“Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t’was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli’ment”
Sam Fanto note: from this month onwards I will be increasingly handing over the production of the “News of Opposition” page to various people in different parts of the world
“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. ”
Brazil, Rio: protests against murder of 5 youth by military police ‘…the city – like Brazil as a whole – has one of the worst records in the world for killings of and by police. Between January 2011 and October 2015, 2,510 people were killed in “self-defence” actions by the city’s police – an average of 1.4 deaths per day, according to the newspaper Extra. Overwhelmingly the victims tend to be young, black males from poor communities…’
China, Guangdong: heavy clashes between villagers and state over waste incinerator “Over 1,000 police were dispatched after a mass protest began in the city of Shantou, in the east of Guangdong. Some police vehicles were burned by protesters…On Saturday residents of the city’s Chaoyang district heard a police warning that they were about to enter their village. In response, many villagers gathered and blocked the road using gas cylinders. The following day, police advanced into the village, which became the scene of violent clashes as demonstrators smashed police vehicles and threw rocks and stones at riot police. The villagers had been striking for two weeks and students had also been boycotting classes for a week in an attempt to prevent construction of the incinerator from going ahead.” More here: “…more than 1,000 police in the Chaoyang District of Shantou City, Guangdong Province fired tear gas and high-pressure water hoses at protesters from eleven villages in Jinzao township. Dozens of villagers were arrested, and a police car and earth excavator were burned by the villagers….altogether 11 villages and more than 10,000 people at the end of October 2015 again began resisting the construction of a large-scale waste disposal power plant in their village. Their protest is ongoing. According to the villagers, peasants in the 11 villages have been on strike for half a month, protecting their villages day and night against government invasion. Six middle and primary schools in the 11 villages have been boycotting classes for 10 days. During this time a large number of villagers who have demonstrated and posted information on the Internet have been arrested. Villager “Blockhead” commented online: “Six middle and primary schools have been boycotting classes for 10 days. Farmers haven’t gone to the fields to work for more than half a month. They’re standing guard day and night to prevent the township government invading the village. This conflict has been going on for two years. Until now no media has reported accurately on this issue…. The police were temporarily beaten back by the villagers…. A police vehicle transporting a water cannon was burned….A SWAT vehicle was burned by the village defenders and the riot police withdrew. It’s not stubborn resistance but protecting our homes. If the waste disposal power generating plant is built, our home will be ruined and the people will die….” The villagers’ protest was still in progress on the evening of Sunday November 29, 2015. All the roads into the village were blocked by the police. Most of the information the villagers had posted to the Internet had been deleted.”
Tejgaon workers dancing against eviction
Cambodia (Phnom Penh) : massage workers on strike… Mondulkiri province, northeast: ethnic Pnong villagers refuse “gifts” from company in order to protect their land These conflicts are common in Cambodia. Minority villagers (especially the Pnong and Tompuon), because they have a tradition of maintaining forms of autonomy from the States and its officials, are usually those who resist with the most determination to public and private projects on their lands. (Pi)
Guatemala: at least 6 dead as cops and army crush prison riot “The prison…houses 3,092 prisoners but it has capacity for 600. Guatemala awarded Mexican construction company ICA, which has been struggling under a heavy debt burden, a multi-million dollar contract to expand the prison late last year, according to official contract data”
France, Paris: Hollande scandalised by climate change clashes…video shows (19 min, 10 secs in), amongst other things, how it was the cops who were the first to run roughshod over the candles, contrary to global propaganda (surprise surprise)
Mexico, Oaxaca: clashes between teachers of the CNTE (independant coordination) and cops This is just before teacher’s evaluation day, which they reject (which is part of a whole reform they’ve been mobilized against for quite some time). 10,000 riot police were sent there just a few days ago to try to contain the actions ahead of time. Other photos of the day on this link…. Report in English here…Chiapas: teachers show solidarity with their fellow teachers in neighbouring Oaxaca and organize blockades and demos in 24 regions (including the capital, Tuxtla Gutiérrez)…Michoacán: teachers take over toll booth and ask highway users for voluntary cooperation (a common practice in Mexico), and set up “plantón” (a camp) in State’s capital Morelia For more information and analysis of the teachers and their organisation, the CNTE, see section 5 (last section) of this…Oaxaca: several guards taken hostage in prison mutiny More information follows later…
Balloons released saying “FUCK THE POLICE” during annual lighting of Christmas tree; some get stuck in powerlines
US, Chicago: blockades against the “Magnificent Mile” (bourgeois shopping district) “Hundreds of protesters galvanized by the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald closed a stretch of Michigan Avenue on Friday and blocked would-be customers from entering high-end, Magnificent Mile stores on what’s usually among the busiest shopping days of the year. Many protesters remained in the area for hours, moving up and down Michigan Avenue, pausing in front of stores, waving flags and signs, and chanting — though by about 9:15 p.m., many of them had decided to call it a night.”
Words from a worker in the district: “I was working the Water Tower yesterday. I lost a lot of money that I really needed because people couldn’t get into the mall and come to my restaurant. And I would gladly work that shift all over again. What a complete success.”
Mexico (Tixtla, Guerrero) : 4 members of the Communitarian Police murdered The self-organized armed force linked to the Indian communities of the State of Guerrero were murdered by a commando, while two organized crime groups battle for control of the area. This also occurs in the context of powerful mobilizations in the state of the social movement around the disappearance of the 43 students of Iguala, which are blocking the municipal elections of Tixtla scheduled in 2 days time.(Pi)
Togo (Mango) : popular uprising, a police officer killed It seems these clashes started after violent repression against protests to transform the area where people are living into a nature reserve, and kick them off the land. According to this article, the city is now under siege by the army, and lots of residents who took part in the clashes left for other regions. The army fired live bullets, beat people up, burnt houses and took food reserves. This other article says (in French) that “it is the soldiers who are now repressed by the population”, with rock-throwing, barricades. “It seems precise advice was given to make the forces of order’s agent’s lives difficult. No street food seller is allowed to serve those in uniforms. Anyone identified as an agent of order is chased back to their last outposts.” This says that the prefect has put the mayor in jail on corruption charges. Both are chosen by the State and imposed on the population, and it seems the clashes were against both of them. Another article here (in English), though not very informative.
France, Paris: amongst things like harrassment of squatters, arbitrary summonses etc.,high school students attempting to put up a blockade of their school are tear-gassed and truncheoned as part of the state of emergency
South Africa, Mpumalanga: teachers walkout, refuse to administer student tests… three unions, representing 400 000, vow to boycott tests…Pretoria: new footage of thirsty students looting liquor shop at Pretoria union building protest…Johannesburg: cops and wildcat strikers fight it out “Loud bangs and a flash of light followed volleys of rubber bullets being fired as Pikitup protesters ran for cover in Juta Street in Braamfontein. A torrent of stones, refuse and glass bottles rained down as the protesters fought back….A man driving a bakkie tried to run officers down. The police shot back at them, shattering the bakkie’s window as a stand-off between the two began. Several times, the driver of the vehicle made a U-turn and tried to hit police officers. The officers responded by firing more rubber bullets. At one stage, a driver emerged from his vehicle holding a club, threatening to hit police who pointed their guns at him. As the stand-off escalated, firearms from both sides were drawn. A group of unarmed protest leaders rushed forward, pleading with the warring parties to put their guns away. “Stop! Stop! Hey Stop!” they shouted at a protester brandishing his club. Others held him back as he tried to attack police. Protest leaders appealed to police to put their firearms down. But the police again began throwing teargas and flash bangs. Suddenly, it started raining glass as people from the nearby flats threw bottles at the police, who fired rubber bullets at them.“They are going to kill us,” shouted one woman, as she streaked past, dodging rubber bullets. Police retreated as the crowd regrouped and pelted them with stones. Moments later three water cannon drove forward spraying marchers as more flash bangs were thrown.”
India, Uttar Pradesh (Allahabad): cops stoned, stuff burned as students demonstrate against rent increases “The students of Ishwar Sharan Degree College, affiliated to Allahabad University, had blocked the road while protesting against the recent increase in rent of their accommodations in the area by landlords. When the police reached the spot to clear the blockade, the protesters pelted them with stones and set several roadside vends and an abandoned jeep ablaze. They pushed several motorcycles into roadside water drains. “When the police pushed them inside, they ran into the lanes and guerilla-like skirmishes, and the clash continued for nearly two-and-a-half hours.”
Indonesia, East Java: riot against mining project violently repressed “Anti-mining protestors have been hospitalized in Sumberagung Village, Banyuwangi in East Java after police opened fire on a riot protesting the presence of Bumi Sukesindo mining operations in the area. Rioting began Wednesday afternoon…After a brief stalemate rioting resumed around 8:00 p.m. until the early hours of Thursday morning. “We’ve had enough. We just want the gold mining company closed,” …“It was like a war,” Achmad, a local, said….. Officers opened fire on the protestors after part of the crowd began setting houses alight and destroying motorcycles owned by Bumi Sukesindo.”
France, Calais: report saying that clashes between migrants and the cops take place every night On this night specifically, about 50 people stoned about a dozen cop trucks, sometimes simultaneously in different place, often waiting up to 15 minutes before the next stoning. [SF]
Peru (Lima) : police clash with protesting public workers “The clashes come one week after Peruvian healthcare workers, joined by judicial staff, called for an indefinite strike. Similar clashes erupted earlier this month as protesters attempted to march to the congress building in Lima. Healthcare workers have been holding protests and strikes since last year. They ended a 150-day strike only after reaching agreement with the government.” (video)
Mexico (Puebla State) : 300 villagers of Santa Isabel Tlanepantla accuse mayor of corruption and neglecting public works They seize Municipal hall, vandalize his house and two vans. After the intervention of 100 “granaderos” (mexican anti-riot police) and the arrest of a few villagers, they block access to the village and take 2 granaderos as hostages for the release of the arrested. Seems they also asked for government officials to find a solution to their grievances. [Pi]
South Africa, Johannesburg: pikitup workers on illegal strike over boss’s corruption hit by rubber bullets and stun grenades…security vehicle and soccer star’s car smashed by runaway rubbish-truck ‘According to an eyewitness, the striking workers allegedly hurled stones and other various objects at the privately-owned truck, thereafter forcing the driver out of the vehicle. “After the driver abandoned the truck, one of the striking workers got into [it], released the handbrake, and let the truck run on its own down the street. The truck hit a tree as it passed Melle Street, before it hit a private security car and then the BMW 1 Series.”‘… cops accused of firing live ammo at strikers, 9 workers injured
games are always more fun in a rebellion, exhibit A: working-class bumper-cars
Western Cape: protesters against electricity cut-offs accidentally set fire to their own shacks “…residents set alight a council truck which then veered off the road into an informal settlement and burnt a few shacks. … the protest started when Metrorail cut the illegal electrical connections that hung over the railway lines. “Bricks were packed on the railway line and tyres were burned in the streets by the protesters. “Thereafter they marched to the fire station and stoned the vehicles driving past.” Van Wyk said the protesters went back to the main road and set alight a municipal truck – pushed the burning truck near shacks and, as a result, five shacks were razed. Residents later marched to a councillor’s house, and stoned it. “No arrests were made. ….“Some households in the formalised X section are illegally supplying their opposite neighbours in the informal settlement in RR section with electricity,” Metrorail said….“These illegal connections are supplied both across and underneath our rail infrastructure, causing havoc with our train service”. Walker said 396 trains were delayed in October due to illegal connections; totalling 5264 minutes of delay” … East London: multiple roads surrounding city hall blockaded by protesting taxis… Pietermaritzberg: workers and community members riot against taxi-fare automation ‘The community told us they wanted to use a card where they could load their fare on weekly or monthly and not have to pay cash every time they caught a taxi… The operation was properly introduced yesterday [Tuesday] and the drivers and conductors started protesting in France. Now the community has joined in.” He said the card system would not cost more or less than paying cash, but was rather a system of convenience. However, commuter and France community member Thembi Dumakude said the card system would eventually phase out the role of taxi conductors and lots of people would lose their jobs. “This is a poor area … and we do not want that.”’ … The front page of today’s newspaper, ‘SA ECONOMY BLEEDS BILLIONS’, includes this amusing finding in an audit of state expenditure: ‘One of the most bizarre findings was the R32 million included in the total of R936 million deemed “fruitless and wasteful expenditure”, which was ironically spent to “prevent further fruitless and wasteful expenditure”‘ – all of which demonstrates yet again the bankruptcy of that fraudulent ideology called ‘the economy’ (from the Greek root meaning ‘household management’) which reproduces the ideology called ‘the family’ at ever higher levels of abstraction, from the firm through the nation-state to the ‘world market’. As McIntosh and Barrett write in The Anti-Social Family, ‘”his familism is part of a broader political rhetoric; it is a metaphor to endow the government’s economic policies with a spurious ‘commonsense’ legitimacy. The chancellor of the exchequer, like any housewife or corner grocer, must balance his books and cannot afford your nursery or hospital.” The struggles of the present era that, combat particular consequences of this smokescreen in the streets, reveal, through the sudden reversals in official declarations regarding what is affordable/reasonable/possible, that what lies behind the lies of economic law are always the realities of political power. Is it possible to begin a meaningful attack on the general causes of this mystification before movements are faced with a decisive confrontation for which they have hitherto never been prepared? How can we make a practical contribution towards pushing particular struggles, many of which rapidly escalate into major social crises, past ‘the point of no return’ before they are recuperated by ‘the voice of reason’? [SK]
US: arrests in Chicago and New York in protests over more police murders of black men… Minneapolis, MN — More anonymous shots fired upon protestors outside 4th Precinct. No injuries reported. … Freeways across the city get redecorated with “Justice 4 Jamar” tags: Pic one, Pic two …Walkouts at at least four high schools in solidarity with those injured by white supremacists at the 4th Precinct… Designers create a riot-based strategy video game (see video) – risk-free rioting from the comfort of your own armchair!… Walmart hired Lockeed Martin and FBI to spy on workers “A document made public Tuesday by worker organization OUR Walmart reveals company testimony to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in January stating that Walmart had enlisted the help of arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin and the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force to monitor workers who were organizing for higher wages and the right to unionize. OUR Walmart workers said they were illegally fired and disciplined for taking part in the “Ride for Respect” strike during Walmart’s shareholder meeting in June of 2013.
But the surveillance had long been in progress. Walmart executives mobilized the so-called “Delta” emergency response team in 2012 when they first got wind of plans for a nationwide Black Friday worker strike. As Bloomberg explained in an investigative piece published Tuesday, “the stakes were enormous.” In addition to the NLRB testimony, the new reporting states, “The details of Walmart’s efforts during the first year it confronted OUR Walmart are described in more than 1,000 pages of e-mails, reports, playbooks, charts, and graphs.”
“Any attempt to organize its 1 million hourly workers at its more than 4,000 stores in the U.S. was an existential danger,” Bloomberg‘s Susan Berfield wrote. “Operating free of unions was as essential to Walmart’s business as its rock-bottom prices.”
Mexico (Guerrero State) : after 4 people are killed, Communitarian Police arrest 6 people In a context of high tension between organized crime and indigenous communities of Guerrero State (see our various recent entries for more information), 4 persons (3 women and a Communitarian police member) were taken out of a bus they travelled in and executed near the village of Acoatzaloya. A community assembly was then organized in the village of Xicotlán, where it was decided to arrest those made responsible for these executions in the village of San Jerónimo Palantla : 6 people, one of them a local municipal commissioner….Four members of the Communitarian Police of the town of Tixtla executed by an armed commando This happens two days before municipal elections, which are boycotted by those mobilized for justice for the 43 disappeared students.[Pi]
South Africa, Cape Town: striking parliamentary staff storm National Assembly and force cancellation of parliamentary sittings “The protesting staff stormed the public gallery of the NA at 10am, effectively forcing the adjournment of the sitting. They stayed put, refusing to move until their demands were met, eventually succeeding in getting the second sitting of the day at 2pm cancelled as well…The passage of two pieces of key legislation this week – the adjustments appropriation bill and the division of revenue bill – hangs in the balance as a result of the strike….Workers also disrupted committee meetings, forcing MPs to adjourn their business.”…Johannesburg: pikitup strikers trash joburg…KwaZulu Natal: Truck involved in accident looted by locals, cops outnumbered
Chicago, US: protests over another cop killing of teenager… Just heard from friends in Minneapolis…White supremacists fired into an anti-police demonstration there tonight 3 people wounded, none life-threateningly. Crowds did not disperse afterwards and police maced demonstrators, especially targeting those who would not remove their masks after the shooting. (This feels very intense here. Word is circulating quickly, and this is a major escalation)… In response to anti-racist campus protests, dozens of “White Student Unions” appear on social media at various American universities… Traditionalist Youth Network, a racist student organizing body, seems to be pleased: “The anti-Whites have pushed and shoved White kids around for so long without pushback that some kind of defensive response from them absolutely boggles them. It must be a mirage! It’s [insert_current_year]! To the extent that the project is the target of imageboard troll lulz, the universities certainly delivered.” They continue, showing their hand about what sort of actions of effective in stopping them: “Do you realize what happens to people who actually stand up and publicly defend their White identity? Indiana University actively collaborated with and encouraged the antifa radicals who threw bricks through the windows of students’ private homes. University cops refused to investigate easily resolvable and unprovoked attacks on our members. Indiana University’s official newspaper declared that we’re terrorists while colluding with those who were actually relying on terror as a political weapon.” [H]
Germany (Bremen) : six police vans entirely destroyed by flames Also mentions that a police station was attacked with stones on the 20th.
South Africa, Cape Town: CPUT postpones exams till next year after 43 students arrested for “violence” (ie vandalism)“Chaos broke out when protestors clashed with police on the Bellville campus. Earlier the morning, exams at the Bellville campus were postponed after vandals damaged water pipes, causing flooding at the Major Sports Hall overnight. Students and staff were met by pools of water, damaged desks and chairs and camera screens. It appears that when students heard the exams will still go ahead, a group stormed the auditorium where examinations were set to be written. Singing and dancing, the crowd broke down doors and threw chairs on the floor, before ripping fire extinguishers from the walls. Police fired stun grenades to disperse the angry mob that started pelting the security guards with stones…A third-year protestor says they will not stop until their demands are met.”…Pretoria: TUT closes 2 campuses for the rest of the year
“All the employees I’ve spoken to are very clear on the fact that they experience outsourcing as exploitative. Some are ambivalent about protesting and the consequences for them. But I can’t get a clear answer on why, or even whether, insourcing will “definitely” be better for them.”
It seems from this interview that much of the demand for insourcing is coming from older workers who were there before outsourcing began and experience resentment that some remain directly employed whilst they do not. But this is also specific to one university and may be very different elsewhere. [SK]
France, Paris: demonstration in support of migrants normally banned under state of emergency goes ahead Diverting from the prescribed route, it gets teargassed but the cops cannot control it, and there are no arrests; the slogan “Emergency State = police state” and “Cops, pigs, murderers” is shouted. 10 years ago, during the riots of November 2005, the state of emergency was defied in demos across France. This time there are very few examples of definance. A right-wing anti-migrant demo in Britanny on Saturday 14th November just after the massacre, was allowed to go ahead and the fascists attacked a pro-migrant counter-demo. Since then, even the pathetic climate change demos have been banned, whereas going to sports events and concerts has – after an initial banning – been permitted (after all, unlike demos they generate profits). In response to this demo at least 60 people have been summonsed by the police, in a totally arbitrary manner, designed to scare people. For instance, one was someone who is part of La Discordia, the anarchist library, who was summonsed by the state department for controlling undocumented migrants. The guy is French (with a possibly foreign-sounding name) and was at work during the demo.[SF]
Greece: general strike – clashes with cops in at least 2 cities “Greeks in several major cities still took part in the day-long strike, with an estimated 8,000 people turning up in the port city of Thessaloniki, the country’s second largest population center. The march was marred when a group of about 300 masked people threw rocks and incendiary devices at police, who responded with tear gas and flash grenades, ending the confrontation, witnesses said. A few bombs struck the Greek central bank….In a surreal move for the government, Syriza called on Greeks to take part in the protest against neoliberal policies the Syriza government is implementing, distinguishing the government from the party. …The ruling Radical Left SYRIZA Party of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called for mass participation in Thursday’s strike. …Greek government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili denied suggestions that leftist SYRIZA was trying to play both sides in supporting the anti-austerity strike.”
France, Yvelines (Mantes- la- Jolie): police patrol car attacked, cop gets splinters in eye…Seine-et-Marne: 19 year old chucks several objects at cops, then others stone them…Montpellier: garbage bins and cars burnt, firemen attacked, in retaliation for over-the-top cop raids ( under state of emergency large amount of cops raided unofficial Muslim prayer rooms using big projectors, but found nothing illegal)
Mexico (Xalapa, Veracruz state) : organized teachers block exams. The same type of actions happened in several states the same day, in places where the teachers independant Coordination (CNT-E) is present.
Interesting to see actions in several northern narco-states, such as Chihuahua and Sonora Some clashes reported, see for example here (video) … Iztapalapa, City of Mexico – residents ask for water delivery service and block large avenue [Pi]
South Africa, Pretoria: TUT exam centre torched as students demand eradication of all debt … interestingly, according to this report, students claim their actions had nothing to do with any demands, but were self-defence in response to unprovoked attacks by campus security: ‘”Students entered the campus as a group after watching soccer but security thought they were going to cause trouble and attacked them… The students then called backup from the students who were in their rooms and clashes flared up which eventually led to the damaged property. The bouncers provoked the students.”… Three halls were set alight at the Soshanguve campus during the weekend protest. Police spokesperson Captain Tsekiso Mofokeng said furniture was damaged in the fires. Two private vehicles belonging to security guards were also set alight.’ [SK]
the examined examine the authoritarian tools of the examiners; the tools fail
Mexico – Coscomatepec (Veracruz state) : direct action to release imprisoned woman ‘Armed habitants of 5 villages block avenues in the town of Cordoba, detain court employees and threaten judge with setting him on fire if he doesn’t release an imprisoned 64 yr old woman, and get what they came for.’… from : (21-11 entry)
South Africa, Pretoria: students loot shop, smash windows, hijack buses to use as barricades, torch admin building, attack guard“The protesters were apparently bused to the campus, where they stormed into a pizza shop and helped themselves to muffins, softdrinks, cigarettes and also stole cash from the tills, according to some students. They went on the rampage, throwing stones randomly towards the student residence and damaged a few windows. Some non-protesting students were forced to take part in the protest. Keys of the two students buses were taken by force from the drivers and the buses were parked in the middle of the road… Smoke billowed out of the students governing office but the fire-fighters were able to extinguish it… One guard showed his colleagues a bleeding wound on the head, after he was allegedly hit by one of the protesters.”
Calais: migrants attack cops “A police officer was taken to hospital in the night from Wednesday to Thursday after being wounded in clashes with migrants…He suffered a head injury. According to the prefecture of Pas-de-Calais, the police intervened that night in the industrial zone “following the report of a group of several migrants armed with sticks …On arrival of the Police, many migrants threw missiles at police officers. One of them, an official of the Anti-Crime Brigade, received a shot in the head. “
South Africa, Pretoria: students shut-down first day of exams in fees protest, torch cafeteria and student centre “They argue that the non-increase in fees next year will be not good enough, as some students won’t get their final results because they owe fees”…
US, Minneapolis: clashes with cops over cop murder of handcuffed black guy continue… Keith LaMar and Jason Robb, condemned to execution in Ohio for the 1993 Lucasville uprising, won their hunger strike against restrictive conditions on death row. Newly released video [H]
South Africa, Stellenbosch: workers and students barricade roads, burn rubbish over wages and outsourcing (pictures and video) “The group started protesting this morning in Victoria Street by burning campus property and blocking roads. The group set fire to objects across campus including bins and crates. Businesses in the [town] centre have been closed”… four arrested, stun grenade used to disperse their comrades “A stun grenade was fired at a crowd of protesters apparently rattling the gates of the Stellenbosch police station following the arrest of four Stellenbosch University workers” (video)… protesters later burn two university owned vehicles and assault security guard
Arson at CPUT Bellvile campus
South Africa, Kwa-Zulu Natal: 2000 blockade national highway and burn community hall in protest over water shortage“There was also vandalism in one of our community schemes where fences and doors were stolen” … ‘South Africa is in the midst of its worst drought since 1982, with 2.7m households facing water shortages. The lack of rain has been accompanied by soaring temperatures in many areas, including record highs in Johannesburg (36C) and Pretoria (39.8C). Some cities, including Johannesburg, have implemented water restrictions, drastically reducing the amount of water residents can use on their gardens, and limiting showers to just three minutes… But South Africa’s farmers are the hardest hit… “When the maize crop goes down, the circumstances for social unrest go up … This is exactly how the Arab spring in the Middle East started,” said Louis Meintjes, president of the Transvaal Agriculture Union’… Cape Town: CPUT students disrupt traffic in city centre “at least one protesting student has been taken into custody following a disruptive protest in the Cape Town CBD earlier today. Demonstrators brought the CBD to a standstill as they protested along Darling and Adderley Street.”… UCT students protest over rape of a woman at occupation (video) ” A small group of protesters smashed windows, threw buckets of urine and attempted to disrupt exams at the sport centre on the University of Cape Town campus” It should be noted, in light of the admirable solidarity displayed by the students towards their comrade, that this comes as something of a wake-up call to a problem that women have been trying to complain about all along, but did not get taken seriously. Three responses in their own words: ‘We are done with “liberation spaces” where we are told to swallow violence for the sake of unity. The patriarchy will fall NOW’; another said ‘The #RapeAtAzania is doubly tragic because women in the movement have BEEN saying they feel unsafe since the statue came down. Since forever‘; another said ‘I honestly wish the #RapeAtAzania last night is the first time I’ve heard of sexual assault in our student movements. It’s not.‘…Bellville: student financial aid building set alight for the second time… East London: students occupy university building [SK]
South Africa, Cape Town: Parents issue statement supporting student protests at UWC and CPUT “As parents we do not condone violence. We do not believe, however, that there is a symmetry between the violence of armed police and private security forces that indiscriminately shoot at students and their resistance. There is a pattern of behaviour from those in power and their armed forces, which got its most heinous expression in the Marikana massacre that suggests that when protests are directed at authority, there is no need to engage. Rather the security forces are substituted for political processes. Those in power and authority wish to buffer themselves from legitimate protest, anger and frustration of those in society who are yet to taste freedom”… 400 township residents blockade road
Oakland, California — “Sideshow” turns into joyous police car smashing. Video
South Korea, Seoul: clashes with cops on biggest demo for 7 years “…police…created tight perimeters with their buses to block them. Protesters tried to move some of the buses by pulling ropes they had tied to the vehicles, and police, wearing helmets and body armor, responded by firing tear gas and water cannons at them. Police also fired water cannons from above a portable wall nearby to disperse marchers who were trying to advance. Some protesters fought back by hitting police officers camped on the top of the buses with poles. Others smashed the windows of the buses with sticks or spray-painted anti-government slogans on them.” 70,000 people allied with labour, civic and farmers’ groups took to the streets to rally against conservative President Park Geun-hye. The activists oppose Park’s business-friendly labour policies and a decision to require middle and high schools to use only state-issued history textbooks starting in 2017.
The police erected barricades attached to buses, which some attempted to collectively move by tying ropes and pulling them over. One 69 year old farmer underwent brain surgery after he fell to the ground while pulling over one bus and the police repeatedly shot him with a water cannon laced with capsaicin.
“The protests reached a peak at around 9:30 p.m. when a group of labor union members appeared with torchlights. One of them attempted to throw the firebomb into the police, while others just held it amid cheers from fellow demonstrators.
Many citizens had to detour to pass through central Seoul during the day as the police set up the barricades early in the morning, with some of them complaining about the disruptions. Police officers wearing a vest with distinctive orange signs helped the citizens find a way to get around.
‘With the oil leaking from police buses, the pavements are extremely slippery,” a 20-something office worker said on the pavement in the closed Gwanghwamun Square. “I had to walk for hours to find an exit, but I cannot complain because I agree with what protestors do.’” [SK & Pi]
South Africa, Mpumalanga: two inmates die and six badly burned in prison protest apparently they set their mattresses on fire over poor conditions and it backfired [SK]
Council, Idaho, US: protest over police brutality This might seem strange to include, but it’s worth noting because this is the first protest I’ve seen in the US (since August 2014) in response to a white person being murdered by cops. Unsurprisingly, it was attended by some members of “3% of Idaho,” a right-wing militia group (www.iiipercentidaho.org/) [B]
France, Paris: massacre had been predicted at least 36 hours previously – this is from the morning of 12th November… Mayotte: general strike continues [SF]
corporate leisure vs student displeasure
South Africa, Western Cape: all campuses of Cape Peninsular University of Technology closed as riots erupt at Bellville and Wellington campuses Students at Belleville smashed windows of the administration building, set alight the campus security building and burned furniture, after which 27 were arrested and later released on bail; according to a police constible a male student had been arrested at the CPUT campus in Wellington for “arson and malicious damage to property”. Interestingly, CPUT authorities said they could not understand what had sparked the protest in light of the fact that debt for 5000 students totalling R111 million had already been written off this week, whereas protesters were apparently demanding that all debt as well as all tuition fees be scrapped. According to this interesting report, which includes a video, ‘One student, Zimkita Songqengqe, said the protest started at 7.30am on Friday. “We decided to protest again because we are unable to pay our fees. We don’t have financial aid and some of us don’t even have parents,” she said. Philiswa Dingiswayo, another student, said her farmworker parents earned R75 a day and could not afford to pay her fees… Some students responded aggressively towards the police and journalists, throwing stones and swearing at them. A television journalist was harassed and his video camera taken from him. “One student had a knife and the others had stones. They took my camera and ran away with it,” he said. When the journalist managed to get his camera back from campus security he found his memory cards had been removed, apparently to ensure that footage of the morning’s vandalism could not be used to identify any students. Another journalist said: “Students wouldn’t let the media cover their protest this morning. When I lifted my phone or camera they went berserk.” Some students also tried to prevent Weekend Argus from interviewing other students. One protester stoned the journalist and another, after being arrested, angrily told the journalist to “f**k off”. Students said those organising the protests were also threatening them in their rooms, forcing them to join in. “At 6am they knock on your doors to join the protest. If you don’t join they flood our rooms so that we have to get out. They also use a fire extinguisher to get us out of our rooms,” said one student.’ … one of the immediate wider consequences of the revolt at CPUT was the effectively suppression of a reactionary demonstration at UWC planned by parents, staff and students demanding for exams to be written ‘in peace’… on the contrary, officials announced the same day that the scheduled exams would be cancelled altogether… it should be noted that although the UWC Student Representative Council claims that 15 000 students wanted to write their exams rather than continue protests, this body has been accused of being responsible for the protests in the first place by betraying the demand to scrap all historical debt shared by both UWC and CPUT protetsors. ‘Some UWC students have accused the SRC of not being on their side. “We don’t trust the SRC and we don’t believe they are representing the students’ voice in that position. We believe that they are in bed with management.”’ [SK]
a burnt-out piano fuels the flames of revolt on the barricades at UWC, where students (or should we say radical musicians?) sabotage the machinery of alienated education-production-consumption.
…Johannesburg: cops attack night vigil when non-students try to storm campus, students respond with petrol-bombs… closing down a neighbouring pub and burning a bus stop ‘“Students fled from the police right to our area. They grabbed tyres from the tyre shop, Enume Tyres, next to the Bohemian Pub in Westdene,” said Rossouw. Leaders of the protest demanded that the pub be closed. “They told us that we should close and let our customers out in support of the protest. They aimed to get as much public support as possible in order to taunt the police,” he said. The protesters then set tyres as well as a bus stop alight.’
South Africa, Cape Town: Parliamentary workers’ strike enters fourth day, takes on national aspect “The protest at Parliament is taking a national turn: on Friday, Nehawu workers at the Gauteng legislature will observe a moment of silence, said Tembe, while messages of support have come from the legislatures in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape…The protest at Parliament is taking a national turn: on Friday, Nehawu workers at the Gauteng legislature will observe a moment of silence, said Tembe, while messages of support have come from the legislatures in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape.”
France, Mayotte (French department in the Indian Ocean): blockades all over the main island despite the desires of the unions as they lose some control over their official general strike demanding defence of the public sector and for social equality “The day was to begin with an operation snailspace [driving convoys of vehicles at a very slow speed] in order to paralyze traffic, but the unions quickly lost control of the movement and were overwhelmed by gangs of young people blocking roads and using violence all over the island, the security forces for the time being powerless in this very tense situation. Blockades were prepared on the roads north, south and center of Mayotte, in particular using the carcasses of burnt cars . By late morning, the convoy, the snailspace in full operation, was itself blocked by Doujani [an area of Mayotte] youth. Incidents occurred between youths and some motorists who were trying to force their way through the blockades. Automobiles, including that of the municipal police were stoned….A journalist from Mayotte France Télévision … was chased and assaulted by youths unhappy to see him filming them with his phone, which they snatched from him. A photographer of the Journal of Mayotte was attacked and slightly injured. Maritime connections between the mainland and the Petit Terre [another island of Mayotte] were blocked by the strike. “
Mexico, Guerrero State – villagers retain 200 soldiers after these disarmed the local Comunitarian Police, which lead to the entrance of a local cartel that killed 15 Comunitarian Police members.This happens a few days after shootouts between the Polixtepec Comunitarian Police and the organized crime group “Los Villalobos”, in which three cartel members were killed (see our entry on 6/11)… Ciudad Juárez (Chihuahua State): 350 workers of local “maquiladoras” march to official buildings for better conditions of work, the right to create unions, and against professional and sexual harassment [Pi]
Students advance on pigs, who are soon forced to retreat
South Africa, Cape Town: hundreds riot late into the night at University of Western Cape to demand release of arrested students… torching a residence, an administration building and various furniture including a piano… damage from burning and looting estimated at millions of rands (video)… another video with interview of protesters and presentation of context… this eye-witness report stating cleaning workers also involved… riot police fire stun grenades, smoke grenades and tear-gas to disperse wildcat strike at parliament after workers storm committee meetings stating their grievances directly to MPs… but prove unsuccessful as workers regroup… [SK]
Police attack workers picket outside parliament
Limpopo: police escort construction equipment to repair trenches dug across road by rioters… apparently this tactic has been fairly widespread in the region [SK]
France, Seine-et-Marne (Pontault-Combault): from rap to riot The shooting of an amateur rap video on an estate ended up with about 60 youths attacking the cops with stones and loud fireworks, the cops using rubber bullets, when the cops drove to where they were filming, a part of the estate where vehicles aren’t allowed. [SF]
Belgium, Brussels: confrontations with cops after underage youths try to see film about urban gangs Cop truncheoning of young guy after his expulsion from the cinema provokes heavy confrontations that forces the film to be stopped after 3 minutes, and the later session to be cancelled [SF]
UK, London: regular resistance to immigration raids revealed ‘Missiles have been thrown – eggs most predominantly, but rocks. Vans get blocked in; we’ve had vans with the tyres slashed. We’ve had instances where officers have had to retreat, as I said, inside commercial premises and wait to be rescued… how effective are they at disrupting action by immigration enforcement? That depends on who you talk to. Senior managers within immigration enforcement will tell us that only a very small number of high profile operations have been successfully disrupted. What my members are telling me is that immigration enforcement jobs are disrupted to a greater or lesser extent pretty much every week.’
France, Calais: 3rd night of clashes between cops and refugees …radical report in French here
Nepal: country runs out of fuel, govt blames Indian state, Indian state blames Nepalese prosktestors difficult to know which is true as police previously moved to clear away protestors… who responded by fierce riots… [SK]
Scotland, Glasgow: CCTV vans given form to fit their function by mysterious benefactors “Most recently, our officers’ CCTV vans have been targeted and the doors, and door handles, have been covered in excrement. This is not only extremely unpleasant and dangerous for the officers involved, but means the vehicles have to be returned to be cleaned, which reduces the amount of time the officers are in communities.”
Australia: pigs regain control of immigrant detention centre after intense riot ‘…there were reports of some detainees barricading themselves inside with petrol bombs, machetes and chainsaws after raiding a garden shed for weapons. The unrest began in the early hours of yesterday morning after upset detainees asked officials what happened to Kurdish refugee Fazel Chegeni, whose body was found on Sunday following his escape from the detention centre.’ Interestingly, ethnic solidarity had nothing to do with the riots: ‘Media reports suggest New Zealanders were behind the uprising, which saw centre guards flee, fires burn and walls smashed… Attempts to contact New Zealanders in the centre were unsuccessful tonight but yesterday a Kiwi detainee told NZME people being “treated like animals” sparked the riots. The man, who NZME chose not to name, said the riots kicked off after one person was allegedly assaulted by a guard when they asked about the body. “It was just a matter of time, all of us knew it. It was a matter of time because of the way they treat people … They’re meant to be so called welfare carers. Duty of care is their number-one policy and bringing service to us, but they treat us like dogs. We’re treated like animals in here.”‘
South Africa, Cape Town: students set up barricades on campus at University of Cape Town and attack Vice Chancellor… “A UCT statement said that the protesters had “particularly targeted…Price with utterly unacceptable verbal abuse and threw bottles‚ food and other articles at him” – and a fire extinguisher was “set off” in his face”… and march to parliament, joined by workers inside parliament itself who stage sit-in protest…Stellenbosch University: workers and students hold rally against outsourcing… Johannesburg: protesters shut down road outside courtroom… as charges against workers and students withdrawn
modern-day KGB door gets makeover
the art of destruction & the destruction of art
Romania: protest sparked by nightclub fire continues for sixth day, leads to resignation of leftist government A friend in the US sent this: ‘From a Romanian friend (who now lives in italy) about the romanian protests. she said you can use this on the website if you want: Today I spoken with my friend from Timisoara about the situation there.
The demonstrations started after the accident in a club during a rock concert. Around 48 died burned and suffocated, and other 100 are seriously injured. The people got very uptight and went on the streets without a goal, at the beginning. Than something changed and they started to reclaim the abdication of the prime minister and the government, asking for a technical government.They think this will resolve the problem of corruption. In one word they are just asking for reforms.
The people got angry with the church too, because the priests refused to celebrate the funeral for the “satanist” rockers.
The few radical anarchists didn’t participated to this circus of democracy and superstition. Another bad news is that Noua Dreapta (New Right) ,a fascist organization became a legal party on 4th of November. The situation in Romania is very complex, and is difficult to explain it. But in general is consolidating a savage capitalism, sustained by a right wing political feeling, with the support of the majority of the romanians.’ [SF]
Mexico: Report on the situation in Michoacán state. The reporters of the independant mexican press agency “Subversiones” visited the different regions of this Pacific coast state and evoke the tension there, as the Federal governement created a “Rual, Citizen and Indigenous Force” to integrate the various “independant” autodefense forces organized against Organized crime (but often linked to or infiltrated by local political, economic or even criminal forces, which are sometimes the same by the way). It seems that those who don’t integrate these new groups will become illegal and face charges (or worse). The article shows that there’s much discontent and some locals’ will to refuse this “deal”…but also that the composition of the autodefense forces is far from classist : land owners and proletarians are part of the same group. As we mentioned before in other entries when refering to Michoacán, the place where the autodefense groups are the most coherent is in indigenous communities : it is confirmed here by a delegate of the Santa María Ostula Nahua community, which points the recuperation and recalls that in his community, the autodefense tasks are part of a larger logic of autonomy.
Another article (http://subversiones.org/archivos/118943) states that indigenous communities are those that react best against the governement’s drug politics’ “failures” and cartel’s presence, with examples in different States (though not very critical of the contradictions of the fight for autonomy with autonomy seen as an end per se, which is often the case). [Pi]
Mozambique: rioters attack mine “An angry mob attacked a tantalum mine in Gile district, in the central Mozambican province of Zambezia, and destroyed millions of dollars worth of equipment… The mine…is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Canadian Pacific Wildcat Resources Corporation. The trouble began on 9 November when police shot dead an illegal miner who had slipped inside the mine in order to steal material. Spotting the intruder, a policeman shot and killed him. A group of rioters then descended on the mine armed with rifles, machetes and pickaxes and proceeded to loot and destroy. They intended to lynch the South African director and other expatriates at the mine, but they were able to drive to safety before the rioters could catch them.” (from here)
US, Providence, Rhode Island — Famous “Dancing Cop” fired for staging protest against Dunkin Donuts employees “Last month, after a Dunkin’ Donuts employee wrote “#blacklivesmatter” on a police officer’s coffee cup, Lepore organized a protest outside the establishment. According to the AP, Lepore said he wanted to see that employee fired. “I had a mission to make sure all police officers were treated like police officers, not like dirt,” he said.”
France, Limoges: cops surrounded by 50 youths, 5 cars burnt out, cops and their car stoned, gendarme’s vehicle rammed, after cops control driver… Ardennes (Charleville): as rodeo (stolen vehicles used in a race/dodgems) is broken up by cops, tear gas is launched against stone-throwers [link in French]
US, Missouri: black football players refuse to play until University President resigns Seems like white players and the coaching staff are in on it too now: Really unprecedented as far as I know. These college football programs rake in millions and millions for the universities on the backs of these unpaid players (most of which are on scholarships that now may be in revoked – quite a risk for those striking). There’s been a lot of hit and run racist incidents – nothing organized- that has provoked this, but really that sort of thing has been going on at mizzou for years. Why now? I think it is a combination of a Ferguson-fueled protest/”social justice” atmosphere that has found its unique flavor in the college town AND the football team is having a terrible year, so the players couldn’t care less about losing more games. The President has till next Saturday’s game to make his move… and in the meantime – there’s a grad student on hunger strike demanding his resignation, grad student professors recently got their health benefits back after a series of protests, and there’s a boycott of the dining facilities…here’s a timeline of things at the university… Didn’t realize there had been a couple of walk-outs and the graduate teaching assistants were trying to unionize. We’ll see if the ‘movement’ can transcend the racial focus and the ruts of college activism. [friend of Sam]… Alabama: prison riot ‘The cause of the riot is unknown, but the word is that it was racial. Then a couple of days later a queer prisoner at the St. Clair Correctional Facility named Kay Kay allegedly stabbed a pig guard after the guard slapped him in the face. St. Clair has been the scene of stiff resistance and retaliation against brutal guards by prisoners. Since June a number of guards have been beaten and stabbed by prisoners.’
Mexico (Linda Vista, Guerrero State) : Villagers take arms against organized crime and ask government to attend their demands and make the village’s situation better Shows the contradictions of the autonomy process, even in Guerrero State, where it is the strongest in the country after Chiapas and Oaxaca, and not always reformist. The demands here are very reformist, with villagers (though in arms, see the impressive picture) clearly asking authorities (at several levels) for help and care. [Pi]
When the saints come marching in…
South Africa, Johannesburg: workers and students from 4 universities march against outsourcing, 13 workers and ‘scores’ of students arrested… this source suggests 150 are being held at Brixton police station… whilst this one says 163
Mexico (Polixtepec, Guerrero State) : 7 hour shootout between a Communitarian Police and a cartel.
The Communitarian Police took over the place after 3 cartel members were killed…they were quickly followed by the mexican Army, which installed a camp close to the place and refused to hold those made prisoner by the Communitarian Police. This happens after several shootouts and much tension this week in Guerrero state between organized crime and local indigenous population. The article also evokes rivalries between communities selling opium to the cartels, but no more info is given. [Pi]
Zimbabwe, Bulawayo: touts and taxi drivers fight cops over police harassment “According to witnesses, the skirmishes started when two police officers were reportedly assaulted by touts and drivers after they had attempted to arrest them… In an act of revenge police details descended on Basch Street terminus to hunt of the touts who had assaulted the police officers, resulting in running battles between police and commuter omnibus operators.”
England, London: thousands attack police, burn cop car in Guy Fawkes day demonstration “Demonstrators threw fireworks and bottles at police, some of whom were knocked from their horses… Some demonstrators ran through London’s major shopping district around Oxford Street, smashing windows and engaging in running scuffles with police as shops closed their doors.” A Mexican anarchist, besides making various idiotic statements revealing a radical imbecility, assists the work of the police by claiming on behalf of an imaginary community that “Anyone who is violent is not with us.”
Guy Fawkes manages to burn something this time round
France, Seine-et-Marne (Melun): missiles rain down on cops from upper floors of estate… Yvelines (Mantes-la-Jolie): 20 youths surround cops, chuck stones at them and their car; 4 bins set alight in different areas
Mexico, Ciudad Juárez (Chihuahua State) : workers of four companies stage protests The article mentions four cases:
1) workers of “Big Cola” took over the headquarters of their company to protest against the dismissals of co-workers who asked for better salaries
2) 70 Lexmark employees organised a protest against the dismissal of two colleagues (one was a manager and the other refused to accept a lower position), and declared that the company took several repressive mesures after workers tried to form an independant union (which is virtually impossible in big international companies in Mexico)
3)About 500 employees (mostly women) of Scientic Atlantic (a Foxconn sucursal) organized a “plantón” (occupation outside of a building) to denounce the sexual harassment they suffer at work (in the city that became famous for its femicides phenomenon) ; two female workers have been dismissed.
4) workers of Commscope involved in a struggle (the information given in the original article is contradictory and confusing) [Pi]
South Africa, Cape Town: 150 residents riot against electricity disconnections “Egoli is situated on private land and as such cannot be electrified. The community is therefore connecting themselves illegally to the grid, and wilfully vandalising distribution infrastructure in the area. The continual vandalism of the system has resulted in power supply to neighbouring communities being interrupted for hours and sometimes days at a time… The residents of Egoli have declared that while they do not have electricity they will continue to vandalise infrastructure in an attempt to strong-arm the City into supplying electricity to the settlement.”
United States, Utah: inmates of ‘youth centre’ riot “Our officers went in and tried to take care of the problem, and as they would go into one area, a problem would develop in another area” Not sure what exactly a youth centre is, presumably prison for children…California: 5000 riot for their right to party at Berkley university campus during halloween
Afghanistan, Kabul: demonstration of unemployed demanding work or unemployment benefit Not that it’s very dramatic, but it’s significant because it shows that there are more things going on in a country ravished by constant war than what is usually reported [S]