-painted “FTP” on the back of the Rizzo statue” Baltimore: tragic story of injured police officers only doing their job

croc tears

Sadly,  there’s always a dark cloud in front of every silver lining: “We’ve seen officers dressed in riot gear show their uniforms to little children and share laughs with teenagers and that’s encouraging” …hopefully laughs of derision…

lauging policeman

laughing policeman

“He said “I must arrest you!”

He didn’t know what for.

And then he started laughing

Until he cracked his  jaw.

Oh ho ho ho ho ho ho ho. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.”

Right-winger inadvertently reveals uncomfortable (if partial) truth amongst distorting lies “…support for rioters comes from a particular kind of thinking. This thinking sees oppression not as something that individuals do, but as a systemic process…In this view, Person A does not oppress Person B. Rather, “society” is structured in such a way as to make any action by Person A oppressive by definition to Person B. Person B is not oppressed by a man, but by The Man. This is a very dangerous kind of thinking. …Support for mass violence is the logical conclusion of this type of thinking. Once you believe that oppression is part of The System, the only way to stop oppression is by destroying The System…and there’s no way to do that without mass violence. The oppressors are not just going to let you change things peacefully, are they? There’s no effective way to argue against this, in my experience.”

Nigeria, Akure: riot cop “arrested” at gas station by petrol pump attendant

Peru, LaPampilla: riot cops v. surfers

South Africa, Thembelilhe: report of army sent to town supposedly to crack down on xenophobic attacks See this critical text

Wailsday, 29/4/15:

France, Paris: projectiles thrown at cops during an arrest A scuffle then broke out, forcing the police to suddenly use  tear gas, and three shots of flash-balls …. The confrontation had only one victim: a policeman was slightly wounded in the left knee, who had to be rushed to the hospital in Gonesse. Among the thirteen men who landed in custody, the majority are from Deuil-la-Barre and the youngest is 14 years old.”…Vigneux-de-Bretagne: company biologists chased off ZAD and their vehicles sabotaged

Tunisia, Tozeur: protesters against arrest of 5 people for trying to kill cop, block road with tyres, burn down tourist police station and vandalise admin vehicle (here also)

Brazil, Curitiba:  rubber bullets, stun grenades, tear gas, water cannon used on striking teachers as some try to enter Congress building “Curitiba mayor Gustavo Fruet called the scene a “war without precedent” in the city and labeled it a “tragedy foretold” that he blamed on the security forces, who are under the responsibility of the state government….The Parana state government, which controls the security forces that clashed with the teachers, said… it “deeply regrets the acts of confrontation, aggression and vandalism caused this afternoon by protesters” not associated with the striking teachers. It said masked protesters used stones, fireworks, sticks and iron rods to try to break through the police lines to invade the state congressional building and that they’re “directly responsible for the confrontation.”… seven people had been arrested for attacking policemen.”

Nepal, Katmandu: angry earthquake survivors confront riot cops as the state gives out misinformation and proves not much help in the  distribution of essentials like water (video in French here) More here “…when the buses failed to materialise, anger began surging and scuffles broke out between the crowds and riot police who were sent in to try to contain the situation near parliament. Some protesters forced a truck carrying drinking water off the road and climbed on top of it, throwing the bottles to the crowd. “We’ve been left starving in the cold and the best this government can give us is this queue.”

US, Baltimore: report on curfew horrorsreport of fireprotests in New York, Washington DC, Boston and FergusonDenver: cop pushed off motorbike (more here)

Palestine, Gaza: Hamas’ cops beat up Palestinian protesters

Canada, Ottawa: high school students walk out in solidarity with teacher

Tearsday, 28/4/15:

Chile, Iquique: 4 molotovs thrown at offices of the head of regional government

South Africa, Limpopo: cops disperse power workers on month-long illegal strike blocking roadreport showing government “ignored” (ie encouraged) threats to disrupt anti-xenophobia march

US, Baltimore: National Guard enforce week-long curfew Also here for live updates.  Looks like the Crips and Bloods have backtracked on their original resolve: In amazing scenes in the run-up to the curfew at 10PM, the Crips and the Bloods, the US’s two most famous gangs, held what appeared to be an impromptu press conference and appealed for calm.” See also this. 

And this comment from someone on A-News

Not everyone completely acquiesced with  the gang leaders’ backwards “lead”- see here: Police in Baltimore fired smoke bombs and pepper pellets at hundreds of protesters who defied a night-time curfew that took effect across the city late on Tuesday, police and US media said, a day after the worst rioting in the United States in years. …“The curfew violators are refusing to follow lawful orders by officers to leave the area,” police said on Twitter, adding that “criminals” had started a fire outside a city library.  Armoured vehicles were moving into the area of the standoff between police and protesters, television images showed.”

BALTIMORE-POLICE274

….Ferguson: rocks thrown at cop patrol cars, dumpsters set on fire across town

ferguson 28 4 15

Ferguson 28/4/15

Seattle: juvenile prison construction truck burnt in solidarity with Baltimore

Ivory Coast: national teachers strike gets angry as pupils come out in solidarity A strike called by teachers for wage demands caused several injuries among teachers, students and security forces… various demonstrations, some violent, have taken place in several regions of the country. At Ferkessédougou (North), disgruntled students stopped classes in their schools and  headed en masse in the morning to  private institutions to force students out. Clashes occurred between supporters … and opponents. In Korhogo (north), Bouake (center) and Aboisso (southeast), demonstrations of students led to clashes between students equipped with stones, wood and sticks and armed security forces with batons and tear gas, causing injuries on both sides. In Divo (southwest), teachers who organized a protest against the hole in  their wages were attacked by groups of parents, injuring several people. Several student demonstrations were reported in other localities, sowing anxiety in the country….”

Greece, Athens: finance minister who aims to save capitalism from itself (by working out how to sell the Troika’s debt payments to the Greeks) saved by his wife from attack by anarchists

Moanday, 27/4/15:

US, Baltimore: cop cars and buildings burned, windows smashed after funeral of Freddie Gray  The rioters set police cars and buildings on fire, looted a mall and liquor stores and hurled rocks, bottles and cinderblocks at police in riot gear. Police responded occasionally with pepper spray or cleared the streets by moving in tight formation, shoulder to shoulder. At least 15 officers were hurt, including six who were hospitalized. There were 144 vehicle fires, 15 structure fires and nearly 200 arrests.” Also this “…police understood the Bloods, Crips and Black Guerilla Family gangs had met and each pledged to kill a police officer.” If you look back at the 1992 Los Angeles riots, the truce between gangs was an essential part of the uprising; check out section 5 of this Aufheben text (this is not to endorse the constant use of Mike Davis, the proletarian-turned-academic, by Aufheben which, in retrospect, could be seen as in some way an endorsement of their own fence-sitting balancing act between academia and revolt which lead to the absurdity of John Drury’s schizophrenia)

Another video here.

The mayor of Baltimore called Monday night “one of our darkest days as a city”. No surprise that a politician gets everything the wrong way round –  confusing day and night and dark and bright. “We cannot allow our city to devolve into chaos”, she said.When they  refer to it as “our city” they show they have nothing in common with those who live there  but who in no way can say it’s their’s, those  whose  lives are normally chaotic but who create clarity when they create chaos for those who possess the city.

India, Madurai:  cops attack blind and visually impaired blockading road against delays in being given housing

Stunday: 26/4/15:

Mexico, Chilpancingo: several vehicles burnt in front of legislature as part of movement about 43 missing students Students from Ayotzinapa rural college, some parents of the 43 dissappeared students and members of the CETEG (independant Coordination of Education workers) attacked the local Congress in Guerrero’s capital (Chilpancingo). They entered the square, destroyed a monument dedicated to Morelos, burnt 4 cars, and fought with cops to protest against the authorities’ attitude about  the 43 students and about  the next local elections.

Burundi, Bujumbura: clashes with commodity/class society-defending state mercenaries (ie cops) as political groups condemn president seeking 3rd term Once again, it sounds like not all of this is respectable “opposition”: In one northern neighbourhood, protesters burnt tyres on the road and threw stones at police, who also shot in the air and used water cannons to disperse the crowd. Witnesses said violence had spread to a second neighbourhood where one protester was wounded when police shot him, while a police officer had been injured after being hit by a rock. The witnesses said police were also using live bullets.”

France, Boissy-Saint-Léger: stones and glass thrown at police station windows (same happened on 24/4/15) “…In november 2013 it was bottles of hydrochloric acid”

Shatterday, 25/4/15:

India, Delhi: police post and cop motorbike  attacked by angry crowd incensed about insensitive 4-day delay and misinformation in cops’ contacting family  over dead body of their 10-year-old daughter “The mob damaged the police post and torched three motorbikes parked in the vicinity. Some of the protesters also threw stones and damaged several cars in the area. Two police teams had to be deployed in the area to disperse the crowd… The protesters had blocked the road for hours and then they turned violent setting one PCR motorcycle and a couple of other private vehicles on fire, besides damaging the police post. We had to use mild force to disperse the crowd. An FIR under sections of rioting and damage to property has been registered though no one has been detained so far….”

Chad, Kyabe: after cops kill someone in their custody, crowd burns 2 cops cars, attack police station; 3 more killed by cops

UK, London: Brixton Town Hall briefly occupied and other stuff

France, Gard: as gendarmes confiscate stuff from  illegal rave party, people fight back 18 gendarmes were injured…These are minor injuries – “bruises, wounds, bent fingers” – most of them. However, a policeman was hospitalized with “significant facial trauma,” …… 85 police came to remove the sound system… “Everything was dismantled and loaded at 9:30 p.m.,” … Some of the participants threw stones, some of which contained …metallic nodules. “There’s been  great damage to vehicles,” including one whose “bodywork has been pierced,” ..Samuel Raymond, …one of the organizers, who defends “free party” culture… denounced the “pretty brutal” gendarmes.”

US, Baltimore: 5th day of protests against killer cops gets angrier “Multiple police cars were damaged and the protests bled into neighborhood businesses, with windows of bars and restaurants broken from thrown objects. Fights inside bars near Camden Yards between baseball fans and protestors also occurred” More here “…there were several cars with broken windows. Police are calling for officers scheduled on later shifts to report for duty immediately. One protester broke out the window of a police cruiser, grabbed a police hat inside and wore it while standing on top of the cruiser with several other protesters.” More here Soon, demonstrators began smashing police cruisers’ windows. “We have isolated pockets of people from out of town causing disturbances downtown,” a tweet from the Baltimore Police Department stated….Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake tweeted a brief statement.  “… Concerned about the violence and those who want to destroy our city,” she said.”

Another video here .

Some minor looting.

loot now baltimore

loot now while shocks last

Right-wingers complain about the Mayor’s softly softly approach. In fact, when she said “It was a very delicate balancing act because while we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on — um — we also gave those who wished to destroy, space to do that, as well,”  she expressed a more intelligent strategy for the dominant forces than the “zero tolerance” ideology of the more dogmatic right. Often, if you don’t bend you break. “Softly softly catchy monkey” is the ideology of the more subtle sections of ruling policy which will undoubtedly come to the fore the more  social contestation there is. It of course doesn’t rule out brutal repression, but combines it in a “a very delicate balancing act” involving allowing  people to let off steam, arresting them later on the basis of CCTV and other evidence and at the same time giving an image of taking up the concerns of the – rightly angry – blacks so as to hold out some hope of reform and pull the rug out from under their fury. “Softly Softly” was also the title of a 70s cop show in the UK which was  propaganda aimed at the gullible intended to make them believe in this tough but fair and often soft police force, which nevertheless was also very nasty behind the facade. For those who haven’t read it, see the section “Good Cop Bad Cop” (in particular the subsection “Far from the madding crowd controllers” onwards) in “Cop-Out…” which looks at soft cop policing and it’s worthwhile seeing how such strategies develop, in tandem with brute force, over the next months and years, and how such state strategies could be subverted .

France, Tarbes: street birthday party ends with fights with cops “At 2.50 am they began to set fire to garbage containers. Firefighters supported by the police intervened. Then a person threw a projectile at the vehicle of the security forces, damaging the driver’s door. A young man was arrested and taken into custody. Soon after,  at 3.30 am, a flaming container was again rolled into the middle of the avenue…. Further violence: many people, hidden in the darkness, threw stones, cans and bottles at police who had intervened to protect firefighters. “

South Africa, Cape Town: shack-builders attack journalists, cops and bus “…residents returned to rebuild shacks on Saturday on Denel-owned land in Cape Town from which they had been removed after police intervention earlier this month….When police arrived, the shack dwellers took to the streets and threw stones at a passing Golden Arrow bus, putting passengers to flight, with some even leaving handbags behind. Police threw stun grenades at the crowd and fired bullets. Some in the crowd threw stones at the police. …When comment was sought from people in the crowd, they said: “We are not talking to journalists today. “Just go away.” They threw stones at the photographer who was taking pictures. Meanwhile, opposite Lookout Hill, some Khayelitsha residents, whose building materials were confiscated by the city when they first moved on to the land earlier this month, returned with new material to build shacks….“They took my material the last time, but I managed to buy new material. We won’t stop until we get this land. We’ll fight till we die.” Mlokoti said she lived with her husband and three young men in a one-roomed shack. “My husband and I can’t even enjoy the pleasures of being married because there are always other people.”… “I’m tired of paying rent because it’s expensive, and having to share a one-roomed shack with other family members means here’s no privacy.” Poponi said the land they were invading was not being used.  “This land is a total waste because it’s just here, not being used for anything. “I don’t see what’s the problem when we build houses here.”

Serbia, Belgrade: big fight between football fans and cops

Australia, Sydney: cops pepper spray  fans in cop-fan clash Pepper spray was used in the grandstand, with a 13-year-old reportedly one of those affected. A number of the team’s Red and Black Bloc supporter group walked from the ground at half-time, apparently in protest to the perceived overreaction from police….The stand-off between around 150 fans and police continued outside the ground before officers were forced to use pepper spray after tensions escalated. No fans were taken to hospital. Two male officers treated for minor injuries, one of whom had a coin hurled into his face.”

Croatia, Zagreb: 1000s protest against debt slavery

Frightday, 24/4/15:

South Africa, Gauteng: cops fire rubber bullets as tyres and sewerage pipes are burnt in service delivery protests

South Korea: state defines general strike as “illegal”

France, Corbeil-Essonnes: BAC cop car attacked by masked youths; no arrestsMontpellier: 4th day of middle school staff common room occupation by parents and students in over 4-week old struggle against course-cutting This is during the half-term holiday, though some parents and students are sleeping there at night, and aim to continue until Tuesday, which will include the Monday when teachers and students return from their vacation. The cuts involve suppressing special needs classes, which will particularly impact on kids in difficulty and will also involve the end of German-French bilingual classes (the only other school in the country doing this is in Strasbourg), rock climbing, swimming, and other things.  Whilst I think schools are fundamentally rotten institutions, making them worse and narrowing options in a working class neighbourhood is hardly contributing to a critique of miseducation.

Thumpsday, 23/4/15:

South Africa, West Cape: service delivery protesters burn Metro ticket office More here “…an angry crowd descended on the terminal on Thursday night, ripping apart its tin roof and setting fire to tyres on its tracks and in its offices, closing off the railway until late on Friday morning. …“Protesters evidently took issue with their local authority about the provision of electricity and vented their dissatisfaction by rampaging at the station.” On Thursday night police found themselves in a tense stand-off as residents barricaded roads and threw stones. A group stormed the train station, reducing the inside to rubble as they smashed walls, stormed into the station’s offices and set fire to tyres.”

Lebanon, Sidon: taxi drivers burn tyres, block roads, against very heavy fines in new traffic law The controversial new traffic law took effect on Wednesday despite concerns over the high and unprecedented fines against violations. Internal Security Forces chief Ibrahim Basbous sought to appease fears by stressing that the law is aimed “ending the tragedies on the roads and ensuring the safety of the people.” Also on Wednesday, Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq hoped citizens will respect the law “out of their faith in the state.” “It was adopted to save their lives, not raise taxes”

US, Baltimore: continuing protests against killer cops Baltimore police were out in large numbers, and the department said it had canceled time off for its officers.” …videos here...”I would  hope that the crowd there will settle down and give this investigation an opportunity to come forth…” – President of the National Organisation of Black Law Enforcement Executives. “In a typical mob scene-type situation you do often see just an escalation and the group behaviour and group think take on a mind of its own and in this case it’s getting uglier…and you just can’t have anarchy on the street for a long period of time” – CNN Law Enforcement Analyst…Hawaii: protesters against building of 30 meter telescope occupy Office of Hawaiian AffairsLos Angeles: graffiti now a capital crimeCalifornia: dockers announce May 1st port shutdown in protest against cop brutality

Guinea: 4th day of clashes in 2 cities; protester killed by cops (see 20/4/15)

Wailsday, 22/4/15:

Peru, Cocachara: vehicles etc. burned as part of clashes with cops after 61-year-old is killed during anti-mine protests (video here) (more in English hereDemonstrations on Wednesday were scattered throughout the region of Arequipa. Unions, university students and local political groups marched in the regional capital, Arequipa, while farmers rallied in surrounding valleys. … Organizers said the demonstrations on Wednesday were the biggest so far, with tens of thousands turning out across the region.” Also this in English: “Yesterday clashes broke out between protesters and police in southern Arequipa, resulting in 22 wounded (11 police and 11 protesters) and one death,…Victoriano Huayna Nina (62), a protesting participant, was identified as the victim. He died in the town of Mollendo at the local hospital, after receiving bullet fragments in his leg. The protesters had just taken the Pampa Blanca bridge yesterday afternoon when clashes began …The protesters are currently fighting against the U.S. based Southern Copper mining project Tia Maria. It has been shut down since 2011 when three protesters died for similar causes. However, the company intends to reopen the project despite social conflicts…The government has attempted dialogue with the local leaders, but the defense front is persistent and has announced multiple strikes and protests.”


mollendo clashes april 15Mollendo against the Tia Maria pollution project

Colombia, Tunja: Students fight riot cops protesting visit of  Vice-president & Housing minister and supporting  national teachers’ strike Pi writes: Some of them display the flag of the 19th of April movement, ex-guerilla movement which is now a political party (see this). Might have to do with regional differences as well…’cause it seems it happened in the “afro” part of Colombia.

Argentina: 700 teachers block the Panamerican highway to get unpaid salaries

France, Yvesline: 2 cops attacked and bruised by large group  during traffic control stop

US, Baltimore: relatively feeble response so far to what seems like another cop murder “… police officers, who were stood behind metal barriers and concrete road blocks erected at the intersection before the station, were occasionally pelted with plastic bottles and regularly goaded by protestersone lieutenant was doused in water from a bottle hurled from the crowd…The lieutenant…bore much of the protester’s goading and was later struck by a box of fried chicken thrown from somewhere in the crowd.”

Australia, Perth: so-called “violent ” protest outside parliament as state cuts funding for indigenous areas Seems maybe almost superfluous to point it out but this is more indicative of the use of the word “violent” by the press: as part of the media’s standard manipulative function something pretty innocuous is termed “violent”, to frighten spectators into hostility towards those expressing even the slightest degree of anger and as a threat of, and justification for, state violence.

South Africa: report of some of the sad problems faced by Eksom bosses and the ingratitude of the oiks privileged to work for them See entry for April 14th…. Cape Town: cop car attacked on 3rd day of taxi driver violence

Germany: 6th official rail strike in 10 months “Strikes in Germany are relatively unusual due to a system of collective bargaining between unions and employers which are usually settled at the negotiating table.” Of course there is nothing “independent ” in this kind of strike, but the fact that this is unusual in a country whose working class is notoriously docile indicates a bit of a change in atmosphere there.

Tearsday, 21/4/15:

Russia: report of unpaid workers developing links during wildcat strikes “In the far east, the teachers went on strike. In central Russia, it was the employees of a metallurgical plant. In St. Petersburg, autoworkers laid down their tools. And at a remote construction site in Siberia, laborers painted their complaints in gigantic white letters on the roofs of their dormitories.”

France, Yvesline: 15 youths throw projectiles at BAC (Brigade Anti-Criminelle) as they arrest guy for racing stolen 4-wheeled motorbike; cop car window broken Apparently in some areas on run-down banlieux estates in France, young people are forming the  BAK (Brigade Anti-Keuf = Anti-cop Brigade).

Ivory Coast, Bouaflé: high-school students clash with cops as teachers go on strike “…a group of students, saying they were frustrated by classes being stopped by state school teachers, decided to force out their fellow pupils in private schools . But their march was  immediately stopped by the gendarmerie. Angry, these students stoned the police who responded with tear gas…According to the teachers interviewed, the judgement of the course is due to levies taken from the wages of many of their comrades.”

UK, London: nursery occupied by parents and kids against its closure

Moanday, 20/4/15:

Italy, near Naples: workers stage highway blockade again in struggle against job cuts

France, Corsica, Bastia: riot cops attack farmers’ protest against subsidy reductions after they burn tyres and throw stones at prefecture (video)

Guinea: violent clashes with cops in 2 cities Demonstrators burnt tyres and barricaded roads across Conakry on Monday as police responded with tear gas, leading to a number of violent confrontations. Medical sources said at least two protesters had been wounded by gunshots fired by police in the Hamdallaye neighbourhood, an opposition stronghold….Opposition activists and security forces also clashed in the city of Mamou, 300km east of Conakry, with around a dozen police officers treated for injuries in hospital, a medical source said. Meanwhile, the government said a trainee policeman, apparently shot by protesters, was seriously wounded. Since protests began last week, at least three people have been killed and 50 injured.” I put this here even though much of this movement seems to be dominated by  political party considerations. But the fact that parties almost invariably try to divert anger into their political ambitions doesn’t mean that there’s no element of autonomous activity in these kinds of movement (of course, that’s a very general “rule” and I have no knowledge of how precisely this is played out in Guinea).

Canada, Montreal: college grounds occupied as part of anti-austerity movement

India, Bihar: 5 students’ deaths in road accident triggers fury against a variety of targets “…hundreds of people blocked roads, ransacked Siwan Sadar hospital and also torched half a dozen vehicles including six ambulances. Protesters also attacked police and pelted stones at them, when they tried to disperse them, a district police officer said. “The protesters, who were mostly youths turned violent, when they found that doctors were missing from their duty and other staffs present appeared uninterested in the treatment of injured admitted to the hospital. They ransacked hospital and set ablaze vehicles in the premises”

Stunday, 19/4/15:

Lebanon, Beirut: prison riot “…Asked about what triggered the riots, he replied: “The inhumane overcrowding at the block is one of the reasons.” The block is harboring 1,100 prisoners, while it only has the capacity for 400, he revealed.  …. “The riot is over and it will not reoccur,” he pledged. The first riot at block D took place on Friday where inmates seized the master key at the facility and opened all doors at the building. They also briefly held hostage a number of officers. Roumieh, the oldest and largest of Lebanon’s overcrowded prisons, has witnessed sporadic prison breaks and escalating riots in recent years as inmates living in poor conditions demand better treatment.”

India, Bengaluru: 11 toll booths stoned, one burnt, as villagers riotMumbai: workers riot at petrol refinery When CISF jawans deployed at the east gate checked the papers of a group of labourers, they found that the men were late for work. As they sought an explanation from the workers, the latter got upset and started arguing with the security personnel.”  The altercation took a new turn when the labourers started pelting stones and vandalising the properties.”

Israel/Palestine, West Bank: five-year-old fights fifty-year-old force

palestine april2015

Shatterday, 18/4/15:

Dominican Republic: video report of week of violent movement in Bonao, Salcedo and Barahona against corruption, and lack of punishment, of the wealthy More here (see also entries for 15/4/15, 10/4/15, 31/3/15 & 27/3/15) Seems lots of political parties and all kinds of institutional groups are involved, but there are clearly independent elements as well [thanks to Pi].

US, St.Louis: protesters against another killer-cop block road outside of police station

UK, Liverpool: tame respectable nicey nicey occupation of former Bank of England building Jack, one of the activists, told the ECHO the graffiti on the outside of the building would be washed off. He said: “I was gone when the graffiti happened. “The people responsible were asked to leave and we’re working to clean it off as soon as we can because we have the utmost respect for the building.””…Derry, Northern Ireland: 30-40 teenagers make burning barricade, attack cops

Frightday, 17/4/15:

South Africa: wave of crazy xenophobic riots incited (directly and indirectly) by some of the personnel defending class society “…scores of Jeppe and George Goch hostel inmates went on the rampage, breaking into businesses and threatening to unleash violence on everyone in their path…the men, armed with an assortment of weapons including guns, divided themselves into groups of 20. …minibuses were dropping the men off and picking them up at different spots. …Jeppestown was under lockdown as the inmates barricaded the freeway using rocks….On Saturday night, police battled to contain a wave of violence as gangs of migrants armed themselves with machetes to fight off anti-foreigner attacks by locals. Five people have died since vigilantes started looting and attacking shops owned by immigrants, mainly from other parts of Africa. Police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets as immigrant gangs confronted the vigilantes, and last night in parts of Johannesburg officers formed a human barrier to keep the two sides apart. More than 200 immigrants had to take refuge in a police station and dozens of businesses were closed when trouble spread just a day after a rally against xenophobia in Durban, where the attacks began. Immigrants have complained about a lack of protection from the authorities and some have started arming themselves to fight back. Eyewitnesses have claimed that the vigilante violence is being carefully orchestrated and that minibuses have been ferrying men armed with knives and machetes around these suburbs. In the past two weeks, shops and homes owned by Somalis, Ethiopians, Malawians and other migrants have been targeted, forcing more than 2 000 to flee to camps protected by armed guards. Foreign shop owners near Johannesburg reportedly fled their businesses after receiving a text message saying “Zulu people are coming to town… to kill every foreigner”. With unemployment mounting, many South Africans accuse immigrants from other parts of Africa and Asia of taking their jobs. The violence has largely been blamed on comments by Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, who said foreigners were “lice” who should “pack their bags” and return home….In Johannesburg, Malawian immigrant Samuel Idrssa described how his friend was stabbed and set on fire by a mob. “We wanted to rescue him but there were too many of them,” he said. “It was shocking.” …Durban, South Africa’s third-biggest city, has been hardest hit, with tents set up in the suburb of Chatsworth to offer sanctuary to 1 200 migrants who were forced from their homes. Demonstrators who gathered for a peace march in the coastal city after days of violence were jeered by a crowd of hundreds. Attacks on foreigners in Johannesburg in 2008 left 60 dead..”

Report from SK:

The Zulu King was filmed saying foreigners were lice, ants, criminals who bring filth to the street and should go back to “their” countries just before the attacks started in Kwa-Zulu Natal! (http://www.herald.co.zw/zwelithini-likens-immigrants-to-lice-ants/)  Once the attacks started and people referred to his statement he tried to deny the reports until a recording of his statement was widely circulated. He then held a conference calling for peace, claiming that he had been misinterpreted, but the at the same ‘anti-xenophobia’ conference from whence spouted his furious doublespeak, ‘the crowd was restless, defiant, singing songs about foreigners going home.’ (http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2015-04-20-op-ed-south-africa-a-country-of-misdirected-anger)

This is not all. An article from 28 January states:

‘Three months after the South African government announced that it was to introduce a controversial stringent application process for refugees seeking asylum in the country, foreign-owned shops are being looted in Soweto and foreign nationals are being subjected to
xenophobic attacks again…

“Operation Hardstick” was initiated by Limpopo police in July 2012 to crack down on spaza shops and liquor shops operating without trading licenses. According to IRIN, over 200 Somali-owned shops all over Limpopo were closed down during July 2012, and in most cases, goods were confiscated without a receipt being issued…

Foreign-owned shops in the townships have become a focal point around which xenophobes in the townships organise. In different parts of the country, xenophobes take it upon themselves to initiate their own versions of operation hardstick. In Cape Town, Operation Hardstick has
manifested itself through robbery and sometimes via the killing of Somali business owners. In the past week in Soweto, residents rolled out their own version of Operation Hardstick and looted foreign-owned shops.’ (http://sacsis.org.za/site/article/2261?frommailing=1)

The author of this article collaborated with me in a 2011 study where we ‘scientifically’ related violent attacks by locals to the divisive tactics of the rulers using a survey and evidence collected from the 2008 pogroms:

‘This report traced the possibility of xenophobic violence to a series of what historian Winthrop Jordan famously described as “unthinking decisions ” It sought to examine the reaction of South Africans to immigration control in general, and mass-deportation raids in particular, as an example of analogical reasoning in which mob violence is seen as a supplementary form of immigration control.’ (http://swradioafrica.com/Documents/APPS-Report-Final%20_1_.pdf)

Senegal, Ziguinchor: striking students sequestrate 2 cops in retaliation for arrest of 3 students “…on  strike for three weeks to demand the authorities’ completion of infrastructure, students clashed with police who tried to disperse them on Friday. Unhappy and very angry, residents of Assane Seck University  burned tires, blocking traffic for several hours from the main road to the university. Ultimately, three students were arrested and taken to police headquarters in the southern capital. In a tit-for-tat, two  of the security forces were sequestered by students … Mediation eventually bore fruit and  the situation returned to normal.”

Greece, Athens: Syriza’s cops arrest anarchists occupying university

Bahrain, Sitra: continuing movement, once again specifically focussing on Formula 1 (video) and another here

Zimbabwe: hunter hunted

human head trophy

The hunting song

Thumpsday, 16/4/15:

Mexico, Mexico City: blind street sellers injure 13 cops in demo over police aggression A confrontation between blind street sellers and police …at the doors of the office of prime minister, Miguel Angel Mancera, left a toll of at least 15 people injured. The brawl occurred after noon, when some 150 members of the Mexican Association for Humane Treatment, Social and Cultural Material for the Blind and Visually Impaired tried to enter the Old City Hall to demand, from the president, the reinstatement in the capital of  spaces of work in the Metro Public Transport System that were removed from them last week. As always happens when there are demonstrations in front of government offices, a triple fence of uniformed riot police and traffic police tightened security at the entrance of the building. With their shields, police began to push the demonstrators, causing discomfort and cries, developing into blows…The quarrel left a toll of six injured people who were treated by paramedics and Rescue Squadron Medical Emergencies (ERUM). However, the Secretariat of the Federal District reported that there were 15 injured, of whom 13 were  policemen and two demonstrators. At the time of the beating,  members of the protest were arrested, but minutes later were released at the demand of their peers….Their protest was a response to the attacks suffered in recent days, when the police broke up… the first protest on November 20th Avenue.

Brazil, Brasilia: last day of 4 day occupation of space in  front of legislature by over 1500 indigenous people

brazil april 16

Greece, Athens: heavy clashes with cops on anti-gold mine demo (video)contradictions between mine workers and opponents Without a pan-European and international movement seriously threatening life dominated by an ecologically-disastrous commodity economy (of which gold mining is an obvious part) it’s kind of inevitable that such conflicts of interest amongst proletarians get expressed. Especially in a country where being unemployed is generally already  disastrous. How to overcome these separations is a significant strategic question, particularly as the Greek Communist Party plays on maintaining such separations (they distributed a traditional workerist leaflet opposing the closure of the mines). As well as, obviously,  the mining company – who bused in these workers for the demonstration. ( more here)

South Korea, Seoul: mourners on anniversary of ferry disaster in heavy clashes with cops Mourners clashed with police in Seoul on Thursday after a mass rally drew 10,000 people to mark the first anniversary of South Korea’s Seoul ferry disaster that claimed 304 lives. The violence capped a tense day of remembrance that saw victims’ families angrily snub President Park Geun-Hye even as she sought to defuse the situation by vowing to raise the sunken ferry to the surface. Riot police used pepper spray to disperse mourners who were infuriated by police barricades erected to prevent them from laying flowers at a makeshift altar”

US, Georgia: man puts up unauthorised barricades on unsafe road

Wailsday, 15/4/15:

Dominican Republic: report of cop killed during anti-corruption movement

US, Ohio: partial victory for prison hunger strikers

Canada, British Colombia: indigenous occupy local premier’s office in struggle against sewage dumping 

France, Mans: police station forced to close after being attacked More here “…a patrol spotted a man suspected of theft. .. the alleged thief refused to comply with the state functionaries, who became the target of missile throwing….A law enforcement operation was then dispatched to the area. The face-off between the police and fifty residents was tense. Witnesses reported flash-ball gunfire from the functionaries” And here Back at the police station, the police reported violence inflicted on their hierarchy. A law enforcement operation is then organized. Thirty police mobilized…. they faced about forty people ready to do battle. Chairs, bottles, stones and iron bars were thrown at the police. Equipped with shields, they retaliated, firing rubber bullets and using tear gas. Amongst the crowd, seven more people are arrested. All known to the police, they are charged with  rebellion, outrage, threats, and for some, cannabis possession and carrying weapons.”…Brest: cop car attacked by a couple of teenagersSeine-Saint-Denis, Aulnay-sous-Bois: cops fire flash balls and tear gas on an estate as 30 young men attack them whilst making an arrest 

Chile, Santiago: confrontations with cops, and other stuff, over corruption and education financing etc “As the peaceful march, organized mostly by opposition parties, came to a close, a smaller group of radical protesters began to attack and pelt objects at the armed police, reportedly injuring one officer….Education protests reignited in the wake of President Bachelet’s promise to abolish the country’s high university fees. A series of tax raises that have brought $8.3 billion for that purpose last year. However, the majority of the funds have been allocated to other programs…Bachelet was elected for the second time last year, after losing her post in 2010. She recently became embroiled in the scandal after her son’s wife was reported to have obtained a $10 million loan under suspicious circumstances. A separate scandal involving right-wing politicians and SQM, a mining company that meddled in politics and was able to avoid taxes, led to students occupying its headquarters on WednesdayMore here on the latter occupation: “More than two-dozen Chilean high school students mounted a brief occupation on Wednesday at the Santiago headquarters of mining company Soquimich, which is under investigation for tax fraud and illegal political contributions. Demonstrators from the High School Student’s Coordinating Assembly, known as Aces, invaded the company’s offices and used chains to lock the main entrance to the building, located in Santiago’s financial district. “We come to the SQM offices to protest against corrupt business power,” Aces spokesperson Aurora Rozas told Efe. “This demonstration expresses our rage about these acts, because, in the end, the guilty are not punished.” The students were ultimately ejected from the offices and riot police arrested 22 of them.”

Tearsday, 14/4/15:

US, New York: Brooklyn Bridge blocked by anti-cop brutality protesters

Palestine, Gaza: 1000s of workers on strike

South Africa, Limpopo: striking workers erect barricades as part of demand for unconditional reinstatement of sacked workers “The workers had barricaded the streets and entrances to the hostels preventing buses to pick up workers to the construction site. They are burning tyres and pelting stones at motorists. Police nyalas and water tankers have been deployed in the area. On Tuesday the striking workers refused Eskom’s offer to return to work on Wednesday. The workers are demanding that those dismissed be reinstated unconditionally. The utility had on Tuesday confirmed it will reinstate the 1 700 workers who were fired for vandalising property during the strike.”

See also this. The contract workers were dismissed on March 27 for vandalising property during the one-day strike over better working conditions and higher pay. Thousands of their unionised co-workers stayed away from work on their own volition in solidarity with their fired colleagues, affecting construction. Labour disruption and technical faults have increased costs at Eskom’s Medupi coal-fired plant, expected to start generating 800 megawatts of extra electricity by July. “To reduce the levels of antagonism and intimidation against workers who want to work, we have decided to reinstate all 1,700 workers” 

Vietnam, Than An: at least 20 cops stabbed or burnt by acid in resistance to eviction “… chief of police of Thanh An village, was among the most seriously injured with acid burns to his back…Property seizures for development projects have sparked controversy. Villagers have fought authorities with knives, petrol bombs and acid. …In 2012, farmer Doan Van Vuon was hailed in social media as “national hero” while resisting provincial authorities in the northern city of Hai Phong. The incident received widespread notice when he and his family used homemade guns and landmines to resist the officials who tried to bulldoze his home.”

Brazil, Rio: cops clash with squatters during eviction from massive abandoned building in rich area

Moanday, 13/4/15:

Eire, Dublin: clashes in water protest The following might inspire Ireland’s  water meter revolt; it’s about a revolt in Mexico in  May last year where they wanted to impose a commodified pipeline on an area of Mexico City where the local population already had their own supply of water direct from a spring: this video and this text in Spanish

Guinea, Conakry: though full of illusions in the opposition party, there are almost certainly some independent aspects to these angry protests

UK, Faslane: decades-old routine renewal of anti-nuke blockade More here – full of the usual nauseating toleration we’ve got used to from these  useless activists – eg toleration for politicians such as Green MSP Patrick Harvie. Harvie said: “Trident is an obscenity. Through direct action and through the ballot box we can make the case for the UK to play a new role on the world stage. By choosing to disarm Trident we can re-skill workers on the Clyde to provide defence of the strategically important northern seas, and diversify our economy for social good.” See this for a critique from over 3 decades ago.

Stunday, 12/4/15:

India, Tamil Nadu: 4 hotels attacked on 6th day of continuing movement following cop killing of 20 smugglers (see entry for 7/4/15)

South Africa, Western Cape: church set alight in continuing movement of land squattersJohannesburg: statue of Gandhi splattered with paint

Not sure if this was white racists because the statue was splattered with white paint. If so, they are clearly very ignorant of Gandhi’s usefulness for the ruling classes’ defence of the Brutish Empire because he opposed anything that might challenge dominant social relations. For instance, Gandhi used his reputation and leadership role to often disarm social movements in India when they threatened to get out of hand – he opposed strikes in the super-exploitative textile industies, even going so far as to threaten suicide if workers went on strike. This is why that upper middle class David Attenborough produced his film “Gandhi”  quite explicitly to make propaganda against the massive riots that spread throughout the UK against Thatcher in 1981.

His usefulness for Brutish capital is shown by the fact that independence insured that Brutish investments remained intact. And this recognition that giving up direct control of an area of the world did not entail giving up economic power was a model for the end of the Brutish colonies everywhere. As long as the money was coming in, it didn’t matter if India, or anywhere else, was “self-governing” (ie remained within the sphere of Brutish capital accumulation).

Gandhi’s “pacifism” did not stop him from supporting the Brutish in 1899 in the Boer War, volunteering to help them and organising an ambulance corps. As he said, “As long as the subjects owe allegiance to a state, it is their clear duty generally to accommodate themselves, and to accord their support, to the acts of the state”. When Gandhi was organising a mass march in South Africa in 1913, to obtain rights for Indians there, the white railway workers went on strike over pay and conditions. Gandhi immediately cancelled his march, saying that civil resisters should not take advantage of a government’s difficulty. On the outbreak of the First World War, Gandhi actively recruited for the British war effort, despite his ‘pacifism’. He even refused to support a mutiny of a section of the Hindu Royal Garwhali regiment – who were brutally punished for the mutiny – when it refused an order to machine gun unarmed rioting muslims, saying he wouldn’t want soldiers in an independent India to refuse his orders to shoot if that became necessary!!!!!)(Le Monde, 20th Feb. 1932) On the outbreak of the Second World War, he publicly pledged not to embarrass the British, and would lend moral support to the Allies. And, of course, he had not one iota of understanding of political economy, as this letter to Hitler dated July 27th 1939 clearly shows:

Dear friend,

Friends have been urging me to write to you for the sake of humanity. But I have resisted their request, because of the feeling that any letter from me would be an impertinence. Something tells me that I must not calculate and that I must make my appeal for whatever it may be worth.

It is quite clear that you are today the one person in the world who can prevent a war which may reduce humanity to the savage state. Must you pay the price for an object however worthy it may appear to you to be? Will you listen to the appeal of one who has seliberately [sic] shunned the method of war not without considerable success? Any way I anticipate your forgiveness, if I have erred in writing to you.

I remain,
Your sincere friend
M.K.Gandhi

HERR HITLER
BERLIN
GERMANY

statue of  Martinus Wessel Pretorius, South Africa’s first (white) president improvedAndrew Murray statue and Ficksburg Grave Monument also improved Sample quote from the author of this article: “I have said many times that religion and education are wasted on these savages. Sir Theophilus Shepstone (who could speak several black languages) said that you should leave the blacks alone. Don’t feed them, don’t clothe them. Give them no work. Do not attempt to educate them or try to convert them to Christianity. Have NOTHING to do with them.”  Now if only these whites had left the blacks “alone”, avoided taking the blacks’ land, avoided stealing the food from them, avoided forcing them to wear the clothes they wanted them to wear, avoided extracting surplus value from their labour, avoided conditioning them into ruling class culture and converting them into the ideology of sacrifice and had had NOTHING to do with them…if only.

Gabon, Libreville: Benin embassy completely burnt as political opposition supporters riot over death by (possibly) poisoning of party leader

Shatterday, 11/4/15:

South Africa, North West: violent protest against local council’s misuse of funds “…residents had barricaded roads with tree branches, burning tyres and rocks on Saturday, demanding feedback regarding the alleged misuses of Bakubung Tribal Council funds. A house, a truck and a shop were set alight while four shops belonging to foreigner nationals were also looted…  On Wednesday, residents did not allow North West Local Government MEC Collen Maine to speak to them, demanding that all arrested people should be released.”

United Arab Emirates, Ras Al Khaimah: workers riot after death of worker on building site “17 cars were set alight, as well as electricity generators, fuel tanks and offices on Saturday.” This official report, designed to undermine sympathy or solidarity with the rioters,  claims the guy committed suicide. Work has resumed on a construction site where labourers staged a violent protest after the apparent suicide of one of their colleagues….Abdul Jabbar, head of human resources at the company, said: “The worker who died is from India and he would have some tension and family dispute which could have led to losing the focus and falling down. “A large number of our workers are working there. Unfortunately, he fell from the fifth floor despite all safety measures in place.” Mr Jabbar said that “you can’t fight destiny”, and if “Allah has written something for you, that would have to happen and nobody can prevent it. Despite all safety measures in place on site, it happened”.”

France, Paris: Corsican football fans and cops in confrontations before match

Frightday, 10/4/15

Central African Republic, Kaga-Bandoro: UN warkeepers shoot dead protester as demonstrators try to set fire to UN base “…peacekeepers fired warning shots to push back some 400 protesters, some of whom were armed with knives and who tried to set fire to the base in Kaga-Bandoro…It was the second attack against the UN camp in Kaga- Bandoro in a week, the spokesman added. He could not provide details on the reasons for the protest.” But this, in French, shows the reason – the failure of the UN to protect them against ethnic attacks

Holland, Amsterdam: cops get heavy evicting student occupiers (video) (condemned by over 100 lecturers, who call for Uni authorities to resign)

South Africa, Cape Town: radical wing of anti Rhodes’ statue occupation promises to get interesting “…the students declared publicly on Thursday that “the Constitution (is) a document which violently preserves the status quo”. Price stated that the group had crossed the line of “acceptable protest” which included the disruption of the Council meeting on Wednesday evening. “This behaviour was completely unacceptable, challenged the authority of Council and will result in prosecutions of the students involved,” he said. Price also referred to student protesters chanting “one settler, one bullet”. “I wish to express my dismay that this has happened, condemn all acts of intimidation and reckless utterances as they have no place in our democracy and are in serious conflict with the values of the University,” he said. Price said the University was investigating referring the cases to the Human Rights Commission.”

These same students had, over the course of the week, declared that “transformation is the maintenance and perpetuation of oppression”, that “our only regret is that we did not take the statue down ourselves. Going forward we will no longer compromise. Management is our enemy”, and that “let it be known that Azania House (Bremner) is ours and we will not leave.……promises promises…

“… you shouldn’t believe in promises. The world is full of them: the promises of riches, of eternal salvation, of infinite love. Some people think they can promise anything, others accept whatever seems to guarantee better days ahead…. Those who make promises they don’t keep end up powerless and frustrated, and exactly the fate awaits those who believe promises.”

― Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym

““Some things you don’t have to promise. You just do.”
Rick Yancey, The 5th Wave

SK writes:

“Now that the statue has been removed, a demand which required little risk on the part of supporters and little cost to institutional power, things are taking an interesting turn down at the Universtity of Cape Town. The mass of students and their representatives seem to have been satisfied with this spectacular gesture, whilst an extremist wing has vowed to continue occupation of the administration buildings in line with their declaration that the statue was ‘just the first step’. The bureacrats in charge have now warned them to vacate the premises and a confrontation is inevitable unless the students fail to back up their radical rhetoric in action.

Obviously the bosses, and the majority of students and other spectators who supported the removal of the statue, are now interested in returning the action into the abstract realm of the ‘transformation’ process that measures the image of  today’s institutional racism with that of the past. The hardcore seem determined not to allow this evasion to happen too easily.
‘These same students had, over the course of the week, declared that “transformation is the maintenance and perpetuation of oppression”, that “our only regret is that we did not take the statue down ourselves. Going forward we will no longer compromise. Management is our enemy”, and that “let it be known that Azania House (Bremner) is ours and we will not leave.” Furthermore, the students declared publicly on Thursday that “the Constitution (is) a document which violently preserves the status quo”.’ (http://citizen.co.za/360165/ucts-price-sends-warning-to-student-protesters/)

Some hard words. Unfortunately their own refusal remains in the same abstract realm, having to do with little other than confrontational press statements on the one hand or the very demands for transformation (renaming buildings according to black nationalist ideology, appointing more black lecturers, etc) they now apparently reject on the other. The concrete alienation which keeps all proletarians in an infantile position, have no mention, which is not surprising as they have made no effort to open the space they’ve appropriated to anyone other than their own insular peers, unlike the most promising occupations of the past. This would all be of little importance if they were at least beginning to confront the concrete aspects of their own alienation, which would at least broaden the basis of their struggle to all other students rather than the few interested in ideological stunts and militant posturing. But the blackmail of school-fees and academic discipline, two elementary oppressions which have inspired exemplary (and far more radical in practice) revolt around the country are not so much as mentioned in all their Fanonian bluster on ‘decolonisation’.

Protest against the poverty of student life in its economic and intellectual aspects have already mobilised students around the country to shut down campuses altogether numerous times in recent years. As is the case with much rebellion in South Africa and around the world, recent student struggles have already taken on very radical forms. At the Tshwane University of Technology a bus and 8 cars belonging to the university were burnt in a struggle against a system that forces young people to pay for the privilege of slaving to adapt themselves to the needs of bosses, and at the Durban University of Technology riots in which buildings on campus were occupied and windows smashed for similar reasons took place throughout the year. At present however such struggles remain limited to very paltry demands regarding provision of student loans, scholarships, and so on. A far cry from the recent proposal of professor Denis Rancourt in terms of minimum demands that ‘At the very least, students should be PAID a salary, and allowed to unionize as workers.’ 
Regarding the intellectual poverty to which they are subjected those at the Pretoria campus of the Medical School of South Africa where they went on strike in early 2014, blockaded the entrances to campus, broke into and occupied the adminstration buildings and overturned a vehicle in a struggle against a system that forces young people to submit their minds to the arbitrary dictates of bureaucratic authorities. Their demands, however, remained limited to the most obvious manifestations of this system, in the form of particularly unpopular professors. Similarly, on the streets of Johannesburg hundreds of high-school pupils rioted and looted in an attempt to put an end to the still wide-spread use of corporal punishment, among other things. The system of discipline and punishment as a whole, which has nothing to do with education and everything to do with obedience training, was not thrown into question.
In January last year South Africa experienced three student riots in one week. Similar events are ongoing throughout the world. The occupiers seem not merely ignorant of all this (which would not be exceptional as most of the participants in all these revolts are undoubtedly ignorant of one another’s struggles) but seem not even to be moving in the same direction as the rebellions of their peers around the world. This alone should give them pause for thought. They clearly are capable of serious thinking, and seem to be doing a fair bit of it, but as everywhere in the world what matters is not abstract intelligence but what you do with it.
 
At the danger of being overly schematic, we might distinguish between four levels of opposition active in the world today.
1) The first, and most common, involves the purely spectacular pseudo-opposition which characterises the statue protests and others like them. Although based on real conflicts and grievances, as the spectacle is based on real social relations, in terms of practical consequences this has to do entirely with appearances, involves little or no risk to the participants, most of whom adopt the role of passive spectators, and can be satisfied at little cost to those in power.
2) The apparently real but really merely apparent opposition which the splinter group which continues to occupy the university embodies. This seems to involve the most fundamental aspects of reality, but because the opposition remains abstract, it actually involves nothing more than ideology. This might involve significant risk to the participants, and can’t be satisfied at any cost because it is not actually about the satisfaction of anything other than ideological desires.
3) The real opposition to concrete aspects of oppression, such as the economic and intellectual poverty against which young people rebel around the world. This involves immediate aspects of reality, though not the most radical. The ability of those in power to satisfy its demands depends on the particular circumstances, but is often precarious and partial. Although such satisfaction presents a real danger of recuperation which all too many struggles fail to overcome, this sort of opposition and its attendant risks remains a necessary first step towards opposition to more fundamental aspects.
4) The attempt to transform opposition to concrete aspects of a particular oppression into a means to abolish all oppression. This was embodied by the slogan of South African youth ‘The school for the oppressed is a revolution’, and the attempted theoretical elaboration of these tendencies by the theories of ‘Black Consciousness’ and ‘People’s Education for People’s Power’. This is the point of transition where the particular changes into the universal, where the struggle of students begins to involve a struggle against the role of student and against the institution of school; where the struggle of workers involves a struggle against the role of worker and against the institution of work; of females against femininity and gender, and so on. Those in power are entirely unable to satisfy demands at this level, and must rely on exploiting the internal weaknesses, contradictions, and illusions of their opponents — together with brute force — in order to survive the onslaught.
Now that they have at least got beyond the first level, my friend and his fellow occupiers might be more amenible to discussing their activities in the light of the above considerations. Let’s see how it goes.”
India, Guwahati: 10 cops injured as anti-rape protesters lay seige to army base, damage army property Several people were injured as the police fired rubber bullets and resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the protesters who had laid siege to an Army camp demanding that eight jawans, who had allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl and molested her mother and another woman, be handed over to them. At least 10 cops sustained injuries in the melee. The police used force after the agitators, who were mostly women and students, had partially damaged a watchtower and some bunkers of the Army ….”

Zambia, Lusaka: unemployed and cops in clashes

Germany: immigrants occupy SPD HQs of 2 cities demanding unconditional right to stay

Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo: violent student protests force temporary suspension of university classes

Colombia, Cauca: 19-year-old indigenous Indian killed by riot cops in land occupation movement

France, Orly Airport: heavily armed (in)security patrol soldier gets punched in the face whilst washing hands in  toilet; no arrest

Thumpsday, 9/4/15:

France:  peaceful scattered blockades of high schools and universities against new labour law largely dominated by the CGT (video)

US, Arizona: Apaches occupy land (video)

Mexico, Guerrero: demonstrators force riot cops into retreat as part of strike (video)

Canada, Montreal: cops smash up window in order to evict students’ university sit-in protesting against cop arrests The police made a huge hole in a window of the entrance to the lodge  to enter the building, the doors being blocked by several objects. The occupants fled outside the pavilion through a door at the rear of the building towards Sanguinet. Students then decided to attack the SPVM [riot police]vehicles. A sign was thrown at  the windshield of an SPVM truck, while four other vehicles sustained various injuries. Dozens of protesters then took over St. Catherine St. east, where they threw trash cans, flower pots and signs onto the road to block traffic. They were pursued by the police, who used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse them. Demonstrators who came to support the occupants outside were also dispersed with tear gas. A lot of damage was found inside the JA DeSève lodge. Offices were ransacked and surveillance cameras and vending machines destroyed.” See also this and this in English. Video here

Wailsday, 8/4/15:

UK, Derry: cop cars attacked in riot (unclear what this was about) “Masked men reportedly fired shots after the youths rioted in the Leafair Gardens area of Galliagh in Derry on Wednesday night and attacked police cars.”

Algeria, Kais: stones v tear gas, as those excluded from housing list blockade main road

Peru, Talara: unemployment protesters enforce strike, barricade road with burning tyres (demand money from motorists going to airport) and clash with cops (also this)

China, Guangdong: primary school pupils participate in continuing uprising against incinerator (see entry for 6/4/15) “Primary school children boycotted class in Langtang township near Guangdong’s Yunfu city on Wednesday, joining a continuing protest by thousands of residents over plans to build a waste incinerator plant near their homes, residents said. Tensions remained high in the township amid ongoing police detentions by night and a growing security presence on local streets, they said….”[The class boycott] has gone on for two days now,” a Langtang resident surnamed Wu told RFA, adding that security in the surrounding towns and villages remains tight….”Today, there is a police guard surrounding several villages.”…”The government told us that if we left the cement factory, they would release them half an hour afterwards, but they still haven’t released them, even after we left,” he said. …”There are an extra 1,000 police in the township now, and more than 20 police vehicles at the cement factory,” Zhang said….According to local people, dozens of people were injured and detained in clashes between police and protesters on Monday, after riot police used batons to attack the crowd, including children….Environmental activist Chen Faqing, commenting on a recent fire at a petrochemical plant in the southeastern province of Fujian, said air pollution is a form of chronic suicide for China. “Habitual and long-term exposure to air pollution can have a huge effect on all the organs of the body, especially harmful gases, which can be absorbed through the capillaries, and cause cancer,” Chen said.
“These harmful gases can take 50-200 years to disappear from the air we breathe,” Chen said. “It’s not just a question of a few years.” The fire, which caused a massive blast on Tuesday at the Tenglong Aromatic Hydrocarbon (Zhangzhou) Co. on Fujian’s Gulei peninsula, rekindled once more on Wednesday morning, before being extinguished once again by rescue crews, official media reported. Worsening levels of air and water pollution, as well as disputes over the effects of heavy metals from mining and industry have sparked a growing wave of mass public protests linked to environmental protection in recent years.”
See also this (from a totally reformist position), on strikes and other forms of resistance in China

South Africa, Cape Town: burnin’ ‘n’ a-looting ‘n’ a-stoning as   cops evict land squatters

Greece, Athens: anarchists continue rioting Greek friend writes: “…the anarchists played a good game with the limits of the new soft  policing strategy of the state. Whether they have managed to gain  something I don’ t know because the new law on prisons will probably  pass next week. Unfortunately, because of their avant-guardist  mentality, they were unable to connect with anybody outside of the  anarchist milieu.” The group of prisoners the anarchists were rioting in support of come mainly from Revolutionary Struggle. This group has,  in meetings, expressed its opposition to looting, saying that a social movement would have to violently  prevent the next insurrection from having the looting that characterized part of 2008. This isn’t so foreign to the Greek anarchist scene. Someone got burned (literally) when he started looting during the 2003 riots in Thessaloninki – not out of hostility, but because the crowds throwing molotovs couldn’t imagine someone would go inside the shops to take things instead of just destroying the temples of commodity-democracy. On the other hand, on hearing this from a leading light of Revloutionary Struggle, some anarchists  were horrified by it. Presumably there are also full-time support people for the Revolutionary Struggle prisoners who also felt opposed to their, essentially Leninist, stance on looting (see, for instance, these hilarious moralistic comments by Demogorgon303, Alf and other ICC people from here onwards, about the “looting” of stuff washed up on the shore of a Devon beach after a shipwreck in 2007).  Of course, in an insurrection where the state and the market has suffered a major defeat and forced to massively retreat, the organisation of the distribution of things under a proletarian  democratic form will involve suppressing looting as this could be done by little survivalist gangs or even remaining sections of the elite at the expense of the general interest, but this was not what Revolutionary Struggle had in mind. (My thanks to H about most of this about the Greek group Revolutionary Struggle).

Tearsday, 7/4/15:

South Africa:  wildcat strike begins in Anglo-American coal  mine

India, Tamil Nadu: buses attacked after 20 smugglers are killed by cops

Brazil, Rio: future luxury hotel for Olympics squatted

Greece, Athens: anarchists torch cars, fight cops (video here – tasteless, horrifying, shocking, nauseating …but music aside, interesting) Deputy Citizen Protection Minister Giannis Panousis requested Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ intervention in order to address the riots issue, while he even hinted that he may resign if Tsipras does not take any action. “The Prime Minister must decide which side he wishes to support and which he will leave behind,” he said. Panousis also stressed that the anti-authoritarians want someone to die so that they will be able to repeat the episodes that occurred in 2008 after the death of Alexis Grigoropoulos.”

UK, London: “anarchist” politician complains that the state – surprise surprise – is not nice 

Moanday, 6/4/15:

France, Chanteloup-les-Vignes: cops prevented from arresting  guy in car during chase, by motorbike rider and 10 others; cops fire 2 flashballs, but no-one hurt and no arrestsVal-de-Marne: over a dozen youths attack cops with stones etc. during routine control of motorbike rider

South Africa, Western Cape: 250 people seize land belonging to state arms manufacturer

China, Guangdong: police station vandalised as tens of thousands rise up against incinerator project “Following the armed suppression of a protest against the building of an incinerator, tens of thousands of villagers in Luoding in southern China’s Guangdong province took to the streets… with iron bars and sticks in hand, descending on the police station. They vandalized the property and smashed squad cars while police officers stood in formation and watched. Villagers told the press that the concrete plant has been burning waste every day for the last two years, severely polluting the surrounding environment.” ….Inner Mongolia: riot cops crush 3 week protest against chemical refinery pollution; 1 person killed Tensions have been rising in Inner Mongolia in recent months, as herders protest pollution and land grabs by mining and mineral resources industries, the mainstay of the region’s economy. Herders say that their grasslands and livestock have been poisoned and that little compensation has been paid for losses and land seizures. Villagers said more than 2,000 riot police officers were deployed over the weekend near Daqintala village in Naiman county in the eastern part of Inner Mongolia, to break up a protest involving about 1,000 locals over pollution originating from the Naiman Chemical Refinery Zone….the government issued a notice saying it would respond to the villagers’ demands, carry out environmental testing and stop the companies from operating until the villagers were satisfied. However, on Saturday afternoon, people blocking the industrial park were “cleared up forcibly” and dispersed…. Protesters later regrouped to block a road …Video and photographs posted on social media and on the SMHRIC Web site showed large numbers of riot police, carrying shields and batons, blocking a highway and chasing protesters away. On Monday, the government issued a notice ordering the industrial park to shut down and telling the companies in it that they would be relocated. It also said people who had “blocked roads, smashed up cars, stirred up trouble and made up rumors” would be held legally responsible….Villagers wrote on social media and told SMHRIC that they were defending their rights to their grazing land and to clean air and water. One wrote that they have complained about the pollution for years and that the local government had frequently promised to fix the problem but had never done so. Others told Radio Free Asia that the government had responded to previous protests by closing the refinery complex and then reopening it within weeks. The complex has been in existence for more than a decade, but the pollution has intensified since 2012…“Every day when we wake up in early morning, the smell of the chemical plant would drift by…There are fruit trees in several villages around here, but the trees have all died. The water discharged from the plant is all red and goes straight underground, without treatment. People in many villages dare not drink the tap water or water from the well because the underground water has been so polluted….An increasing number of villagers have become sick, and the miscarriage rate is soaring among pregnant women here…Our livestock is being poisoned to death, and crops and vegetables are inedible.”…sporadic protests still occur almost every day.”

US, Dallas:  proletarian death-threats

Stunday, 5/4/15:

France, Marseille: clashes between cops and football fans after cop car gets its lights smashed; teargas chokes large area, flashballs fired

South Africa, Durban: “vagrants” squat plush 2.5m rand (about £250,000) home

Shatterday, 4/4/15:

Burkina Faso: wildcat strikers foment anarchy in Burkina Faso.“Burkina Faso’s prime minister has accused groups involved in labour strikes rocking the landlocked west African country of creating “a climate of anarchy”. Isaac Zida, who became prime minister soon after a 2014 uprising, lashed out at the strikers in a television interview broadcast late on Wednesday. Strikes have been frequent in recent months in Burkina Faso, where a popular movement last year overthrew former president Blaise Compaore after 27 years in power. In the interview, Zida branded the activists as “disorganised strike movements… [who] clearly want to stop the government from working and holding an election” in October.’
SK writes:
I wanted to point out two exemplary aspects of the movement in Burkina Faso.
First, the practical refusal by ordinary proletarians of false dialogue organised by the political spectacle, a dialogue which in fact excludes them and is presented to them as a monologue relating decisions already taken and the opinions they are allowed to reproduce regarding these decisions: As Burkina’s national assembly was due to debate extending Campaoré’s presidential term, protesters took to the streets and set fire to the assembly building; they also stormed Compaoré’s presidential palace and the state broadcaster’s headquarters, among other locations. This was a practical refusal that South Africans, despite the impressive movement of the 70s & 80s, did not even attempt during the identical ‘debate’ between bureacrats concerning their own future. It should be noted that the Burkinabe movement itself has also been going on for some time: in 2011 there the death of a student from a severe police beating provoked with angry youth demonstrations; the unrest persisted for months with a cascading series of labor marches, merchants’ protests, judges’ strikes, army and police mutinies, farmers’ boycotts, and attacks on mining sites; the house of Koudougou towns’s mayor and its police station were burned; students also protested in the cities of Gaoua and Bobo-Dioulasso in support of a teachers’ strike, torching ruling party offices Gaoua; the dictator was forced to flee the presidential palace. The protests had no central direction, however, and opposition parties’ attempts to mobilize failed miserably. (See more at: http://forums.ssrc.org/african-futures/2014/12/09/citizens-revolt-in-burkina-faso/#sthash.Mlh4QxGH.dpuf)
Second, when faced with the choice of self-satisfaction, demobilisation and passive contemplation in the face of the ‘victory’ presented to them as an accomplished fact to be managed by benevolent specialists, or continued struggle to impose the execution of whatever goals they have set themselves, many Burkinabe have chosen the latter option. ‘The popular movements that took to the streets have been neither defeated nor diverted, and recent protests forced a further resignation, this time from the interim government.’ (http://www.redpepper.org.uk/burkina-faso-liberation-not-looting) It seems that the resignation referred to was that of the very prime minister who now complains about anarchist strikers. Apparently he first grabbed the Presidency but was forced to back off but was later appointed Prime Minister.  It is not clear just how ‘disorganised’ the anarchic strikers currently are. The general strike begun today seems to be entirely a product of the unions, as is usually the case. The disorganised actions remain decentralised and fragmented.

Afghanistan, Bamyan: students on strike against lousy facilities and high rent & energy costs

Tunisia, Douz: confrontations with cops and burning-tyre road blockades after cops evict sit-in by unemployed demanding working in petrol company

South Africa: report that 85 cops have been killed over the last year

croc tears

US, Kentucky: wildcat fan flames (video) (more here)

Frightday, 3/4/15:

China, Guangdong: protesters against corruption invade station, stop trains “Some villagers did invade the high-speed railway station and sit on the tracks”…More than 40 villagers ran onto the railway station platform after tearing down fencing around the station…The railway sit-in comes after months of complaints from Mashan residents over alleged corrupt practices by their local officials linked to local property deals, village finances, housing allocation and access to water resources.”

Brazil, Rio: clashes with cops after cops murder 10-year-old boy (more here)

Nepal, Gaur: strikers fight with cops on 2nd day of strike At least 10 persons, including eight demonstrators and two police personnel, were injured in a clash in Gaur, the district headquarters of Rautahat, as an indefinite strike seeking to scrap a government decision to set up it service centres in Chandrapur entered the second day today. The clash broke out after police tried to contain the situation after the demonstrators hurled stones. The agitators burnt tires at a number of places on the road since early morning and chanted slogans against the government….The agitators are calling for scrapping a government decision to set up land revenue and land survey service centres in Chandrapur Municipality. Local political parties, businesspersons and Lekhapadi Kanun Byabasayi Sangh have also expressed solidarity with the protest. …The Ministry of Land Reform and Management last week had sent a letter to the district administration office notifying about its decision to halt the decision. The demonstrators, however, have refused to halt the protest demanding that the decision be completely revoked.Meanwhile, vehicular movements were disrupted and marketplaces remained shut due to the strike. “

Thumpsday, 2/4/15:

Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City: wildcat strikers win

UK, London: 5 anarchists occupy Admiralty Arch near Buckingham Palace 

squatters-admiralty-arch-568015

and in Southwark, South London:  fences torn down round Aylesbury Estate (more here)…cop van dalised

all cops are targets

 

Canada, Montreal: anti-austerity protesters clash with cops; tear gas, batons, the usual nasty crap  “…by late afternoon a small group of demonstrators who hadn’t gone home began confronting police, setting up barricades on certain streets and throwing objects at officers….135,000 students were on strike from their classes to decry the government’s recent budget.”

Colombia, Mocoa: cops forcibly evict 500 squatting  land; 2 cops stabbed 

colobia riot 3 4 15

Wailsday, 1/4/15:

Chile, Providencia: hooded youths set up barricades, chuck molotovs at cops, outside university  Academia de Humanismo Cristiano

Greece: various public buildings occupied by anarchists in different parts of the country Around 20 people entered the courtyard of the parliament building in central Syntagma square…. they left after about five minutes. They scattered flyers and chanted slogans including for the immediate release of “Xiros”. Savas Xiros is serving multiple life terms for his role in the November 17 group, which killed Greek, US and British diplomats before being dismantled in 2002. …Protesters also called for the end to high security prisons, which the new Syriza government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has vowed to scrap. Small groups took over Syriza offices in the southern town of Patras, the office of a governing lawmaker in the Cretan capital Heraklion as well as the town hall in a suburb of Athens…Protesters also occupied part of a university in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city, and have been occupying the offices of one of Athens’ main universities since Monday.” (video here) It should be pointed out that there are many currents of “anarchism” in Greece, including Leninoid-type shitheads who totally oppose looting. Also, see this mainstream journalistic take on these occupations “…there are signs government patience with the protests is finally wearing thin. The prolonged seizure of the Athens’ administrative building since March 30 prompted exasperated employees to stage a march last Wednesday outside their occupied offices. …”This hasn’t happened for years now — not in this manner,” said university vice-rector Thomas Sphicopoulos of the occupation. “We can’t work, and the university was already in a very difficult situation due to budget cuts.” Other demonstrating employees were more pointed in their anger at the government for not intervening. “Where is the respect for liberty, and where is the state?” fumed one university staffer who asked to remain anonymous.”

A friend in Greece wrote, referring  to the above link: The demonstration of the “exasperated university employees” against the main university occupation mentioned in the link you sent was actually very small. Most of the employees were  either indifferent or supportive of the anarchists (without taking  part in the occupation).” 

India. Allahabad: violent clashes with cops in protest against regional public service commision and irregularities in exams “…hundreds of aspirants and students going on rampage pelting stones at policemen, vandalising dozens of vehicles, including a Provincial Arms Constabulary (PAC) bus, setting city bus afire and raising slogans against the commission and the state government…… heavy police force was deployed and adequate barricading erected…youths indulging in sporadic stone-pelting and damaging vehicles…. Students tried to break the barricades at Hindu Hostel Crossing but were cane-charged and chased away. The cops later entered the premises of Hindu Hostel and beat up students. Ten to 12 rubber bullets too were fired to disperse agitating crowd….Hindu Hostel inmates alleged, “Cops intentionally beat up students sitting or studying in hostel rooms and had nothing to do with the protest”. Violent protests were also reported near KPUC Hostel and Sir Sundar Lal Hostel as well. They also alleged that cops damaged their vehicles parked on hostel premises without any reasons. Though the police claimed to have turned the entire area into a fortress but students kept on playing game of hide-and-seek game with cops”

Brazil, Rio: favela residents block roads in resistance to Olympics-driven evictions “The Olympics is spitting in our face.”

Turkey, Istanbul:  2 neighbourhood demos in solidarity with leftist militants killed by state; cops prevent one reaching police station

Spain, Madrid: anarchists and others in confrontation with cops over arrests of anarchists “Police employed batons to control the crowd. Eight police officers and at least 12 demonstrators were reportedly injured.”

France: extraordinary report of state bugging people’s homes through (recently made compulsory) fire alarms (not an April Fools Day joke, as the video that accompanies this was published on 31/3/15). An improvement on the fictionalised version of totalitarian state surveillance as portrayed in 1984, as the cameras in Orwell’s book were known and visible, and there was always a little space where you could avoid being seen. But then if you’ve not done anything wrong, there’s nothing to fear. (Put this up yesterday, but some of my friends think it’s almost certainly an April Fools joke; will check up later)

 

2 Responses to april 2015
  1. Neil F says:

    London: “anarchist” politician complains that the state – surprise surprise – is not nice …

    Sure sure, it sounds like crap expressing shock and horror at how the police are interfering in the democratic process and that kind of rubbish. Because it is crap. It reminds me of Stuart Christie complaining about how bloodcurdlingly state-smashy anarchists get their political freedom curtailed by the same ‘state’, or however he put it.

    But…she’s honest and unlike most politicos, including many who call themselves libertarian communists, anti-capitalists, anarchists, etc., she’s got a heart that’s in the right place and she talks about things that most politicos, even anti-parliamentary ones, don’t know about or want to know about. I read her Grauniad article promoting her book and watched a bit of video, and she talks about getting shat on by the local housing department.

    I could tell similar stories from my own life, which most political activists wouldn’t even believe (e.g. as a teenager or in my very early 20s I was threatened by a social security official with being locked up for not seeking work keenly enough), being thickheaded as they are and not having the sheerest clue about such stuff or any interest in finding out. I thought I wouldn’t like her because she’s a university fellow, but…got to give credit where it’s due.

    As for Ian Bone, I’ve posted a few times to his blog to ask him how he squares his respect for Christopher Hill with his hatred of Oxbridge, given that Hill was Master of Balliol (which surprised me when I learnt it), but he won’t publish such posts and presumably sends them straight to the bin. The question’s too hard for him to deal with. Which isn’t to say I could answer the question myself. I’m not sure what the answer is.

  2. Neil F says:

    What I mean is, I’m not sure how to square whatever respect *I* have for Christopher Hill with his mastership of Balliol. I suspect that the right answer might be: DROP THE RESPECT FOR CHRISTOPHER HILL.

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