“None can say why some fields will blossom while other fields lay brown beneath the August sun”
– Kent Nerburn
There are obviously significant limits to providing links to information about situations I know little about. Some of this might give people the idea that struggle is advancing or happening far more than it in fact is, and may even blind people to the contradictions and complexities of any specific situation. However, despite the inevitable limitations, I will continue to put up links if only as a method of keeping a record of events, though this will be reduced compared with previous years.
Please note: the fact that there’s virtually nothing here about Palestine, Kashmir or Bahrain does not indicate any indifference to the events in these places. It’s just that inclusion would mean a daily report on events and struggles that have been going on for years. Unless I have something particularly new to say about them, I’ll leave those of you who are interested to research them elsewhere. As for Hong Kong, all updates are now in the comments boxes below this
Indonesia, West Papua: clashes continue but so does internet shutdown “… the rally was three or four times larger than similar protests held in the regency on Wednesday. Meanwhile, hundreds of Papuan students in Jakarta also staged a long march from the Army headquarters to the State Palace. The protesters demanded that legal action be taken against the instigators of the physical and verbal attacks on Papuan students in East Java. The protests, which started on Monday, came in response to incidents in which Papuan university students living in Malang and Surabaya, East Java were subjected to physical and verbal attacks between last Thursday and Saturday. In Surabaya, members of mass organizations as well as some security personnel were reportedly heard calling Papuan university students “monkeys”, “pigs” and “dogs” on Friday, while police also stormed the city’s Papuan student dormitory with tear gas on Saturday.”
Indonesia, West Papua: state closes down internet as movement continues ” On Wednesday, violent demonstrations erupted, a market was torched and street battles took place between police and protestors…up to 5,000 people rallied in and around the city of Timika, where demonstrators reportedly threw rocks at the local parliament building and tried to tear down its fence. Hundreds marched through the streets of Sorong city, where protesters destroyed parts of an airport and about 250 inmates escaped in a prison break on Monday…In the town of Fakfak on the western end of the island, protestors hoisted the banned Papuan flag. Videos posted by residents showed demonstrators chanting “Freedom Papua” and holding banners demanding a referendum for independence…Police fired tear gas after the crowds reportedly set fire to a market and destroyed ATMs and shops, local media reported… The unrest was triggered by the detention of dozens of Papuan students in Surabaya city, on the island of Java, on the weekend. Police stormed dormitories after Papuan students staying there refused to be questioned over allegations that they had intentionally damaged the Indonesian flag in the dormitory’s yard. East Java police spokesman, Frans Barung Mangera, said 43 students were detained but released hours later after no evidence was found that they had damaged the flag. The videos showing the behaviour of security forces sparked national outcry.” More here (including video): “On Tuesday, angry protests had spread to at least six areas in West Papua, with reports of injuries. A female protester was shot in the ankle in Manokwari, according to Victor Yeimo, spokesperson for the West Papua National Committee (WPNC), which initiated and organised the protests. In Sorong, West Papua province’s largest city, protesters blocked roads and gathered in front of the mayor’s office on Tuesday. Local media reported that angry protesters destroyed Domine Eduard Osok Airport, forcing airlines to cancel flights to Sorong. Protesters also set fire to the local prison, which allowed up to 250 prisoners to escape on Tuesday. Another video obtained by Al Jazeera showed a group of men armed with sticks chasing and throwing rocks at police officers, who were outnumbered. In the video, one officer was seen falling and being hit.A police officer told Al Jazeera that an officer in Jayapura, the capital of Papua province, had been shot and injured.”
Togo, Gbamakopé : riots after cops teargas kids and adults alike as they try to begin demolishing village lived in for 30 years by villagers (videos etc.) ” The main roads of the village are barricaded – the scene which prevails in the village where the population refuses to be deprived of its own terrain. This morning, the police arrived in the village and began writing on the walls that will be torn down. But the villagers, determined to protect their property, did not want to let such things happen. Thus begins a chase between them and the police with tear gas and stone throwing. Arrests have already been reported among the resistance fighters. “We have been living in this village for more than 30 years. We never heard that someone had come to buy the village. This morning they came to smash up our houses. They shot tear gas at us and at our children. What did we do to deserve this ?”, complained a villager who let his tears flow. …tear gas was fired into villagers’ rooms, making breathing almost impossible for children, who fainted. Some houses are being smashed up by law enforcement, while villagers continue to resist with stone throwing. “
Indonesia, West Papua: parliament building torched during riot after pro-independent students are arrested “…several thousand protesters took to the streets of Manokwari, the capital of West Papua province, bringing the city of some 130,000 to a standstill. Some demonstrators also set fire to shops and vehicles, knocked down street signs, and threw rocks at government buildings. “The parliament building has been set on fire,” West Papua deputy governor Mohamad Lakotani told Kompas TV. “Downtown, markets, the port and shops are all affected. All activities are basically paralysed,” he added. Three police officers were injured by rock-throwing protesters, police said. It was not immediately clear if any demonstrators were injured. Authorities closed local schools for the day.” This report puts the riots down to racist attacks by Indonesian nationalists, but other reports say it was the cops’ arresting independentist students that provoked them. Whilst the ideology of national ‘independence’ is hardly rational (even for those hoping to make it in the world’s political hierarchy, ‘independence’ is a lie), there are clearly genuinely independent aspects to this revolt, even if the ideas expressed don’t seem to be ‘independent’ of dominant notions of so-called ‘self-determination’. Only ‘theoreticians’ judge movements purely by the explicit ideas expressed in them. This is not to say that the significant absence of class consciousness nowadays is not a problem. But to use this to dismiss such movements is as significantly problematic as this absence.
Congo, Fungurume: riot as state deploys 100s of troops to protect Chinese copper mine company against unemployed illegal copper miners More here “ Driven from the private mining concession of Tenke Fungurume Mining (TFM), artisanal diggers protested this Sunday, August 18, 2019, against their eviction. They also accuse the provincial government of Lualaba of not having kept its promise of granting artisanal exploitation zones. To disperse protesters who burned tires and barricaded the road for several hours, especially with burnt-out vehicles, police used tear gas…. the incident provoked this Sunday, could have been avoided, if the Congolese national police of Fungurume had not seized minerals belonging to the diggers. This situation did not delight the inhabitants who went out into the streets…”
US, Portland: clashes as Trump threatens to classify anti-fascism as ‘terrorism’ For some background to this, see this
Mexico, Mexico City: 2000 women demonstrate and riot against rape by cops ” The demonstrators protested several cases of rape carried out by police officers in recent weeks. The head of the capital’s government said that the authorities will not accept this “provocation.”…About two thousand women, summoned by feminist organizations, protested Friday (16.08.2019) in Mexico City against sexist violence after a teenager denounced four police officers for rape. The demonstration ended with violent acts of vandalism that caused multiple destruction in a public transport station, a police station and urban furniture in the capital…. different feminist contingents read manifestoes, paraded large banners and danced in a circle against macho violence. Some lit small fires with bras and others painted on statues and floors with slogans such as “We do not forget or forgive.” Under the slogan “#TheyDon’tTakeCareOfMeTheyRapeMe”, the protesters demanded greater security from the capital’s authorities, after a 17-year-old girl, whose identity is being kept secret, accused the officers of abusing her on August 3 after leaving a party in the sector of Azcapotzalco, in the north of the capital. “All citizens live in constant danger, the authorities cause us the same fear as organized crime and we are terrified of living in this country,” one of the assisting groups included in a manifesto. “I worry that the young women cannot go to school or return from a quiet party because someone rapes them because they can, because nothing happens, and much more when it is the authorities that should be protecting us,” Melissa Ortiz told AFP, 40, who attended the march. …Violence against women, in the form of femicides, abuse, harassment and sexual abuse, has intensified in Mexico in recent years. According to the United Nations, an average of nine women are murdered daily in Mexico. On July 10, August 3 and 8, three cases of rape of women, one minor, were reported by police officers in Mexico City. …women lashed out at the windows of the public transport station, also breaking the ticket machines and the billboards, while several of the contingents present also lit some fires where they threw the remains of the damage… there were some clashes with journalists who were recording the scene and whose presence did not please the protesters who tried to get them out …Subsequently, a part of the demonstration went to a police station, where they threw incandescent objects, generating verbal clashes with the cops, and prohibited the passage of firefighters who arrived to quell the flames. A woman informed the other protesters through a megaphone that four protesters were arrested at the police station and demanded their release. Last Monday, another protest march ended at the headquarters of the capital’s prosecutor’s office, where the protesters broke a glass, painted and threw pink glitter on the head of the Ministry of Public Security, Jesús Orta, when he went out to talk with the protesters Later, the head of the Government of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, said that the protest “was not a demonstration, but a provocation.” Photos and videos here
Algeria, Mersa Ben M’hidi (Tlemcen): heavy repression by cops as social tension builds up “ Two weeks before the end of the summer holidays, discontent intensifies in the hinterland and very quickly turns into a riot, as happened last Thursday in Mersa Ben M’hidi, in the wilaya of Tlemcen, where violent clashes have pitted dozens of young people with the police. The scene happened when groups of young people from this city, capital of Daïra, went out to protest insecurity following the death of a young man. According to several media sources, the demonstration was severely repressed after the intervention of riot police…There followed a wave of arrests among protesters, which kept tension alive in this coastal city. This feverishness that has spread to a region considered peaceful comes on top of a series of disputes, social and sometimes violent, which encompasses several localities of the hinterland where relations between citizens and the State are reduced to confrontation in the street with the police. Frequent shortages of water and electricity in recent days have been the last straw. “
Peru, Arequipa: 3 weeks of clashes in movement resisting copper mine Links, including many videos, mainly in Spanish, cover 3 days in July, and 10 days in August up until today. Protesters claim victory (video)
South Africa, Limpopo: mayor goes into hiding, town closes down, as result of demos calling for mayor’s resignation Not clear if this is rivalry between different political party gangs or whether it’s also something independent, though this implies something else: “Residents are complaining about instability at the municipality, lack of services and lack of progress in investigating political killings. Two whistleblowers on city-funded corruption were allegedly murdered for their involvement in holding the mayor’s office accountable for billions in misappropriated funds.”
China, Hong Kong: from now on all updates about the situation developing there will be written in the comments boxes below the text “Hong Kong – its relevance to the rest of us…..its resistance to the science & technology of social control”
See entries for 29/7/ and 27/7 here
China, Hong Kong: shops close, major road blocked as protestors deviate from cop-prescribed route “Thousands of civil servants, medical workers and staff from the city’s finance sector rallied on Thursday and Friday, while further protests were planned through the weekend. Demonstrators have also called for a citywide strike on Monday, which has already been backed by major businesses and unions…. On Thursday, Chen Daoxiang, the head of the Chinese army garrison in Hong Kong, said the military was “determined to protect [the] national sovereignty” of Hong Kong and would help put down the “intolerable” unrest if requested. The army released a promotional video showing tanks and soldiers firing on citizens in an anti-riot drill. … Despite the arrests and warnings, demonstrators appear to be escalating and shifting their tactics. Over the last week, dozens have surrounded police stations where the arrested are believed to be held. …“If peaceful marches that disrupt the road for an afternoon or so don’t work, maybe it spills over to blockading more roads, maybe for long. If that doesn’t work? Maybe next time people would besiege a government building … It goes on and on…like a hydra – whether it grows more heads, or its feet have become more threatening, the whole hydra has become a bigger threat.” Despite the interruptions, large swathes of the public appear sympathetic to the protesters, with many pledging to join the strike on Monday. Some residents have organised a donation drive, for clothes of any colour other than black, for protesters to quickly change out of their signature all black outfits and avoid being picked out by police. On Saturday, groups representing almost two dozen sectors, from retail to construction and engineering, issued a joint letter of their intention to strike on Monday…“If the government does not respond … we shall launch more and larger strikes and non-cooperation movements. We shall never give up until we succeed,” it said. “
China, Hong Kong: mass strike by civil servants defying loyalty order “Thousands of civil servants in Hong Kong have protested against the government in a rare display of defiance as the city braces for four consecutive days of mass demonstrations. The public servants, who are normally politically neutral, defied a government order to remain “totally loyal” to Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, and crowded into a public park near government offices. An hour after the event had started, people were still streaming into the park, many dressed in black and some in masks to conceal their identity….On Friday Xie Feng, the commissioner for the foreign ministry in Hong Kong, called on foreign forces to “withdraw their black hands” and stop interfering with “China’s internal affairs”. Donald Trump has abstained from commenting directly on the demonstrations, referring to them as “riots”, using language also employed by Beijing to describe the mass protests, many of which have been peaceful. “Somebody said that at some point they’re going to want to stop that,” the US president told reporters, referring to China’s potential response to the crisis. “But that’s between Hong Kong and that’s between China, because Hong Kong is a part of China.” The civil service bureaucracy, an artifact of British colonial rule, would seem, as with bureaucracies everywhere else, a bedrock of conservatism, yet it’s defying the state in this extreme instance. Clearly very great forces within the immediate environment are exerting a massive influence. The solidarity of HK civil society across many usually unbridgable divisions, is manifest, and exhilarating, especially in contrast to the incoherence of other entities that style themselves as opposed to lawless authoritarianism (e.g. the US Democratic Party). And the adoption by Trump of the language of the Chinese state, crudely mischaracterising the demonstrations of protestors defending themselves after being attacked by the cops (and triads) as “riots”, the weasle-words of “Somebody said at some point that they’re going to want to stop that….that’s between Hong Kong and that’s between China, because Hong Kong is a part of China” indicating an eliptical approval of whatever bloodbath the CCP hopes to inflict on Hong Kong, should its people unilaterally declare its autonomy or influence proletarians on the mainland to begin to challenge class power there, in deed if not in word, is unambiguously ominous. George Bush Sr., sent a slimy little note to Deng Xiaoping, offering a resumption of relations shortly after the Tiananmen Massacre; Trump has already sent his words of endorsement before the human cost has even been filled-in.
Rare display of solidarity with HK movement on the mainland “Support ‘no extradition to China’. Support Hong Kong people’s just fight,” one said. …“For [Hong Kong], your perseverance is so touching. All your efforts will become sunshine in your future,” another said.”
Please note that other updates about the situation there and also about technological surveillance developments can be seen in the comments boxes here.