“July is a blind date with summer”
– Hal Borland
“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability”
– Sam Keen
Those aspects of social contestation linked to opposition to measures using the pretext of Covid have been put under the Covid1984 menu (July here)
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.
“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. ”
Chile, Santiago: riots and blockades during high school student-dominated demo for the release those arrested in 2019 uprising
Mexico, Chiapas: self-organised militia (including members of the Tzotzil Indigenous group) steal arms from the National Guard, wreck Town Hall, burn homes & cars of drug cartel murderers, kidnap 21 of them
Iran: left communist article on oil and petrochemical workers wildcat strike that’s been going on since June
Stodgily written in Leftcomspeak style but with interesting information.
“During this night of confrontations between the forces of order and anti-curfew demonstrators, others took advantage of it to attack in particular jewellery shops in Fort-de-France…A jeweller’s shop in the rue Lamartine was stormed shortly after 10pm. It was opened, emptied and set on fire at around 2am on Sunday, according to our journalists on the spot. …Later, at around 4am, a group of at least four people tried to break into another jeweller’s shop on Rue Lamartine but the security system resisted…By retreating far from the prefecture, small groups who intended to fight with the forces of order caused fires that the fire brigade was able to extinguish under the protection of police and gendarmes.
♦Bin fire in Victor Sévère street
♦Car set on fire on boulevard du Général de Gaulle
♦Fire in the jewellery shop on rue Lamartine, (mentioned above)
♦Bin fire in rue Perrinon
♦Car set on fire in Victor Sévère street
♦Fire in the hall of the Edf building in Place François Mitterrand
♦Bin fire in Place François Mitterrand
♦Brush fire on the Savane
Several barricades still smoking on the boulevard at 6am on Sunday morning …In addition, some videos posted on social networks show an attempt to burn down the courthouse. People can be seen in possession of incendiary devices…” For more on Martinique, see this.
Iran, Khuzestan: riots over water shortages in 6 areas…short video here showing further spread of uprising in area plus solidarity riots in other parts of Iran
On water wars, see this.
Lebanon: clashes…Videos here and here
Full of depressing appeals to democratic nonsense, but also has some interesting stuff to say.
“The riots that have been happening have nothing to do with Zuma. Poverty and hunger were a bomb and the break down in order caused by Zuma’s people lit the fuse. Everywhere people who started taking food from the shops said that they are starving and have nothing to do with Zuma and are not doing anything for him. Migrants were also taking food. Everyone who lives in South Africa was taking food because the issue was hunger and poverty. Many people were hungry before Covid. Now they have been starving since March last year. Many lost jobs and those few who were getting the R350 grant which was making a difference to their lives have lost it. More than 74% of the youth are unemployed. The elites have always ignored the poor. They do not see us. When the riots happened suddenly the poor were before their eyes. But the poor will remain poor after the riots. In fact, our lives will probably be much worse. If you ask people what they will eat after the riots are finished they say that they are hungry now. They will say that hunger is more deadly than Covid.”
“The biggest mass demonstrations for three decades have rippled through Cuba, as thousands took to the streets in cities throughout the island, demonstrating against food shortages, high prices and communist rule. The protests began in the morning, in the town of San Antonio de los Baños in the west of the island, and in the city of Palma Soriano in the east. In both cases protesters numbered in the hundreds. With millions of Cubans now with mobile internet on their phones, news of the protests quickly swept to Havana. By early afternoon, thousands marched through central Havana, chanting “homeland and life” and “freedom”. “I’m here because of hunger, because there’s no medicine, because of power cuts – because there’s a lack of everything,” said a man in his 40s who didn’t want to give his name for fear of reprisals…Youths tore up paving slabs and hurled them at police; police used pepper spray and beat protesters with truncheons. One policeman, hit on the head with a cobblestone, was sped away in a car that nearly ran over a protester. With a rock in each hand, Yusniel Pérez, 17, said: “We’re here because we’re hungry and poor. We don’t have food. We don’t have anything.”
“The protests have spread to the new wilaya of Touggourt after they were launched last Sunday, from the town of Ain Al Baida, gateway to the wilaya of Ouargla, in a climate of anger spreading like wildfire after images of police repression of injured demonstrators who were rushed to hospital made the rounds on social networks. They don’t want to go home any more, occupying the streets under a blazing sun and temperatures exceeding 60° in an escalation of anger that doesn’t leave the city any more, day or night. No official reaction, no measure of appeasement or call for calm has been heard. The local authorities remain silent, despite the blocking of roads with stone blocks and burning tyres. The young protesters, who have been demonstrating peacefully every Tuesday for 46 weeks, are expressing a feeling of injustice and exasperation that they can no longer put into words, so great is their anger and discontent with the repression, especially since the successive calls for appeasement and the questioning of the President of the Republic never stopped until the publication of job offers in the oil sector by the Anem last week. “As usual, we know in advance that we will be automatically excluded and that the bulk of the jobs will disappear into the circuits of entitlement,” explains a young person. Civil society associations expressed their fear that the wave of anger would spread to neighbouring regions, notably Hassi Messaoud, after young people from Touggourt prevented traffic on the RN3 on Saturday, warning against any manipulation to the detriment of the truly unemployed. The scuffles that broke out from the first day between the demonstrators and the riot police did not cease to amaze at the time when the closure of the main roads and the spectacular setting on fire of tyres affected Beni Thour as well as Aïn Al Bayda, Ngoussa, Rouissat, Sokra, Sidi Khouiled and Mekhadma which are the most populated districts of the chief town of the wilaya, leading to the partial and punctual stop of the tramway before its total closure to the night traffic. Law enforcement officers then took over the tramway line that the protesters have been occupying for three days as a threat, throwing stones at the police. At the end of the afternoon on Saturday, the official authorities did not express any reaction or statement on the events, no official party, elected body or political personality, including the coordination of civil associations, spoke out or broke the silence around a situation that seems insoluble and seriously uncontrollable at a time when the population is calling for the intervention of the country’s high authorities. The communal offices of the National Employment Agency have become an arena for protests and sit-ins, led by hundreds of young people demanding jobs at Sonatrach or foreign companies active in the oil zone of Ouargla, pointing the finger at the employment policy that excludes large parts of the local workforce, demanding at the same time the need for the departure of the Anem officials accused of “throwing oil on the fire by manipulating the lists”…The weekly sit-ins and demonstrations organised by young job seekers have multiplied in recent months, to the point that on several occasions they have threatened to commit suicide, following the example of what happened in the Beni Thour district last year, where dozens of young people threatened to commit suicide collectively after declaring themselves tired of official promises. According to the protesters, the Anem and its local branches are deliberately aggravating the unemployment crisis through what they consider to be illegal practices, describing it as a “souk” in which the process of buying and selling job offers is conducted in an opaque manner, without clear mechanisms and transparency. The demonstrators demand a ministerial commission of enquiry and political decisions to end their ordeal”
Myanmar, Yangon: as junta’s troops pressure public to pay electric bills, 3 electricity offices get bombed
“…military council authorities in the area were forcing residents to pay their electricity bills, and those households that did not pay were having their power cut off. “Even after the bombing, they’re still making announcements in the streets to pay the bills. They had four to five armed soldiers and uniformed electricians,” the resident said on Friday, noting that this was more than on previous days….Anti-coup protesters have called on members of the public to resist paying their electricity bills, since the payments would increase the funds available to the military coup council, which they aim to overthrow. …In the last week, bombs have also gone off at the electricity offices in Hlaing, Tamwe and Thingangyun townships in Yangon and Bago Township in Bago Region. Electricity is necessary for apartment residents to access water, as electric power is required to operate the water pump; most residences in densely populated Yangon are apartments. Many locals say they are finding it difficult to take part in the “no electric bills” campaign within the anti-coup movement, which encourages people to use generators and solar panels instead of relying on the military-controlled distribution of electric power.”
UK, London: report on occupation of empty police station as part of opposition to intensified police powers
Unfortunately there’s been virtually no critique of the idea that changing the constitution changes social relations. This is essentially a way of giving the nation a modern look (including indigenous leaders and an equal amount of women as men in the development of Chilean capitalism) whilst channeling the movement of 2019-20 into bourgeois democratic distractions. As so often, class contradictions are hidden under a leftist and feminist sheen.
Canada: report on burning of Catholic churches in response to the findings of 1,148 unmarked graves of indigenous kids at church-run residential schools
” Most but not all of the vandalism targeted Catholic churches, which ran about 60% of Canada’s 139 residential schools.”
China: report on a form of passive resistance/drop-out movement – “Workers of the world – tangping!”
“Five years ago, Luo Huazhong discovered that he enjoyed doing nothing. He quit his job as a factory worker in China, biked 1,300 miles from Sichuan Province to Tibet and decided he could get by on odd jobs and $60 a month from his savings. He called his new lifestyle “lying flat.” “I have been chilling,” Mr. Luo, 31, wrote in a blog post in April, describing his way of life. “I don’t feel like there’s anything wrong.” He titled his post “Lying Flat Is Justice,” attaching a photo of himself lying on his bed in a dark room with the curtains drawn. …Mr. Luo’s blog post was removed by censors, who saw it as an affront to Beijing’s economic ambitions. Mentions of “lying flat” — tangping, as it’s known in Mandarin — are heavily restricted on the Chinese internet. An official counternarrative has also emerged, encouraging young people to work hard for the sake of the country’s future. “After working for so long, I just felt numb, like a machine,” Mr. Luo said in an interview. “And so I resigned.”
Reminds me of this song. Given the totalitarian nature of China, this form of resistance seems about one of the few that won’t get you sent to prison or worse…yet. Not exactly a strategy but utterly understandable within the context of such a suffocating society.
Turkey, Istanbul: clashes on women’s demo against Erdogan’s withdrawal from treaty on gender violence
“Protests took place around the country and were planned again over the weekend as an appeal against the withdrawal from opposition parties was rejected by the Council of State on Tuesday. Demonstrators clashed with police who fired tear gas in Istanbul.
…The retreat has drawn blanket condemnation from around the world and sparked months of nationwide protests in a country where domestic violence is prevalent, with at least 300 femicides and 171 suspicious female deaths recorded last year by monitoring groups”