march 2021

 

“March is the month of expectation, the things we do not know – the persons of prognostication are coming now.”

―Emily Dickinson

“March was an unpredictable month, when it was never clear what might happen. Warm days raised hopes until ice and grey skies shut over the town again.”

―Tracy Chevalier

2020  2019  2018   2017  2016   2015  2014  2013

February 2021 hereApril here

31/3/21:

France, Oise: youths clash with cops for a 2nd night (molotovs and heavy duty fireworks) …Following crackdown on  this attempt to have a barbecue

30/3/21:

Tunisia, Tataouine: unemployed try to storm government HQ…More here

Switzerland, Vaud: clashes as cops evict ZAD

29/3/21:

Chile, Santiago: barricades and  clashes in different parts of city on Day of the Young Combatant…See this.

27/3/21:

France, Lyon: bus and several cars burnt by youths

Not sure if this is a continuation of the protests at the beginning of the month because the cops had put a young motocyclist in a coma or…?

26/3/21:

UK, Bristol: further clashes over totalitarian cop billAn account of a participant

25/3/21:

USA, California: clashes as cops evict homeless camp

24/3/21:

France, Bordeaux: principle theatre of city, having been occupied for a week, is evicted by heavily armed cops…More here (bilingual, French & English).

Much of this in the name of re-starting work against Covid restrictions and the defence of the glories of French culture, but these posters are  quite good, at least in their sense of life and spirit:

Translation of above poster:

Bordeaux Commune, 18th March 2021.

Considering  that the Grand Theatre of Bordeaux was where the National Assembly retreated to at the time of the Paris Commune in 1871;

Considering  that this place was the sanctuary of bourgeois conservatism, evicting the popular classes, hiding the workers backstage;

Considering  that the Grand Theatre, representing bourgeois culture, did not wait for covid for there to be social distancing

Considering  that the exploitation of art by power can only produce a dead culture

Considering  that culture ceaselessly renews the infamous separation between the learned and the ignorant

Considering  that begging for a work contract is contrary to the principle of emancipation and contributes to imprisoning our imagination;

Considering  that work is a place of forced compromise and soft servility;

Considering  that the prefectures evict massively, destroying each place and thus their ways of living;

Considering  that all negotiation with the state and its actors is just a masquerade, serving only to dissimulate the fires of repression

Considering the current devastation of the world –

DECREE:

Article 1: the Grand Theatre will play the first stage of the Bordeaux Commune of 2021

Article 2: the spectacle must not be the pretty reflection of a disgusting life but it’s life itself that must interfere with the stage

Article 3: our desires are an art that shouldn’t be conserved behind glass

Article 4: Long live free art, totally naked, crude, large, sexy and ugly, refined and fat, chocolate, pistachio and vanilla, savagely, despicably and obscenely festive;

Article 5: Every idiot is a genius in their own domain

Article 6: the borders of art must be destroyed, leaving in their place free parties, clandestine bars, wildcat carnivals, backrooms, gigantic feasts and grandiloquent costumes

Article 7: We are irrational and want to trample on our imposed work tools. R.I.P Bachelot [Minister of Culture]

Article 8: Occupation of the town centres by the invisible hordes evicted by the prefecture

Article 9: no prefecture is on our side

Article 10: walls aren’t for decoration, they are meant to be lived in

Article 11: As long as judges and prosecutors aren’t drag queens we will not believe in justice

Article 12: We want everything immediately and that it should be complete, otherwise we will refuse it

Article 13: The uprising of the Earth

The intermission is over – it’s the hour of the final act

THE BORDEAUX COMMUNE

More here and here

UK, Bristol: more clashes over intensification of totalitarian powers

22/3/21:

UK, Bristol: police station windows smashed, cop vans torched, during riot against new plans to give police increased powers to shut down peaceful protestsGood eyewitnesss account/article herevarious videos and mainstream links  here

Police van on fire

See also this about the first riot against Thatcher in Bristol, 1980

Guinea, Conakry: riots and barricades after cops kill 2 people

According to testimonies collected on the spot, it was 10 p.m. when an officer from the Dabompa central police station shot, we do not know under what conditions, three people: a seller of kebabs near this roundabout and two young people who were passing by. One of them was killed on the spot and the other two were taken to a hospital, where one succumbed to his injuries. Immediately after this incident, several angry young people invaded the road, forcing officers from the Dabompa police station, who were deployed on the scene, to flee. A few minutes later, several BAC (Anti-Criminality Brigade) pick-ups arrived on the site. Officers restored order to the scene, before returning the victim’s body and the two injured to hospital. And this Monday morning, several young people, … again entered this roundabout. They erected barricades on the road, preventing all traffic. Demonstrators are protesting the act of the policeman and demanding justice. But, the police, in particular the CMIS N ° 4, made a muscular raid on the scene. The officers used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. Calm finally returned to the scene around 11 a.m.

Lebanon, Beirut: riot following failure to constitute government

21/3/21:

UK, London: anti-capitalists occupy former police station

“Squatters and autonomous activists have occupied the former Clapham Common Police Station to demand the withdrawal of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill and the end of the femicide recently highlighted by the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving Met police officer. As the closest cop shop to where Sarah was last seen, the occupation of this building holds particular importance and meaning at this time. Although the bill has been postponed, we have to keep fighting it to ensure it does not pass….”

20/3/21:

UK, London: clashes on anti-lockdown demo

A mix of right-wingers and others who have no precise affinities or ideologies.

19/3/21:

France, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes: cops attacked with heavy duty fireworks again by about 50 youths following 4 cars and a dozen bins being burnt

16/3/21:

France, Ales: theatre occupied by yellow vests  after their occupation of unemployment/employment/social security office building  angry at reduction of social security benefits

Press release for occupation of employment offices:

In the wake of the occupation of roundabouts and cultural places, we have taken charge of the employment center-Alès Gardon since this morning, Tuesday March 16 2021.

Despite the health crisis and rising unemployment, the government unfolds its plan without listening to anyone. It forces through  its reform of unemployment insurance. From July 1, 2021, it intends to decrease allowances in a very important way, in particular for most precarious workers.

Faced with the overcrowding of hospitals, the consequence of a systematic breakdown of the public health system, the government’s choice is clear: it favors production, places of large consumption, while it keeps the places of life, creation and sociability closed. It provides massive support to large companies when it matters save more than a billion euros at the expense of the unemployed, the number of which continues to increase.

We, the unemployed, precarious, temporary workers, seasonal workers,  intermittent cultural workers*, workers of all sorts … demand social protection for all, as well as the pure and simple withdrawal  of the reform of unemployment insurance. We call on people to occupy our workplaces to organize, our places of culture to converge, all the places where our lives are decided to reclaim our future.

Occupy, occupy, occupy! Alès, March 16, 2021 from the occupation of the employment offices.

*See this for an earlier critique of the contradictions of this milieu (which later in the day produced a communique for the occupation of the theater: Communiqué Cratère Ales).

15/3/21:

Myanmar, Rangoon: intensified brutality

See also this report

14/3/21:

Holland, The Hague: clashes on illegal anti-lockdown/anti-curfew demo

“Police have used water cannon and batons to disperse a crowd of several thousand anti-lockdown protesters gathered at a field in the centre of The Hague a day before elections in the Netherlands. The demonstration was broken up after the protesters flouted social distancing rules and ignored police warnings to disperse. Local media said several arrests were made during the clashes. ..The Netherlands has been under a tough lockdown since late January with gatherings of more than two people banned, restaurants and bars shut and with the first night-time curfew since World War II. Dutch authorities had on Sunday stopped train services to The Hague, the seat of government, to prevent more protesters from arriving. Police initially told people to go home and announced over loudspeakers that the event was over and warned they would break up the protest by force if necessary. …Before the protest was dispersed, several people carried a homemade banner emblazoned with the text in Dutch “Love & Freedom: No Dictatorship”. Many in the crowd, gathered at the central Maliveld field in the city, were holding yellow umbrellas in a show of opposition and chanted “love, freedom, stop dictatorship”.

13/3/21:

UK, London: Cops use Covid1984 restrictions to justify clamp down on demonstration against cop murder of woman

“Clashes broke out Saturday between police and people who gathered in defiance of COVID-19 restrictions at an unofficial vigil for a London woman whose killing has spurred a national conversation in the U.K. about violence against women. The hundreds who gathered on Clapham Common, near where marketing executive Sarah Everard last was seen alive on March 3, defied a police request to disperse and a judge’s order to honour her to draw attention to the fear and danger many women see as a daily part of British life. Everard disappeared while walking home from a friend’s apartment and was found dead a week later. The slaying sent shockwaves across the U.K. because a police officer is charged with her kidnapping and murder. Video of the informal vigil turned rally showed officers tussling with participants. Male officers grabbed hold of several women and led them away in handcuffs to screaming and shouting from onlookers”

More here “Many said they were only more determined to come after police effectively banned the vigil. “The irony of it is so explicit – are you going to drag women off the street for protesting about a woman being dragged off the street?” said Deborah Bestwick, 62.”

There’s also an irony in the fact that these demonstrators are calling for the cops to protect them. Reclaim the Night used to be the standard feminist tactic – demos at night which didn’t make demands off abusive and brutal cops. But reclaiming the night is now illegal, thanks to the pretext of Covid.

And another point – Cate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, turned up to tell people how she also used to be afraid walking around at night. Undoubtedly this is true but the super-rich love to parade their credentials and pretend that they’re just like everybody else with reference to their own miseries (in this case, a misery she no longer has to suffer precisely because of her privileged position). And yet another point – men alone in the streets or parks at night are also often afraid (and with good reason), though obviously less so than women.

US, Los Angeles: clashes, etc. on 1st anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s murder by copsSeattle: similar events

Belgium, Liege: shops looted in furious riot against racist filth

11/3/21:

US, Oregon: protesters smash loads of  courthouse windows, set fires outside

9/3/21:

Greece, Athens: police station firebombed after cops get arbitrarily heavyVideos and links hereand Thessaloniki

Reports differ as to the date – though it’s almost certainly 9/3 not 11/3.

Slight re-write of a local eyewitness account:
Though the media figure is 5000, more than 10,000 people came (maybe  15,000), both local residents as well as people from all over the place. It was a mixed crowd of high school students, anarchists, CP members, football hooligans from various teams, families etc. It wasn’t actually a demo – more a flowing river of anger to the police station with about 2,000 in the front, throwing molotov cocktails, sticks, stones etc. One of them pulled a cop of Delta force down from his bike and then a crowd started attacking him.
Then followed a crackdown in the neighborhood, as after the 9pm curfew those few in the streets were beaten up and arrested in revenge. The escalation of repression is not so much due to the political nature of the right-wing government (some claim that it is a “dictatorship”) as to its need to manage the pandemic crisis in a cheap and advantageous way for the capitalist state so as to keep up and actually deepen austerity and on the other hand expedite a violent restructuring as far as work relations, the privatization of the health industry, the university and education in general, environmental laws etc. are concerned. Some months ago, like in November when there were arrrests  of those occupying a section of the university, there were just a few politicized people –  those who were presented as “troublemakers”, “irresponsible virus transmitters” etc., who were scapegoated and repressed. Now, more and more people realize that their life has become unbearable and the police are the most obvious reason for it.
More here and here
“The lockdowns have also been militarized, especially in the poorer regions to the west of Athens and in the treatment of Roma communities across the country. Soldiers in armored vehicles enforce intensive lockdowns in these regions characterized by poverty, migrant labor, and Roma populations. It is no coincidence that the rebellious neighborhood of Exarchia and Roma communities outside the center of Athens are targeted with especially strict lockdowns, while in wealthy suburbs and neighborhoods like Athens’ Colonaki, groups gather outside coffee shops, people move freely without fear of being detained, and upscale business owners use a loophole intended for essential workers to make papers that permit their friends to hang out with them in bars and restaurants that are open for take away. It is truly dystopian when a boss’s signature is the next best justification for being out after curfew to a dog that needs walking.”

See this about events on 7/3/21.

8/3/21:

Mexico, Mexico City: women clash with cops on international women’s day demo against femicide…More here

“In Mexico, clashes took place in Mexico City, Oaxaca, Puebla and Cuernavaca (Morelos). In the capital, at least 20,000 demonstrators protested against femicides (endemic phenomenon in the country) and against the insecurity experienced by women in the public space. 1700 police officers had been deployed to contain them. Some protesters managed to knock down the metal fences protecting the national palace. The anti-riot police then used their shields to prevent protesters from entering the palace. Militant feminists set fire to police shields guarding the National Palace. In Cuernavaca, capital of the state of Morelos, groups of hooded militants attacked public buildings. The headquarters of the judiciary was attacked with Molotov cocktail, while the windows of the government’s palace were broken. A church has also been attacked. Clashes have also been reported in the city of Xalapa located in the state of Veracruz. The anti-riot police attempted to split the procession but did not reach it. In the city of Oaxaca de Juárez, the feminists attacked a church, as well as a building of the Ministry of Health. Finally clashes have been reported in the city of Puebla, capital of the state of Puebla.

Colombia:On the afternoon of March 8, a group of feminists set fire to the church of San Francisco de Asís during protests organized for Women’s Day (8M) in Bogotá (Colombia). The main door of the temple was set in flames. The local newspaper Noticias Caracol, two Transmilenio buses, the Las Nieves and San Diego stations, a SITP bus and the Palace of Justice were also vandalized during the demonstration.”

India, Manesar: women on wildcat sit-down strike, occupying company grounds but not the factory itself

Myanmar: nationwide strike called as cops occupy hospitals

7/3/21:

Greece: various videos of state repression of demos for hunger striker

Virtually none of the articles or videos relating to Dimitris Koufontinas offer a critique of the fetishism of armed struggle and the avant-gardist Leninist perspective of the group he belonged to. Now one can support the guy in his  attempts to improve his miserable conditions (and oppose prisons generally) and be repulsed by the fact that the state is hastening his death but not to also critique these perspectives, perspectives which are not at all the explicit perspectives of the anarchists  who support him, means, through silence, one implicitly supports them.

6/3/21:

France, Lyon: clashes continueLille: clashes with filth on small yellow vest demoVideo of cops in Lille attacking and grabbing a reporter with a smartphone

Senegal, Diaobe: teenager killed by cops as police station is burnt down, government buildings ransacked in sporadic riots against arrest of opposition leader

5/3/21:

Israel: over 10,000, the majority Arabs, protest cop brutality

“Over ten thousand residents of the northern Arab-majority town of Umm al-Fahm took to the streets to protest police brutality as well as gun violence in the Arab community on Friday. According to an Israel Police statement, some protesters set off fireworks and hurled stones at police officers. Umm-al Fahm’s Mayor Samir Mahamid said that the protesters gathered “in peace,” extending his thanks to everyone who attended the protest. “We’re here to protest police violence and also to call on the police to act against criminal gangs in our communities. We don’t have a violent message, we just want to live safely in our towns,” Mahamid said. Residents of nearby towns also joined the protests, as well as a number of Jewish Israelis and representatives from the Ra’am and Meretz political parties. Among the participants was Jaber Hijazi from Tamra, whose brother Ahmad was killed last month in a gunfire exchange between police officers and suspects. “I am participating in the demonstration out of sympathy with the residents of the city and Arab society in general,” he said. …The leader of the Ra’am party Mansour Abbas was also attacked by protesters. Locals pushed him forcefully, and called on him to leave the scene. Abbas withdrew his Ra’am party from the Joint List coalition last month, and has come under criticism over his refusal to rule out joining a government with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Sources in Ra’am claimed that the attackers were members of rival Arab parties, but activists in Balad and Hadash denied this. The Umm al-Fahm municipality released a statement condemning the attack, but called the overall protest successful in terms of turnout and its messaging. Joint List Knesset member Yousef Jabareen, who was wounded by a stun grenade fired by police during last week’s protest, told Haaretz: “The fact that police did not intervene this time indicates they are grasping the magnitude of the crisis.” Moshe, an ultra-Orthodox man from Bnei Brak told Haaretz he joined the Umm-al Fahm protest to stand in solidarity with locals against police brutaility. “I came to show solidarity with the Umm-al Fam community, as an ultra-Orthodox man I can understand the frustration and anger of the locals [toward police], even if I don’t look like I belong here,” he said. …Protesters waved both Palestinians and black flags. Some callied for the expulsion of police forces from their communities, following reports of police brutality at last week’s protests against violence. Israel Police said earlier they closed off roads to traffic in Israel’s north resulting from the protests, including route 65 that leads into Umm-al Fahm. On Thursday, police sent a letter to the mayor of Umm al-Fahm, saying the Arab city will be held accountable for any disorder during a demonstration slated for Friday to protest the authorities’ response to gun violence in Arab society. This comes after several protesters were wounded, with one of them sustaining serious injuries in last week’s rally as police clashed with demonstrators. Eight police officers were also injured. A stun grenade fired by the police wounded Jabareen, a resident of Umm al-Fahm, and Mahamid. Mahamid replied that he rejects “the attempt to place responsibilities on the city that are not under its purview and which it is not capable of undertaking.”

4/3/21:

France, Lyon: clashes after cops tip over scooter sending 13-year-old rider into intensive care and coma

See also entry for 1/3/21 below and 25/2/21 here

3/3/21:

France, Nimes: cop van smashed in clashes between youths and filth

2/3/21:

Myanmar: further clashes and repression

1/3/21:

France, Oise: further clashes with cops

Much of the media don’t even bother to mention the context of these attacks – the death of the young man at the hands of the filth a week or so previously. As far as I can gather the cops deliberately went into the side of the motorbike the guy had stolen, a technique they often use. In the past the media would have included some of the points of view of youths in the area, but not now. Now it focuses on the horror that cops are twice as much more likely to be attacked than they were 20 years ago. The media seem to massively updosing the use of constant repetition to manipulate the spectators:  the same video of one hooded youth amongst others who  shouted “Kill them, kill them!” (ie kill the cops) 2 or 3 weeks after it was filmed is shown again and again and again (and again!). As if hatred of the cops, including the desire to kill them, hasn’t been part of proletarian culture for some time. Almost invariably they never give  the slightest reason for such attacks on the filth  other than the brutalised nature of the attackers, almost invariably linked to drug gangs.   Drug gangs there are – but it’d be purely moralistic to condemn youths for trying to increase their income by dealing weed and hash (other drugs are another question). Even if this is a business with, as usual with business,  obnoxious people at the top, it’s those at the bottom that obviously suffer the worst of cop harassment, and it’s these who  take the risk of confronting  the harassers.

Myanmar, Yangon: protesters continue clashes with state despite military having murdered at least 18 the day before

 

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