“He had never liked October. Ever since he had first lay in the autumn leaves…and heard the wind and saw the empty trees. It had made him cry, without a reason. And a little of that sadness returned each year to him.”
– Ray Bradbury
“There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir: We must rise and follow her, When from every hill of flame She calls, and calls each vagabond by name.”
– William Bliss
All references to the situation in Hong Kong will not appear here, but in “HONG KONG latest!”
“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. ”
Panama, Panama City: 3rd day of clashes as state embeds any possible leglisation of gay marriage within country’s constitution
“Protesting students, who were trying to go to the National Assembly in the capital of Panama, launched rockets against the police who fought back with pepper spray and made several arrests. Subsequently, incidents broke out at the University of Panama, where students erected barricades and threw stones at the police.“
“The masses in Port-au-Prince, and the other major cities in Haiti like Gonaïves, Cap-Haïtien and Jeremie, are living on the edge of famine, as the protests have disrupted all kinds of deliveries, including food. Many people aren’t working. Water and health care are scarce. Most schools have either never opened after the summer break or closed since…A sign at the demonstration, composed primarily of youth, read: “The voice of the people is the voice of liberty and welfare.” Of course, over the last few decades, US-installed or other presidents have come and gone and things have got worse. It’s banal and obvious that a mere change in the personnel of the state hasn’t changed anything, and cannot change anything. It’s like getting rid of Dr. Frankenstein but not his monster.
Australia, Melbourne: climate change protesters clash with cops at mining conference (videos and links)
“As the fourth inning began, the crowd initiated a “Lock him up!” chant, a throwback to Trump’s campaign trail chant directed at Hillary Clinton in 2016.”
Iraq – see this
Lebanon – see this
X writes: “Acute bureaucratic stench as the UAW jams through a bad contract to see to the resumption of business as usual, even before the votes are counted, which shows just how perfunctory the whole exercise was in the first place. When the bureaucrats had had enough, the contract was “approved” before the fact. The system of tiers is intact, by mutual agreement of union and managment, the payments and promotion schedules have been jiggered with a little, and that’s a “victory” for labor.”
France. La Reunion (French controlled island): 20 vehicles at car dealership destroyed during smallish riots in 2 towns as Macron visits island (videos and links)
X writes: “After yesterday’s invasion of the Congressional inquiry, it is clear that in their desperation, the neo-fascists in this country are more and more betting on the goon tactics of the SA.”
Chile: see this
Lebanon & Iraq: see this
Chile: protests spread to Valparaíso (where curfew was also imposed), Coquimbo, Concepción and Temuc
Chile, Santiago: State of emergency declared as youths riot in response to cops getting heavy over mass fare dodging against massive fare increases
“The latest protests follow grievances over the cost of living, specifically the costs of healthcare, education and public services. Unsatisfied by partial reforms following widespread education protests in 2011, the metro fare rise has proved the spark that has awoken Chile’s formidable student body…The entity that controls the Santiago Metro network has already confirmed that there will be no service over the weekend, and the Chilean student federation has called a nationwide strike for Monday.”
…More here “ as night fell, the Enel utility building and a branch of Banco Chile, both in the city center, were set on fire. … no employees were injured…A nearby supermarket was also looted and several metro stations were attacked with Molotov cocktails…Before the metro stations were closed, calls to get on the trains without tickets had circulated, protesting against the increase in the price of metro tickets, from 800 to 830 pesos (about $ 2) during rush hour , after already a first increase of 20 pesos last January. “The entire network is closed due to riots and destruction that prevent the minimum security conditions for passengers and workers,” the metro manager said on Twitter, after attacks against almost all 164 stations where many gates and turnstiles were destroyed. …The Santiago Metro, the largest (140 km) and most modern in South America, which carries about 3 million passengers per day, is expected to remain closed this weekend and could reopen gradually next week. Many Santiago residents have had to walk home, sometimes traveling long distances, resulting in scenes of chaos and despair. In various parts of the city, protesters erected barricades and clashed with police, who used water cannons and tear gas, the most long-standing street battle scenes in the Chilean capital…President Sebastian Pinera called the protesters delinquents. “This desire to break everything is not a protest, it’s criminal,” he said in a radio interview. Thursday, 133 people had been arrested for damage in the metro stations, where the damage amounted to 400 to 500 million pesos (about $ 925,000)”.… More here“The campaign erupted when secondary school students began to jump barriers in groups following a fare rise on 6 October, which put Santiago’s metro among the most expensive in Latin America at 830 pesos ($1.17) during the rush hour. Bus prices also climbed as part of the changes…The demonstrations have spread across the city, leading to violent clashes between protesters and police, who have used teargas to disperse crowds on concourses and platforms. Protesters have vandalized barriers and electronic turnstiles, and pulled emergency brakes on trains, affecting the more than 2.5 million passengers who use the metro each day. Police have made dozens of arrests and two officers were reportedly injured.”
Honduras: rioting and looting in different parts of country as people demand president resigns after his brother is found guilty of drug trafficking
“Looting of household appliances and clothing stores was recorded at some six small businesses in Comayagüela…Also at a state grocery …. Fierce protesters blocked with stones and tires numerous points on the main roads across the nation’s territory and prevented the passage of vehicles in nine of the 18 Honduran provinces. A police transport truck was set on fire in the busy Suyapa Boulevard in this city….A gas station in the San Miguel neighborhood, east of Tegucigalpa, and another in Kennedy, to the south, were attacked by people who also damaged road and commercial signs in different parts of the capital.“
“Protesters in the capital blocked the road to the airport with burning tyres, prompting a heavy deployment by security forces. Near government headquarters in central Beirut, violent confrontations broke out between protesters and security forces as demonstrators tried to storm the building. Security forces fired tear gas to disperse protesters, after the Internal Security Forces (ISF) said clashes wounded 40 of its members. Protesters also sparked a large blaze near the Mohammad al-Amin mosque in Downtown Beirut…Besides the capital Beirut, protests erupted in the southern city of Sidon, the northern city of Tripoli and the Bekaa Valley, before spreading to other areas..Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Choucair said that the government had reversed its decision to tax calls on messaging apps following the unrest.”
Spain, Catalonia : an example of the confusions of this epoch …Videos and links about 4 towns (mainly Barcelona, but also Gerona, Tarragona and Lerida)
See Homage to Catatonia, on this site (from 2 years ago) See also this from 15/10. And this from 14/10. Apparently those protesting in Catalonia have been influenced by Hong Kong – Hong Kong is exporting its protest techniques around the world. But there are significant differences between the mentality of youth and local history in the 2 places beyond the obvious. Catalonia has had a rich history of proletarian struggle against austerity as recently as 2014, and that’s apart from having been the area of the world of one of history’s most advanced revolutionary movements (1936-37). Hong Kong has no equivalent history and for this reason they could be forgiven for their naivety about democracy and for their localist nationalist ideology (which, is not to ignore the enormous problems such attitudes pose), which has the merit at least of being partly understandable because of the threat posed by the world’s most totalitarian state, which reinforces illusions in ‘independence’. Catalans have no such excuse and the fact that some people who called themselves anarchists have now taken on a regionalist independentist ideology is unforgiveable.
This reproduction of 3 texts about the situation is informative but also full of wishful-thinking that the movement could somehow transform itself from Catalan nationalism into a general anti-capitalist struggle. Everything could, of course, but without an explicit attack on self-determinist ideology confronting the cops etc. does not – through some activist fantasy – lead to anywhere other than becoming the ‘violent’ wing of Catalan nationalism. Fascists also fight the cops in certain situations, and often in “horizontalist” ways, without obvious leaders (eg some of the most violent participants in Maidan in the Ukraine in 2014). Just as you cannot fight alienation with alienated means so the opposiote is also true. “Anarchists” who uncritically join this movement cannot fight capitalism whilst hiding their aims under what is a capitalist content. The whole history of class struggle internationally over the last 100 years or more show that form and content cannot be separated. How you struggle cannot be separated from what you struggle for. Whilst independent action could lead to a perspective where proletarians throughout Spain recognise themselves in such independent action it can only do this by asserting as publicly as possible such an aim against localist nationalism. Without this it could equally lead to another method of intensifying the divisions amongst proletarians.
Colombia, Bogota: cement truck partly unloaded to block road during student riots (videos & links in Spanish)
France, Paris : heavy clashes between cops and firefighters More links and videos here.
Extinction Rebellion protests throughout world For critiques of Extinction Rebellion see this post on this site
Ecuador: from now on see “Ecuador – October 2019”
…whilst some indigenous leaders (though certainly not all) condemn “vandalism and looting”…clashes in Guayaquil, where government has moved to …More here Videos and other links here. See “Ecuador – October 2019”
Honduras, Tegucigalpa: clashes between cops and protesters angry over president’s receipt of millions from drug lords
Ecuador, Quito: anti-austerity riots etc. force Lenin Moreno’s government to relocate outside of the capital after state ends fuel subsidies, sacks some public sector workers, threatens privatisations
“Images from Quito showed protesters hurling petrol bombs and stones, ransacking and vandalising public buildings as well as clashing with the police in running battles late into the night… The president faces a stiff challenge from indigenous groups and others who blocked some roads for a fifth day from Monday morning with stones, tyres and branches. Indigenous-led protests brought down three presidents in the years before Correa’s rule. Rioters in Quito forced their way into the comptroller general’s office and vandalised the assembly building on Monday. It followed days of violence in which protesters burned military vehicles, destroyed dozens of rose farms, a dairy and an oil production facility. The outnumbered security forces have been unable to prevent much of the destruction… prices rose overnight by about a quarter for petrol and double for diesel. A state of emergency was imposed on Thursday. Lorry and taxi drivers forced a partial shutdown of Quito’s airport and roadblocks have paralysed trunks roads across the country. ” More here “The South American country of 17 million people appeared to be at a dangerous impasse, paralyzed by a lack of public transport and blockaded roads that were taking a toll on an already vulnerable economy. Violence has persisted since last week, when President Lenín Moreno’s decision to end subsidies led to a sharp increase in fuel prices. Protesters seized some oil installations and the state oil company, Petroecuador, warned that production losses could reach 165,000 barrels a day, or nearly one-third of total production, if insecurity continues. The government declared an overnight curfew around key state installations and government buildings as well as vital infrastructure such as airports and oil refineries. Earlier Tuesday, protesters broke through police barriers and some entered the empty congress building in Quito. Police fired tear gas and forced them to retreat. Indigenous protesters occupied two water treatment plants in the city of Ambato, south of the capital, raising concern about supply to residents, according to municipal authorities. On Monday night, hundreds of people rampaged through the Duran area near the port city of Guayaquil, looting pharmacies, electronic appliance stores and other buildings. In another part of Ecuador, police abandoned an armored vehicle to protesters who set it on fire. In multiple areas, rioters smashed car windows, broke into shops and confronted security forces...”…and here (videos and links).See also entries for 7/10, 5/10 & 3/10 below.
Below: proletarians show Lenin what is to be done