“In February there is everything to hope for and nothing to regret….While it is February one can taste the full joys of anticipation. Spring stands at the gate with her finger on the latch. “ –
“Reading the morning newspaper is the realist’s morning prayer. One orients one’s attitude toward the world either by God or by what the world is. The former gives as much security as the latter, in that one knows how one stands. ”
Readers are asked to add more insights into these events, and also provide interesting information or critiques that are not included here.
Tunisia, Tunis: football supporters clash with cops (no confrontations with fans of opposing team reported) Video here. Exactly a month before, on 15th January, over 1000 of the same team supporters “gathered Monday evening in the working class Bab Souika neighborhood of Tunis. Chibani said the crowd attacked a government building with stones and bottles, before police fired back with tear gas.” ( here ). This, during the brief national uprising against the state there. In other words, I imagine that these fans had a clear anti-cop, anti-state hatred that motivated them far more than football.
Turkey, Izmir: attack on governing party collaborator and state-owned gym in revenge for Afrin massacre Whilst this communiqué implies a nationalist mentality – “We call on all Kurdish youths to take action against the fascist Turkish state everywhere. No young person should wait for a leader, because every Kurdish youth is a leader by nature” – as if Kurds are “naturally” anarchist – it also implies a rejection of leadership and an element of autonomy from the political rackets, though admittedly without any explicit critique of Ocalan and the leadership fetishism he enjoys. At the same time, whilst not ignoring the specific history of Kurdish oppression, this Kurdish identity is hardly tactical, since any effective opposition to the Turkish ruling class must obviously also be attractive to rebels amongst the non-Kurdish working class.
Bahrain: clashes in several different parts of the country on 7th anniversary of uprising that began during the Arab Spring I don’t normally put up stuff about Bahrain, mainly because there ahave been clashes almost every day for 7 years (for similar reasons I don’t put up stuff about Palestine or Kashmir – which have confrontations with the state almost every day, though the duration and periods of time are different from those of Bahrain). This is not to minimise the proletarian nature of much of these clashes, even though undoubtedly there are also political factions at work here. See also this “Bahrain continues to be the scene of anti-regime protests on an almost daily basis, as people in the Persian Gulf kingdom gear up to mark the seventh anniversary of their uprising on February 14…In March 2011, the Bahraini regime asked Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf Arab countries to assist with the crackdown on the popular protests.The Bahraini regime, backed by forces from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan, began a violent, deadly crackdown on protests, which has led to thousands of arrests, scores of deaths, and systematic torture of detainees.”
France, Montpellier: clashes with riot cops, large bins burnt, tramline connections halted at Peasant’s Carnival, declared illegal by the local state More here “…rioters confronted the cops with broken bottles and cobblestones. Garbage cans were burned and ad signs destroyed in the middle of smoke bombs and firework rockets against the cops. According to the prosecutor’s office, four policemen were wounded, one of whom was reportedly seriously injured in the face: “A hooded individual assaulted a police officer using a bottle of ice water”, writes a cop union. Five people were arrested at the end of the evening, particularly for violence against police officers.“
Ethiopia, Oromia State: clashes continue; 17 killed
“The social media-driven market strike was called to demand the immediate and unconditional release of jailed Oromo political prisoners. In dozens of towns across Oromia, tens of thousands took to the streets … Other demands include making Afaan Oromo the federal language; calls for an end to rampant impunity for federal security forces and justice for the victims of its ongoing abuses. In some localities, activists blocked roads, stopped cars, and burned tires. Arrests and crackdown were reported in Burayu, a town outside of Addis Ababa, and in Jimma zone….Businesses remained closed on Tuesday for a second day amid reports of a complete halt in nonessential travel and transportation in and out of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.” Added 17/2/18: It seems that, after years of horrible massacres in response to revolts, that the Ethiopian ruling class needs the image of reform to ensure that, “for things to remain the same, everything must change” (The Leopard). See this.
Colombia, Meta: 7 riot cops hurt on 2nd day of disturbances and sabotage of oil wells “…seven members of the Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (Esmad) … were wounded on Monday when the NPR truck in which they were mobilized was attacked with stones by men on a motorcycle. The stones hit the windshield and the driver lost control of the vehicle and hit a post beside the track….Since this weekend public order has been disturbed in Chichimene and in the municipality of Castilla La Nueva, oil towns of Meta, amid protests from communities and some oil workers who demand better wages and jobs for the population of the region…., in Castilla La Nueva a policeman was shot and wounded in the middle of the riots….vandals entered the pumping plant, destroyed equipment, cut off power and prevented the pumping of crude oil. In addition, they attacked the fire engine when it went to attend an emergency…[there was] a confrontation between hooded people and the police when unknown subjects entered the station of Chichimene, Castilla and CPO9 fields and Castilla 1 and Castilla 2 stations and vandalised, destroyed and set fire to equipment….They sabotaged a cable of 115 volts in the Castilla Disposition Center where they knocked out the electricity for the field and that is why we had to close down the Castilla 1 and Castilla 2 station due to the collapse of electricity – those fields produce 115,000 barrels in Campo Castilla and 71,500 barrels per day in Chichimene and 6,500 barrels in the CPO9 field…. losses are calculated at 60,000 million pesos“
Italy, Macerata: clashes with cops at anti-racist demo “Protesters, demonstrating against racism and the return of fascism in Italy, attacked police with sticks and threw stones, while police retaliated with batons as thousands of people took to the streets
Italy, Melendugno: 2nd day of clashes at gas pipeline construction site “…in the night the roads to the site had been scattered with nails and stones taken from the dry stone walls, to prevent the companies’ equipment arriving at their destination.… police cars were damaged by stone throwing.”
Senegal, Velingara (border with Guinea-Bissau): 2 killed following customs officers’ illegal demand for money off Muslim pilgrims “…the incident happened at the Nianao border crossing. At this post, there was a mixed patrol of the police and customs, who had trouble with the pilgrims. According to Bissau-Guinean accounts, “the Senegalese have set up a payment system to cross the border. They asked us to pay 2500 FCFA so as to cross”. Having refused to obey this unwritten payment order, which they consider “illegal”, the Bissau-Guinean pilgrims…came to blows with the Senegalese police. “Pursued by a furious crowd throwing stones at them, the customs officers first entrenched themselves in their offices. Overcome by the violence of the stone throwing, they came out to face them…. So as to restore order the Senegalese forces made use of their weapons, leaving one of the pilgrims on the ground, shot….In retaliation, Bissau-Guineans reportedly killed a Senegalese driver who entered their territory.“
France, Paris: some luxury shop windows smashed on small demo against reform of the baccalaureat “…in Paris, the brave few who made the trip walked under a heavy snowfall…young people dressed in black stood out from the crowd to throw stones at windows, including that of a luxury clothing store. “We can not do anything, it’s up to the police to manage them,” said Patrick Désiré, CGT Educ’s general secretary….One of the reforms protested by the protesters is the establishment of continuous control that calls into question the anonymity of the exam. Julie Le Mazier, Union Sud Education 95, believes that such a methodology “creates inequalities between the institutions, puts them in competition with each other, and undermines the anonymity of the…national framing of the tests”. …Toulouse: barricades at university in opposition to similar reform…Alpes-de-Haute-Provence: bins burnt, cars attacked, stones thrown at technical High school over these reforms
Venezuela, Delta Amacuro: riots and looting after cops disperse fly pitchers “Shops were destroyed and several people were injured….from the first hours of the morning there was a tense situation between a group of officials of the Bolivarian National Guard and fly pitchers in the Municipal Market. … the riots started around nine in the morning, after the GNB troops tried to evict a group of resellers. This generated a heavy altercation between “bachaqueros” and troops, which went on to attempts at looting by those who were there. The action forced the GNB to disperse the crowd by throwing tear gas…In a second encounter, the military officials fired more gases and pellets, causing a stampede and the closure of most of the premises in downtown Tucipita. …After two o’clock in the afternoon, the situation intensified, as the security forces could not control the riots causing damage to the facades of the Governor’s headquarters and some banks….groups of enraged people stayed in the streets destroying everything in their path. Glass from broken vehicles and entrances of destroyed abandoned premises …”
Guinea: riots and looting in 4 areas following suspicion of electoral fraud Though some of this is obviously political party rivalry, some of these reports imply that much of the rioting was done by youths without a mention of any party affiliation.
Senegal, Mbacké: heavy clashes between youths and cops during teachers’ strike If I’ve understood this rightly this occurred because school students confronted hypocritical teachers who went on strike in the public sector and then taught in the private sector.
Italy, Rome: clashes between Kurd supporters and cops after Pope bans demonstrations whilst he meets with Turkey’s leading mass murderer Normally I would tend to avoid mentioning most clashes involving Kurdish groups nowadays as they almost invariably have nationalist beliefs in the illusions in the state of Rojava (or profoundly confused illusions in the internationalist anarchist nature of this state), but some amongst them must be sympathetic to a genuinely internationalist position like this. Those ‘anarchists’ who have delusions in Rojava, should they be able to speak French, would find that they have the support of this disgusting anti-riot anti-refugee racist right-wing site, fixated on protection of Europe’s frontiers against the the tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
Jordan, As-Salt: rare example of social contestation in this country as demo against 60% bread price hikes ascends into barricades & riots More here “‘Down with the parliament, down with the government, we want to live in dignity,’ one banner read…Other protests have been taking place across Jordan over the past few days” …and here “At night, masked men burned tires in the middle of a main street in the city and said they were protesting the rise in prices. Many websites have published photos and news of burning tires but they had to remove the images. The rioting took place only hours after King Abdullah II left the city where he met with a group of leaders in the home of former intelligence chief Nazir Rashid.“
US, Philadelphia: predictable post Super Bowl victory riot, with some funny aspects“Police in Philadelphia had been preparing for the possibility of riots following the Super Bowl, including putting hydraulic fluid on light poles in an attempt to keep fans from scaling them. …Video from after the AFC Championship Game showed fans managing to scale the 25-foot poles despite police greasing them with Crisco. Ahead of the Super Bowl, police tried to use a more powerful lubricant in the hopes of keeping fans from scaling the structures. But reports from after the Super Bowl noted that the fans who streamed out onto Broad Street after the Super Bowl had started to cause property damage. The Philadelphia riot grew from there, with reports from police scanners that light poles had been taken down …As the celebrations spread, police reported that some were throwing bottles at police officers.” More here “…windows were smashed out of some buildings. Police received at least one report of looting at a gas station. Fans also took down several light poles around town, injuring a few people” And here “…fans tipped over a car outside of a hotel and …a group of looters had broken into a convenience store screaming, “Everything is free,” while grabbing merchandise.”…Pointing out the damage inflicted upon a local Macy’s, Benitez revealed that the department store’s doors had been “completely smashed” and that there was “glass everywhere” from broken windows.”
Russia, Siberia: detained migrants riot, demanding quicker deportation procedures and better conditions “Around 20 inmates burnt mattresses, smashed CCTV cameras and barricaded themselves inside the detention center “
Iran: large protests in 6 towns & cities “…Sanandaj (west): people gathered in Enghelab (revolution) Square, and Azadi (freedom) square and chanted “death to dictator.” They clashed with State Security Force (SSF) and set an SSF kiosk on fire. Authorities tried to disrupt the Internet connection in city. Clashes have continued, and the regime has brought in water cannons to disperse the crowd… Kermanshah (west): Protest erupted at Freedom square, with chants of “death to Khamenei”, “death to dictator.” A woman started the protest. “Death to Khamenei” was chanted non-stop. Plain clothed security forces have begun arresting protesters. Anti-riot forces arrested 7 protesters, but people charged at them, and the anti-riot forces retreated and released the protesters. Several protesters were arrested.”
France, Essonne: high school students clash with cops after blockading school in opposition to intensified selection “Garbage cans and gates were installed in front of the main entrance to prevent students from going in. …Shortly after nine o’clock, tension mounted rapidly with the police officers who had just arrived to clear the entrance. Helmeted and shielded, they scattered the blockaders. An 18-year-old student was arrested in front of many comrades…“We were gathered there, peacefully, without any provocation on our part, we even calmed those who were a bit too angry, and we were violently charged, and gassed too…The police were pelted with projectiles …”