“There is always in February some one day, at least, when one smells the yet distant, but surely coming, summer”
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.
Haiti: 1 more killed as riots & demonstrations continue “On the outskirts of the largest square in Haiti, where the crowd finished its march, some looting was carried out in the surrounding shops…“A government that cannot give food and water to its people must resign but it is also necessary that the bourgeoisie decide not to monopolize all the wealth because we, we are more numerous in the popular districts”, warned the protester.“
Haiti, Aquin: 78 prisoners escape during demonstration in front of police station “Port-au-Prince also saw clashes between police and hundreds of protesters in working-class neighbourhoods….Thousands of people took to the streets. After police forces dispersed them, some set fire to cars and looted stores to express their mounting frustrations over growing social inequalities worsened by systemic corruption. A youth was also shot dead at a crossroads near the presidential palace.” Videos here and here.
Haiti: 5th day of riots “Schools, shops and municipal offices were largely shuttered in Port-au-Prince and many roads were closed by barricades erected by protesters. Thousands of protesters poured out of the capital’s slums towards wealthier neighborhoods in the city center, where there were reports of rioting and looting alongside peaceful protests.“
Belgium, Brussels: statue to one of the world’s biggest mass murderers disappears and gets replaced by statue to another, lesser, mass murderer, which then gets vandalised King Leopold ll was responsible for the massacre of up to 80% of the indigenous population of the Congo at the beginning of the 20th century, proportionally probably as many as those who were murdered in the holocaust. Mandela was responsible for covering up sexual abuse in ANC camps in the 1980s (see also this) and his ANC contributed to the massacre of up to 20,000 in the war between the white apartheid state and the ANC racketeers. No wonder him and de Klerk (a high-up minister in the vicious apartheid government until the social struggle forced the system to reform its image and give the appearance of the abolition of apartheid) got the Nobel Peace Prize. See also “Mandela can go to hell!”.
Haiti, Port-au-Prince: looting etc. on 4th day of clashes “Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas and other major cities of the country have experienced tension. Barricades of burning tires were erected here and there. Protesters partially burned a gas station at Poste Marchand. A huge crowd demonstrated in the Village de Dieu, arriving in front of the forecourt of Parliament…another branch of the demonstration took the direction of the national palace; arriving at Lamarre Street in Port-au-Prince, the protesters trapped a contingent of UNMIJUSTH [United Nations mission for the application of justice in Haiti]…At Lalue, the situation was no different, a food depot was looted. The premises of the Office for Citizen Protection (OPC) were attacked,
several cars were burned there.” The United Nations mission mentioned above were responsible for the death of at least 4 people “in a traffic accident” (see this video), as part of their “application of justice” in the country.
Haiti, Port-au-Prince: President’s home stoned as clashes continue…demonstrations and burning barricades in 9 parts of town“Burning barricades, stones thrown, demonstrations … the police on the spot could do nothing in the face of the anger of the demonstrators who demand better living conditions and the departure of the President of the Republic. Because of this situation, the municipality of Carrefour which hosts the largest fuel terminal in the country has already not been able to supply other parts of the country for three days.” Despite the fact that the main catalyst for this uprising were the government’s austerity measures, the official opposition reduces the whole situation to largely political demands: the resignation of the president and prime minister, an enquiry into the PetroCaribe corruption scandal in which 3.8 billion dollars seems to have ‘disappeared’ and the holding of an independent national conference to develop a social project in the interest of all layers of society (as if the latter was possible).
In Montpellier, this leaflet was distributed and it was generally well-received, though, ironically, those from the so-called anti-authoritarian milieu were the most critical. Those least addled by oppositional ideology seemed to like it, though it’s hard to know whether this was politeness or that they hadn’t had time or space to read it all or whether they genuinely found it interesting and pertinent.
There were some remarkable acrobatic-tactics – like 2 people climbing up to the 2nd floor on the outside of 2 buildings, without ropes or any other equipment, to put up some banners. One was simply “Social ecological emergency – Stop capitalism”. The other was “Police – don’t obey orders – obey your ideas!”, to which lots of people clapped. An almost unbelievable naivety (a friend pointed out that a large percentage of cops vote for Le Pen, so that if they obeyed their “ideas” things would be even worse). I shouted out “But these shitheads have no ideas, otherwise they wouldn’t be cops” but without any response.
The demo was largely peaceful until the cops in front of the prefecture responded to fireworks (not being thrown at them, but merely lit on the large traffic island in front of the large building) with teargas and teargas-laced water projected through large hosepipes. As evening descended the cops fired more and more teargas until much of the centre of town was filled with it, the main square becoming a thick fog of the stuff. A few bins started to be torched, stones were thrown and at one time a strange firework that took a 5 meter length 2 meters high form right in front of the line of cops about 3 meters behind it. I only had one second to appreciate this curious display before the cops started firing massive amounts of teargas. Running off, my eyes burning for a short while from the gas, I followed about 200 people, amongst whom were some wheeling a very large wheelie-bin with its contents on fire, which they took down a long flight of stairs down to the tramway where they left it to burn. The clashes continued into the night but I was knackered, after having walked round town for about 6 hours.
Italy, Turin: clashes between filth and anarchists as the latter try to re-take evicted squat “Clashes between far-left and anarchist activists protesting evacuation of a squat and police on Saturday night in the center of Turin (north-west Italy), concluded with four casualties and a dozen arrests. Several hundred people had gathered in the late afternoon behind a banner proclaiming: “They are waging war against the poor and calling it renovation. We resist the bosses of the city. The protesters announced their willingness to “take back” the squat evacuated Friday morning after being held for more than two decades by movements of the far left and anarchists and where Arab families lived …On the way, they burned garbage cans and blocked traffic arteries, damaged vehicles, attacked a bus after the few passengers fled, and threw stones at the police who responded with teargas, but took two hours to restore calm.”
Haiti, Gonaïves: 2 killed as burning tyre barricades are erected here and there “Demonstrations are underway, at midday, in several cities, including the capital, Port-au-Prince, Petit-Goâve (Western Department), Gonaïves (Artibonite / North), Jacmel (South-East) and Mirebalais (Central Plateau), the latter city having been, on February 7, 2019, the scene of clashes between the National Police of Haiti (Pnh) and protesters. In different places, on February 8, 2019, barricades of ignited used tires are still erected. At the same time, stones are thrown here and there. Most of the activities are totally paralyzed, this Friday, February 8, 2019, in the metropolitan area of the capital, Port-au-Prince, and several other cities in the province. Public transport operates very limitedly on the various arteries…As on Thursday, February 7, 2019, the doors of public and private schools remain closed. Petrol stations as well as commercial banks…are not open. Formal and informal trade is also affected by the climate of concern and uncertainty…Some offices and other services work, though marginally. In several neighborhoods, firearms are fired from time to time. This discouraged many people from going on the streets to their different activities. A significant number of people preferred… to stay at home“
…but sadly so-called education, even if ‘free’, is ‘education’ in order to adapt people to an unfree life and unfree world – which is not to say that privatised expensive education is not intended to intensify class apartheid, to intensify precarity for those at the sharp end.
“The school for the oppressed is a revolution” – Soweto high school students, 1976
Private security guards hide themselves behind shields as students throw stones during a protest at Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand (WITS). Students tried to shut down the university, demanding that homeless students should be provided with adequate accommodation and students who have historical debts be allowed to register at the university. The day before, at least 1 student was seriously injured after security guards fired stun grenades. In Durban, 2 days before, a security guard killed a student.
Haiti, Cap-Haitien: at least 4 dead as police station is attacked following cop killing of young woman…Mirebalais: further clashes against intensified poverty…Port-au-Prince: protesters riot as they refuse to be excluded from “exclusive” part of town “Protests were registered in several parts of the country, the largest of them in the capital, where thousands of people marched against the government, two days after it announced several measures to try to alleviate the economic crisis that affects the impoverished country…The demonstrations, which caused the closure of schools and many shops, turned violent at times, leaving several injured and at least ten vehicles burned, including two belonging to the police. In the exclusive area of Pétion Ville, southeast of the capital, the police fired tear gas at the demonstrators, who, in turn, responded by burning tires and throwing rocks at businesses and some closed offices. In Pétion Ville the demonstrators also tried to burn down a gas station“
France: several high schools & universities blockaded as General Strike is called by unions, leftist parties and yellow vests… Paris: wildcat yellow vest demo teargassed (includes video)…bank, currency exchange place and MacDonalds smashed Apparently (at least in other parts of the country, though probably also in Paris) the unions and their followers stuck to the officially designated routes, whereas many of the yellow vests insisted on wildcat demos going all over the place…Meanwhile the ruling class vote in extra cop powers against demonstrators
South Africa, Johannesburg: clashes between students and security guards during occupation-cum-hunger strike after management reneges on concessions relating to student accommodation and registration of students with historical debt…Durban: security guard kills student during similar protest More here