The word ‘March’ comes from the Roman ‘Martius’. This was originally the first month of the Roman calendar, perhaps because of the Spring equinox on March 21st. In ancient Rome several festivals of Mars took place in March, presumably in preparation for the campaigning season, since Mars was a god of war. March remained the beginning of the calendar year until the start of the ‘Gregorian’ calendar in 1752, and it is only since then that the year began on 1st January. The Anglo-Saxons called the month Hlyd monath which means Stormy month, or Hraed monath which means Rugged month.
“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”
– Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
Eire, Dublin: wildcat transport strike bring city to a standstill “…the extension of the dispute to Irish Rail and Dublin Bus last Friday was strongly condemned by Taoiseach Enda Kenny. “I condemn the wildcat strike which took place unofficially last week which brought this city and so many other places, hundreds of thousands of people, to a standstill,’’ he said. “
Paraguay, Asuncion: Congress building set ablaze, entire ground floor burnt down, during protest against president’s decision to re-run for election Much of this involves support for the opposition parties, but I’d guess that burning Congress would be something outside of their remit. Video here
Philippines, Manila: report about homeless occupying 6000 empty housing units for almost a month “Led by the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay), an urban poor organization, and supported by various activist groups, those who taking part in the occupation have put up barricades and held their ground for almost a month already in the face of harassment and threats of eviction by housing authorities and police forces. Early into the occupation, President Rodrigo Duterte accused the movement of sowing “anarchy” and vowed to use force to evict them from the mass housing units. “If you want to ignore the law, you cannot do that. I will force the issue with eviction,” he said….After a dialogue by housing officials with Kadamay, the Duterte government backed off from the planned forced eviction of the families, which was scheduled to begin last March 27. Kadamay called this an important victory of the collective struggle of the poor.” Given Duterte’s crudely brutal fascist policies, I suspect that calling this a victory is premature, but we shall see…But for the moment, just see this brief leaflet from Indonesia calling for “Death to Duterte” “Many drug users are terrified for their safety and are attempting to escape the slaughter by voluntarily reporting themselves to State authorities in an attempt to preempt visits from the death squads. Subsequently, thousands of people been detained in overcrowded disease infested disused Filipino military camps deemed “rehabilitation centers”. There are no release dates for people detained in these barbaric “rehabilitation” centers which function as ad-hoc prisons, complete with screws who subject drug users to torturous “character building” practices” to “atone for their sins” and activities designed to instill (by force) nationalist pride as a “rehabilitation” strategy.”)
Congo, Lubumbashi: national insurance office burnt down, street barricades, clashes with cops, after official opposition calls for protests “Young protesters carried tree branches and burned tires in the streets while shouting and chanting…Rioters burned down the offices of the national insurance company before they were dispersed by police…In the city of Lubumbashi in Upper Katanga, hundreds of young men took over the streets and stopped vehicles from moving.” Normally would not put up this report about political opposition, but I suspect that many of those involved have used the protest as a pretext for expressing genuine anger.
Zimbabwe, Lupane: students riot against crap food, electricity cuts and “insecurity” “Students at Lupane State University (LSU) in Lupane stoned Vice Chancellor Professor Pardon Kuipa’s car during protests against poor diet, power cuts and poor security at the university. The students allegedly stormed management offices, demanding to meet Prof Kuipa and Dean of Students, Mr Honest Ncube before looting cooked and uncooked food from service providers. Students said the university mainly relies on a generator for electricity, which they said is switched off at 10PM when they want to study or write assignments. They also stated that there is no security at the hostels and that outsiders come in as they please with no proper checking. They fear their valuables will be stolen.”
Chile, Santiago: molotovs thrown at insecurity forces on day of remembrance for victims of Pinochet “At least three people were injured, including a security guard who was shot, during clashes between police and protesters…Protesters in Villa Francia, where the 21-year-old guard was shot in the hand, started fires and hurled various objects at police vehicles. In the municipality of San Bernardo, a police officer reportedly suffered a broken jaw after being stoned. Local press reported that another policeman was hit in the face by around 16 pellets.” Video here
France, Paris: 3rd night of anti-cop riots (videos)…Toulouse: high school students clash with cops, set fire to part of school This happened – in a “difficult” area – after a blockade of the school, with the gate being chained up, in solidarity with an employee at the school who’d been disciplined or dismissed (not made clear in this report). The admin had broken the chain after which some students set fire to plants at the school, the fire spreading, and the school forced to evacuate. No-one was hurt. The cops came and launched teargas and flashballs at the students and they responded with stones, smoke bombs and fireworks. No arrests.…Rennes: 15 people at a meeting of The Republicans (presidential candidate Fillon’s party), including 2 local Republican deputies, get sprayed with piss and fish soup; Socialists condemn this attack on demockrazy
Brazil, Campinas: barricades put up against state forces evicting squatters “Protesters in the Brazilian city of Campinas set up barricades of wood and tires Tuesday as they battled military police trying to evict hundreds of people from squatter settlements where they had been living since July…Video images posted online showed fires burning in the southern city of 1.1 million people as government officials moved into the area to remove squatters. Informal settlements set up by Brazilians who say they have nowhere else to live are not uncommon in Latin America’s largest country, which is suffering from its worst recession on record and a lack of affordable housing. Residents said they were taken aback by the scale of the police operation that destroyed their shacks made of scrap wood and corrugated iron.”
Mexico, Nuevo Leon: 2 prisoners die on 2nd day of riot “…at least two inmates died and 13 people sustained injuries, including two guards, at the Cadereyta prison near the city of Monterrey….A riot on Monday, in which at least nine people were injured, began as inmates protested the use of X-ray machines to screen visiting relatives, while the one on Tuesday began after inmates set fires and attacked the prison’s pharmacy in what they said was a response to a lack of food and water caused by Monday’s riot. Aldo Fasci Zuazua, the public security secretariat for Nuevo León state, said the riot at the prison on Tuesday began after 56 inmates from the group known as The Renegades broke into the pharmacy to steal medication. Fasci Zuazua said the inmates stole the medication to use them recreationally and burned mattresses in two areas of the prison to distract authorities. He said one inmate died in a hospital after inhaling smoke and injecting or taking drugs, while the other burned to death.”
France, French Guyana (South American area which is part of France): total general strike – 2nd day The reasons for this strike are multiple: unemployment, health conditions, judicial questions and, above all, lack of “security” (ie the high murder rate, which is largely being attributed to lack of border controls). So – for the moment – not essentially a radical strike at all even if virtually nobody is working…More here – which says that the state is offering an injection of 5 billion euros spread over 10 years, part of which will be used to finance a new prison and a squadron of mobile gendarmes! Pi writes: “It is interesting to see how a very difficult social situation in a very unusual territory (developing from colonial France, which served for a long time as a penal colony, and which was sparsely populated: especially communities of “marrons”, former escaped slaves who established isolated villages, and Native Americans) can also generate very restrained and “moderate” dynamics, where recourse to the centralist state, institutional funding, “security” etc. are directly demanded.”
…Paris: 2nd night of clashes with cops over their murder of Chinese guy “Ten people were arrested in a second night of protests in Paris over the killing by police of a Chinese father of five, an incident that has caused tensions with Beijing. Around 400 members of the Asian community and supporters of anti-racism groups gathered outside a police station in the northeast of the capital to again denounce the fatal shooting of Shaoyo Liu, 56, in his home two days earlier. Those who were arrested had thrown projectiles, the police said”.…More here This Breitbart report tries to link these riots to anti-Chinese riots globally, when it’s clear that these were anti-cop riots, and in fact, not just Chinese people were involved in attacking the cops. It’s typical of much of racism today which superficially condemns racism whilst in fact encouraging it, including encouraging the miserable conditions that spawn racial scapegoats. In saying, “These attitudes cannot be stopped. They come from masses of people, not from the leaders, whose job becomes to deal with these populist attitudes in a way that does the least amount of damage” such scummy journalism uses an event in which institutionalised racism on the part of the cops intentionally hides the role of these leaders in covertly encouraging such divisions.
Italy, Lecce: clashes with cops in resistance to olive tree removal to make way for gas pipeline “Police charged twice in order to move protestors away from gates to the work site and a number of people were injured. Some of the protestors suffered bruising and others felt ill after the clashes, union sources said. The removal of the olive trees was suspended, but later resumed. Tension remained high later in the day and demonstrators threw stones at police was trucks entered the site, hurting two officers. The police baton-charged the protesters again to stop them getting into the site.”
France, Paris: riots after cops murder Chinese man More here “Clashes erupted late Monday in the 19th arrondissement of Paris, on the sidelines of the gathering of about 150 people in tribute to Shaoyo Liu, who died the day before. […] The demonstration degenerated when individuals broke the window of a police car. The rear of the vehicle was burned altogether because of “probably an incendiary object,”…Policemen and protesters then faced off. Several clashes erupted, as shown by photos and videos broadcast on social networks. The situation subsided shortly before midnight. Three policemen from the security and intervention company (CSI 75) were “slightly wounded by projectiles”…more here in English…video
According to the daughter of the murdered man, at round about 7.30 pm her father was cleaning a fish with scissors. The neighbour above was very noisy and he went upstairs and asked for silence. He then returned downstairs to continue doing the cooking. There was then a very loud and persistent knocking on the door, and the father didn’t dare open it as the cops were in plain clothes and he suspected the people, whom he didn’t know were cops, had some malicious intent (which clearly proved to be correct). There was some confusion as the cops continued knocking violently and then they smashed open the door, there was a shot and her father collapsed onto the floor in front of her and her sister. According to the media, it was a case of legitimate defence even though, according to one of his daughters, the cops had not revealed their identity and the father was merely carrying the scissors for cleaning the fish. After the murder, the cops isolated the children in their bedroom and cut them off from all outside communication. The wife of the victim was fetched back from her work and held at the bottom of the building for more than 2 hours.
Mexico, Nuevo Leon: 4 screws taken hostage during prison riot…video & report here “Four prison guards were taken hostage after a riot broke out at Cadereyta state prison, Monday, with hundreds of inmates reportedly setting fire to mattresses, sending smoke billowing into the sky over the facility. Some 600 members of the prison’s 2,000-strong population allegedly began burning the mattresses in retaliation to strict security controls. The four prison guards were taken hostage during the uprising and at least 45 people, both guards and prisoners, were wounded.”
France, Rouen: parts of primary school ransacked “Three to four classrooms, the director’s office and the teachers’ room were devastated. The authors broke the cabinets and drawers and scattered their contents on the floors, while liquid and powdered coffee was spilled in the teacher’s room. Surprisingly, few tables were overturned. The canteen, located outside, suffered the same fate. The door was broken, and chocolate yoghurt thrown over the floor and on the furniture while the water fountain was opened….The computer equipment remained in tact and according to initial findings, little has disappeared”…Val-de-Marne: cops in car ambushed, attacked with stones…Seine-St.Denis: cops shot at 7 times whilst intervening in brawl; no arrests
Belarus, Minsk: clashes continue over tax on the unemployed…over 400 out of about 700 demonstrators arrested…internet shut down Unfortunately there are, as usual, far too many people looking to the official opposition to save them…but not all “We, the partisan-anarchists, take responsibility for the symbolic attack on March 24, 2017 on the building of the Inspectorate of the Ministry of Taxes of the Republic of Belarus for the Gomel region. We threw two Molotov cocktails into the window one of cabinet. At the time of the attack hundreds of thousands of people were spiritually with us throughout the country and beyond. This energy gave us great strength and right.
Let’s note that it was not principally for us to attack specifically this building. Any other inspection would also suit: regional, city, district – it does not matter. Each of them deserved the people’s revenge. The tax authorities regularly called and sent out “letters of happiness” about levying a tax on the unemployed. At the very moment when the people in Belarus were crushed by economic extortion from the state and firmly said: “Basta! to tax and regime”; when protesters claim to state policy and are outraged by the work of tax inspections, the officials, sitting in the offices, continue to indulge the authorities in stealing money of workers and temporarily unemployed people. They do
not think that they are in complicity with state racket, i.e. Crime, which includes a whole list of punitive measures against common people: blackmail, extortion, threats, repression, enforcement to social and economic slavery.…”
“A great barfly plumber
Dressed for Sunday even though it’s Monday
Sings for himself all alone
Sings that it’s Friday
That he won’t go to class
That the war is over
And work as well
That life is so beautiful…” – Jacques Prevert, ‘And the Party Continues’
More here “…a supermarket, medical centre, dentist and chemist were burnt to the ground…“Almost the entire business block across the road has been destroyed, unnecessarily by raging fires, rampant looting and out of control crowds,”…”
South Africa, Cape Town: housing activists occupy empty rooms in state buildings …Gauteng: school burnt down after resistance to eviction of land squatters…Johannesburg: wildcat strike begins in gold mine
Eire: report of 18 people facing potential life imprisonment for holding up deputy P.M.’s car during anti-water charge demos back in November 2015
“…a car carrying the Tánaiste (Deputy PM) was held up for two and a half hours by a community protest. The state’s now trying to take its revenge – one 17-year-old has already been found guilty of “false imprisonment”, and starting in April, 18 adults will face trials for the same incident, looking at charges which carry a potential life sentence.”
Mexico, Chiapas: part of town hall set fire to in protest against water shortages “…residents from neighborhoods in the town of Coita held a peaceful march demanding water and presenting various popular requests about the security of the municipality. The protest traveled to the offices of SAPAM (Municipal Water and Drinking Water System). Upon not receiving a response at that office nor from the corresponding authorities, the protesters occupied the town hall, set fire to the entrance, several offices, and a car they found parked outside. Similarly, the protesters captured some of the SAPAM bureaucrats in the Central Plaza, demanding immediate dialogue to resolve the situation.”
UK, London: this was written by Past Tense following the terrorist mowing down of 4 people and stabbing of a cop (put up on their site on 26/3/17) Excerpts:
“Seems like a good week to talk about Parliament…
So here’s some thoughts (not comprehensive, or even maybe coherent) :
1. As a project trying to link past present and future, we are generally opposed to random acts of terror involving passers-by; it would be hard to deny Parliament has made itself a target by a number of its actions.
2. An attack on Parliament is not an attack on OUR democracy – our is of a different more direct kind (if it is democracy at all. Jury’s out).
3. We’re broadly opposed to organised religion and specifically to religious fundamentalism of all kinds, and attempts to impose it by force.
4. We’re also opposed to attempts to impose the aims of the US/UK capital-political-military complex on other people around the world by force. Which has killed a few more people, though its not a competition.
5. Religious fundamentalists are leeches, particularly adept fastening onto vulnerable people with mental health problems, grooming them and pointing them at supposed enemies. This dynamic is present in some forms of Islam. And Christianity. And Judaism. And Hinduism. And Buddhism (Other whacko faiths are available).
6. We think religion is something we have dispense with as a species, but we’re unlikely to convince everyone soon; however, we don’t think it’s racist to say ‘religion is possibly not sensible’ because some people who are religious are Black or Asian. Some people use attacks on one or more religions as a human shield for basic racism. Some others use the defence of ‘don’t oppress me for my beliefs’ to cloak their misogyny, social control and hierarchical position within a given community. This makes saying what you think about things complex and fraught with pitfalls. Is this why we’re writing in this simplistic way? Or is it that we’re hung over? Who knows. Some leftist ‘anti-racists’ and even some ‘feminists’ have attacked ex-muslims for speaking openly about the abuses in Islam, deciding that if there’s a ‘hierarchy of oppression’, people resisting the religion they grew up in should remain somewhere near the bottom. Now I know why we got so drunk last night in the first place.
7. Nationalists, like fundamentalists, justify people mowed down in your path as you attack the perceived enemy as collateral damage. Or lump them in with the enemy because they’re non-believers, come from the same part of the world as the people ruling them, etc. Are you complicit in the crimes of your bosses, monarchs, parliaments, because of the borders you ‘share’? Is it your responsibility to differentiate yourself, and (whether you do or don’t), is it your lookout when the bombers (etc) come? On the other hand I heard a well-informed caller on the radio saying we should bar any Syrian refugees from Britain on the grounds that they were ‘all cowards’ who had failed to stay and fight Assad. Genuinely. “What would have happened if WE had done that with Hitler”? (NB, this person was not alive in WW2 so the ‘we’ must have been channelling a Blitz Spirit.)
8.And irrational fear and hate can be secular too…
But there’s also rational fear and hate. We prefer that kind. We are, we think, rationally afraid of what people can be persuaded to do in the name of this god or that, just as we are quite reasonably opposed to using these acts to justify locking up refugees, racism, xenophobia, sometimes downed with lashings of secular Western superiority (paid for in the blood of millions sacrificed on the altar of slavery and imperialism over the centuries). We are afraid of what nationalist dickwaving can unleash (more than one former resident of Yugoslavia has compared the post-Brexit vote atmosphere to 1990 in that ex-progressive state, just before the war); as we are opposed to swivel-brained little Englanders who have to pretend they wouldn’t like to re-introduce the birch, abolish abortion, ban women from going out to work, jail gays and reduce the minimum wage to £2.13, so as to have a swipe at ‘darkies’ who ‘won’t accept our values’. Integrate on this, you halfwits.
9.London is differently composed to much of the ‘UK”; there has been an element of ‘Keep Calm and Carry on, Londoners Won’t Be Cowed, etc. in the wake of this week’s attack. Appeals for a sort of cosmopolitan unity; which has a kernel worth discussing, but would be debateable, if not ridiculous in the face of the massive class cleansing taking place in this city. A process not devoid of the notable dynamics, that it is increasingly migrants doing the shit work that keeps the fabulous wealth of the capital comfy, and that they and older working class communities are in danger of being shifted out en masse to the midlands to make room for more wealthy muckyfucks. No obvious sign of ‘Keep Calm and introduce Rent Controls’ posters on the tube. Fake News? Fake Unity!
To stand against religious insanity AND racist foreigner bashing AND lefty fear of calling religion daft is strangely hard for many folk at the moment, and at the risk of being labelled liberal bleaters, the times they are a wee bit grim. Maybe all we can do is continue to oppose both where we can, avoid being hustled into kneejerk bollocks, try to talk and work out alternatives in as many arenas as we can, live in a way that is open and welcoming but not afraid to ask awkward questions. And bring up our kids to think for themselves, not take any faiths on wholesale.
And punch Nazis and Nigel Farage when you can.
Police and parliament are likely to seize on the atmosphere generated by the attacks to introduce measures that will help them with surveillance and control, to an even greater extent than they do already. Bearing in mind the revelation in recent days that the Met employed Indian hackers to break into the email accounts of a number of activists – mainly revealed to be from the environmental movement, so far, though who knows what’s more to come? This kind of info often drips into the public arena, if it ever emerges at all. Support your local Netpol, COPS, Spies Out of Lives, and so on…
Another likely upshot could be further extension to powers to block, prevent and exclude protests from the immediate neighbourhood of Parliament (one glaring oversight in the security ring around the building being the lack of bollards that prevent drivers veering onto the pavement on Westminster Bridge, though some in the press also gleefully called for an end to cycle lanes as the attacker drove along the one on the bridge. Mysterious, the lack of calls for banning of 4x4s because he was driving one. Weird, that.)
Of course restrictions can be got around… The exclusion zone around Parliament was brought in in 2003, as we have previously discussed, as MPs cheerfully voting for mass murder of Iraqis pretended to be concerned that terrorists could infiltrate protests with the aim of an attack on Parliament. In reality this was aimed specifically at Brian Haw’s famous permanent picket protesting sanctions and war against Iraq, in Parliament Square. Iraq war, state violence, individual violence, Islamism – told you it was all connected….”
France, Grenoble: local offices of Republicans redecorated by expert interior decorators Part of their communiqué: “…Whereas you call on people to vote to dispossess us once again of our capacity to act, we reply that we will refuse to delegate a part of our freedom, to submit to your masquerade. Rather, we call for a reversal of the balance of power in order to stop suffering the state of things. Tonight, we attacked a party, but it is the whole political apparatus that is targeted. We call for the multiplication of other forms of organization and of these gestures so that fear will change sides.
Shit to all forms of government.
No elections without revolt .”
US, Pittsburgh: county jail attacked by about 25 masked protesters “… a group of 20-25 protesters had become disorderly. They were throwing rocks at the building and setting off fireworks. Windows and glass panels were broken but the jail remained secure. Two Bike Officers were first to arrive on the scene. They encountered a group of people all dressed in black or dark clothing. Their faces were covered with masks or bandannas. Large-scale fireworks were being launched…As members of the group fled, some ran outbound along Second Avenue and others ran down the bike trail toward Downtown and cut through the parking lot. They damaged several vehicles by breaking their side mirrors and broke the mechanical arm of a gate that opens and closes the driveway. An Allegheny County Sheriffs vehicle and a civilian’s vehicle had shattered rear windows. A side door to the Municipal Court Building was graffitied. “ Anarchist report here
Guatemala, San Jose Pinula: 2 “jail monitors” killed in prison riot “…inmates also started a fire in one part of the prison. Police threw tear gas canisters to control the violent outbreak.”…2 more screws die “Guatemala’s National Civil Police, or PNC, is under high alert following several separate attacks nationwide in which three officers have been killed. Guatemalan officials do not believe the attacks are connected to the riot at the youth detention center….In the riot, the detained juveniles set fire to mattresses and attempted to escape the detention center through the roof of buildings after taking guards hostage. The Barrio 18 gang demanded improved conditions, including better food”
Australia, Sydney: 7 arrested during “riot” against cops “The group of men and women ignored police orders to move on when officers arrived at the Leichhardt street early Sunday.A riot soon broke out after some of the members tried to stop police attempting to arrest a man who allegedly tried to grab an officer’s gun.The group was pepper-sprayed but started throwing beer bottles towards police and their cars.”
US, Pennsylvania: 80 prisoners go on 24-hour strike Anarchist report of outside solidarity here
India, Manesar: after 13 workers get life imprisonment union calls just a 1 hour strike in solidarity with these fellow workers imprisoned for life without any real evidence linking precisely them to this death
France, Alençon: arson attack on Front National offices …Paris: about 1000 attack cops with flares & molotovs, 5 banks’ windows smashed, on “march for dignity” The organisers had explicitly stated that they were against any so-called “violence”. It should be pointed out that this march was a horribly eclectic mix of explicit anti-semites (eg the Partie des Indigènes de la Republique – PIR) and anarchists and whoeverists (see this in French).
Germany, Hamburg: 2 cop vehicles destroyed in arson attack “Extreme-left activists have claimed responsibility for an arson attack on two police vehicles overnight in Hamburg. Unidentified perpetrators set fire to a police Mercedes Sprinter that was parked outside Mayor Olaf Scholz’s residence for his protection. Ten minutes later a Mercedes Viano that belonged to the police union and was in sight of a police station was also torched.”
“Burnout is nature’s way of telling you, you’ve been going through the motions, your soul has departed; you’re a zombie, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker.”
– Sam Keen,
France, Val-de-Marne: 11 arrests as high school students chuck stones, heavy duty fireworks and a molotov at rapist cops …Toulouse: cops stoned yet again on estate that’s had several attacks on cops already this week…Creteil: cops attacked with projectiles
Brazil: 2nd day of major protests against pension plans “On Thursday, thousands of Brazilian workers took to the streets of Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, following a day of protests against the government’s reform plan to cap pension benefits and raise the retirement age…The protesters – mostly rural workers and members of labor unions – broke into the Finance Ministry in Sao Paulo Wednesday, throwing rocks and sticks at the building and lighting flares. Major avenues of Brazil’s biggest cities were virtually shut down….Wednesday’s protests ended in violence, with police firing canisters of tear gas and throwing stun grenades at demonstrators….“Life is difficult, and the government is deceiving us,” Pamela Lopes, a commuter in Sao Paulo, told AP. “Everyone should be on strike.” (includes video)
France, Seine-St.Denis: over 50 high school students attack cops with molotovs, stones, etc., cops attack with blows, flashballs, teargas, etc.; “Communist” Party politicians condemn casseurs, call for “appeasement”…Toulouse: 50 youths attack cops with stones
…Los Angeles, CA: Eco-activists Vandalize Trump Golf Course “…a group of anonymous individuals snuck onto the $250 million course and carved the message, “No More Tigers, No More Woods” in giant letters. They even took video of the whole thing for your viewing pleasure….“Repurposing what was once a beautiful stretch of land into a playground for the privileged is an environmental crime in its own right. We hope this sends a message to Trump and his corrupt administration that their actions will be met with action.””
Bangladesh, Dhaka: clashes with cops over at least 23% gas price hike “Additional Deputy Commissioner …said police had been trying to control the protesters when they started breaking through the barricades and throwing brickbats at law enforcers.”
Iran: various expressions of anti-regime anger during the Fire Festivals in different parts of country “… In Tehran… youth threw firecrackers in front of police vehicle that damaged the front part of the vehicle, causing fear of the suppressive forces. In Tehranpars, youth also burned a large portrait of Khomeini and Khamenei. In Mashhad youth threw Molotov cocktails at the headquarters of the repressive Bassij organ at Vakil Abad Boulevard. The youth of Shahr-e Kurd set up fire all across the city, threw Molotov cocktails at police forces and clashed with them. In Isfahan, the sound of explosions can be heard all over the city. In Baneh, people celebrated using grenades and firecrackers and fireworks. Repressive police forces do not get out of their vehicles in fear of the wrath of the youth. …Fire Feast was celebrated while repressive forces had a dense presence with motorized patrols in the streets seeking to intensify the atmosphere of intimidation in the society. During recent days, the state-run media continually broadcast the ridiculous fatwa of Khomeini and his affiliated mullahs on disapprobation of Fire Feast and calling it sinful. Police chief Hossein Ashtary threatened to seriously deal with the aggressors and violators of the people’s rights. Tehran police chief Hossein Sajedinia said: “In case those who disturb the order cause inconvenience, the police will confront seriously.” (Tasnim, March 14th ).However, the regime’s officials failed to hide the main cause of their fear of this national celebration. Saad, a member of the regime’s parliament said, “The Fire Feast in recent years has turned from a traditional one to a dangerous ceremony.””
More here: “…in the Iranian capital, Tehran, a number of local youth who had gathered on the Air Force Fifth Street to celebrate the annual Festival of Fire of the ancient Iranians clashed with the security police who were out in force to prevent the public to carry out their festivities. The youth used fire crackers, sound bombs, squibs and spitdevils to scare off the suppressive security forces….According to reports from the notorious Gohardasht prison, the suppressive prison warden has, as his usual in every year, prevented the prisoners from going outside their cells to take a breath of fresh air on the eve of the Fire Festival celebrations. The warden fears that the prisoners might light up fire and celebrate the Fire Festival. But the political prisoners defied these suppressive measures and lit fire inside the hallways and jumped over the fire in celebration of Feast of Fire. The prisoners chanted ‘death to the dictators’, and ‘Death to Khamenei.'”
“…a good love is one that casts you into the wind, sets you ablaze, makes you burn through the skies and ignite the night like a phoenix; the kind that cuts you loose like a wildfire and you can’t stop running simply because you keep on burning everything that you touch!” – C. JoyBell C.
French version of this here
Chile, Concepcion: environmental protesters against gas extraction and pipeline set up barricades in 3 different parts of city … Vina: protesters clash with cops in protest against Pacific Alliance Ministers’ Summit
Italy, Rome: students clash with cops over education reforms (see this for further explanation of aspects of these reforms)
not so much riot porn more erioticism
Italy, Naples: anti-racist riots against Northern League politician (includes video)
Guatemala, Guatemala City: 1000s protest so-called “care” for orphans etc, following 40 deaths in fire (see entry for 7/3/17 below)
France, Val-de-Marne (Parisian banlieu): 5 arrests as 2 high schools demonstrate against “the violence of the state”; parked cars and street furniture damaged A radio report recorded young people shouting “Down with the state!” and “Down with school!”, though I’m not sure if it was on this date or this area or not.
France, Essonne: BAC cop car deliberately driven into …Gironde: building where presidential front-runner Macron was due to visit smashed up and tagged with “Revolution in process” & “Macron shouldn’t be invited”
India, Delhi (Manesar): 30,000 car workers boycott their meals as part of demand for justice for fellow workers found guilty of “culpable homicide’ following trial over senior manager being beaten to death in 2012 dispute…See this report on 2012 riot Added, 19/3/17: 13 workers get life imprisonment…union calls for just a 1 hour strike in solidarity with these fellow workers imprisoned for life without any real evidence linking precisely them to this death
Mexico, Mexico state: violent attack on opponents of new airport construction “This violent group was armed and shot on various occasions at campesinos that were protesting with a road blockade in Tocuila. The campesinos stated that, “We are blocking the entries and freight trucks that transport material for the new airport because it passes through our lands and we are not allowed to plant alfalfa and corn that are appropriate for this season. This construction is happening in spite of the various legal challenges demonstrating that it is illegal.” Since Thursday morning, ejido members have organized to destroy the road that allows cargo trucks to pass, transporting construction material extracted from hills and natural reserves of the east of Mexico City—the road is almost two kilometers long and 20 meters wide on each side.”...See also here for background to the airport resistance.
Mexico, Sonora: fishermen riot over restrictions of use of specific nets “About 10 official vehicles burned, officials beaten and roads blocked is the balance of violent riots unleashed by fishermen of Baja California and Sonora in the Upper Gulf of California, due to the ban imposed by federal authorities on the use of gillnets …for the capture of the curvina golfina, as a measure of protection of the vaquita by the illegal fishing of totoaba, both species in danger of extinction….the fishermen and their families overturned two trucks from the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (PROFEPA), then set fire to several boats and six vehicles of the National Commission of Aquaculture and Fishing (CONAPESCA); Allegedly, they also hit at least three inspectors of the Federal Government and blocked the coastal road of the Gulf of Santa Clara,..Studies by authorities and environmental groups state that only 30 specimens of the Vaquita Marina survive” Clearly one cannot simplisticly support such a riot, but it’s inevitable that people whose livelihood within this society depends on relatively low-level environmental destruction are caught up in this society’s contradictions. Nevertheless, I would even support workers in the energy industries rioting to keep out of poverty by keeping their jobs, despite the far higher environmental destruction wrought by their work. Until there’s a revolution that abolishes the need for money to survive, it’s inevitable that this is a contradiction many proletarians are caught up in. However, it remains urgent, from an ecological point of view, for workers to explicitly express the contradictions of their situation and of their revolt if humanity is not to be destroyed by, amongst other things, the destruction of biodiversity, of increasing amounts of endangered species, including fauna, vital for humanity’s survival.
Brazil: rural government offices occupied by 100s of women against austerity “In Recife, on Brazil’s northeastern coast, around 1,000 female land rights activists occupied the government’s social security office”
France, Seine-St.Denis: 55 youths, 44 of them under 16, arrested after riot against cops at and outside high school; school partly burnt More here “A pitched battle between dozens of hooded people and the police broke out in front of the establishment and in the surrounding streets. Paving stones flew, containers overturned. The forces of order retaliate with tear gas and flash-ball shots. The day before, the school had faced violence. Around 9:40 am, the teachers’ room, on the first floor, was the target of breeze blocks thrown, causing the double glazing to shatter….Beginning of an explanation: a video posted on social networks with hashtags “blockade for Theo” or “blockade against the police”
Egypt: bread protests in several cities as government cuts bread subsidies “Protesters clashed with police and blocked the main street in Imbaba as they demonstrated against the government decision. …Social reports said the rail link between Cairo and Minya in Upper Egypt had also been blocked by protesters. Protesters also blocked railway station in Desouk, 80km east of Alexandria in the Kafr el-Sheikh province. “
More here “State rations are a hot topic in Egypt, where over 70 million people receive them…Matters have been made worse for Egyptians since the floatation of the country’s pound in November, which caused inflation to soar above 30 percent. This move, coupled with several austerity measures, was implemented as Egypt secured a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to help salvage its crisis-stricken economy.” And here “…fast economic growth and rising poverty could explain the country’s spreading political unrest. Egypt’s economy is not stagnant. It continues to grow. But the benefits of such growth are not evenly distributed. Widespread inequality, poverty, unemployment, and corruption are fuelling the anger of millions of people who can see opportunity and economic growth from which they cannot benefit. What angers Egyptians is not that their country is getting poorer. On the contrary, they feel angry because they see a growing economy that is leaving millions behind. Recent economic developments in Egypt only seem to entrench such feelings of dissatisfaction and resent.”
Report from 1/4/17 asking “Will Egypt’s bread riots be met with tank barrels?” “Egypt’s crisis-ridden economy has been subject to progressive waves of government cut-backs since Egypt secured a 12 billion US dollar loan from the IMF to ostensibly help revive the economy. Yet Egypt’s economic unrest shows no sign of abating with inflation soaring to over 30 percent since November 2016 following a decision by the government to float the country’s pound. Questions are now being raised as to the extent to which Egypt’s entire austerity program is being manipulated by the administration to further cement the hold of the private sector and the military on Egypt’s economy. A Foreign Policy analysis has said the Egyptian government is using the IMF loan agreement to “punish the lower classes while maximising its commercial gains”. While it enthusiastically reduces subsidies to impoverished civilians, it has expanded its domination of many economic sectors and reaped huge profits at the expense of the private sector,” the author writes. The analysis further argues the military establishment had only selectively implemented loan conditions, which include a top-down strengthening of the private sector, to maximise its own profits. Reports of escalating dissent and public protest of the austerity measures comes against others that tell of Egypt’s military and security establishment reaping significant rewards as a result of the recent policies. While the overwhelming role of Egypt’s army in the country’s economy has long been documented, the army is now both ruling the country as well as managing a “business empire”.” See also this.
US, Berkeley: confrontations at small pro-Trump rally…Anarchist analysis of clashes throughout country here…eyewitness account here “On the Trump side, I only noticed a couple people of color. One was a tall, heavyset guy dressed in black with a black Oakland A’s baseball cap who appeared to be Latino. At times both sides met face-to-face with the most agitated screaming at each other, ringed by photographers and mainstream media holding cameras overhead. When pushing and shoving happened, it was a like a giant rugby scrum and then flying fists scattered everyone but the combatants. One time the Latino dude overran his cover while brawling and when it finished, he ran back to the Trump camp only to be met by a US flag-draped Trumpite who started hitting him with a large wood post — obviously reading his brown skin and black clothes as symbolizing the enemy — and he continued to whack him, with the Latino guy trying to block the blows with his arms. Eventually, one of the other Trump supporters persuaded the guy draped in the flag to stop, but not before the everyone nearby witnessed this beating. A black guy standing next to me broke down in a laughing fit, repeatedly yelling “the fascists are attacking each other!” I almost couldn’t stand up I was laughing so hard myself.”
Saudi Arabia, Qatif: 2nd arson attack on bank in 8 days “Arsons, rioting and vandalism are common in Qatif and other areas in eastern province by groups of youths“
Mexico, State of Chihuahua (north) : locals block train tracks and oppose pipeline construction (source in Spanish)…Tehuantepec isthmus, State of Oaxaca (south) : opposition to wind farm project continues, one injured by PRI gunmen during protest
US, Nebraska: 2 prisoners die in riot “…inmates revolted against staff members and started a fire in a courtyard. Prison officials offered few details about the deaths but said the disturbance at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution in southeast Nebraska involved about 40 inmates in a unit with 128 prisoners. The prison was placed on lockdown for several hours after the inmates refused to return to their cells….inmates had taken mattresses out into the prison yard and threw them into the fire”…Vermont: right-wing eugenecist “libertarian”seriously scared so much he’s forced to close down his monologue…More here
Bangaldesh, Dhaka: man dies after clashes on 2nd day of nationwide wildcat transport strike “After vandalism, rage in Gabtoli Bus Terminal and surrounding areas the previous night, fresh clashes erupted between law enforcers and transport workers on Wednesday morning as the wildcat strike by the bus-truck workers entered the second day. The street from Aminbazar Bridge to the entrance of Mirpur Mazar Road became a battlefield as the clashes resumed early morning Wednesday.The injured man was seen being carried away in a police vehicle around 10:15am….A worker at Gabtoli said the man received bullet injuries when police fired from shotguns.“…strike apparently called off