– T.S. Eliot,
Brazil: banks trashed, roads barricaded, etc. in Rio & Sao Paulo, as teachers, bus drivers, healthcare providers, oil industry workers & public sector workers join general strike against austerity “The shutdown was not total. In Rio, bus and metro companies ran a reduced service. Most shops and banks remained open. But students were told to remain at home and there were skirmishes between protesters and police at Santos Dumont airport and the main bus terminal. São Paulo was hit harder, with a shutdown of many bus lines and fierce clashes on the road to the Congonhas airport.” More here “Friday night a group of protesters advanced on the Sao Paulo neighborhood where Temer owns a house. They broke up sidewalks and lobbed chunks of concrete at police trying to disperse the crowd with tear gas and flash grenades. Protesters also set some buses on fire…A congressional bill that would weaken labor laws passed this week in the lower house of Congress. Among the items on the bill, which will now be voted on in the Senate, are an end to paid overtime, the possibility of working under a temporary contract permanently, and the ability to lay off an entire staff and replace them with lower-salaried workers without any penalty to the company. “A controversial pension reform, which would set minimum retirement ages for men and women at 65 and 62, respectively, is also expected to be voted on next week.”
Below: Rio – after hours of clashes with police in front of the legislative building, several buses were torched
China, Guangxi: clashes with cops as local state tries to demolish homes to make way for haughty-culture exhibition “…the police were using pepper spray, police dogs and batons to attack protesters…the government had tried sending in demolition teams to raze village homes in Yongning on Thursday, running into determined opposition when they got to Liang village. The government sent in an estimated 1,000 riot police and other security personnel to deal with the protests, which brought around 6,000 protesters out onto the street…Villagers were also shown trying to hold off the police with rocks and flagpoles, while women and children were among those beaten. Liang village is now encircled by police checkpoints, and no vehicles are allowed to move through freely, local residents said.” Video of cops being beaten back and more here “One villager posted on Weibo along with photos of bloody villagers: “The voice of the whole village says: first settle then demolish! First settle then demolish! First settle then demolish! But they ignored it, sent eight public buses and [a number of] police cars without license plates to the village to make trouble – they won’t even let children and elderly people go! Many children were beaten by electric batons…”
Guinea, Boke: 4th day of anti-mining riots; 1 killed““Shooting broke out again today because the police were patrolling and there were clashes. Young people have begun to erect barricades again,” said Mamadou Diallo, a resident of Boke.He said he had seen several people with gunshot wounds being treated in a local hospital….Demonstrators burned three vehicles belonging to SMB but mining operations picked up again by Thursday”
Guinea, Boke: 17 wounded by cops as resistance to mining and protest over lack of electricity continues “In the TP neighbourhood this morning, the Coumbassa family was attacked. His crime: to give lodging to a gendarme who serves in the city. A crowd stormed the Coumbassa family’s concession and destroyed “the big house and the annex”. “A member of the family was wounded there and the same people promised to return at night with gasoline to set it on fire,” a source of the family, inconsolable. The population of Boké demand electricity supplies in their homes. Yesterday Tuesday, several buildings and gear belonging to the EDG mining company were ransacked.”
South Korea: locals clash with cops over US missile installation “Clashes with local villagers, who have been protesting against THAAD deployment for months, erupted when six trailers carrying the radar and other hardware equipment for the American missile defense system entered the installation site at the golf course in South Korea early Wednesday,…Scuffles erupted when police tried to stop some 200 residents at the entrance to the golf course. Police had to mobilize additional forces to control some 8,000 people in the area and the traffic on the 905 provincial roads leading to the Seongju Golf Course. Local activists have been very vocal about the deployment of the US system, saying the presence of THAAD would make them a prime target for Pyongyang and Beijing. The protesters also said the system poses health and environmental problems.”
Brazil, Brasilia: tear gas & rubber bullets v. spears & arrows “Brazilian military police in front of Congress fired tear gas and rubber bullets at indigenous protesters, who responded with arrows and spears to end what started as a peaceful protest by indigenous peoples…“The agricultural and evangelical lobby want to destroy our rights and turn Brazil into the world’s breadbasket, ending biodiversity,” ..The indigenous protesters have said they plan to camp out all week in front of Congress, claiming the government of President Michel Temer is working to roll back protections in various parts of the Amazon.”
South Africa, North West: armoured cop vehicle burnt out during heavy clashes potesting lousy service delivery“…roads to and from surrounding areas such as Ottosdal, Coligny and Sannieshof were re-opened on Monday afternoon after being barricaded by dissatisfied Lichtenburg protesters protesting over housing and better service delivery. Four trucks were set alight in the area,”
Philippines, Tarlac (Lusita): farmers and peasants occupy oligarch’s land in growing occupation movement “…farm workers and peasants in the Philippines have directly seized and occupied property claimed by one of the archipelago’s largest banks and main oligarch families, the Aquino clan. The move is an escalation of a long campaign to dismantle the unjust system of feudalism and landlord rule inherited from the period of Spanish colonialism. Gathered in the hundreds and carrying signs with slogans such as, “Land to the Tillers, Not to Their Killers,” members and supporters of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas — a militant mass movement of small farmers, landless peasants, farm workers, rural youth and women — converged on a walled-off section of Hacienda Luisita, a massive sugar plantation in the Tarlac province controlled by the Cojuangco-Aquino political dynasty. As hundreds of police and private security guards looked on, 700 farmers took turns destroying a concrete wall enclosing large tracts of land that were illegally sold to the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation. Eventually, a farm tractor was brought in to pull sections of the wall down.” For more info see this.
Guinea, Boke: city rises up against mining pollution and power cuts “Riots have paralysed a major bauxite mining hub in Guinea, Africa’s top producer, as residents erected barricades and burned tyres to protest against high pollution levels and power cuts…The unrest broke out on Monday night in the city of Boke, home to mining companies Societe Miniere de Boke (SMB) and Companie Bauxite de Guinee (CBG) which each export around 15 million tonnes of the aluminium ore annually….”It’s nearly the whole city that has risen up against the pollution and power cuts”
France, Paris: clashes with cops, some attacks on cop vehicles, banks, bus shelters etc., during anti-election rally…It has to be pointed out that most of those involved in these anti-election riots are the “Appelistes” or their followers, whose ideology included a disgusting apology for ISIS following the mass murder at Bataclan in November 2015, an attack which was deemed “anti-economic” by Coupat, the Appelistes/Tiquunist leader/ideologist. For what it’s worth turnout in the election was 77.77 percent, the lowest in a French presidential election for 15 years.
…Nantes: bins burnt etc. during anti-election street party “…a call for students and high school students to gather in front of the faculty of Letters this Monday, April 24 at midday: “In order not to give the ruling classes the right to govern us”… Essonne: town hall, where voting takes place – window broken, bins burnt, wall paint-bombed and graffitied with anarchist slogans…Var: Front National offices attacked, organiser hit with bottle This is in an area where Le pen came 1st, the scandal-ridden crudely neoloiberal Fillon came 2nd and the more subtly neoliberal frontrunner Macron came 3rd.
Venezuela, Caracas: 8 people electrocuted during looting of bakery in working class district…More about looting elsewhere here “A woman whose butcher’s shop was ransacked in violence overnight in Venezuela says the attack was like “a war.” Liliana Altuna says looters armed with guns and knives attacked about 30 businesses in the community of El Valle over the course of five hours. An officer tried to help but Altuna says police were unable to stop looters from breaking the windows of her business and violently grabbing refrigerators, lamps, security cameras and anything else they could seize.”
Taiwan, Taipei: public sector workers clash with cops outside legislature over pension reductions “… seven police officers were injured in the clashes, and several lawmakers, mayors and magistrates were pushed, shoved and beaten by angry protesters. A satellite news gathering vehicle was also damaged during the clashes”
France, Marseille: another clash at Le Pen rally“Some ultra-left demonstrators hurled projectiles and firecrackers at police, prompting them to respond by firing tear gas canisters and to arrest at least four protesters.“
Vietnam, Dong Tam: 15 out of 38 cops & state officials taken hostage released after 4 villagers are released by cops “On April 15, 2017, the Hanoi police arrested four violators to serve the investigations into the “causing public disorder” case, but their vehicles were held and damaged, and 38 city policemen and officials of My Duc were illegally apprehended. Municipal leaders came to the locality, explained the illegal actions to the locals and requested them to release the captured officials and police. At the same time, the city also sent two working groups to the commune to work with the locals, who, however, did not cooperate and even threw sand and rocks to the officials, injuring some of them. On April 18, four citizens arrested on April 15 were released as they showed signs of repentance. Meanwhile, 15 of the apprehended officials and policemen were released by the locals and three officials managed to escape earlier. ” More here “20 police officers and government officials of My Duc District are still being held illegally, they said. Bach Thanh Dinh, deputy chief of Hanoi police, said the city is trying to do everything it can to solve the problem, and the top priority is to rescue everyone. “We will solve this using the laws,” Dinh said, pledging to impose strict punishment on those responsible for the crime. On Saturday, Hanoi police detained four people from My Duc’s Dong Tam Commune, around 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the city center, for breaking land use regulations. The violations have not been specified. Disgruntled villagers then took hostage 38 police officers and government officials at a communal house. Hanoi authorities had called for their release and also discharged the villagers arrested.”
More here “…authorities had made no compromises with the farmers and those responsible for detaining the police officers and local officials would be dealt with according to the law. …The Hanoi government has gradually increased a security presence around Dong Tam, while electricity and wireless phone networks have been cut off in the area, leaving residents unable to communicate with the outside world. State media had cited the farmers as saying they are treating the detainees well, though rights group Defend the Defenders said in a statement Sunday that the farmers were keeping them in a closed room and were prepared to “burn them with petrol” if authorities attack the village. The farmers have demanded that the government give up its plan to take their farmland without compensation….”
Vietnam, Dong Tam: 38 cops & government officials taken hostage by angry villagers resisting land grab; villagers block roads in & out of village “At least a dozen policemen were held hostage on Sunday (April 16th) by angry villagers protesting against the confiscation of their land by the army. The authorities have called for calm, but it seems that the hostage-taking is still ongoing…Police officers forced to retreat in front of the stone-throwing of the inhabitants, scenes of riots … These images, very rare in this communist country that is Vietnam, have been widely diffused and commented about on social networks. But what has most marked the spirits is undoubtedly these policemen, a dozen, held hostage in a gymnasium. In a photo, they are seen resting – obviously they are not mistreated – they can even use their phones to call their family….the villagers offered to exchange their hostages for about fifteen farmers arrested by the police.…At the source of their anger, the decision taken by the authorities to confiscate their land for the benefit of a telecommunications company, Viettel, owned by the army. In Vietnam, all land belongs to the State and the authorities often confiscate land and then carry out juicy land transactions. The peasants are then entitled to compensation but they are far from covering the real value of their land and they lose their means of subsistence. In a country that closely controls freedom of expression, revolts are rare but driven to despair, some inhabitants are ready to do anything to defend their land. In 2012, in a case that’s remained famous, a fisherman wounded 7 policemen before being sentenced to five years in prison.” – report in French; report in English here ““Local residents said they have no intention of releasing the hostages unless the central government intervenes…People have closed off their villages. No one can come in or out. The police are surrounding the area also, preventing media access. The situation is tense,” …A My Duc resident told AFP Sunday police had fired in the air during Saturday’s clashes. “Some residents were also taken into custody by police for unknown reasons””
A barricaded road to Dong Tam commune with a banner that reads ‘The people of Dong Tam have absolute faith in the policies and the way of the party and state’. This attempt to assuage the hostility of the party and state towards the hostage-taking of the party’s and state’s defenders with a “correct” image of submissive “good intentions” will almost certainly not work.
Jamaica: report that vandalism is costing bus company millions a year “It is …this desperately felt need to see their own action, to do something that is really theirs, which causes masses of people to take up crafts or vandalism; and still others to try and suppress the split by attacking the separation in a unified way, by taking up coherent vandalism: the craft of the negative.” – from here
France, Paris: anti-Le Pen demonstrators clash with cops, attack journocops “RT’s correspondent at the scene, Charlotte Dubenskij, reports that the protest has turned violent with journalists being attacked with tears gas and bricks. “We have been caught in tear gas, we have had bricks thrown in the direction of us, one member of the press had his camera taken off of him and thrown on the floor,” Dubenskij, adding that fires erupted as well.”
Peru, Cuajone: report of illegal strike by miners blocking industrial railway bridge “Striking mine workers are standing strong despite the Peru Ministry of Labor declaring their strike illegal during a second appeal process yesterday and company threats to fire all the workers if they do not return to work by Wednesday. Construction workers, members of the Peruvian General Workers Confederation (CGTP), announced that they will join the strike in solidarity. On Sunday, police fired tear gas at strikers as they walked a picket line near an industrial railroad bridge above the Osmore River. The striking workers now control both sides of the bridge, preventing rail passage of the minerals from the mines to the nearby town of Ilo, where there is the refinery and the port. On Tuesday, the SUT-SPCC union is conducting worker assemblies in Ilo to make decisions for next steps.”
US, Berkeley: heavy clashes between Trumpo-fascists and anti-fascists…video here …a critique of the event here…see also this, for a wider critique of anarchist & leftist alliances against fascism…and for an eyewitness account of the defeat of the anti-fascists, see the first comment below this article….and read this serious practical suggestion (of course, there are plenty of others, many in private; but it’s certainly not for someone as far away from this specific battle as me to recommend anything innovative other than what those living it are seriously reflecting on in public; such practical relevance of the situation in the US to combating the sense of impotence many feel towards the looming horror, starting with my own, and in the country I live in, has to be adapted to the situation of each person who reads this…but this give a general outline for the USA). Also this, though it simplistically claims that it was only because of police help that the ultra-ultra-right did so well. A contact writes: “…a failure to plan for these things was reflected in the lack of a defense in depth by the antifa which could have a) provided a more flexible reserve (or reserves) to deploy at crucial hot spots b) kept people with weapons available from the front where the cops were confiscating them, so they could be used when needed later, and c) so that counterattacks could be mobilized on the flanks and to the rear of the fascists, offsetting the advantages that the fascists had that day. Obviously some kind of coordination and overview must be necessary to do this work …”
“Although bullies can appear to be powerful, everything they do to wield power only disempowers them….Lacking any sense of self-worth, having given up on accomplishing anything meaningful to enrich others’ lives or their own, the only form of pride that remains to fascists is membership in an abstract category. They do not consider themselves valuable as individuals, but only as citizens, white people, “Western chauvinists,” members of a gang. This is the consolation prize of identity, reserved for weak individuals who feel that they have no value on their own merits.This consolation prize does not come cheaply. To obtain it, they have to crush everything beautiful in themselves, everything that renders them capable of empathy or creativity. They must contort their sexuality. They have to memorize mantras of entitlement—for those who benefit from unfair advantages, however slightly, are always nagged by the sneaking suspicion that they do not deserve what they have. They have to work hard not to identify with others, not to recognize themselves in those who are different from them, not to stand out as unique.This sort of self-policing is a full-time job. Rendering themselves helpless and weak before their overlords, they imagine they are rooting out weakness. Destroying everything in themselves that could render them capable of freedom, they imagine they are defending their freedom. Rendering relations of mutual trust impossible, they tell themselves they are protecting their communities.At the bottom of all their sadism, we find a fundamental masochism. To justify their behavior, they need to be on the receiving end of violence. They must be at once master race and underdog, torturer and victim. Carrying out genocides, they protest that they are the ones targeted for genocide. Wracked with self-loathing, on some level they must genuinely desire to be exterminated for the exterminations they hope to carry out….These goons are of great use to the authorities. They can carry out attacks that the state is not yet able to, intimidating those who might otherwise rebel. They distract from the institutionalized violence of the state, which is still the cause of most of the oppression that takes place in our society. Above all, they enable the authorities to portray themselves as neutral keepers of the peace.”
– from here
UK, Dorset: much of stately home destroyed in arson attack Of course, there’s no way of knowing if this was done for the insurance or what, and of course, it would have been nice if it had been permanently squatted, but…
Venezuela, Miranda: 15 shops looted, as government and official opposition blame each other for this subversion of commodity relations “The latest in more than a week of violent clashes erupted overnight Thursday to Friday in the town of Los Teques near the capital. Protesters mounted barricades and hurled Molotov cocktails, and police fired tear gas,…Capriles, governor of the surrounding Miranda state, said 15 shops were looted, including several bakeries. Speaking at a news conference, he alleged that “all the acts of vandalism” were ordered by the government. The pro-government mayor of Los Teques, Francisco Garces, on Twitter blamed the looting on “violent opposition factions.”” This claims 26 businesses were looted after 4 slip roads to the main motorway were blocked, barricades erected on 11 other roads and the HQ of the People’s Guard was attacked.
Venezuela, Guarenas: looting of stores as resistance to state goes beyond official opposition “At least 14 businesses were affected after a group of people entered and looted establishments by force …According to Efe, a shoe store, a jewelery, hairdressers and a lottery agency of the Miranda Shopping Center, located in the sector of Trapichito, were some of the most affected shops, while a bakery and a supermarket… were attacked by looters. The people stormed the place in the early morning hours,”attacked” the guards and damaged the main entrances…Although it was an isolated event in relation to the rest of the country, this coincided with the culmination of an opposition protest, which took place in the same area and ended with the closure of a nearby street. …the demonstration culminated around 1 am and …after the withdrawal of the security forces, “the looting began” ….the guards came to the site as the looting was in full swing, but…they withdrew because other nearby shopping areas also had problems. Losses at the jewelry are estimated at about 50 million bolivars…Dao pointed out that in the jewelry he worked with gold pieces and repaired watches and assured that “they took everything”. He complained that if looting was supposed to be because people are “hungry,” he does not understand why they steal jewelry.” See also this. “While demonstrations are often held in middle-class neighbourhoods, this most recent wave of unrest for the first time has prompted protests in the slums that have historically been bastions of support for the socialist revolution launched nearly two decades ago by Hugo Chavez, the late president.” Undoubtedly this is because of the general worldwide crisis, partly involving the international drop in the value of oil here causing a massive inflation rate (about 800%), and the resulting misery of poverty and endless queues to buy stuff from stores where prices are fixed by the state or from the black market rackets where businesses are able to sell stuff at far higher prices than the ordinary stores to those who can afford to avoid spending hours and hours queuing.
Niger, Niamey: cops force 23,000 students out of university after clashes in capital and elsewhere “…pupils and students very quickly occupied a few crossroads in the vicinity of their establishments, erecting barricades and setting fire to tires.“
France: top cop complains that cops are no longer respected/feared “There is no respect for those wearing uniforms. Part of the population, certainly a minority, seeks confrontation with authority at all costs and often refuses ID controls” explained Philippe Capon, the boss of Unsa-police. In the neighborhoods, “work is becoming infernal”. Should be pointed out that this in response to only an increase of 1.2% in such attacks. In the 70s and 80s there was considerably less respect for/fear of uniforms than there is now. Far too many people seem to think that France is permanently in a state of insurrection when it’s very very far from the case (for the moment, at least).
Sweden , Gothenburg: 2nd night of riots “Police say the rioting originally started on Saturday evening when they were attacked by several “youths” who threw rocks at them. The officers decided to increase their presence the following day but were attacked once again in the evening by more young men, this time armed with Molotov cocktails…Hammarkullen is considered one of 55 no-go zones where police are not welcome and are often attacked. In December last year, police had to use a helicopter and special police forces to return order to the area after multiple cars were set on fire.”
“The fire destroyed several apparatuses and structural parts of the lower floors of the laboratory. …The amount of damage is around half a million euros. Cryptolab is a laboratory of industrial mathematics and cryptography created in 2010 that conducts cutting-edge research in the field of data and information security, in particular banking (electronic payments) or computer science. It works in close collaboration with national partners, such as the Ministry of Defence, which appeared on one of the lab’s promotional brochures in 2015, or internationally, such as the State of Israel through the Bruno Kessler Foundation, to create armaments intended for the “management of urban security” …”
South Africa, Limpopo: looting during protest “…residents blocked roads leading to Polokwane…The violence then escalated to the township itself where people started looting shops, including a KFC outlet at the Seshego mall. A truck belonging to a businessman was torched…The suspects then later took advantage of the nightfall and broke into the Total Sport store at the Seshego mall and looted some items. An attempt was made to break into Foschini store” .No explanation of what the protest was about in this article.
South Africa, Johannesburg: wildcat strike in gold mine ends after over 2 weeks See also entry for 24/3/17
France, Essonne: 6 screws injured in youth section of prison This attack at Fleury follows demonstrations by screws in front of prisons in Fresnes (Val-de-Marne) and Bois-d’Arcy (Yvelines) to protest against the assault of two of them in front of their home or on their way to work, poor things. The one at Val-de-Marne was recognised by former prisoners and ended up in hospital.
This is largely dominated by the right-wing opposition parties, which does NOT, of course, mean, like most of the Left, that we shouldn’t oppose Chavismo or Murdurismo. But then the Left have never opposed anything fundamentally. About the only site from Venezuela with more or less an acceptable class perspective is “El Libertario”, which Leftist worshippers of Chavez and his heir have (in the past) denounced as “false anarchists” merely because they’ve supported certain elements of opposition.