I have now decided to reduce these entries to the bare minimum, mainly for future reference. For social contestation related primarily to the health pass and other Covid-related demonstrations see here.
Those who wish to keep up with various news of social contestation may find this French site useful, with links in lots of different languages. On the right-hand side there’s a list of the latest bits of information. It’s an eclectic mix – much of it includes ethnic or other miserable clashes, but it also includes aspects of class struggle . For translations I recommend Deepl.
Since nothing goes without saying, I should make it clear that I am not in agreement with the ideological aspects of the sites or texts linked to . Which of course doesn’t say much.
Since my input here will be very limited, I’ve decided (for the moment at least) to put everything related to this year on one page.
“A senior United Nations official for Libya has condemned the storming of the parliament’s headquarters by angry demonstrators as part of protests in several cities against the economic turmoil and the political deadlock in the country. Hundreds of protesters marched in the streets of the capital, Tripoli, and other Libyan cities on Friday, with many attacking and setting fire to government buildings, including the House of Representatives in the eastern city of Tobruk.” – here
Hard to know if there’s much independent of political parties in this – though I suspect that the storming and burning of part of parliament may well be independent.
“…City dwellers also took to the streets of Quito over the rising cost of living. Mechanical engineer Miguel Terán, who could not get to work due to roadblocks and strikes by bus and taxi drivers, joined the marchers. “There is a clamour among the people, especially those who don’t have a job,” he said. Unemployment rocketed in the pandemic and recovery has been slow with just 33.2% of Ecuadoreans with formal employment and 22.1% underemployed, according to Ecuador’s statistics institute. “It’s very difficult to live when all the prices have risen so much. The fuel prices have gone up, so all the basic products have gone up,” said Terán, adding also that people were angry at the meagre investment in health and education…”
Not yet reached the level of uprising that happened in October 2019, but…Worth looking at this to reveal the extent of the indigenous leaders’ complicity with the state at that time. They refused dialogue with the government then, just as they do now, but then quickly reversed this position of non-cooperation. Of course, this post Covid,/Ukrainian war epoch is far worse than 2019, and the government may well just simply resort to out-and-out massacre if the movement develops, which would hardly favour eventual dialogue, but who knows?
Mentions a lot more deaths at the hand of the state than previously mentioned dominant media.
US: clashes in 2 states over abortion rights and a further 2 states…anarchist report here…reformist report on lack of abortion “rights” in UK
Ecuador, Quito: indigenous demonstrators try to storm National Assembly on 11th day of demonstrations & strikes over rising cost of ” living”
Ecuador: various links to indigenous conflicts with state over massive rises in cost of “living” – here, here and here (links and videos mainly in Spanish)
Example of what’s been happening over last few days: after at least 1 protester was killed by cops, a police station was torched and now 18 cops are “missing”. Lots of looting. Bank and Governor’s building attacked, etc. Indigenous leaders denounce vandalism. This in Puyo.Hard to unravel the complexities of the situation. Guardian report here.
Solidarity initiative with refugees, deserters, pacifists in Ukraine as well as in Russia and Belarus
War is raging in Eastern Europe. In an imperialist war of aggression, Russian troops have invaded Ukraine on the orders of Vladimir Putin. There are already many dead and wounded. Further escalations are imminent.
Tens of thousands of Ukrainians have taken to the roads to escape the advancing death with tanks and bombing. In Russia, courageous demonstrators are braving the repression to express loudly their refusal to march in military step. In Belarus, anarchists are campaigning for soldiers to desert.
Whatever the rhetoric – ‘humanist’, nationalist, militarist, historical or otherwise – that justifies the current conflict, it is only in the interests of those who hold political, economic and military power.
Bombing peaceful cities, killing people, has no justification.
For us, workers, peasants, pensioners, students, it only brings suffering, blood and death.
Because nationalism is war, we oppose all forms of nationalism and we do not take sides with any government, neither here nor there. Our solidarity is with the people, not the institutions.
We propose to all those who, like us, yearn for freedom and abhor war to join our solidarity initiative to support – materially and financially – those who are fighting against the war, be they Ukrainian, Belarussian or Russian. We particularly seek to support Russian and Belarussian deserters and pacifists, who hold in their hands part of the solution against the war. We are also involved in solidarity with refugees, and we call for the widest possible acceptance of refugees in Europe.
Our initiative is independent of any political party. It is strictly secular.
We are inspired by Olga Taratuta. Ukrainian Jewish revolutionary anarchist activist, born in 1876. Imprisoned for more than 10 years in tsarist prisons for revolutionary activities in Odessa among other places, freed in February 1917 thanks to the revolution, she founded the Black Cross in Kharkov in 1920, to help the political prisoners of the revolutionary movement, whether they were in the prisons of the White Russians, the Ukrainian nationalists or the Bolsheviks. She was imprisoned again for her solidarity activities by the Bolshevik authorities, who finally shot her in 1938. Olga Taratuta is a universal figure of the uncompromising struggle against dictatorship and for freedom.
Мир хижинам, война дворцам!
Peace to the thatched cottages War to the palaces!”
Iran: protests and clashes over increasing food price rises in 19 towns and cities over the last few days
Sri Lanka: after union-backed General Strike, riots against increasing economic misery continue; homes of ruling party officials attacked; some looting
Many of the reports here say that much of the violence was committed by ruling party goons attacking peaceful anti-government protesters. Sorry for not being able to make confused, and sometimes contradictory, reports clearer – hard to clearly define who was attacking who (see, for example, this which says that a local politician was trying to provoke an inter- communal clash). Perhaps the confusion is deliberate. See also report below for 19/4/22.
More details about other clashes re. access to abortion here.
Not sure if I agree with every word of it: it’s very hard to get to grips with the complexities of the situation from afar, but at least this poses significant questions.
See also entry for 1/4/22 below
Russia, Mordovia: molotovs against army recruitment centre…Belgorod: anarchists torch cell phone tower…another report on resistance to the invasion by Russians
France, Paris: Sorbonne occupied by 400 people in reaction to election – “Neither Macron nor Le Pen!”
Occupation lasted a bit over 30 hours – More here
See also entry for 4/4/22 below
Russia/Ukraine: some information of elements of resistance to fighting amongst Russians, including refusal by riot cops…statement from Ukranian and Greek anarchists about situation, emphasising Greek state involvement
This latter includes a podcast which I’ve not yet listened to.
“The municipality does not intend to solve most of the real problems of Kharkiv’s population, even under emergency conditions. The social services worked so poorly before the war and proved totally unprepared for such workloads. That is why the needs of those who can’t leave and need help are covered by volunteers, who make these lists themselves. Officials, on the other hand, promote themselves by distributing humanitarian aid and it is very profitable for them to keep people in the city. And they show everybody how cool Kharkiv is: look, they sweep up leaves in parks even under bombardments! That is, the real problems of everyday life are not solved, but the image of a well-maintained city remains. In that, their pre-war philosophy has not changed at all, it has just taken on new colours”
“Several violent incidents, including the burning of toll booths on highways, looting in stores and clashes between protesters and police occurred during the first such stoppage faced by Castillo’s leftist government. Protesters had also blocked the Pan-American highway, the country’s most important transport and traffic artery snaking north to south, and school had been suspended.”
Seems, though, that much of this is being organised by the official “opposition”, as compared with earlier protests.
“…Near the presidents’ home in Mirihana, the demonstrators set fire to an army bus and police vehicle….”
“…A number of protests were organised by opposition parties, but unlike before, ordinary Sri Lankans with no political affiliations have taken to the streets. And that is something that is concerning the president…”
Peru, Huancayo: clashes with state during strike against fuel price rises, plus blockades in 5 other towns
“… To me it’s incredibly clear that the Ukrainian authorities, amidst all talk of heroism and patriotism, is ready to sacrifice thousands of people stuck in the cities under attack. The state and the police aren’t concerned with our survival, they’re concerned with the survival of the law as such, and with the survival of the economy…”
Ukraine/Russia: this text on fascism/anti-fascism in the history of those 2 countries is interesting
Russia: Siberian governor confronted by locals attacking him for sending young soldiers to Ukraine as “cannon fodder”…Also here
““Young boys are thrown like cannon fodder, and most importantly for what? For palaces in Gelendzhik?” the close family member of the captured sniper Leonid Paktishev said, referring to the palatial mansion on the Black Sea that Russian independent journalists have said is linked to Putin.”
“The alliance “8. März United” alliance called on its social networks for an unauthorised demonstration on Saturday. The aim of the alliance is to “gather our anger against exploitation, discrimination and oppression and commit ourselves together to an emancipatory society”. The group deliberately chose not to seek permission for the demonstration. On social networks, the following justification can be read: “The requirement of a permit is a repressive instrument of the state. We do not want to comply with it. According to Pascal Siegenthaler, spokesman for the municipal police, several hundred people gathered in downtown Zurich. Dozens of police officers accompanied the procession, which the police had chosen to tolerate on condition that the demonstration remained peaceful and followed a precise route. But the demonstrators had decided to be combative. As they blocked some streets, they chanted “Get the hell out!” at the police.The latter then reacted with a water cannon. People on the scene say they also used tear gas – something the municipal police deny. And while some demonstrators set off fireworks, the police called in support from a helicopter. Meanwhile, a large part of the march was dispersed.”
Not at all sure how much this is an idealised version of events made to fit into the positive ideological vision of the author, but it’s worth a read.
“No war but the class war” – the only worthwhile slogan – is being abandoned by some anarchists and other “revolutionaries” of all shades (see, for instance, this from Crimethinc, written before the invasion, which is not to say they consistently take sides in this misery by any means). This is not to deny the need to resist but this need has to take a position independent of the Ukrainian state if “No war but the class war” is to remain more than just a slogan conveniently abandoned as soon as inter-imperialist war and the massacres begin. Taking or using weapons from any state is not the same as supporting these states. During WWII there was resistance independent of the various states, even if this resistance was small. Support for the Ukrainian state and NATO (or the sick idiots that support Putin) means supporting your future executioners. Whilst the situation is obviously more complicated than these over-simplified statements from afar, to abandon an internationalist position is to support your enemies.
Ukraine: video of locals confronting Russian tank…Internationalist anarchist text from Kharkov… a machine translation of their sympathetic take on the mutual aid etc …thread of life during the invasion and all the nuances of this war
As Belarus prepares to join Putin’s invasion, this Belarus-based anarchist site might be interesting to follow (though, like most anti-state statements so far, they have nothing to say but well-intentioned banalities). They’ve also published this.
During a national teachers’ strike, high school students protesting lack of replacement of teacher, burn stuff, chuck projectiles at cops, block bus lane, whilst cops throw teargas, with one cop car driving into a student who was filming, and another cop on a motorbike driving into another student.
Kazakhstan: Eyewitness acount of the uprising in Almaty (lots of dubious comments here, but it gives a clear picture of what went on)…. the state resorts to its more traditional methods – mass murder…More here and here
“The movement swept across Kazakhstan like wildfire and for a short time, on 5 January, threatened the power of the state. By Wednesday 5 January, protesters in Kazakhstan had occupied government buildings in a number of cities, and airports. They had blocked roads and railways. There were (unconfirmed) reports from Mangystau that police units have gone over to the side of the protesters. In Almaty, the largest city and commercial centre, a huge demonstration took over the city centre before security forces began to fire on it. (Please read this linked post: An eyewitness to the uprising in Almaty.) On that same day, the former president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, was sacked as the head of the national security council, the government resigned, president Tokayev appealed to the Collective Security Treaty Organisation headed by Russia to come to his aid, and 3000 mainly Russian troops flew in. (The absurd fiction that the demonstrators were “terrorists” was needed in part because the CSTO has no mandate to intervene in domestic law-and-order issues, as far as I understand.) In my view it’s important to keep in mind that the state was, however briefly, in danger of collapse. Popular movements create that danger.”
Kazakhstan: uprising – dozens killed on both sides of the class divide…Informative interview and appraisal on anarchist site here …More information here (including info about history of oil workers strikes)
31/12/21 – 1/1/22:
Not as interesting as last year’s riots: “It is not the first time Leipzig has seen clashes on New Year’s Eve. The city has for some time been known as a center of left-wing violence. Last year, unknown assailants set vehicles belonging to the German Army – the Bundeswehr – on fire. “
Of course, this is hardly “social contestation” more an expression of nihilist disgust/despair.