“Our life is March weather, savage and serene in one hour. We go forth austere, dedicated, believing in the iron links of Destiny, and will not turn on our heel to save our life: but a book, or a bust, or only the sound of a name, shoots a spark through the nerves, and we suddenly believe in will…”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
As with all the “News of Opposition”, this section is mostly full of links to various (often mainstream) articles giving information about certain aspects of independent opposition to this society throughout the world . What is automatically excluded here are clashes in which either ethnic or religious or sport team or political faction fights seem to dominate, though sometimes we will put in things where, even if such hierarchies and separate identities dominate, there are also clearly independent aspects. Admittedly, some of these bits of information here are more spontaneous symptoms of opposition than developing struggles. Equally, there might be things put here which on further investigation do not prove to have anything independent about them. Likewise, putting them here all together does not in any way mean that these very different events in very different situations are simplistically equivalent. Nor does this list have the slightest pretension to being definitive.
South Africa, Johannesburg: senior official’s home petrol-bombed amid 4 week wildcat dustman’s strike The home is of a member of the mayoral committee who is responsible for the Environment and Infrastructure Services.
France: according to unions 1.2 million demonstrate on streets (cop estimates: 390,000). Pity most of them just played follow my leader – but fortunately not all:
Clashes reported in most of the main French cities. Around 200 high schools took part in the movement. This mentions clashes in Grenoble, Rennes, Lyon, Lille, Marseille, Rouen, Toulouse.
bank in Grenoble
Rouen, bin burning after peaceful occupation of square in front of town hall is violently repressed by filth (see this video)
Lille: firefighters set fire to tyres
This isn’t the only irony: these “pompiers” are militarised, with ranks such as “colonel” etc., and are officially not allowed to go on strike; most significantly, they’re often the target of youths in the banlieux when they put out fires aimed at ambushing cops. The liberal-left media article linked to above is slightly hypocritical in its apparent approval of the unionised firefighters’ tyre-burning, but very moralist against those attacking cops on horseback or paintbombing of banks
Lille: “slavery – it’s now!”
“Le travail tue” – Work Kills
…Toulouse: bins torched, clashes with cops during national strike and demos against new labour laws after 400 – 500 refuse cop orders to disperse “The day before, a police operation was conducted at a squat called “The House of March 32nd” at 36 rue Roquelaine, where twenty people were preparing Thursday’s protest against the Labour Law. According to a police source, the “home-made projectiles” were discovered in the squat of this “small group of the extreme left.”… late Thursday afternoon … a journalist was wounded in the head after receiving a truncheon blow to the head following a charge of riot police. He was taken to hospital to receive first aid. Demonstrators also tried to snatch the camera of an audiovisual journalist.” More here about the eviction of the March 32nd squat. 200 occupy theatre for at least a night Initiated by precarious cultural workers.
…Montpellier : 2 arrested During the official union-dominated demo (about 4000 people), one person was truncheoned by the BAC trying to arrest him for doing graffiti, but the guy was liberated by other demonstrators; following this official demo a high-spirited “wildcat” demo with drums took off (about 250 people) with lots of tags being made, ATM machines glued, paint bombs against banks etc., finishing at the main square (Place de la Comédie) with a General Assembly. High-spot was a brief speech by a 10 (or something)-year-old who said “It’s all finished – now let’s crush them”. General Assembly and small group discussions continue from 2pm into the night.[SF]
UK, Dorset: fires started in young “offenders” prison “Following incidents on Wednesday, which led to firefighters being called on three separate occasions, there was further trouble today when it was claimed some inmates had tried to flood their cells….Initially, three fires were reported in cells although it was claimed by a prison source that there were in fact many more. …The source said: “There were indeed four prisoners who managed to get onto the netting between the landings. However, there were at least 12 cell fires. The prison was locked down because of the multiple cell fires. “Prisoners smashed up their cells, causing a large amount of damage.”…Birmingham: screw hospitalised during prison protest…London: library occupied to prevent closure
South Africa, Johannesburg: report on latest in illegal street cleaners strike “19 workers had been arrested for attempted murder and public violence since the current strike began, but 11 were released due to lack of evidence. The remaining workers were released on R500 bail.” Contradictions within trade unionism partly illustrated by these 2 quotes: “Samwu’s national office called on strikers to return to work” and “On Tuesday, union leaders vowed to continue with their crippling, unprotected strike action. This is in spite of threats by the City of Joburg to fire the employees. “If these employees are fired, Pikitup must look for another place for the new employees to work because we won’t allow them to work in Joburg,” said Emmanuel Koadibane, a shop steward for the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu)”
US, Minneapolis: Cops cleared in the murder of Jamar Clark “…several protesters burned an American flag on the sidewalk.” Several hundred people march from government building to where Jamar was executed and eventually to the street in front of the North Minneapolis 4th Precinct police station, which was occupied for several weeks over the winter. Video: dancing and singalong to Lil Boosie’s “Fuck the Police”: https://twitter.com/UR_Ninja/status/715371106266386432 [B] For more info see Wikipedia. Also see this and this.
France, Alès (Gard): high school completely blockaded by a couple of dozen high school students, hoping to remain blocked until official national strike against labour laws on Thursday, 31st March. They also aim to get other high schools in the town to blockade their schools today. This school was probably the first to come out on strike and get other schools to blockade back in September 2010 against Sarkozy’s reform of pensions, though back then this obviously involved different high school students (see this) (from an email; no link)…Nantes: 2 employment agencies and the HQ of the Socialist Party have their furniture removed in the middle of the day by students
new Socialist Party HQ, Nantes
…Rennes: a hundred of students block subway for about 4 hours…video of chairs blocking subway…“While some activate the alarms for the metro to stop it working, others look for chairs to put on the track. The alarms are activated, a maintenance officer calls …the chairs are thrown onto the track while the subway is not running, but …. Suddenly a metallic sound is heard. It seems that the STAR (Rennes transmission networks) did not take the alarms seriously…and not giving a damn restarted the subway.” – from here.
Chile, Santiago: “Day of the young combatant” – barricades and clashes This year, seems it started on the day before, with similar street fighting.
Greece, Idomeni: refugees occupying railway tracks clash with cops trying to remove them “The protestors reacted violently when police attempted to clear the tracks, throwing stones at police. A minor scuffle then ensued when the police officers detained a woman and put her into a patrol car, with the gathered refugees rushing the officers and pulling her out. Calm was restored a short while later in the Greece-FYROM no-man’s land, with the protesting refugees remaining on the tracks. They have now also set up a sound system so that they can keep those staying at the Idomeni camp informed”…Athens: report of anarchists helping refugees occupy private empty houses and a university building
France, Rennes: students blockade ring road in movement against new labour law & distribute leaflets to drivers…Tours: 100 students occupy Socialist Party HQ, then go on to occupy MEDEF (bosses’ organisation)
France, Paris: high school students attack police station after video showing gratuitous cop violence circulates in media; “fuck the cops” and “death to the cops” tagged; windows broken; police station forced to close; 2 supermarket chainstores looted Famous video of cops here
franprix supermarket liberated:
angry of the world unite – we have nothing to lose but our chainstores!
This report says looted food was distributed to refugees “On leaving, we went to distribute food to refugees at Place Stalingrad. Well, it’s true, we kept a little for ourselves”, concedes a girl who attended the stampede.”
19th arrodisement po-lice station
po n. (pl. pos). (colloq.) chamber-pot
Argentina, Cordoba: youths attack banks, Macdonalds’, journalists’ van, etc.on 40th anniversary of military coup See also this. A far cry from the uprising of 1969, but still…
France, Paris: students etc. clash with cops over new labour law; 2 cars burnt (video)…CGT (Communist Party union) HQ windows broken after their stewards collaborated with the cops in handing demonstrators over to them
Rouen: confrontations with cops at Socialist Party HQ
…Toulouse: students, high school students and striking workers blockade strategic roundabouts on town’s ring road at rush hour…Nantes: several arrests as young demonstrators burn bins, take up tramway paving stones and clash with the filth
France, Paris: wildcat demo from general assembly of the university at Tolbiac smashes various aspects of this society (banks, Socialist Party shopfront, local town hall windows, etc. etc.)…this time Tolbiac is successfully occupied for at least one night…student union condemns vandalism and theft “On the seventh floor, computer cables, phones and even microwaves were systematically severed; two CPUs were stolen; water was poured over the photocopier… printers, computer keyboards and educational and administrative files being processed were sprayed with different liquids”. Communique in English here.
graffiti at Tolbiac:
“2017: the ballot box reduced to crumbs!!
What’s the difference between a slave and a worker? The slave wants to emancipate himself”
India, Hyderabad: students ransack Vice Chancellor’s official residence after he returns from 2 month leave “Raising slogans against the Vice-Chancellor, students barged into his residence (Vice-Chancellor’s lodge), broke window panes, smashed doors and television among other items, protesting against his resumption of duty. Violence broke out in the evening as the police used force to disperse the students. Television visuals show policemen and women dragging the students, some by their hair, thrashing them and beating them up with batons. One policeman was also injured when students pelted stones. The police bundled out many students out of the campus, triggering strong protest by teaching and non-teaching staff members.”
Indonesia, Jakarta: rickshaw and taxi drivers hit out at Uber “As convoys of vehicles brought downtown Jakarta to a standstill, the protest turned violent, with taxi drivers jumping up and down on vehicles that refused to take part, drivers working for app-based services coming under attack, and some fighting back by hurling rocks.” More here and here.
rubber company checkpoint, Preah Vihear
Colombia, Bogota: activist women occupy cathedral to demand God condemns murders of activists (see also this). This involved activists from a leftist “social movement” called Marcha Patriótica (Patriotic March). Though an occupation of a cathedral in a Catholic country is a rare event, it is rather typical of leftists to rather wimpily demand that the church hierarchy, almost invariably complicit with the political hierarchy, condemn violence against themselves. Patriotism is the last refuge of the masochist.[SF]
Thought this from Hannah Arendt’s “The Origins of Totalitarianism”, Chapter 9 , “The Decline of the Nation-State and the End of the Rights of Man” was pertinent in relation to the current migrant crisis, and the hostility of possibly a majority of passive spectators to this migration: “The official SS newspaper, the Schwarze Korps, stated explicitly in 1938 that if the world was not yet convinced that the Jews were the scum of the earth, it soon would be when unidentifiable beggars, without nationality, without money, and without passports crossed their frontiers…The very phrase “human rights” became for all concerned – victims, persecutors, and onlookers alike – the evidence of hopeless idealism or fumbling feeble-minded hypocrisy.” And in a footnote she writes: “The early persecution of German Jews by the Nazis must be considered as an attempt to spread antisemitism among “those peoples who are friendlily disposed to Jews, above all the Western democracies” rather than as an effort to get rid of the Jews. A circular letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to all German authorities abroad shortly after the November pogroms of 1938, stated: “The emigration movement of only about 100,000 Jews has already sufficed to awaken the interest of many countries to the Jewish danger…Germany is very interested in maintaining the dispersal of Jewry…the influx of Jews in all parts of the world invokes the opposition of the native population and thereby forms the best propaganda for the German Jewish policy…The poorer and therefore more burdensome the immigrating Jew is to the country absorbing him, the stronger the country will react.” [SF]
USA: anti-Trump demos – main road blocked in Arizona, scuffles with cops in New York Whilst the support Trump is getting is indicative of the mad mentality of the USA, he’s very unlikely to win the presidential election anyway, unless he can arrange for some Daesh bombing in some major city a couple of weeks before the election; so it’ll almost certainly be the mass murderer with a human face – Clinton – and here she is sharing a joke with her apparent arch-rival, back in 2003:
But the real idiocy of elections is the fact that the false choices utterly overwhelm people’s consciousness for months and months and attacking misery at work, in the streets etc. is once more avoided.[SF]
South Africa, Eastern Cape, Willowmore: Mayor beaten by striking municipal workers ‘The Executive Mayor for the Baviaans Municipality in the Cacadu District of the Eastern Cape was struck over his head with a knobkierie by angry protesters on Friday… Mayor Ewald Loock was allegedly hit by striking workers in Willowmore. According to police workers have been protesting in the area for most of this week.’
France, Caen: roads blockaded, stones and other stuff thrown at cops, as high school students continue movement against new labour law…Metz: sit-down blockade of university violently repressed by riot cops (video); Strasbourg – projectiles thrown at cops
the world or nothing
Absintheeism makes the heart grow fonder
Labour law? We want neither law nor labour! Wildcat Strike Looting Sabotage Insurrection!
Leaflet in English about this labour law here.
This leaflet is from an “appelistes”/Tiquunists site, a group which got international fame with the arrests in Tarnac in 2008. They are generally disliked nowadays because of their increasing sub-Leninist desire to represent, involving worrying about the media image of actions, amongst other things. See, for example, our entry for Rennes 6/2/16. On 27th February in Nantes some of them, amongst other “anarchists”, screamed at people trashing a Total petrol station because it would give the media an excuse to rubbish the ZAD movement; moreover, one of the texts in the link above is signed by Quadropanni, a local mayor (maybe a councillor) who used to be part of the ultra-left scene, who, in his local political position, collaborates with the French CP, which has invariably played a counter-revolutionary role ever since it came into being (but most noticeably in 1944 and 1968), and is undoubtedly continuing to do so in the current movement. [SF]
Most of what they publish, in the continuity of the Invisible Commitee, has more to do with radical democratism, or democratic insurrectionalism, or whatever, than anything else. I wouldn’t call them “anti-state communists” like in the introduction of that translation..
They’re criticized for what SF mentioned, but for tons of other things as well, their collaboration with the mass-media and their very bourgeois relations being some of the most important (and of course everything having to do with small businesses).
The worst weaknesses of their movementist ideology is quite obvious in various sentences…all that grandiloquent shit they’ve been writing for years is still there…which has much to do with the “we are the 2006 movements’ vets” attitude they’re so famous for here. But it’s nothing surprising, they were very focused on trying to compare their role in the 2006 movement with that of the situationists in ’68, and still more or less try to make people believe that they have a role to play in what could be something historic.
When they write, at the beginning, that they’ve received this text from the “Action Committee”, anyone can guess that themselves and that Commitee are pretty much the same.
When they say that, as always, the leaders follow the uncontrollable base, always at the vanguard of movements…it could almost be taken as a joke when you know a little bit how things work in France, including in this movement.
As for what they say about French youth…it’s just a more basic version of the situationists’ theories, applied in a very different context. They’re really the only ones who seem to think that today’s young generations are on the verge of something major. French youth has never been so passive, so divided, so alienated by religion, the middle-class way of life and ideology, consumption, than it is now.
It’s true that there’s a certain return, since last year, of young people in the antifa movements, and the movement in the high schools is surprising and interesting…but nothing justifies, in my opinion, the tremendous positivity of this article, except the will to justify roles.
What is true is that the “Appeliste” ideology has spread quite a lot…and everybody knows that the original Appelists have worked hard to make it so : basically through social media and antifa groups (this is why they refer to “youtubers” in the text). [Pi]
“The night is for fucking, NOT FOR WORKING“.
More here “The French education ministry said 115 high schools around the country had been blockaded. The organisers have put the figure at between 120 and 200…The Sorbonne, Tolbiac and Saint Denis universities are closed.”...confrontations in Paris, Rennes, Marseille, Nantes and Strasbourg “…dozens of young radicals and casseurs disrupted the Parisian procession …Ten minutes after the start of the parade in the charged atmosphere, some were throwing projectiles, cans and other bottles at the riot police. The atmosphere is “definitely less goody goody than last week,” said a CGT unionist come as an observer…. a flaming Molotov cocktail was thrown at the police. Firecrackers stuck into bottles of alcohol mixed with chlorine exploded, causing a bit of a panic. The windows of several banks, shops and a real estate agent were broken at the first subway of Charonne Faidherbe-Chaligny after being tagged with anarchist symbols. …On the campus of the University of Tolbiac in Paris a hundred students stormed a theater in the evening. Police intervened at the request of the President of the University, and confrontations erupted. Five people were arrested for “degradation, threats and missile throwing.” Two policemen were also injured….A schoolgirl of 18 was slightly wounded in the head during the Strasbourg event …In Rennes, it was the station that was stormed by thousands of protesters at mid-day. Hundreds of young people took to the tracks, causing power failure for about thirty minutes…Several people, some of them hooded, also went outside the town hall, at which they threw pots and paint cans; tear gas was fired by the police to prevent intrusion into the building. An injured person was identified among the security forces, hit by a stone. Finally, on the sidelines of the gathering, a group of youths attacked a patrol of the BAC [plain clothed psycho-cops] and a young man was arrested. In Marseille, scuffles briefly broke out between hundreds of youths, some masked, and police outside a police station on the Canebière. And in Nantes, garbage was burnt and a car overturned in front of the Gaspard-Monge school, leading to the intervention of the police and firefighters. Windows were also smashed, and paint cans thrown in the town of Nantes. There were also incidents in Rouen.” [This latter refers to eggs thrown at the local Socialist Party HQ]
Rennes on track: no points for sleepers – ideological platforms forbidden!
Rodez: hundreds of high school students demonstrate…Limoges: campus blockaded, students and high school students demonstrate …Montreuil (outskirts of Paris): a hundred or so high school students demonstrate…Dieppe: 500 high school students demonstrate…Besançon: 400 demonstrate etc. etc. etc. – all against new labour laws.
Nice video of cops forced to retreat (at least at the beginning):
a cop takes a well-earned rest
Mexico, Baja California : a year after their uprising, migrant workers initiate three-day march to Tijuana After marching through Ensenada and Rosarito, in Tijuana they plan to meet CNTE teachers and members of migrant field workers’ organizations. Last year’s movement was defeated by its proper logic of sending representatives to the negociation table : they accepted to sign documents that ended up having no legal validity, and thus made the negociated advantages amount to nothing.
As for now, a boycott of strawberries’ exporter Discroll’s has been decided (http://www.jornada.com.mx/2016/03/21/estados/026n1est), and is to be applied in both the US and Mexico.
South Africa, Gauteng (Zandspruit): reports of live fire aimed at insecurity guards in 3rd night of uprising sparked off by electricity cuts “A liquor store and other shops were damaged in the riots and several cars were burnt out on Thursday night.” More here ‘Residents are burning tyres, cutting down traffic lights and causing chaos on all the roads surrounding Zandspruit Informal Settlement and Honeydew Plot 52…Some of the protesters were seen digging up electricity cables from the traffic lights.’ And here ‘Hundreds of community members tried to approach Beyers Naude Drive and police officers stopped them. But a few minutes later, the crowd managed to run through the police line, into a nearby petrol station, where they broke in and started looting. One man, who owns a butchery there, says his security guards were assaulted. Three officers are being treated on the scene bringing the number of injured officers today to five.’ And here ‘Some business owners said they are now forced to leave their businesses in the Zandspruit Shopping Centre. Butchery owner, Stanley Pedro, said he lost R2,5 million worth of stock when violent protesters ransacked his shop… Two cars were torched, several businesses ransacked and lots of stock were stolen from the shops at the centre when the strike intensified.’
Meanwhile, in a marvellously muddle-headed move that seems to have become a South African speciality, the Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson recently claimed that despite the fact electricity bills have increased an average of 150% from 2008 until the present, prices have in fact REDUCED, explaining herself thus: “The tariff matter is a larger matter, but the prices we are charging have reduced considerably.” An example of governmentality equal to the justification of installing an Olympic sized swimming pool financed by the state in the president’s private residence on the grounds that it was a security measure in case of fires. [SK].
Georgia, Tkibuli: report of miners wildcat strike forcing unions to negotiate a wage increase “Some 750 miners went on strike in February, seeking wage increases promised during their last strike in 2011. The workers, employed by the Georgian Industrial Group (GIG), which operates two mines in Tkibuli, walked out before notifying union leadership of their intention. But with GTUC President Irakli Petriashvili and MMCIWTU President Tamazi Dolaberidze at the bargaining table, miners returned to work in 16 days with a new contract that includes a 7 percent pay increase starting March 1 and an additional 3 percent hike beginning April 1—and will be paid for half of the days they spent on the strike with no punishment for strike leaders. The company also has agreed to address salary imbalances.”
South Africa, Gauteng, Zandspruit: cop rushed to hospital, armoured truck torched in uprising against clamp-down on self-help electricity connections
‘Residents took to the streets for a third time on Wednesday morning, spreading rocks across the road and setting fire to tyres and debris. By the afternoon, the burning rubbish was still smouldering. Several shops, including a liquor store, were looted. Part of Beyers Naude Drive was closed to traffic. “It (the protests) started again because one of us discovered the meat that was bought turned rotten in the fridge because there was no electricity.” Another leader of the group…said the living conditions in the informal settlement had been the same for more than 20 years.’ More here and here.
Mexico, Costa Chica, State of Acapulco : protest after murder of homosexual adolescent It’s positive to see people mobilizing in a country where homosexuality is still a taboo, and where gays suffer all kinds of abuse. Unfortunately, like in many situations in Mexico (a tendency we tend to evoke as much as possible), these people limited themselves to asking the authorities for justice, when everybody knows that the most important part of the daily horrors committed against individuals (particularly women) are committed by the forces of order, protected by various levels of power.
Another article mentions that five gay men were killed so far in the Costa Chica region of the southern state of Acapulco…but still we read the following inanity: “none of them [the victim’s friends] has any hint of the reason of such a horrible murder”.
They sadly missed an important opportunity to denounce patriarchal horror, which is not specific to Mexico, but which takes particularly horrible forms in this country. Mexico is second on the list of homophobic crimes (see this article in Spanish).
As for violence against women: 7 were killed every day in 2015 (see here); the femicide phenomenon is not limited to Ciudad Juárez anymore (if it ever was), and has extended all over the country. The situation is now particularly miserable in the State of Mexico (which doesn’t include the capital, but does include some of its huge suburbs), with 6 women murdered every week in 2015 (see here). These figures don’t include the huge figures for dissappearances.
In a recent affair (http://www.somoselmedio.org/article/acusan-custodios-de-tortura-y-violaciones-contra-mujeres), a female prisoner was killed and several were tortured and raped by screws during a transfer to a new prison.
There are of course various reactions to this situation…there were for example demos during Women’s day…or a recent march through Guadalajara’s streets (see this link, with pictures and a video). [Pi]
South Africa, Cape Town: three cars and a bus stop up in smoke during taxi protest….KwaZulu Natal, Folweni: cop shot, community hall, shop, fire-station and school torched, and several cop vans damaged in ruling-party internal squabble [This] might go against the official policy as they seem to be faction-fights within the ANC, but inasmuch as they involve a revolt against the dominant structures of the party by the rank and file I am, for want of further investigation, going to class them in the same category as revolts of union rank and file against the bureaucracy — however tenuous an analogy that might be! [SK]
Mexico (State of Morelos) : police take over community center Police were supported in this operation by representatives of communal authorities, whom villagers oppose on the ground that they function out of proper communal assemblies. These representatives are trying to obtain local plots of land and sell them. The community center served as a base for opposition against these projects. [Pi]
…Limpopo: man shot dead, shops looted, roads barricaded, armoured vehicle and five houses razed in protest demanding resignation of mayor
‘Police on Tuesday confirmed the fatal shooting, but said they did not have anything to do with it… Reports from locals indicate that the 50-year-old man was among the protesters, who were trying to force their way into mayor Mayor Sarah Monyamane’s house, when he was shot…Irate residents were demanding that Monyamane step down. The protesting residents first took to the streets at the weekend. They blocked roads and set a house alight. Protests resumed in area on Monday with residents again demanding the resignation of the mayor. Streets were barricaded by protesters and four houses were set alight. The houses were thought to have been owned by the Monyamanes and other councillors.’
France, Marseille: carnival attacked by uninvited gate-crashers Cops teargas crowd after people cover CCTV cameras with paint, tag banks and ATMs, graffiti walls; anti-gentrification/anti-mayor papier-maché tank and pictures against borders; 2 BAC [plain clothes psycho-cops] are beaten a bit, some arrests. More here
South Africa, Johannesburg: workers defying union call to stop strike threatened with sacking “The Johannesburg’s waste management utility released a statement on Sunday saying it was “issuing pre-dismissal notices as a result of the workers’ failure to return to work on Thursday, 10 March. The workers also failed to heed the call by their own union to return to work on Friday, 11 March”. Instead, they intensified the strike, took to the streets and left a trail of rubbish in their wake all over the city center of Johannesburg. On Friday Pikitup striking workers clashed with the police, resulting in some injuries.Samwu has since urged striking workers to return to work while negotiations continue.”…KwaZulu Natal: uprising stops as local state agrees to release 122 prisoners
Palestine: teachers suspend strike From this (far) distance, this seems contradictory and stupid – they launched their strike because of a government broken promise and now accept the same government’s promise…and a promise to abide by the 2013 agreement in 2017!
US, Alabama: prisoners riot, set fires…warden and screw stabbed… more here “There are videos circulating on social media of prisoners burning the control towers and opening all doors. “We’re tired of this shit, there’s only one way to deal with it: tear the prison down” one of the participants stated.”
…blog by one of the prisoners here, unrelated to the riot.
USA, Atlanta: Parents, elementary students, and unionists from AFSCME protest outside of former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin’s private residence as charter school law passes in Carver school cluster. The former mayor, known as a progressive, was targeted for her role in gentrification in Atlanta, lead by initiatives such as this [H].
UK, London: shop in posh area squatted in opposition to new Housing Bill (which looks like it will eventually lead to the end of all council housing)… Gloucestershire: horrible eviction of long-term anarchist squat experimenting with permaculture etc. “… millionaire landgrabber Brian Bennett, with multiple police forces, the county and district councils, his own private army all working together…set fire to everyone’s homes and possessions once they had bulldozed them. The eco-farmers haven’t gone away… call 07522 025889 if you can help them with blankets, tents and provisions or want to swell their numbers… The position all media is in is they can’t afford to get sued by a millionaire (Brian Bennett or the various authorities) but they can print whatever allegations as fact that said millionaire or authorities spout, cos haha we poorer people can’t afford to sue! We don’t give a shit so we’ll say it: Bennett is a liar, a thief, a crook and a violent bully, as are his associates and hired hands. The wider world needs to know that class war is being waged brutally against us here by the Forest of Dean’s power elite. You can’t tell by the photos but the security are thugs who did their best to intimidate everyone from the wider community who attended the walk… they have also brutalised their dogs… This intimidation has been going on for months, not only against the eco-farmers but also against walkers and locals generally… the question is, are we the people of this Forest and beyond going to put up with this continuing harassment on our public footpaths? ….” More here
…Western Cape: workers trash university in movement against outsourcing “The workers, who have been on strike since Wednesday, demanded permanent employment by the university so they could earn more and get benefits, including medical aid and pension. They are employed by an independent company subcontracted by the university. Strikers are also suspected of committing arson which gutted one of the basement offices in the administration building on Thursday night….One striker, a cleaner with two small children who did not want to be named, said he worked eight hours a day, earned R2 300 a month, and had no pension or medical aid. He said cleaners who were permanently employed by the university “earn at least double”, plus benefits.”
Bermuda: strike of all garbage collectors, ferries, buses and dockers against immigration reform bill Not at all clear what this is about.
Pi writes: “I chose not to put the entry on Bermuda [in the French section “Nouvelles d’Opposition”], as what’s going on is not that clear…I could find some more info here (https://www.caymancompass.com/2016/03/06/editorial-what-bermudas-immigration-debate-means-for-cayman/), but more elements of analysis would be needed in my opinion. It seems it has much to do with the status of the overseas territories (ex-colonies), with unemployment…but probably also with race issues (don’t have a clue of what are the specificities in Bermuda). The situations in French overseas territories are all very different, so generalizations are often complex, and I guess it’s similar for the UK.”
South Africa, Stellenbosch: car and university building torched in outsourcing protest
… Gauteng: university SRC threatened with violence and attempt to torch library in protest against financial exclusion
Venezuela, Tumeremo (State of Bolívar) : army intervention after roadblocks and strikes by locals mobilized after massacre of 28 gold miners by gang. More here.
These two articles from the Venezuelian anarchist website El Libertario give info on this .The local governor first reacted to the disappearance by saying it was a rumour spread by the opposition to the Bolivarian “revolutionary” government (which is something they invariably do every time there’s something that implies criticism of daily misery in this country).
All local mines are controlled by gangs, one of which is responsible for this massacre. But it seems that the State is trying to control the illegal mining activities, which are plagued with daily murders and disappearances.
Some pictures of the intervention here : http://www.2001.com.ve/en-la-calle/125844/todo-tumeremo-amanecio-militarizada.html
See also this.
New Zealand, Wellington: prison riot “TEARGAS was used to quell a fresh wave of violence that erupted yesterday in the state’s prisons, including a deliberate ambush of guards after two cells were set on fire”
France: between ¼ and ½ million demonstrate against new labour laws It should be pointed out that nationally the unions refused to call a strike – only local unions were involved (not that they’re much better)…100 high schools involved in movement against these laws…
Paris: banks splattered with eggs, ATMs smashed, a CCTV camera also; Niort: Socialist Party HQ tagged, cop car tyres punctured, cop cars tagged; Rouen: Socialist Party HQ tagged…Montreuil: front window of architectural business designing prisons and detention centres torched…
Bordeaux: University vandalized during occupation Walls were tagged with anarchist slogans, doors were forced, electronics were torn out and stolen – damage amounted to “tens of thousands of euros”, according to the University.
South Africa, KwaZulu Natal (iSithebe): cops fire tear gas at crowds demanding release of 120 arrested More here “…factories and trucks…have been torched and about 18 others stoned by people disgruntled with the appointment of an induna and the nomination of a councillor candidate. Mabuyakhulu said the incidents were “completely unacceptable….they should not vent their anger and frustration in an economic hub such as this.” Mabuyakhulu was speaking after visiting a furniture factory which had been gutted by fire. In another area, several trucks and trailers stood burned on the roadside while another truck was set alight while Mabuyakhulu was in the area. A petrol bomb was also thrown into a recycling plant, raising another plume of thick black smoke in the small town near Mandeni. Mabuyakhulu said an office was broken into and looted of computers, chairs and other equipment…. businesses had to close because of the riots….“… we are urging them to exercise restraint and not damage any more factories.”…Another factory petrol bombed in ongoing riots (video)…The iSithebe industrial estate, employing 20,000 workers, has been completely shut down by riots since Monday. According to one of the latest reports, ‘The importance of this place is engraved in its name, with the English translation of Isithebe loosely meaning a wooden plate for food. Days on end of pitch battles have closed factories, shops and taxi routes. The plate is now empty… a petrol bomb shatters over an adjacent clothing factory, sending a column of dark smoke billowing skyward. Once the rush of smoke and hissing steam subsides, a security boss cuts a tired figure on the fringes of the factory. Soot is buried in the furrows of Dylan Meyrick’s face, the lines a testament to days of work here with little sleep. “I have been here for 17 years and this place has always been militant. What we have now is anarchy and there is nothing we can do about it,” the IPSS owner says. “They are all around us here and they’re happy. I don’t know why because this factory employs 2 000 people and now they are done, what good came of this for them.” What remains veiled in mystery is what lies at the root of this impasse. Rumours abound, from the appointment of an unwanted Induna to the return of an ex-mayor who was shuffled out under a cloud. Even rumblings of a housing protest have been proffered, but ask anyone here and no one can tell you for certain why so much has been lost. “No one can say for sure what the problem is, and now we have the criminals taking over. It is not only setting fire to places but looting them as well,” Meyrick adds.’ (here)
…Daspoort (Tshwane): protest over service delivery and access to schooling blocks roads “The crowd has not been volatile with the residents but has been towards cars passing by. Tyres are burning, roads are being blocked off and police vehicles are being stoned and sent away.” Videos here
“Our demands are electricity, we tried to install electricity by ourselves but the municipality came and shut it down. We don’t have houses, we stay in shacks and we haven’t had water for long time. We will take to the streets until we get answers- if the councillor does not want to give us electricity, we will go out and forcefully demand what’s belong to our communities,”
‘Speaking to The Citizen on Monday morning, community leader, Arnold Mulaudzi said there were plans to call of the total shut-down on Sunday afternoon, but following a meeting with residents, it was then resolved that the protest action continue until those who were arrested for public violence are released. “The anger expressed by residents was against the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), who wanted to conduct the voter registration under the auspices of the new municipality, which residents are against. More than 40 voter registration officers were not allowed to operate at the weekend,” Mulaudzi said.’….Army called in to suppress this social strike
“The unruly group then began to smash windows, swing from the roof, kick in sheets of glass, and rip air conditioning units to shreds with their hands”
USA, Boston: high school students walk out of class against education cuts, scuffle with cops…Virginia: activist occupy lobby of Department of Environmental Quality in protest against release of coal-ash water into waterways
“In regards to the protest, Hamdallah [the P.M.] added that “people have the right to express their opinion, this is part of the democratic process,” but teachers said checkpoints had been set up by the PA in an attempt to stop teachers from reaching the protest….The PA has threatened to take legal action against the teachers if they do not return to work immediately…A number of teachers have now been detained by PA security forces, who have also sought to prevent the teachers from convening at demonstrations by installing checkpoints across the West Bank and threatening public transportation drivers carrying teachers to protests. The strike marks one of the largest demonstrations against the PA in recent years”
Palestine/Israel: 1700 Palestinian prisoners go on hunger strike Whilst this includes prisoners affiliated with Hamas and with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, it also includes non-affiliated prisoners and besides, it goes beyond the political forms of anti-imperialist struggle. Anyway, we put this here in the spirit of solidarity with prisoners, political or not. [SF]
“Police patrols of the area “to prevent crime and provide security” around the Reitschule sparked protests on Friday, which escalated on Saturday night. Stones, bottles and fireworks were thrown at police, some from the roof of the building. Police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. Garbage bins and barriers were set on fire, blocking a nearby street, later extinguished by firefighters. Several vehicles in the area were damaged. …the Reitschule commented that there had not been any incidents at the centre since last summer, “unusual for a venue that can hold up several hundred people”. It asked whether the police patrols had been a “preventative action or a provocation”. “
“Eleven policemen were injured in the night from Saturday to Sunday in clashes around the alternative center of the Reitschule in Bern. Burning barricades were erected and both the police and firemen were stoned. Smaller scale clashes had taken place the previous night. On Sunday, clashes began around 0:15, and the police were greeted upon arrival on site by thrown stones, bottles and pyrotechnics…The security forces responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. …The officers also had to provide cover for two firefighters extinguishing barricades, who were themselves bombarded with projectiles.”
South Africa, Kwa-Zulu Natal (ISithebe): 120 arrested as thousands blockade roads, raze factories, trucks and municipal infrastructure in protest against unpopular mayoral nomination ‘”They have set fire to several factories in the area and they are just burning anything they can get their hands on. Every time the police engage a group of them, another group mass behind the officers again. They have just set fire to a furniture factory,” IPSS Security spokesperson Dylan Meyrick said.’
part of burning factory
More here “…after the eThekwini land invasion unit demolished shacks that had been erected by land grabbers…the owners of the shacks disrupted traffic flow on Mangosuthu Highway. They burnt waste and debris on the road, stopping vehicles as they demanded that the unit halt the demolition…Tehuis land grabber Mzukisi Sapo, 28, whose structure was demolished, said …“I was tired of being squashed in a hostel room and that is the reason I chose to join the people invading this park,” …Sapo said they were not prepared to surrender and after every demolition, they would reconstruct their shacks….four factories, a truck, two vehicles and five containers were set alight. The protesters also damaged police cars. Eight computers were taken at one of the factory offices and two were later recovered….On Monday the whole of Mandeni was at a standstill and no public transport had access to the area as the situation remained volatile. Schoolchildren and workers were turned back. Firms closed and sent home workers who had already started work.”
…KwaZulu Natal (uMlazi near Durban): thousands block roads, stone vehicles, in protest against lack of electricity
Turkey, Istanbul: cops fire plastic bullets at women as they demonstrate despite ban on demo “… violence committed by domestic partners is 10 times more likely in Turkey, than in other European countries”
…Limpopo: school set on fire in movement against unification with different municipality “…arsonists set alight a staff room and nine classrooms, which include three mobile classrooms, at Rasiphuthuma Primary School on Saturday.”
“The riot first began Wednesday when inmates angered by a search and confiscation of cellphones set fires in one part of the prison, located in the capital of Georgetown. On Thursday, police and prison guards moved in, setting off battles with inmates armed with pieces of wooden bed frames, officials said. Prisoners began the violence anew Friday morning, setting another fire, breaking out of cells and lobbing teargas canisters back at police and prison officers. Soon thereafter a delegation of more than 12 shackled and handcuffed inmates were escorted from the jail to participate in closed-door talks with the South American country’s minister of state and public security minister.”
Shop burnt and looted, two school blocks and three mobile classrooms set alight and destroyed in ongoing protest over municipal demarcation [SK]
‘The protests were apparently intended to frustrate the Electoral Commission of SA’s (IEC) voter registration drive this weekend… IEC voter registration centres remained closed in the area.’
Mexico, Tehuantepec isthmus, State of Oaxaca: 5000 education workers block road, clash with police while trying to disturb President’s visit. More info here and here. The education workers are members of the CNTE (National Coordination of Education Workers)’s “Section 22” (State of Oaxaca). Enrique Peña Nieto came to launch a new wind farm, in this coastal region where local indigenous communities have been opposing wind power infrastructure for years. The President is declared “persona non grata” in the State of Oaxaca by local fighters.
This happens after heavy repression in neighbour state of Guerrero, see here and here. On the 24th of February, one teacher was killed during the eviction of an occupation and roadblock in the touristic hub of Acapulco, and 4 female teachers raped by the police.
South Africa, Cape Town: demonstration against sale of state property (no link)
From an email press statement:
‘On Thursday afternoon at 3pm, Sea Point’s poor residents and low-income workers from the Reclaim the City campaign will march on the Tafelberg Remedial School to protest its sale by the Western Cape Provincial Government. They demand that the site be developed for affordable mixed-income housing. Members of the press are invited to join and report on the gathering.
The site has been vacant for a number of years after the remedial school was relocated and tenants of the Wynyard mansions were evicted. Recently the Provincial Department of Public Works declared the property “surplus” and sold it to the Phyllis Jowell School. The Province has refused to disclose how this decision was made – supporters ask whether this is reasonable given the lack of affordable housing in the city.
As property prices sky-rocket in Sea Point, and other well-located areas near the city, poor and working class residents are being forced out because they can no longer afford rising rents and are unable to buy homes.
Such residents of Sea Point refuse to relocate to townships – they assert their right to live close to where they need to be for work, and to where their children go to school.
Reclaim the City supporters demand that affordable housing options near the city be expanded. The use of state land for this purpose is key to transforming apartheid spatial planning and in meeting Province’s obligations to building an inclusive economy and city.
Although the Tafelberg School has been sold, transfer has not yet occurred. We aim to send a clear message to the Province that land is for people, not for profit.’
Unless such demonstrations involve massive numbers it is likely that direct action is a far more effective tactic — in fact the two need not necessarily be mutually exclusive, for example when an occupation ends up as the culmination of a march, the latter providing opportunity for the former. In any case the only practically effective way for poor and working class residents to ‘refuse to relocate to townships’ is through SELF-HELP; all other refusals remaining in the realm of impotent rhetoric… [SK]
[4/3/16]:The people involved apparently did plan initially on a more direct approach but then recieved a letter from the state offering to suspend the decision to sell the property pending (as usual) confidential negotiations. I won’t mention everything that was said then but will continue to participate on the chance that something interesting might come of it. More info to follow as developments unfold…
‘Another wrangle over an ANC nomination process for the local government elections led to a mob of Folweni residents looting and then torching municipal buildings and vehicles worth millions of rands.
A municipal building, containers that were converted into offices, a grader, a light delivery vehicle, a tractor-loader-backhoe vehicle and two police vehicles were set alight last week.
More than 1 000 spades and 100 wheelbarrows were stolen.’
…meanwhile, ANC electioneering propaganda causes ‘outrage’
“…while police began to conclude their operation, angry residents began throwing stones at them. “The crowd afterwards started to burn tyres and throw stones at all vehicles that passed by, as well as at the police vehicles,” said Van Wyk. He said gunshots were also heard, allegedly from within the crowd, prompting police to fire warning shots into the sand to disperse residents. Van Wyk said two Operation Combat vehicles were damaged….While no arrests have been made, police have opened a case of public violence and malicious damage to property for investigation. “We would like to reiterate that an attack on any law enforcement official is an attack on the State,” said Van Wyk.”
For the cops to fire live rounds in such a situation is unusual in France nowadays, and an investigation into attempted homicide on the part of the cops is being opened up, though this is largely a way of showing how the state, despite the state of emergency, is still a liberal state. If this had happened in almost any other area, it would have been pretty scandalous but it should be pointed out that this is in an area (a banlieu of Paris) that was virtually occupied by the army and cops after the attacks in Paris in November, with any Arab being searched at gunpoint, or even pregnant Arab women being forced to lie down on the pavement for a search, and anyone complaining (even non-Arabs) getting a gun pointed at them along with racist verbal abuse. [SF]