“Only those with tenacity can march forward in March”
“March out of the common line; make bold steps ahead and dance to the tune of a sweeter, better and nicer tone of your own music. March out of the tiny box!”
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.
France: MPs propose withdrawal of social security benefits for “casseurs” …Val-de-Marne: a critique of culture? – cultural centre torched by stolen car set on fire, a day after cops were stoned by locals
Libya: migrants hijack ship that wanted to return them to the trafficking, kidnap, torture and rape of Libya See this and this, for an idea of the future they would have if they have to go back to Libya. Meanwhile the EU is stopping “rescue missions” whilst continuing training the Libyan coastguard ” that critics say leads to people being trapped in Libyan detention centres, where they suffer horrific abuse.”
France: clashes in 13 towns on yellow vest demos… Montpellier: yellow vest clashes as 4,500 demonstrate The cops used a new type of teargas this day – far stronger than before. One person I know was totally blinded, disorientated and debilitated for 5 minutes because of this (and she hadn’t been sprayed directly in the face). Lots of stuff was smashed, as usual. And also as usual, an eclectic mix. Hundreds of people on the demo often shouted anti-capitalist slogans, but, as far as I could see, they didn’t confront those people wearing a black t-shirt, with the words “Strength and Honour” and a skull in yellow, one waving a flag with the same logo – indicative of a military/fascistic mentality. The dominant tendency, though ‘anti-capitalist’, was “though we may disagree with lots of different ideas expressed here, we’re united for the moment around this issue” – an excuse to avoid arguing or confronting people with very nasty ideas, and, I assume, a practice to match. Though we’re living through a very very different epoch, I’m reminded of aspects of Weimar Germany, when – in the 20s and early 30s – “Communists” and Nazis often fought the cops side-by-side. We can see where the attitude “Though we may disagree with lots of different ideas expressed here, we’re united for the moment around this issue” led to. This is certainly not to take a resigned and depressing abstentionist attitude towards this movement, which is merely a way of remaining an intellectual spectator; there are definitely aspects which are worth supporting and encouraging, but avoiding challenging the elements extremely dangerous to a libertarian perspective only encourages our enemies, whose future is significantly more hopeful for them than it is for a libertarian revolution. However, there were some tags which, though not at all imaginative, included “Down with the state, the cops and the fascists” amongst others. …Nice: Xi Jinping on fire A fire – almost certainly arson – of a dozen or so cars in a car park under the hotel where Xi Jinping was staying in Nice on Saturday 23rd. Not sure that it was directly under the hotel but certainly very close. This was shortly after a yellow vest woman, amongst about only 30 yellow vests who’d decided to demonstrate despite the ban on demos there on the eve of Macron’s visit with XJ, fell and cracked her skull following a crazy charge (against 30 unarmed peaceful demonstrators) by riot cops (she’s now in a coma). No-one’s talking about the fire as an attack on XJ (in fact, the fire’s hardly been talked about at all) but it seems like quite a coincidence.
South Africa, Gauteng: police station petrol bombed as 600 try to occupy empty houses “The criminal actions of those protesters have done nothing more than disadvantage the entire community of an essential service of policing,” national police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo said in a statement. “
Bangladesh, Narayanganj: another clash between garment workers and cops following walk-out after 3 workers faint “At least nine garment workers and six policemen were injured as the workers clashed with the law enforcers following a rumour over death of three fellow workers…several hundred workers of the factory took to the street and staged demonstration blocking Dhaka-Chattogram highway…Fearing violence, the factory authority suspended works. Getting the leave, many other workers joined the joined the demonstration creating around 8-kilometre tailback on the highway. Agitated workers vandalized 5 to 6 vehicles during the demonstration. Hearing the news, police rushed to the spot and opened blank fire and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse the demonstrators. In response, workers threw brickbats targeting police.“
Colombia: cop killed after a week of blockades of 3 parts of the Panamerican highway by indigenous population furious over government failure to honour agreement “For a week now, indigenous communities in three departments in southwestern Colombia have blocked the Panamericana, the road that connects Colombia to Ecuador. They denounce the non-respect of agreements made with the former president. The Colombian government has been forced to seek help from Ecuador to alleviate a fuel shortage. A policeman was shot dead and others, as well as demonstrators, injured in violent clashes on Tuesday after a week of an indigenous mobilization in Colombia, which had to solicit neighboring Ecuador to alleviate a fuel shortage in the country. border region. …The 33-year-old policeman was shot and killed when a group of riot police was attacked “with long-range firearms” and “improvised explosive devices” at roadblocks …In addition, four policemen and three soldiers were wounded in clashes in the municipality of Santander Quilichao, in the southeastern department of Cauca…The natives denounced a “violent” offensive on Tuesday by the police, and at least 20 wounded on their side since the beginning of their mobilization on March 12. “There are several protesters wounded by guns,” said the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (Onic)….Indigenous communities in three departments of the south-west of the country are occupying the Pan American, which connects Colombia to Ecuador, to denounce the shortcomings of the right-wing government of President Ivan Duque vis-à-vis agreements with his predecessor Juan Manuel Santos. These agreements include the awarding of land and the right of the natives to be consulted about mining projects affecting their territories. They also protest against the violence in their regions, where several community leaders have been murdered, and demand the implementation of commitments from the peace agreement of 2016 with the former guerrilla Farc, now disarmed. The Panamericana is barricaded at several points with tree trunks and stones, preventing the passage of vehicles to Ecuador….The natives demanded to speak directly to right-wing President Ivan Duque, who refused to go there and demanded the removal of the roadblocks before starting negotiations. Meanwhile, the Colombian Ministry of Mines and Energy said in a statement Tuesday that it has asked its Ecuadorian counterpart to provide 525,000 gallons (one gallon = about 4.5 liters) of fuel every day for the next ten days. to alleviate shortages in the border area. In addition, the authorities have had to activate a special mechanism which includes…the use of law enforcement to ensure the delivery of fuels to distributors.“
Palestine, Gaza: more on the anti-Hamas protests (possibly initiated by the PLO, possibly not) See entry for 16/3 & 15/3 below
Palestine, Gaza: more on the anti-Hamas demos See entry for 15/3 below
Nigeria, Ondo: 2 die as cop vehicles are attacked, beer depot burnt during what seems like attempt to sabotage election Not at all clear what this is about as the journalist seems to mix up several different events implying a connection which is not made apparent at all.
US, Alabama: ‘disturbance’ at county jail…Michigan: climate change activists occupy university president’s office (crude blatantly prejudiced right-wing report)
UK, Manchester: construction workers block roads during wildcat strike against unpaid wages “The workers… parked a lorry and four large diggers on the road in protest at their pay being withheld…. the majority of the workers are not members of any trade union, but they have convinced workers at several other building sites to walk out in solidarity, and that another protest took place in Chester Road.”
France, Grenoble: another night of fire More here “At 10pm, police officers in the Mistral district of Grenoble were targeted by several people throwing Molotov cocktails…Several cars were deliberately set on fire…Projectiles were thrown from the roofs onto the police. No one was hurt. In total, five vehicles went up in smoke and no arrests were made“. See entries for 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd & 2nd this month
France, Grenoble: report on last 3 nights of events “… while the Yellow Vests were passing through the Mistral district shaken by riots for a week after the deaths of two young people, Fatih and Adam, pursued by the cops, the premises of an agricultural nursery, ‘Artis La Pousada’, located on rue Anatole-France, suddenly caught fire. According to firefighters and cops who intervened around 2:20 pm, the intentional nature seems obvious since three areas where the fire started were noted on the first floor of this building housing corporate offices. “The flames then spread into the false ceiling of the building, destroying part of the premises. At the moment the fire broke out, the neighborhood was crossed by a procession of “yellow vests”…Very soon after the first smoke escaped from the building, the CRS stood in front of the premises to secure the intervention of the firefighters. Their oppressive presence immediately revived the conflict in the Mistral, with multiple bin burnings on the main artery running through the neighborhood, stones thrown in response to tear gas grenades… On Sunday morning, the riot police were still guarding the building out of fear of a new arson. This is the second fire in 36 hours against this set of offices that had already been targeted on the night of Thursday 7 to Friday 8 March in clashes between young people and police. The flames had time to devastate the entire ground floor of the structure, putting some 100 people out of work….On the evening of Sunday, March 10, Lionel Beffre, prefect of Isère, went to the Mistral district to support his cops mobilized to (try to) restore order since Saturday, March 2. “But as the representative of the State arrived on Rhine-Danube Avenue, unrest resumed in the area, a group of young people attacking a car. Police and CRS had to intervene and were targeted by projectiles “. He recalled that since the beginning of the riots, 11 people have been arrested.“… Marseille: CCTV cameras wrecked, burning barricades, bank window smashed, insurance company ransacked during carnival at La Plaine and elsewhere
Below: the Arc de Triomphe in Marseille was covered in graffiti. This one says “…that the walls fall and the borders burn”
Venezuela, Caracas: looting on 4th day of electricity blackout …Maracaibo: beginning of 3 days of looting More here “…hundreds of civilians ransacking more than 500 shops and businesses…”
Hotel of the future: Maracaibo
See also this: A Desperate Venezuela Today (despite having elements of self-management ideology, and an affirmative use of the dubious Chavista term “People’s Power”, this seems to be a pretty good contribution to understanding the situation there). It should be pointed out, for those who can’t see the obvious, that Guaido, who’s supported by Trump and Richard Branson amongst other creeps, is clearly using this as a way of buying support from the impoverished and starving. Whether the Venezuelan poor can steer their way past the Scylla of the Left of Capital and the Charybdis of Capital’s Right wing is unlikely without an intensification of independent class struggle throughout Latin America and further. See also this: Humanitarian Aid… for War. And this, about the conflicts on the Colombian-Venezuelan border bridge (thought the final sentence – “we are simply not in a position to decide which faction in this fight should win” – is a cop-out, since we are definitely in a position to desire, though not decide, that no faction should win. Also worth reading – this El Libertario article, though very general and lacking in details about present daily life there.
South Africa, Eastern Cape: lectures cancelled as students block campus over non-registration of poor students…Gauteng: TUT campus shut down due to violent student protests over meal allowances and accommodation…KwaZulu Natal: another critique of miseducation
France, Grenoble: 5th night of riots “The Mistral district in Grenoble experienced a brief moment of peace Wednesday to pay tribute to the two young people killed by scooter trying to escape the police, before the violence resumed in the evening. The disturbances began around 9 pm when several cars were overturned and burned while stones and molotov cocktails were thrown from the roofs of buildings onto the police“…Maine-et-Loire: screws’ cars burnt &/or damaged parked against prison wall
US, Oakland: report on sell-out of teachers’ strike
Interesting report, although through a dubious source. We don’t need to agree with Trots to know that the teachers got ripped for this one, along with the students.
France, Grenoble: 3rd night of riots Originally confined to the Mistral area of the city (where the 2 youths came from) the riots have spread to 7 other areas of Grenoble.
France, Grenoble: molotovs thrown as youths riot following death of 2 teenagers in ‘accident’ during cop car chase More here “Several fires broke out: garbage and car fires. A hundred young people faced the police. At around 1am, about 40 of them attacked a nearby CRS barracks, CRS 47, with projectiles and insults. They then burned two cars thirty meters from the gate and tried to climb it. A CRS policeman came out of the police station and pointed his assault rifle at them, while his colleague threw tear gas and called for reinforcements. The individuals left but continued to light garbage and car fires in the Mistral district until 5am. A police source says: “As far as I can remember, there has never been such an open attack on the CRS 47″….”It’s true that the neighborhood is known to be tense, but we never had this level of intensity.” – Alexander, a witness” This riot, in fact, started in the late evening of the 2nd March, continuing into the night of Sunday early morning. A second riot began on 3rd March, Sunday evening: see here “Youths set up barricades and threw petrol bombs at police and set fire to cars in the centre of the city. Tensions were high for a second night running on Sunday in the Mistral district of the city where the teenagers lived. Locals accused police of a blunder and one relative told an AFP reporter “you can write that the police were responsible for their deaths”. Around 15 vehicles, including two construction vehicles, were torched while the ground floor of a council department building was destroyed by fire, local media report. “
Algeria, Algiers: 70,000 demonstrate against president’s decision to run for 5th term See entries for 1/3/, 26/2, 23/2 & 22/2.
Greece: cops attacked in Athens and Thessaloniki “In Athens, about 40 masked individuals, dressed as revellers, attacked a police precinct in the neighborhood of Koukaki, throwing at least four firebombs. The precinct’s entrance was damaged, as were two patrol cars parked outside and an adjacent baker. Police have detained ten individuals over the incident. In Thessaloniki, about 50 people attacked police officers guarding the Turkish consulate at about 2.40 a.m. Sunday, throwing firebombs and rocks. Police responded with tear gas and stun grenades and gave chase, but the assailants run into the grounds of Aristotle University, which, like university campuses across the country, are off-limits to police. Firefighters extinguished a couple of small fires ignited by the firebombs.”
Algeria, Algiers: clashes continue See entries for 26/2, 23/2 & 22/2.