“In November, the earth is growing quiet. It is making its bed, a winter bed for flowers and small creatures. The bed is white and silent, and much life can hide beneath its blankets…. ”
― Cynthia Rylant
“November is the most disagreeable month in the whole year,” said Margaret…
“That’s the reason I was born in it,” observed Jo pensively…”
~ Louisa May Alcott
Peru: in San Roman a state of emergency is declared after riots; 13 night clubs torched; access blocked to city during general strike against “citizen’s insecurity”; and in Andahuaylas 7th day of strike against wage freezes, corruption and crime also blocks city It must be emphasised that these events are not at all clear, and that some are indicative of reactionary attitudes. Certainly more research is needed – and maybe it’s a banality to say this, but one shouldn’t assume that just because there are strikes and riots that the content is necessarily independent or anti-hierarchical.
Haiti, Port-au-Prince: stones v tear gas & water cannon as the poor try to get into rich area following election result For the umpteenth time, these clashes seem to have illusions in a political party, but that doesn’t rule out an independent element amongst those trying to attack the cops.
Brazil, Brasilia: anti-government protesters overturn cars, smash Agrarian Ministry windows…Here it says “Some demonstrators hurled objects at police, turning over a car and setting fire to at least two others. Windows were broken at several ministries.”
Nicaragua. Nueva Guinea: 6 cops injured as anti-canal protesters attack them with sticks and machetes; pathetic pacifists cancel next day’s demo “A gigantic canal project extending 174 miles (280 kilometers) from the Caribbean to the Pacific has been met with disapproval by local residents and environmentalists who warn the project will cause damage to Lake Nicaragua, the largest lake in Central America.” More here. Apparently cops used rubber bullets, beat people up and smashed up their trucks to try to prevent them marching in the capital the next day, but the goody goody professional environmentalists condemned the violence and did the cops’ work by cancelling the demo.
India, Manipur: banks attacked because of cash shortage “A policeman was injured in violence in one of the banks and while a mob damaged windows in another”
France, Valence: new prison riot “”… several cells …were set on fire…Shortly after 12:00 on Sunday, two detainees threatened a prison officer with a “knife” , in order to steal his set of keys…The supervisor was then released and was not injured…The detainees then opened cells on the three floors of this section intended for long sentences. A fire broke out …Several cells were burned and water damage was reported but no injuries were reported “...Montpellier: Socialist Party office windows broken, anarchist tags
Chile, a bit outside Santiago: hooded protesters occupy $1.7bn copper mine. See 16/11/16 for earlier occupation and more info.
UK, London: 30 schoolkids attack cops (classic Daily Hate Mail middle class horror shock journo-hack scribble)…construction workers occupy HQ of large construction company “Over 100 construction workers protested against Crossrail bosses…They are angry over Crossrail’s refusal to stick to the national JIB agreement, which allows for additional “second tier” bonus productivity payments. The protest started at the Crossrail’s Canary Wharf headquarters. It then moved to Oxford Street with workers blocking the road. Protesters then occupied the headquarters of construction giant Laing O’ Rourke.”
Bulgaria, Harmanli: refugees trying to escape detention centre clash with cops Post-riot reports here and here.
US, New York: pipeline protesters occupy Times Square, burn US flag “In the spirit of saying ‘f**k Thanksgiving,’ we would like to acknowledge the history that has brought us here. We know that the United States is a nation of lynchers and thieves who stole African people and stole indigenous land. So we do not celebrate genocide, which is what Thanksgiving represents for oppressed people. It should come as no surprise that the federal government gave $3 million dollars in military aid to North Dakota. Some of that aid went to a concussion grenade that has blown off our comrades’ arm … We must break this allegiance to the settler-colonial state … we do this act as a symbol of breaking that allegiance.”… Portland: report on anti-Trump movement
France (Hauts-de-Seine): blockades of several high schools “An outbreak of violence this Tuesday morning in front of a middle school and three high schools…. The incidents started at 7:30 am with a gathering in Gennevilliers in front of the Galilee high school against the end of “zones of priority” education. Around 10 am, nearly a hundred young people stood in front of the school and projectiles were thrown at the police. At 8:30, garbage cans were set on fire in Clichy, in front of the René-Auffray high school, a priori for a completely different reason: the departure of the cook and the delivery of dishes to the canteen replacing “homemade” cooking. At 10 o’clock, another garbage fire was reported this time in Colombes in front of the Moulin-Joly College, not far from the Lycée Maupassant. At the same time in Suresnes, pupils organize a blockade in front of the Lycée Paul-Langevin and set fire to garbage cans whilst others were in their classes…The reason for this last blockade…: the lack of heating, of equipment and the condition of the premises. Firemen intervened and the main entrance was blocked up, but courses were not interrupted.” It should be pointed out that the “zones of priority education” mentioned as the reason for the first conflict at Galilee school were put in place by the former president, Mitterand, as a way of controlling the schoolkids, whilst being publicised as a method of giving the possibility of obtaining better more stable jobs, etc. Whilst it gave extra money to these “priority” schools, it more importantly involved the eldest brothers of kids, who’d been to prison, going into the schools, giving advice on how not to do what they’d done, and supervising the kids, calming them down, etc.
France: Vinci (company involved in prison construction and the Notre Dames de Lande airport project) becomes the object of a fake press release, by supporters of the resistance at Notre Dame de Landes This press release claimed that there’d been 3.4 billion euros worth of accounting irregularities and that the director of finance had been sacked. It included a fake link to a site which was almost exactly the same as the Vinci site, with a phone number to the pre-paid mobile phone of a person who confirmed the report. The media publishes the information immediately and the price drops 18%. Since it is unprecedented to publish such things during stock trading hours, and suspicions were aroused, a 2nd fake communique is issued with the sentence “Malicious people have harmed our group by diverting information that has been leaked from our offices”, which implicitly confirmed the content of the initial communique. Just before the closing of trading, Vinci issues a very clear denial, but they still finished 4% down. The “pirates” welcomed Vinci’s stock market downturn, and attacked them for a variety of projects, notably the Notre Dame des Landes airport, whose forest “already feels its retreat under concrete”, and “the blows that this company constantly gives to the Nepalese and the Indians who die every day on their construction sites in Qatar “.
Brazil: podcast on high school and university occupations Essentially a mainstream left discourse – a professor of anthropology talking at an “objective” political level, but saying very very little about the real movement going on. More on this movement here. And here
France, Toulouse : Eiffage Construction Van Destroyed by Flames Eiffage is a large construction company with projects including the Bretagne-Pays de la Loire high speed rail link.
Ecuador, Amazon region: 14 cops injured as indigenous try to take over mining camp “The Shuar Indians say the recently established prospectors’ camp was built on their ancestral homeland. They are vowing to keep up their campaign until it is closed. The clashes in a remote Amazon jungle area took place over the weekend but only came to light Tuesday. Officials say they are investigating whether the Shuar were carrying dynamite in addition to being armed with rifles. Indigenous groups across Ecuador have been stepping up protests against President Rafael Correa’s plans to boost mining to make up for a decline in oil revenue.”
UK, Doncaster: “serious disturbance” at prison More here “Inmates smashed up 36 cells in the action at HMP Moorland causing fire and water damage in one of the wings.” …Aberdeenshire: primary school vandalised to the tune of £200,000
France: list of 6 different schools vandalised &/or torched during 5 days (14th – 19th)…St.Denis: 2nd night of garbage bins set on fire in response to heavy-handed arrests…Savigny-sur-Orge: 3 BAC cops attacked with stones; cop car window smashed
US, Washington DC: white supremacist covered with his own stench More here…Florida: 30 demonstrators block entrance to Trump club…Interesting comment on race, class and identity politics in the US here.
US, Minneapolis: 3000 block all lanes of motorway on anti-Trump demo; left-liberal stewards collaborate with cops… Washington state: anti-fracking rail blockade violently destroyed by cops (interview with participants here)
Greece, Athens: polytechnic occupied on 43rd anniversary of overthrow of colonels. More here “Dozens of anarchists occupied the National Technical University complex, site of the failed pro-democracy revolt, and attacked police with petrol bombs, flares and stones. Riot police responded with tear gas and stun grenades as street battles lurched outside the university in the densely-inhabited Exarcheia district, away from the embassy. No arrests or injuries were reported.”
Chile, 40 miles NE of Santiago: copper mine occupied “The mine was occupied by protesters during an industrial dispute involving contract workers. Barricades were set up and set alight…contract workers are fighting for the restoration of normal working conditions, in line with what permanent full time miners have. “Temporary and subcontracted workers in the copper industry are the slave labour of the 21st century. Lacking rights and social protection, they are vulnerable and defenseless,” …Chile is the world’s number one copper producer and the metal is the country’s principal money earner. The industry has also been used as an experimental ground for steeped up neoliberal economics. Deregulation of the workforce by means of the uncertainty of short-term contract labour has seen wages go as low as $300 a month, leaving miners in poverty. “For instance, at Minera Escondida (the world’s largest private copper mine, owned by the Anglo-Australian company BHP Billiton), 200 workers share four showers, and they sleep according to the ‘warm beds’ system (several workers sleeping in turn in the same bunk)…The industry is rife with industrial disputation and the chances of a general strike are very real.” More here. “Anglo American has denounced a “violent” protest in Chile that has resulted in 100 hooded protesters seizing parts of its Los Bronces copper mine. The company blamed a group of contractors and “unidentified people” for setting fire to barricades and seizing outbuildings and trucks.”
fracked off in Cusco: massive destruction of mine infrastructure
Greece, Chios: refugees set fires, loot stores etc. “…they smashed a fireworks store and started displaying them into houses and residents, smashed cars and shops around the place. The significant part of the camp has burned.” Not at all sure if the fire in the camp was a fascist attack or one committed by refugees themselves, the latter being what the article says happened – though this, covering the 16th & 17th of November, says the former.
Ivory Coast, Neamoue: villagers kill 2 cops after cops kill 2 villagers …More here (in French) “For some time, clashes between populations and police forces have occurred in several cities of Côte d’Ivoire, including Bouna, Katiola, and Yamoussoukro. In the latter city, clashes broke out between the youths and the police during the night of 16-17 November….The clashes between young people and the police, which lasted several hours, involved some damage – the police station of the 2nd borough of Yamoussoukro was even surrounded, tree trunks and tires erected as barricades. It was only late at night, thanks to reinforcements and tear gas, that the police were able to regain control of the situation….At the beginning of the week, in the Bouna region, in the north-east of the country, a gendarme control degenerated into clashes and left 4 dead. In early October, the city of Katiola in the center of the country was burning.”
Brazil, Rio: clashes with cops on anti-austerity demo More here: “…authorities acknowledged that the situation is “ungovernable.” The riots began when teachers, police and doctors, along with militants of leftist parties, tried to invade the Legislative Assembly where a plan of adjustment was put to vote. A journalist on the UOL portal was assaulted while law enforcement fired rubber bullets, tear gas and water against public employees who rejected wage cuts and reforms in the pension system.”…Brasilia: parliament occupied by 60 protesters. Seems that they have some mad delusions that the army can save them from the right-wing government.
UK: fires etc. at 3 prisons as screws complain about how unhappy their lot is “Six fire engines were called to Channings Wood on Tuesday after a fire started inside the building but the blaze was out when they arrived….An inmate at HMP Featherstone near Wolverhampton contacted BBC WM on a mobile phone which he said had been smuggled in to say the the jail was “totally out of control”. He said inmates were unaware about the protest being staged by prison officers, a claim the Ministry of justice (MoJ) denied. …There were also reports of a small fire in a cell at Norwich Prison on Tuesday which the fire service extinguished.”
US, Dakota: train tracks blocked with branches and truck in anti-pipeline movement…Washington DC: high school & middle school students walk out of class, shut down Lincoln memorial…New York: cops force professor to have psychiatric evaluation after having critical discussion about Trump etc.
Greece, Athens: molotovs v tear gas during demo against visit by Obama Video here. This seems to have been dominated by anti-imperialist ideology, and included the wretched consistently counter-revolutionary Communist Party, though it obviously included others (see here) not at all compromised in this way. See also this anarchist “welcome” to Athens [SF]
Dominican Republic, San Domingo: students clash with cops during demo over allocation of resources “Demonstrators, some with their faces covered, threw stones at police officers and vehicles passing through the nearby streets, as well as blocking roads with different objects. The incident originated when the police prevented a march of dozens of students who were heading towards Congress”
Australia, Melbourne: prison riots again “Windows were smashed, walls destroyed and security doors, weighing hundreds of kilograms, ripped down. Hammers, chisels, screwdrivers and lumps of wood were seized from a tool storage area as staff beat a retreat. The 20-bed Eastern Hill unit was flooded after inmates smashed the sprinklers using stolen tools. An angle grinder — used in a metal work program — was then used to cut through locks on several doors and breach restricted areas. Other children, frustrated they were forced into lockdown most of the weekend, began pulling sprinklers in their cells to cause flooding….computers and game consoles were smashed and litres of paint splashed around. Inmates from the West Gate unit later joined in, smashing expanses of ceiling, destroying locks and doors, tearing away electrical wiring and ripping out state-of-the-art security cameras. Some teenagers smashed through the ceiling of an inmate who did not want to take part and beat him. The nightmare for staff was compounded when, at one stage, they had to change their communications channel because they believed inmates had got hold of a radio and were listening in.”
Australia, Perth: riot in juvenile prison causes at least $350,00 worth of damage “The latest violent incident at Perth’s juvenile detention centre – the 10th in less than two-and-a-half months…The youths barricaded themselves in, removed bricks from walls and threw them at staff, broke every reinforced glass window and pulled panelling and cabling out of the ceiling”…Melbourne: and an even bigger riot in a prison for young “offenders” causes $2m worth of damages “Rioting inmates have destroyed security cameras and ripped ceilings and walls apart, causing an estimated $2 million in damages at Melbourne’s youth detention centre. About 20 inmates at the Parkville facility were left without beds on Saturday night after their cells were trashed. The riot came as an inmate at another prison facility attacked four prison officers, inflicting a serious neck injury….the sprinkler system was also severely damaged after the group broke into one of the buildings and found a sledge hammer and shovel. Computers were then thrown through the windows before the group climbed up on the roof and demanded junk food and a phone…The disturbance is believed to have been started by the same youth who triggered another riot on Thursday at the centre….In September, inmates and staff clashed for three consecutive nights and several juvenile offenders threatened staff and took control of part of the centre….In the separate prison incident on Saturday night, four Port Phillip Prison officers were assaulted during a cell search, with one suffering a suspected serious neck injury.”
US, Indianapolis: 2 cops injured by rock-throwing anti-Trumpers…Berkeley: anti-Trump march attacks bank and poice station…somewhat voluntarist online call for General Strike for Trump inauguration day
New York Times 1932:
US, Portland: protester shot “…If Trump’s appeal is truly to the “angry white workers” and is based on some sort of appeal to “righting” the US economy, how can the bullshit about reducing taxes, eliminating regulation, etc. be THAT appeal, since that’s been the mantra for 40 years, and been the “cover” for driving down wages and living standards, asset stripping, etc. etc? Is the “white” working class that stupid?…The fact is, it’s impossible to disentangle the so-called “economic fears” from the racism that has been so essential to the composition, and organization, of the US working class….I don’t think Trump appealed to anyone’s “hope” for a solution to economic problems. I’m not sure that the Trump voters, no matter what their class, want solutions. They want victims.” – from here….burning projectiles thrown at cops… Video of situation in Portland…about $1m worth of damage…Los Angeles: cops get stoned, squad car tagged, fireworks thrown (this on the eve of the 50th anniversary of a far bigger riot in LA)
US, San Francisco: thousands of high school students walk out to march against Trump Brief eyewitness account here….Portland: business windows smashed on anti-Trump demo “…at least 19 cars at Toyota of Portland were vandalized…business windows along Northwest Lovejoy Street and elsewhere were smashed….Flash bangs and rubber bullets were reportedly being used in an attempt to clear protesters, and arrests are being made. Police report officers were “taking projectiles.” As Thursday became Friday, the standoff continued, with Oregon State Police officers also being deployed at Southwest Yamhill Stree and 4th Avenue. Flash bang and less-than-lethal rounds were being deployed as officers advanced to clear the crowd….Protesters set up a makeshift barricades of newsstands….”… New Orleans: unusual mix of anti-Trump graffiti on war memorial; bank windows smashed “Die Whites Die”, “we are ungovernable” (with an anarchist circled A), “Black Power”, “Kill Trump” and “Dismantle White Supremacy” – clearly the first is idiotically (and very unstrategically) divisive, since probably a majority of whites do not support Trump, even in the USA.…Some comments on the US election can be found in the comments boxes below [SF]
Guatemala, Guatemala City: street vendors protest against prohibition from working during holiday season turns into riot; over £100,000 worth of damage “A protest that started with street vendors’ discontent over the prohibition of marketing their products during the holiday season on the Paseo de la Sexta ended with the destruction of traffic lights, Christmas kiosks, sculptures and other things.”
Democratic Republic Of Congo, Kinshasa: students clashing with cops over exchange rates for fees win partial victory “…the Director General of ISTA, Kasengedia Mutumbe, announced the downward revision of the exchange rate. “In the name of social peace at ISTA, we have lowered the rate to 967 Congolese francs to the US dollar,”…more than a hundred Congolese police had surrounded the university premises in the morning and fired tear gas to classrooms. Two vehicles were burned while several shops were damaged. Later in the day, the Minister of Higher and University Education, Théophile Mbemba, decided to suspend Kasengedia Mutumbe from office “for investigative reasons”
US: many high school students walk out in protest against Trump “Thousands of protesters blocked traffic in downtown Portland, Ore., Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia, with some torching flags. Demonstrators in Oakland smashed windows at five businesses and ignited trash containers and tires…In downtown L.A. early Wednesday, a crowd gathered near City Hall and property was defaced, including a fence scrawled with graffiti insulting the incoming commander in chief.”.
Flags also burnt in New York and Texas…Motorway shut down in LA. More here. And in other parts of California also. And in Portland. Should point out the additional insanity of this election: so far Clinton has got 60,275,264 votes, with Trump getting 59,937,885 votes – ie over 330,000 more than Trump (votes are still being counted, but the more they’re counted the bigger Clinton’s majority). But this has some of the better comments on the election – from Indians in Dakota: “I don’t think anyone here votes,” said Julie Richards, an Oglala Lakota from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. “We’re all like, fuck the government, fuck voting, and fuck the people running.”…Archambault is not interested in choosing the next elected leader of one of his enemies. “I don’t want to have a say in government,” he said. “I guess you could call it trauma. I don’t have faith in government, so I don’t want to have a say.” The “trauma” Archambault speaks of lies heavy over the encampments that have arisen on the windswept banks of the Missouri River. Generations of war, massacres, broken treaties, discrimination, police harassment, and poverty have resulted in a general feeling of distrust, disillusion, and disinterest in mainstream politics among the Native Americans gathered at Standing Rock. And historical traumas have only been compounded by the militarized police response to unarmed protesters, who have been met with Mace, rubber bullets, Tasers and sound weapons.”…Nebraska: anti-Trump graffiti on State Capitol building…Oakland: city hall windows smashed. More complete list here
Most delerious headline of the day: “US WAR ZONE: Millions riot across America in Donald Trump election protests” “Journalist: a person without any ideas but with an ability to express them; a writer whose skill is improved by a deadline: the more time he has, the worse he writes.” – Karl Kraus. When you compare what is described as a riot nowadays (eg a couple of bins burnt) with, say, the situation in the 1960s when Watts rose up and something like a thousand buildings were set alight and stores looted to the degree that 2 years later some people still had their garage half-full of crates of whiskey etc, one can see the enormity of the counter-revolution and the terrified/terrifying domestication of people. Compare also the 1964 election, with both candidates arguably to the left of both Trump and Clinton, when the nuclear trigger-happy Republican – Barry Goldwater – lost to Johnson with a margin of 22.6% [SF]
This is an interesting reflection.
As for Trump’s style: “The secret of the demagogue is to make himself as stupid as his audience so they believe they are clever as he.” – Karl Kraus
UK, London: pretty rare, corny, classic yet wonderful escape from famous Caledonian Road prison “It is understood the pair used diamond-tipped cutting equipment to break through their cell bars before scaling an outer perimeter wall….the runaways had folded bedsheets into the shape of mannequins to fool staff into believing they were still asleep… the two men escaped through a cell window on the fifth floor…it was rumoured they had used bedsheets to lower themselves down.” Almost 300 years after Jack Sheppard’s famous escapes and so far modern totalitarianism has yet to find ways to suppress the beautiful innocence of tried and tested proletarian inventiveness. Tempted reflexively to say “Thank God!” – but “Thank the Human Spirit!” is far better.
UK, Bedford: up to 300 prisoners riot, forcing guards to flee “Reports say “hundreds” of inmates are reportedly causing chaos at the category B jail after “ransacking” guards’ offices and arming themselves with knives….A man claiming to be an inmate said cops have swarmed the prison, with up to 300 prisoners involved in the riot. He told Mirror Online: “We’ve got control of the prison. Prisoners are walking around with knives and coshes. They’ve nicked mobile phones out of the office, everything’s been smashed.”… prisoners ripping up toilets and causing mass damage. Guards are said to have fled the prison” More here “…inmates carrying blades are ransacking guards’ offices, setting small fires and stealing medical supplies.”
Greece, Athens: about 80 attack cop riot unit with molotovs…Xanthi: anarchists clash with cops over opening of Golden Dawn HQ “Police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd of around 300 anarchists who tried to break through a cordon to attack the Golden Dawn premises, launching Molotov cocktails and vandalizing shops after being thwarted.”
Chile, Santiago: burning buses & barricades as workers fight private pension poverty “Protesters set fire to at least two buses, forcing passengers to flee, and blocked some two dozen streets with burning barricades in the capital Santiago on a day of nationwide demonstrations…. the system has left the 10 million Chileans enrolled in it with deplorable retirement benefits far short of the Pinochet regime’s promise of 70 percent of workers’ last paychecks. The average pension is less than the minimum wage in Chile. The protests came on the same day as a strike by public sector workers demanding a raise, adding to the pressure on center-left President Michelle Bachelet. Protesters disrupted the morning commute in Santiago by blocking off streets and attacking buses with Molotov cocktails.” … anarchists intervene in struggle and block Panamerican highway (a communiqué in Spanish)
Video here Also clashes in Valparaiso, Arica, Viña del Mar and Concepción (list of links in Spanish)
Sweden, Vasteras: report on migrants’ attitudes to burning cars “…a young migrant has explained how boredom and racism has driven him and his friends to violently vandalising property for amusement. …one of a group of these migrants described as wearing black hoods and loitering outside a recently burnt-down shopping centre, was blunt when he said: “Some feel good to burn cars”. The unnamed male identifies disappointment in society and harassment by police as the main motivations for the arson. Another young man tells the paper by email — he refuses to meet the journalist in person — that he and his friends feel pre-judged by native Swedes, and are discriminated against. Complaining that when locals witness acts of violent damage they don’t stop to consider the reasons behind it, he remarked: “When a car burns everyone here thinks [the perpetrators] are animals and idiots. People don’t know how young people are discriminated against every day… We only get noticed when the cars burn. I think young people are using it as a cry for help.”