“It is a sort of April-weather life that we lead in this world. A little sunshine is generally the prelude to a storm”
– William Cowper
“April with its haunting joy, and swift-stinging tears, month of mist and music, and the old moon-madness, month of magic fluting, the spirit only hears”
– Virna Sheard
Cali: “Cali is the city in the country where there have been the most violent incidents during the national strike protests. Despite today’s curfew in the capital of Valle, riots broke out again. The marches blocked the road to Alfonso Bonilla Aragon airport for hours, affecting travellers arriving and departing the city. …A Comando de Atención Inmediata (CAI) in the Punta Rellena sector was attacked today, but no police officers were affected. Interior Minister Daniel Palacios said that Thursday’s violence was not marches “but organised vandalism aimed at affecting citizens”.
El Pasto: “…citizens were prosecuted for violence against public servants, damage to property and theft,” they explained. They also reported that eight banking institutions were affected, in addition to payment institutions, six public buildings, eight commercial premises, two churches and a police facility.”
See also this
Colombia: general strike leads to clashes in 10 towns and cities following tax increases Videos and links in Spanish here
Argentina, Neuquén: report on currently ongoing largely independent workers movement including health workers, teachers, transport workers, and others
“…On February 24th this year, the provincial government offered a 12% wage increase to health workers. On February 25th, the union’s grassroots assemblies in about 20 hospitals and health centres rejected this proposal. Union General Secretary Carlos Quintriqueo ignored this vote, and on Feb. 26th, the union leadership accepted the government’s deal. This fierce betrayal of union (ATE) representatives was the straw that broke the camel’s back. On March 2nd, a large inter-hospital meeting of health workers was held in the centre of Neuquén, the provincial capital. They decided to demand that wage negotiations be resumed, a 40% increase for 2020 and an adjustment in line with inflation for 2021. They also decided to coordinate their demands with the teachers’ union, ATEN, and to draw up a joint action plan. ATEN had rejected the same wage proposal a few days earlier, and decided not to resume classes on March 3rd. At the same time, various conflicts were spreading in the region. Social movements blocked rural road bridges and other points for an increase in support programs; schools throughout the province made demands of the state; and the feminist movement took to the streets against the femicide of Guadalupe Curual in Villa La Angostura. On March 10th, self-organized health workers, opposition to the ATEN union leadership, other public sector workers, workers in the self-managed tile factories, and social movements came together in a demonstration that ended at the main government building. On March 12th, health workers with the union of justice workers (SEJUN) blocked the bridges between Neuquén and Cipolletti. Meanwhile, ATEN maintained a protest camp in front of the government building. There was still no response from the political side…On March 24th, (the anniversary of the 1976 coup), thousands again took to the streets. In addition to the usual demands for commemoration, truth and justice, health was big on peoples’ agenda, demonstrating the broad legitimacy health workers now had amongst the wider population. More roadblocks, this time to famous tourist destinations, resulted in more clashes. The traffic chaos and growing criticism of a continued lack of response from the government emboldened health sector workers to expand their struggle further….The Neuquén area is known for its oil and gas industry. On April 7th, a series of indefinite blockades began at strategic points along the oil route, focussing on Añelo, the neuralgic centre of Vaca Muerta. Through the roadblocks, workers have been mainly targeting the trucks transporting fuel from the Vaca Muerta refinery, while letting the rest of the drivers pass. The blockades have made it difficult to drill new wells, forcing the closure of smaller wells, and causing problems at processing plants that threaten Buenos Aires’ gas supply. As the government continued its silence, the number of blockades increased to twelve by April 10th. For the last two weeks, 30 roadblocks have paralysed the activities of the petroleum industry in Vaca Muerta…Throughout all this, the Mapuche communities in the Añelo area have been joining the pickets. The situation with the truck drivers has gone from conflicts and counter-pickets to solidarity. Workers have joined in solidarity and stayed outside the Ciudad Judicial where the negotiation meetings were held. Meanwhile, almost all the union leaders not only do not support the strike but even openly attack it, like the leader of ATE Neuquén. The union leaders aligned with the Kirchner government, who went so far as to consider that it should be repressed, forcing all the sectional delegates to sign this declaration, which some of them denounced. Despite the position of the union leaders, on the roads and in the streets of Neuquén, there is massive participation of health workers and massive support of teachers, as well as the active support of various militant unemployed movements. In addition, most of the oil workers and truck drivers appear to be getting closer to the health workers, despite the significant physical and monetary wear and tear that being stranded on the roads causes them on a daily basis. Some helped to block supply products for fracking, and have been maintaining food supplies…In a recent statement, the workers declared that: ¨(…) In the face of any offer from the government, it will be the assemblies of the hospitals and health centres, including the comrades who are on the different picket lines on the routes, who will decide whether to accept or reject it. If our rebellion was because a group of leaders decided on a miserable increase behind our backs, it will continue to be the rank and file who will decide the next steps. We call on the workers in each hospital and health centre to continue fighting for our decent pay and working conditions to continue in the front line of care for the population in this pandemic and the community to continue to support us.¨“
“…at around 10pm a van was set on fire. Clashes then took place between around thirty individuals and the police. The latter were then targeted by numerous projectiles: stones and molotov cocktails. The police responded by firing tear gas to disperse the rioters. No serious injuries were reported. Calm finally returned around 1am. The neighbourhood has already been the scene of numerous acts of violence and vandalism this month, with repeated mortar attacks, dismantled surveillance cameras and burned vehicles.”
US, Oregon: BLM demo declared “riot” after a couple of windows smashed…Some reflections on Chauvin trial
France, Burgundy: 3rd day of clashes as cops attack and evict ecological garden project (ZAD)…various clashes with cops and attacks on cops and police stations by small groups using heavy-duty fireworks in Lyon, Yvelines, Isère and Oise
Mexico, Puebla: Valley of Mexico Nahua indigenous declare definitive closure of Bonafont water company after long occupation
“On April 21st of this year, the United Nahua Peoples of the Cholulteca and Volcanoes region went to the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI), which has been occupied by the Otomi community in Mexico City for more than 6 months.
At the same time, the United Nahua Peoples have been keeping the Bonafont bottling plant in the municipality of Juan C. Bonilla, Puebla, closed for a month now. The United Peoples denounce the looting of millions of litres of water by the Bonafont company, and the negative impacts that this looting has on the essential activities and self-employment of the Nahua Peoples in the region.
From “the house of the peoples”, as several Native Peoples now call the federal building, the United Nahua Peoples issued a communiqué in which they decree the definitive closure of the Bonafont company and reject any dialogue with representatives of the government and/or the company. In the communiqué they also denounce the complicity of the Mexican authorities and their disdain for the demands of the Nahua Peoples.
The following are excerpts from the communiqué:
To bad governments and their representatives:
Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, president of the republic
Olga Sánchez Cordero, Secretary of Governance
Germán Martínez Santoyo, national director of CONAGUA
Rosario Piedra Ibarra, National Commission of Human Rights
Today, Wednesday 21 April 2021, from the seizure of the INPI, today the home of the peoples, we decree the definitive closure of the Bonafont company… which, with the authorisation of the bad governments, plundered our peoples for 29 years and which from today will never again set foot on our territory. We were open to dialogue but never to negotiation”.
“We come to the house of the peoples, a space liberated by the Otomís comrades; since 6 months ago this building was taken as a response to the dispossession they suffered…by businessmen in collusion with Claudia Sheinbaum…since then the State has bet on weariness and hopelessness. What they have always ignored about us is that we have resisted their war of extermination for more than 500 years.”
“The struggle that the Nahua Peoples of the Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl volcanoes have undertaken is no different from that of our comrades; for us, too, indifference and criminalisation have been the only responses from the state and the businessmen…”
“On Monday, March 22 of this year, in the framework of World Water Day, the “Pueblos Unidos en Defensa del Agua y el Territorio” decided to take over the BONAFONT bottling plant… this company was installed in our territory in 1992… and with the permission of the then Governor of the State of Puebla, Manuel Bartlett Día… since then they have plundered approximately 1 million 641 thousand litres of water daily, all directly from the aquifers of our region, causing serious damage to our wells, lagoons, rivers and ameyales, making it difficult for us to carry out our agricultural activities and other sources of self-employment”.
“The United Nahua Peoples of the Cholulteca region and the Volcanoes have released 50 million 871 thousand litres of water that will return free to our aquifers…. we are guardians of mother earth, any company that tries to profit from life in our territory, will receive the punishment of the peoples”.
“WATER is not for sale, it is loved and defended!”
Germany, Berlin: clashes on demo against new suffocating Covid laws…Wupperthal: another demo against curfew
Chile: barricades, riots and clashes in several cities and different areas of cities over pension reforms
US, Minnesota: high-school students walk out of school to demonstrate about cop murders of blacks…More here…Interview with participant in Brooklyn Centre riot
“After restricting citizens’ right to assemble and air their grievances, and violently assaulting press freedom, the authorities in Brooklyn Center even went after freedom of worship, with a phalanx of 75 officers blocking a church where some in the community had found sanctuary.” – here.
“We should put them in uniform for even one evening so that they realize what the police are going through”. These are the words of a policeman in the front line of the urban violence that has erupted in Tourcoing in recent days. After two agitated evenings, the clashes resumed for the third time on the night of Monday 19 to Tuesday 20 April. Scuffles between youths and police took place in several neighborhoods of Tourcoing, but also in Roubaix and Wattignies, where the police station was targeted by fireworks without being damaged. In total, 11 people were arrested during this third night of clashes…It all started on Saturday 17 April 2021, in the Croix-Rouge district. In the late afternoon, an urban rodeo took place. “It seems that a young person on his scooter was having fun taunting police officers on patrol in the neighborhood,” said Serge Viseur, a police officer in Tourcoing and representative of the Alliance Police union in the Lille area. He said that the young scooter fell “without the CRS chasing him”, before the officials intervened. “The individual remained on the ground saying he was injured,” continues the trade unionist, creating a crowd. On a video that we obtained, we see a young person on the ground surrounded by the forces of order. As an official backs away, the youth stands up and flees. A few seconds later, the CRS van was targeted and several projectiles were violently thrown at the windows of the vehicle, forcing the police to quickly leave the scene… the police intervened again around 11 pm for a vehicle fire located at the same place where the first clashes had taken place a few hours earlier. According to the trade unionist Serge Viseur, there is no doubt that the fire was deliberate and had the objective of creating an “ambush” in order to target the police. The tension then went up a notch when the youths targeted the police with fireworks and stones. …After a relative return to calm, the evening of Sunday 18 April was the scene of new urban violence in the Croix-Rouge district but also in the Bourgogne district where reinforcements from the Lille police force were sent, said a union source. “They fired a mortar from Clémenceau Park in the direction of the Tourcoing police station, then it started again in the Croix-Rouge neighborhood,”…According to several union sources contacted, this violence is repeated recently almost everywhere in the Lille agglomeration. “It’s not every weekend, but it’s becoming regular and it’s really tiring, for us police officers but also for the local residents,” says Arnaud Boutelier, regional secretary of the Alliance Police union in the Hauts-de-France region, who cites certain districts of Roubaix and Villeneuve d’Ascq as examples. … the intensification of the fight against drug trafficking in recent months exacerbates tensions, while the human resources are not there…”…Also in Lille
Bangladesh, Chittagong: 5 young workers killed in clash with cops over wages dispute… Anarcho-leftist report here…See also report from 4/4/16 here
“In front of the Quinta de Olivos, in Plaza de Mayo and in the area of the Buenos Aires Obelisk, thousands of people demonstrated during Saturday afternoon against the restrictive measures promoted by the national government during the last week. The main reason for the protest was the suspension of the attendance of students in the schools of the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires (AMBA)… the Police of the city of Buenos Aires arrested six people…when a group of demonstrators tried to pull down the fences … of the Government House and threw fireworks at the police officers…In Plaza de Mayo there was also a confrontation between the PFA and the demonstrators. It happened when the latter started to move the fences and the security force moved them away from the entrance firing water at them …The largest mobilization was in the downtown area. As the afternoon went by, the Plaza de la República received the first demonstrators, and they were joined by dozens of vehicles that blocked the vicinity of Avenida 9 de Julio. ..Those who approached the concentration points -a group of people also gathered at the corner of Cabildo and Juramento- expressed their discomfort at the impossibility for the students of the initial, primary and secondary levels of the AMBA to attend schools until April 30…”We want freedom and justice,” said a man in dialogue with TN…”Face-to-face education is essential,” read one of the posters. In Olivos, a teenager consulted on this issue, said: “I won’t be able to see my friends. It’s not the same. A lot of things are lost in the virtual world. The content is similar but it is not the same”.
US: riots in Portland, Durham and Oakland over murdering cops… Washington DC: clashes …also New York and Chicago
Guinea, Kouroussa: facilities of mining company accused of clandestine mining completely burned down by angry youths
“A video posted on Shahin Hazamy’s Instagram account shows a youth being violently stopped in Nanterre by several police officers. On the ground, suffocating under the weight of the forces of repression, he repeatedly alerts that he can not breathe, shouting “he’s going to kill me! “. This violent arrest is part of the repression of the riots against police violence that broke out in Nanterre following the death of a 21 year old…After a 21-year-old man died in a traffic accident involving a police car, riots broke out in Nanterre to get to the bottom of the tragedy. In response, police forces were deployed in the city’s working-class neighborhoods in an attempt to quell the cry for Justice and Truth…In one of them, a young man is held down by three policemen. One of them held his head and neck while the youth shouted that he could not breathe: “He’s going to kill me! I can’t breathe! Call the fire department! “. ..Whereas the person filming the scene calls out to one of the police officers supervising the scene, this one tells him to “back off”. A desire to conceal these repressive operations, which follow two nights of revolts in the working-class neighborhoods of Nanterre. According to the same publication, the police have been hunting down young people since the beginning of the week in order to intimidate all the inhabitants who would like to revolt against police impunity. “Several extremely violent arrests have taken place today in different neighborhoods of Nanterre following last night’s revolts in this estate…”
This latter article also contains a highly valid critique of the Left of capital as exemplified by the prosecutor of the the murderer of George Floyd, Keith Ellison , who’s on the left of the Democrat Party and endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America, Bernie Sanders’ support organisation.
“On the evening of April 11, at least 52 businesses throughout the Twin Cities area had experienced vandalism or looting. By the end of the night following April 12, dozens of businesses had been vandalized and looted once again, including a Target store, a cell phone store, a Dollar Tree at a strip mall at which all the shops were looted, and several other targets in uptown Minneapolis and additional strip malls.”
“There are certain situations when dropping into a shop is a truly emotional experience. That’s when people start to smash that blatantly seductive parader of the beauty of possessions, the shop window which reflects back to you the ugliness of your fundamental dispossession. Don’t the vast majority dream of wrecking that fragile separation? At the same time as it titillates us with things we’ve been told we want, it prevents us from grasping them. When we smash a shop window, it’s not only the miraculous display of things (with their artistic image association and their ideological free gifts) that gets shattered, but also the ‘reasonable’ cops in our head. The objects become what they always were – just objects, whilst the bourgeois rationale that hypocritically distinguishes between theft and property also appears for what it is: bullshit to keep us impotently yearning….” – here.
US, Minnesota: clashes continue…Videos and other links here…Angry demos in Seattle, Portland, L.A., New York, Washington DC
“Portland… once again saw Antifa militants clash with cops and attempt to storm government buildings Monday night,..people marching through their area were stealing rocks and landscaping bricks to use as weapons against police in the city center. They then tried to storm the Penumbra Kelly Building, which houses offices for multiple law enforcement agencies, including Portland police and Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. …“People [threw] glass bottles, frozen water bottles, rocks, ball bearings and other objects, and shot fireworks parallel to the ground in the direction of police and the building,”…Elsewhere in the city, a group cut through a chain-link fence to access a parking lot at the historic building that houses Portland Police Bureau traffic offices at the same time as the riot was happening, the agency said. The suspects, who fled before officers responded, had smashed windows and slashed tires of several police vehicles.”
“Looting then broke out at various strip malls and corporate stores which then spread into Minneapolis and St. Paul, according to a local news reporter. In Brooklyn Center, 20 businesses were looted, in Minneapolis, 24, and in St. Paul, 8. “
“The National Guard was deployed overnight, after several hours of clashes between police and protesters shouting “justice”. Law enforcement officials used tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets… Several stores were looted. “
France, Essonne: about 20 people in clashes with cops in 2 different areas; molotovs, stones and barricades v. tear gas and flashballs
Argentina, Catamarca: protesters against mining project destroy offices of mining company, wreck HQ of political party and a senator’s offices
France, Gard: nice joyful video of action in supermarket demanding and getting half-price self-reduction
Algeria, Bouira: roads blocked, rioting for several hours, after hundreds not selected for social housing
Argentina, Santa Cruz: molotovs v. rubber bullets as protesters riot against death in police cell of 19-year-old man…video here
South Africa, KwaZulu Natal: students and workers unite and fight university security during strike by university workers…More here
“They used burning tyres to blockade the institution’s main entrance. University management says this is in contravention of picketing rules. Ngobese says they were hoping that trade union NEHAWU’s handover of a memorandum to management on behalf of staff, would be peaceful, but this was not to be. “There are clashes between students and police today but what the problem is there are those opportunistic parties who hijacked the struggle of workers for their own strike. It’s supposed to be a peaceful one. NEHAWU submitted the memorandum but the university must look into the matter, however, the workers just said enough is enough. They won’t keep working until their demands are met.”
US, Chicago: non-union Amazon workers on wildcat strike as Amazon brazenly intimidate union workers to vote against strike
Bangladesh, Saltha Upazila: demonstration against Covid restrictions turns into riot after cops kill demonstrator; police station torched, administrative offices, shopping centre etc. attacked
“One protester was killed and at least three others were critically injured as the police opened fire on mobs agitating against anti-COVID-19 restrictions in Saltha upazila of Faridpur on Monday night. The mobs attacked the upazila administrative office, Saltha police station, office of the assistant commissioner for land and muktijoddha complex and engaged in clashes with the police, according to witnesses…locals at one stage attacked sub-inspector Mizanur Rahman…hundreds of people marched towards the local police station and set fire to government installations, including the upazila parishad building, police station, AC Land office, UNO’s residence, upazila agriculture office”
“On Sunday night, prisoners smashed through the glass of street-facing windows and threw flaming debris to the street below. A crowd gathered around the facility while people, including local news reporters, filmed the men shouting their demands and chanting. “
France, Eure: 2 nights of heavy-duty firework clashes on estate as adolescents lure cops into ambush
“The unrest came a week after similar violence when police broke up an illegal party in the city. This week the exchanges were more heated, with police at one point being attacked by a Molotov cocktail. They responded with rubber bullets and tear gas. Two young people were injured. Some 21 were arrested by police for questioning, but all have since been released”
“85% of those detained by the army have suffered torture “
“Calm returned after unrest all evening in Bois de la Cambre after a fake festival … Large groups of young people played a game of cat and mouse with the police all evening. This afternoon, a multitude of people showed up for “La Boum”, a fake festival that supposedly took place there. Peace did not return until 10 p.m. Dozens were injured and 22 people were arrested. 7 police horses were also injured. … The police put it at about 2,000 participants. They had turned up for the April fishing festival [April Fools Day in French is “Poisson d’avril” – Fish April] “La Boum” announced via Facebook by an anonymous artist collective from Brussels. From the beginning of this week it was clear that it was a joke, but it all got out of hand. Young people in particular often came together to party without a mouth mask. …the atmosphere only became grim when the police arrived a little after 4 pm. “Then it started to derail…The police first tried to quietly evacuate the park, but that did not work. So they deployed the great resources: horses, dogs and the water cannon.” …A large part of the park had already been evacuated by 6.30 p.m., but a hard core of a few hundred people continues to play a game of cat and mouse with the police for hours. During the evening twilight, the party is still going on, according to these images. … Fireworks are even set off by the revelers around 9 pm. At the same time, the water cannon must also be deployed several times. At that time, two large groups with several hundred young people are running amok in the Bois de la Cambre….Minister of the Interior Annelies Verlinden (CD&V) reacts indignantly. “The April Fool’s joke that got out of hand today in the Bois de la Cambre is a blow to all those people who are doing their best to respect the corona measures,” she said in a press release. …”I am well aware that the COVID crisis is now taking a very long time for many people and especially young people and that it is not always easy to comply with the measures,” she continues. “The more consistently we show solidarity with the measures, the faster we can stop the spread of the virus together.” The Brussels mayor Philippe Close (PS) is also unhappy about what happened. Earlier this week, he had already asked the public prosecutor’s office to take action against the April Fish Festival and the police were also on standby this afternoon, he said. “We cannot tolerate thousands of people coming together while the virus is still spreading…Everyone needs a party, but we cannot accept this.” … “It is still much too early for this”, says virologist Steven Van Gucht…”We are at a stage where very few people are vaccinated and protected, so we have to keep insisting on the measures. This is not worth repeating. ” Van Gucht says he understands that many young people are tired of it, but still asks to persist. “By letting go too early you can potentially cause thousands of extra deaths that are not necessary because in a few weeks the people at risk for complications and deaths will be vaccinated. It’s too early to let go, however difficult that may be.”
More here and here. “Spokesperson” for the collective apparently “responsible” for the fake festival speaks here. This spokesperson says that they want to spread the idea of “wild parties” (flashmob parties?) throughout Europe, as if the idea came from them. In fact, spontaneously or organised on Facebook or wherever, such parties, in defiance of the authorities, have existed for some time (here, well before Covid, is an example of a whole nation of spontaneous parties). I remember towards the end of confinement in Montpellier in May last year, a party of a 100 people developed in the park without having been pre-organised at all. The absurdity of this epoch is that something as simple and banal as a street or park party is now defined as a threat to people’s lives and a callous egotistical act – both by so-called “revolutionaries” and conservatives. According to a letter from a participant in this party, the cops were particularly brutal and injuries amongst the party-goers were far higher than the official figures.