january 2020



2019 2018 2017  2016 2015 2014 2013

“In January a man crawls into a cave of hopelessness; he hallucinates sympathies catching fire”

  Carlene Bauer

(December 2019 here)

From now on, the “News” pages will be updated only once a week.

For those desperate to get information each day, I recommend:


(type in “clash police” or “wildcat strike” or “riot” or whatever into the search  box at the top and you’ll get lots of headlines with those words in them; make sure you get the right wording – “riots” will get you different headlines from “riot”, “lashes police” will get you different headlines from “clashes police”)


(a French site with lots of links and videos to English or other language sites; on the right hand side there’s a list of links to specific situations, including stuff like ethnic riots or things that have nothing idnependent about them; you click on them and get several links dealing with the events of any particular day)  

Obviously there are other sites, but you’ll probably do your own research if you want the very latest information, and if you want to –  post information in the comments boxes  below.


Italy, Turin: revolt at refugee repatriation centre

A previous riot broke out in the same CPR during the night between January 4 and 5, in which fires were set in all the areas of the center. Six people were arrested and subsequently repatriated. Similar protests also broke out in CPRs in Caltanissetta, Trapani, and Bari. Investigators said the riots may have been managed by a common source and said members of the anarchist movement may have planned the riots. “


France: clashes in Paris and Nantes on anti-pension theft demos; bank windows smashed, etc.


France, La Reunion: heavy rioting all night after cops “accidentally” (ho ho) crash into scooter, gravely injuring 18-year-old 

More here (along with brief accounts of other clashes with cops on the French mainland over the period 3/1 to 5/1).


Vietnam, Hanoi: 3 cops and 1  villager killed in clashes over state/military land seizures

Background to this conflict here:

Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch, said land rights continue to be one of the biggest sources of human rights violations in Vietnam. “Over the past 20 years, disputes over land, often fuelled by corruption of officials in connivance with land speculators, have continued regularly with no sign that the authorities have the political will or interest in resolving the situation,” he said. The military has owned land in Dong Tam since the 1980s but, aside from an airbase the military built, the area remains mostly undeveloped. By some accounts, the villagers of Dong Tam had been allocated portions of the land by the government, although the details are in dispute. In 2015, however, the land was legally transferred from the military to Viettel, a military-owned telco, for an unspecified “defence project”, according to state media reports.

While the residents of Dong Tam do not dispute the military’s claim to 47 hectares out of a total of 106, the rest, they have argued, which they use to grow corn and peanuts, is rightfully their own. How, exactly, such a large group of riot police, some armed with shotguns, were taken hostage by villagers with sticks and rocks remains a mystery – and the Vietnamese government has never elaborated on exactly what happened. When news of the situation broke, social media rumours swirled that the police were in immediate peril. The communal house where the hostages were being held had supposedly been doused with gasoline and was ready to be lit with the police inside it in the event of a rescue attempt, according to word on Facebook at the time. But Viet Hieu, a 75-year-old local activist and community leader who was part of the clash, said the police were never in danger. They had not even been kidnapped, he said. They had instead been unwilling to put up a fight and voluntarily surrendered their weapons and feigned being kidnapped to avoid following orders they found objectionable. [We said] you should come with us and wait for the government representatives to come make dialogue,” said Hieu, recalling what was said to the police. “And after hearing that, the riot police followed them to the communal house. No one fought the riot police, and they followed the villagers to the house.” None of the police involved have spoken publicly about their ordeal, and the villagers’ claims that the officers surrendered willingly could not be independently verified.

Regardless of the circumstances of the hostage situation, Kinh was released shortly after the standoff began and sent to hospital for treatment. “The Hanoi government wanted me to vanish,” said Kinh, but added that officials changed their minds once they heard the villagers’ version of events. After a week of on-and-off talks, Nguyen Duc Chung, chairman of the People’s Committee of Hanoi, negotiated directly with the villagers. He promised to investigate the circumstances of Kinh’s arrest and the villagers’ underlying grievances, and vowed to not press charges against the hostage takers. The standoff ended and all eyes were on the authorities to see if they would keep their promises.

A year after the standoff, no villagers have been arrested and the land remains undeveloped. Although a criminal investigation was opened in June, the multiple summonses that have been issued to alleged participants have thus far gone ignored and the government apparently has not pressed the issue. “They threatened us, but no one has come to arrest us,” said Hieu.

The government initially determined in July that the land in question did in fact belong to the military and that a lease to local villagers had expired in 2012. The case is ongoing, however, with a team of five lawyers arguing the villagers’ case pro bono. Private ownership of land in Vietnam officially does not exist under the law, although de facto ownership through usage rights is allowed. The law is less clear on the concept of communal ownership, a problem that arises more often in remote rural minority villages.

Kinh’s son, Le Dinh Cong, said he is confident the villagers of Dong Tam will ultimately prevail. “Absolutely 100% we will win, it is our true land,” he said. “They don’t scare any of us, because we think we are right.”

See also these reports from April 2017 here, here, here and here

Spain, Madrid: bank vehicle torched


India, West Bengal: roads & railways blocked, cop car torched, etc. during Trade Union-organised General Strike

“The 24-hour nationwide strike by central trade unions in West Bengal on Wednesday was marked by incidents of violence and arson, blocking of railway tracks and roads by protestors trying to enforce the shut down…The protesters blocked a major road at Sujapur in Malda district, torched several vehicles including a police van, ransacked government buses and set fire to tyres. When police tried to control the situation, they hurled stones and crude bombs…This led the police to baton-charged the mob, burst teargas shells and fire rubber bullets… Railway tracks and roads were blocked in various parts of the state affecting normal life. …The CPI(M) and Congress was quick to return fire and accused Banerjee of instigating violence. They claimed that TMC cadres and police personnel had indulged in violence in the state. Both the parties pointed to a unverified video clip, that went viral, showing persons wearing police uniforms vandalizing buses.”

This says “…general strikes like these are for the most part electoral political facades at cost of genuine workers grievances. Most, if not all unions affiliated with “left” parties treat their workers as infants in these demonstrations controlling them more severely than they are in their workplace. There are some independent unions that are less authoritarian but hardly any genuinely democratic workers organization. We are working to change that.”

More here.


China: report of brave young woman who’d defaced poster of Xi-who-must-be-obeyed being released from psychiatric hospital after being fucked over by shrinks 

See also this


India: students throughout country protest against Hindu fascist violence in Delhi

Indian anarchist based in US writes about Modi and Hindu nationalism here

US, Utah: occupy-style camp of homeless crushed by the filth

Video report here


France: clashes with cops during anti-pension reform demo


US: report showing that Trump definitely had Russian backing

Not that I care tuppence  about the repulsive massively immiserating finances of the plutocracy, but this one is fairly telling – blatant evidence of Trump’s dependence on Putin.


France, Strasbourg (and around it): almost 300 vehicles torched in unusually incendiary New Years Eve

Cédric …has been a firefighter for 20 years at the western barracks in Strasbourg. And in 20 years, he had never seen anything like it. Colleagues were in tears, trembling, ready to give up their careers in the fire  brigade…The night was already shaping up to be very turbulent: “At the beginning of December, we noted an increase in this type of incivility with a big increase last week. And already the stones and a hundred cars burned during the night of 30 to 31. We knew that New Years Eve was going to be tough, but not to that extent. “Assessment: nearly 300 vehicles burnt down in the Bas-Rhin. 220 in Strasbourg alone. So many interventions from the men of the fire. Risky interventions. “There was already a certain apprehension about going into these districts but there, certain firemen fell clearly into ambushes.” The reinforcement of the police force during the interventions in the sensitive districts was not enough: “Considering the number of interventions which one had to make, the police force could not always follow, it is As a result, colleagues often found themselves alone. This is where it went wrong. ” “I was not working that night. But I was told. I attended the discussion group organized on Friday and I saw my colleagues totally traumatized, crying. It was the first time that I saw Some wonder why it is still worth risking their lives for such a society. It is sad. “

It should be pointed out that, though firefighters in France are not armed they are militarised (hence the term for their quarters as “barracks” above). That is, they have titles like “Commander” and “Colonel” and don’t have the right to really go on strike (their strikes are pure spectacle: they announce they’re on strike but in fact work, sometimes putting a card in the window of their fire engines even as they stand by to put out any little street bonfires during a carnival, for instance).


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