july 2020

another sweet summer of a thousand julys or a heatwave so hot men piss steam whilst women ovulate hard-boiled eggs or a metaphorical piercing chill of an alpine november…?

“…in july  

you fry or fly, you dry or fly, you cry or fly, 

deny or defy, deify or decry,

stay shy or get spry,

belie or apply, comply or ask why

or

you  buy and die

in july” –

e e cummings

(from the anthology “Rhyme Time With Our Treason”, edited by N.E.Wunnz, Anne S. Thetick, Ann Dovayousd, Stan Dedpo-Attri, Tec Neeks & Mo Desopperendeye)

2020  2019  2018  2017  2016  2015  2014  2013

June 2020 hereAugust 2020 here

30/7/20:

US, Oregon (Springfield): clashes on BLM marchThe rise of black counter-insurgency

“…A counter-insurgency campaign has fundamentally altered the course of the movement. While the retreat and defeat of the movement that it induced may turn out to be temporary, such campaigns present significant obstacles to further radicalization, and therefore must be addressed. This counter-insurgency campaign on the ground was spearheaded by the Black middle class, Black politicians, Black radical academics, and Black NGOs. …”

Comment from a friend:

“The failure of this ill-will piece is the failure of nearly everything that talks about the social movement in the US these days. It’s framed merely in terms of race. All the motivations and the betrayals of everyone is through the lens of race.
They get the timeline right in terms of things significantly changing after week one, and then all the snakes moving in. But there’s an a idolization of the “black proletariat” as the pure ones/ the vanguard. Describing that first week’s participants as “revolutionary abolitionists”- what kind of activist babble is that? The first week as a “black-led rebellion”- nobody was leading anyone in that explosion! (Black and white activists and ministers and shop-owners were leading the charge to snuff it out that first week, but they were the only leaders around.) They’re mostly right in describing what killed everything (though conveniently leaving out their own activist rhetoric among the perpetrators), but sloppily wrong when describing what that everything was. It was rage, and boredom, and the mental derangement that the pandemic reaped on all of us, and uncertainty about the economic future, and a generation that grew up with American riots on the news, and it was the desire to be happy, and vengeful, and to not feel little for once in our lives. People were possessed, and to just say it was the black proletariat leading the charge against “racial capitalism” is a disgusting over-simplification of things, and honestly only serves the same people they are outraged at for co-opting things.

The recuperation of recuperation.”

Mexico, Chihuahua: National Water Commission vans torched in riot over water; offices burnt

Mexico owes the United States about 405,000 acre (500 million cubic meters) this year, which must be paid by October 24. Payment is made by releasing water from dams in Mexico. Mexico has fallen considerably behind payments in previous years and now needs to quickly catch up with water transfers. The expansion of water-intensive crops has led Mexico to use 71% of the Conchos River which flows north, while according to the treaty  [from 1944]   only 62% of the water should be used, leaving the rest to flow into the Rio Bravo, also known as the Rio Grande, on the border. In the past, Mexico has delayed payments, hoping that periodic tropical Gulf storms would occasionally cause windfall. But while Hanna made landfall in Texas earlier this month, the rains did not reach enough inland to fill the dams in Chihuahua. The water commission sadly remarked: “Although tropical storm Hanna recently reached the northeast of the country, international dams (those involved in the treaty) did not restore the desired volume, as the increase flow occurred downstream. ” The problem has already led to clashes.  In March, protesters torched vans, blocked roads and demonstrated at the La Boquilla roadblock, also in Chihuahua.”Report from Mexican anarchist group

A Message From The Company

29/7/20:

Paraguay, Ciudad del Este: looting, burning and clashes with cops during protests against return  to total quarantine by state

Jordan, Amman: clashes during teachers’ strike – cops beat up and arrest teachers

28/7/20:

US, Portland: “WTF is Going on in Portland Right Now?”: A Report

Sample quote:

“Joanne Hardesty is Portland’s only Black city councilwoman. She has longstanding ties to local organizing against police brutality and has not shied from principled but politically precarious stances against both the police bureau and the police union. After the first night of demonstrations in Portland set the City ‘Justice Center’ on fire, she willingly took the hit for Portland’s white liberal Mayor and declared a curfew against the demonstrations. Since the beginning of the rebellion, her decisions and positions have been at times surprisingly uncharacteristic. She and the City Council continued to hesitantly stand beside the Mayor after almost two months of nightly police attacks on increasingly bold and militant demonstrations. As the Mayor issued mealy-mouthed statements denouncing “the violence that has gripped our city,” (notably unclear as to whose violence he was referring), he pledged to rein in police and work with police leadership to enact reform. The Police Union contract was expiring, a moment in which Hardesty and the local leadership promising reforms had a rare opportunity which one might expect more astute political leaders would utilize as a chance to offer significant concessions to the streets. In a surprising move (given the political climate, the popularity of demands to move against the Police Union generally, and multiple City Council members who had campaigned against the Police Union for years), the Mayor and City Council united in granting a one-year extension of the contract without qualifications. At the State level, the Governor banned teargas except when life was under threat, and the legislature committed to enacting state wide policing reforms. The day after the tear gas ban, the police declared a riot and gassed demonstrators.”

China Is Harvesting the DNA of Its People. Is This the Future of Policing?

“…For several years now, the police and other authorities in China have been collecting across the country DNA samples from millions of men and boys who aren’t suspected of having committed any crime. In a report published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute last month, we exposed the extent of the Chinese government’s program of genetic surveillance: It no longer is limited to Xinjiang, Tibet and other areas mostly populated by ethnic minorities the government represses; DNA collection — serving no apparent immediate need — has spread across the entire country. We estimate that the authorities’ goal is to gather the DNA samples of 35 million to 70 million Chinese males….The Chinese police are not doing this work alone. Evidence continues to accumulate that private companies, both Chinese and foreign, are complicit in this extraordinarily vast, and ominous, assault on the privacy of Chinese citizens. In Hunan Province, Huangrui Scientific Instruments Ltd. — a company based in the provincial capital that produces a range of medical, chemical and scientific products — has sold to thePublic Security Bureau of the city of Liuyang some 140,000 DNA testing kits produced by Thermo Fisher Scientific, a U.S.-based Fortune 500 company. That’s enough equipment to test roughly one in five men in the community…a representative of Thermo Fisher said that the company was “proud to be a part of the many positive ways in which DNA identification has been applied, from tracking down criminals to stopping human trafficking and freeing the unjustly accused.”…Thermo Fisher had previously been criticized — by human rights organizations and scholars — for supplying DNA collection and analysis equipment to the Chinese authorities in support of their campaign of repression against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang…Earlier this week, the U.S. Commerce Department added to its list of sanctioned companies two other subsidiaries of BGI Group — the Chinese parent company of Forensic Genomics International  [SF: see this and this]— for “conducting genetic analyses used to further the repression of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities” in Xinjiang…BGI Group has rejected the accusations. Yet the company is also reported to have agreed to build “a gene bank” in the region…BGI Group has also been producing tens of millions of Covid-19 test kits for distribution to more than 80 countries — raising concerns in places like Australia and California that any DNA data collected in the process might then be misused. For now, China appears to be the only country in the world where police are harvesting en masse DNA samples outside the scope of criminal investigations. But how much longer before others follow suit? In other countries, including the United States, law enforcement authorities are also pushing the ethical boundaries of genetic data collection.The police in New York routinely collect DNA samples from people they arrest or simply question — sometimes without saying. Across the United States, police officers search private ancestry sites like GEDmatch scouring genetic data looking for potential leads in cold cases — also without the knowledge or the consent of the people who uploaded their personal information…”

For a critique of DNA forensic bollocks see “the myths of DNA…”: “DNA is used by the state to provide “objective” evidence of guilt in criminal cases. Supporters of DNA testing point to the fact that several  innocent people have been freed as a result of DNA testing applied retrospectively, but whilst it can show innocence* it’s far more dubious as a means of assessing guilt than fingerprinting, for example. It is very easy to plant or mix up DNA from an innocent person at a crime scene, and there have been clear instances of people whose DNA has been found at crime scenes but who were clearly hundreds of miles away from the crime at the time of the crime. …it takes more than DNA to make a living organ­ism. I once heard one of the world’s leaders in molecular biology say, in the opening address of a scientific congress, that if he had a large enough computer and the complete DNA sequence of an organism, he could compute the organism, by which he meant totally describe its anatomy, physiology, and behavior. But that is wrong. Even the organism does not compute itself from its DNA. A living organism at any moment in its life is the unique conse­quence of a developmental history that results from the interac­tion of and determination by internal and external forces. The external forces, what we usually think of as “environment,” are themselves partly a consequence of the activities of the organism itself as it produces and consumes the conditions of its own existence. Organisms do not find the world in which they develop. They make it. Reciprocally, the internal forces are not autono­mous, but act in response to the external. Part of the internal chemical machinery of a cell is only manufactured when external conditions demand it. For example, the enzyme that breaks down the sugar, lactose, to provide energy for bacterial growth is only manufactured by bacterial cells when they detect the presence of lactose in their environment. Nor is internal” identical with “genetic.” Fruit flies have lone hairs that serve as sensory organs, rather like a cat’s whis­kers. The number and placement of those hairs differ between the two sides of a fly (as they do between the left and right sides 0f a cat’s muzzle), but not in any systematic way. Some flies have more hairs on the left, some more on the right. Moreover, the variation between sides of a fly is as great as the average varia­tion from fly to fly. But the two sides of a fly have the same genes and have had the same environment during development. The variation between sides is a consequence of random cellular movements chance molecular events within cells during development, so-called “developmental noise.” It is this same developmental noise that accounts for the fact that identical twins have different fingerprints and that the fingerprints on our left and right hands are different…”

*Apparently, even using DNA to “prove” innocence is  dubious and often fairly arbitrary. A person’s DNA changes – and over a long period can change quite substantially. Which might be a good reason why the “guilty” in prison should also ask for DNA testing.

Also China (just received): Worker protests on the rise in June as wage arrears proliferate

27/7/20:

US, Arizona: clashes with cops (videos and links)

UK: critique of high speed railway link

26/7/20:

US: Minority Report – 100s of mathematicians boycott predictive policing

“Several prominent academic mathematicians want to sever ties with police departments across the U.S., according to a letter submitted to Notices of the American Mathematical Society on June 15. The letter arrived weeks after widespread protests against police brutality, and has inspired over 1,500 other researchers to join the boycott. These mathematicians are urging fellow researchers to stop all work related to predictive policing software, which broadly includes any data analytics tools that use historical data to help forecast future crime, potential offenders, and victims. The technology is supposed to use probability to help police departments tailor their neighborhood coverage so it puts officers in the right place at the right time.”

Senegal, Pikine: town hall looted, wreck and torched by street market sellers

Sparked off by authorities’ reduction of hours during which they’re allowed to scrape a living.

25/7/20:

US: Thousands Take to Streets in Solidarity With Portland; Youth Jail Set on Fire in Seattle…

Other links –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNJ50ug5K3M

https://thepostmillennial.com/antifa-mobilizes-agitators-nationwide-riots-saturday

Portland riotersused metal spikes to target federal vehicles …

Trump sent the feds to quash Portland’s protests: What we …

VIDEO: Feds launch offensive after Portland rioters attack …

Trump’s Power and Limits in Policing US Cities

Cops declare Seattle protest a riot as youth detention center …

Federal law enforcement clash with riotersin Portland

Portland clashesreflect a leftist history, but also a racist past

US Protests: Clashes with police in Portland continue

Feds deploy tear gas in Portland as clasheswith protesters …

Federal agents clashwith Portland protesters, use tear gas

Portland protesters continue clashes with armed federal agents

Portland protesters counter teargas with leaf blowers in …

Seattle: various links:

North Carolina:

Gelderloos critique of witless white “ally” snitches in need of stitches

23/7/20:

US, Portland: and so it goes on (videos and links)

Received: “The_Working_Class_Pandemic_Wildcat_Strikes and Working Class Self-Organising in the US” (informative, but somewhat academic in the autonomist tradition and probably over-optimistic)

Israel, Jerusalem: Protesters Call to Release ultra-Orthodox Man Detained for Spitting at Policewoman (see also 14/7/20 below). More here (includes video comparing with Portland).

“13 detained during protest against the continued detention of Benjamin Friedman, who has been in custody for three months. Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews demonstrated Wednesday night in Jerusalem in protest of the continued detention of Benjamin Friedman, who was arrested more than three months ago on suspicion of spitting at a policewoman. Demonstrators blocked Bar Ilan street, which goes through ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods in northern Jerusalem and was the setting for riots over the closure of the roads on Shabbat in the early 2000s, set fire to cans and confronted police. Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Friday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck. Benjamin Friedman, a resident of Beit Shemesh, in central Israel, remains in custody following his refusal to carry an electronic handcuff on Shabbat. Since his arrest, members of extremist factions have occasionally taken part in demonstrations in the Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem. Police forces in the area have often used violence against demonstrators. Footage circulating on social media from Wednesday’s demonstration shows a police officer kicking one of the protesters hard and punching him in the face. Other images show police pushing demonstrators who fall to the floor. In addition, the demonstrators surrounded a car that got stuck in the place, threw objects at it and tried to open the doors. The driver fled the scene, running over a protester. Police said they have launched a search for the driver.”

Videos:

T additionally writes:
Reading about the Azov Battalion  tas well as the official responses from the state of Israel denouncing antisemitism brings to mind Israel’s secrecy and dodginess regarding its arms deals with the same neo-nazi groups that it claims to be worried about:
“Is Israel trying to hide arms exports to neo-Nazi militias in Ukraine?”.  Which comes as no surprise considering Israel’s long (and semi-secret) history of diplomatic, military and tactical collaboration with fascist and openly antisemitic regimes responsible for the disappearance and murder of thousands of Jews, such as the Chilean and Argentinian juntas.

See also this about the acquittal of 2 Israelis for beating an innocent asylum seeker to death after cops had wounded him  (from 21/7/20).

 

22/7/20:

US, Portland: Oregone energyand a liberal pro-Democrat report

21/7/20:

Belgium, Antwerp: cops order demonstrators against probable murder by cops to go home and they do

“Young people gathered in Antwerp to protest against police violence following the death of a 29-year-old man after an arrest on Sunday, but the police stopped the group before the demonstration could start. On Tuesday afternoon, a group of young people responded to a call on social media to gather in Antwerp to protest after the death of Akram, a 29-year-old Algerian man, after an arrest close to the Antwerp train station. The police were on the scene en masse and stopped the group at the Meir, the main shopping street. “The demonstration is not allowed and will not be tolerated. Whoever does show up, will be kindly asked to leave,” the police said beforehand. Around 2:00 PM, youth workers from Samen Op Straat, Samenlevingopbouw and other organisations sent home several people who showed up. “It is better that we do it than that they are arrested or fined” Ironically,  Samen Op Straat, one of the organisations which sent kids home so they will not protest on the street, translates as “Together on the Street”.

Scientists use epidemic-type models to assess rioters

“Episodes of social unrest rippled throughout Chile in 2019 and disrupted the daily routines of many citizens. Researchers specializing in economics, mathematics and physics in Chile and the U.K. banded together to explore the surprising social dynamics people were experiencing. To do this, they combined well-known epidemic models with tools from the physics of chaos and interpreted their findings through the lens of social science as economics. In the journal Chaos, from AIP Publishing, the team reports that social media is changing the rules of the game, and previously applied epidemic-like models, on their own, may no longer be enough to explain current rioting dynamics. Using epidemiological mathematical models to understand the spread of infectious diseases dates back more than 100 years. “In the 1970s, this type of methodology was used to understand the dynamics of riots that occurred in U.S. cities in the 1960s,” said Jocelyn Olivari Narea, co-author and an assistant professor at Adolfo Ibáñez University in Chile. “More recently, it was used to model French rioting events in 2005.” From a mathematical point of view, the team’s work is based on the SIR epidemiological model, known for modeling infectious disease spread. This technique separates the population into susceptible, infectious and recovered individuals. “Within a rioting context, someone ‘susceptible’ is a potential rioter, an ‘infected individual’ is an active rioter, and a ‘recovered person’ is one that stopped rioting,” explained co-author Katia Vogt-Geisse. “Rioting spreads when effective contact between an active rioter and a potential rioter occurs. They discovered that the SIR model uses Hamiltonian mechanics for mathematics, just like Newton’s laws for physics. “This allowed us to apply well-known tools of the physics of chaos to show that within the presence of an external force, the dynamics become very rich,” said co-author Sergio Rica Mery. “The external force that we included in the model represents the occasional trigger that increases rioting activity.” When including such triggers, the team found the way a sequence of events occurs varies greatly based on the initial number of potential rioters and active rioters. “Even the sequence of rioting events can be chaotic,” Rica Mery said. “Rich dynamics reveal the complexity involved in making predictions of rioting activity…it was surprising that the idea of disease spread can be well applied to rioting activity spread to obtain a good fit of rioting activity data. “While you might think that the study of disease transmission and problems of a social nature vary greatly, our work shows epidemiological models of the most simple SIR type, enriched by triggers and tools of the physics of chaos, can describe rioting activities well,” Vogt-Geisse said.

This reduction of people to more easily  measurable forms of  physical, ideological, psychological, etc. social control should contribute to convincing those who hate capitalism to not fall into largely predictable, ritualised and over-repeated forms, strategies and ideas of social contestation.

20/7/20:

USA, Oregon: Portland cop clashes continueanarchist report on Portland movement and the filthand another anarcho-report

Trouble with repeated confrontations is that they tend to get stuck in a groove and what was subversive a month or more ago becomes ritualised and more and more get involved in dealing with arrests and other cop horrors but so far, as far as I can see through my star-gazing telescope, few seem to be trying out innovative tactics and even less some direct attempts to communicate theoretical reflections, particularly to other sections of the city.

19/7/20:

Iran: executions of 3 men involved in riots haltedafter state threatens to kill anyone involved in revoltjust a couple of days after cops disperse renewed protests against misery

“…Videos posted on social media from inside Iran on Thursday showed protesters chanting, “Fear not, fear not, we are in this together!”. Some chanted slogans against top officials. Videos posted on Twitter showed a heavy presence of security forces in several cities. “People are angry. The economy is so bad that we cannot survive,” an Iranian man told Reuters news agency by phone from Tehran on Thursday, asking not to be named due to security concerns…” See also this and below for 16/7/20.

18/7/20:

Sierra Leone, Makeni: at least 5 murdered by cops in riot against relocation of power plant , the rioters attacking ruling party offices

Explanation of some of the reasons for the anger.

UK, London: riot as cops clamp down on rave party

17/7/20:

US, Oregon: report on clashes

“…by 930, most of the fencing has been knocked down and re appropriated as a barrier. 9:42 LRAD announces that the parks are closed and we need to evacuate the park or we are subject to arrest, citation, and use of force…11:58 Pepper balls and a tear gas canister is fired out of the federal courthouse “murder holes” because protestors started converging near the steps. 12:12 The response to the pepper balls and tear gas by the crowd was to block the entrance to the Federal Courthouse with fencing. 12:39 LRAD announces that we are subject to arrest and use of force, asking crowd not to block the doorways to the JC and Fed Courthouse. 1:32 The crowd had lit fireworks in the direction of the JC and blocked off one of the doorways. PPB has declared an unlawful assembly, telling the crowd they have 4 minutes to clear out all of the barricades. They also announced downtown is closed. They changed their verbiage tonight by saying that the crowd was “inhibiting local and county law enforcement….”

16/7/20:

Argentina, Jujuy: prison riot (videos and links)

Iran, Behbahan: riots (videos and links)

Tunisia: protesters shut down main oil production site in south

“Hundreds of protesters on Thursday forced their way into the remote El-Kamour production site, located in the desert south of the town of Tataouine despite the presence of army personnel protecting petroleum installations. A hefty contingent of forces had been deployed to the site, including a helicopter, but there was no violence between security personnel and protesters who chanted “Tataouine does not give up” and sang the national anthem, according to AFP news agency.   The demonstration follows weeks of unrest in Tunisia’s south, one of the country’s most marginalised regions, burdened by above-average unemployment, failing infrastructure and an underdeveloped private sector. Since July 9, a few dozen demonstrators have been camped in the desert near El Kamour. Other groups joined them on Thursday before the site was breached. “

15/7/20:

US, Portland: report on 7 weeks of conflict

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a33347230/portland-oregon-protesters-detained/

https://itsgoingdown.org/solidarity-with-the-people-in-the-streets-of-portland-against-the-federal-occupation/

X writes:

Portland this year has become like Italy in the “hot autumn” of 1969: a laboratory of counterinsurgency. The fascist future is now the present. Oh yes, and a new verb “to be Pinochet’d.”

Another friend in the US said the protests/riots in Portland have become repetitive and ritualised, with no innovation. The totalitarian future/present can only be combated with experimental practices that not only involve rioting, occupations,  intense discussion and targeted critique, graffiti, wildcat strikes, sabotage, etc.  but strive to go beyond their separations and limitations in ways that learn from the strengths and weaknesses of the past but go further into the partially unknown. As always, easier said than done.

14/7/20:

Chile: various riots over Coronavirus constraints and reduction in pensions

Israel: Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Caught on Tape Dragging anti-Netanyahu Protester on the Ground

From T:

Jerusalem Has Seen Many Protests, but This One Was a Turning Point for the anti-Netanyahu Movement
 

 

‘We’re young and no longer willing to shut up and be nice,’ says one of the thousands of demonstrators who turned up near the Prime Minister’s Residence angry and bold.

At around midnight on Tuesday, I went up to the roof of a commercial building overlooking Jerusalem’s Paris Square, near the residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. My cellphone had stopped working after it was sprayed by police water cannons, which meant that I was free to observe the protest instead of taking pictures or updating the Haaretz newsroom.

Paris Square is currently being refurbished, and two Palestinian laborers were still paving the sidewalk when the protest began. The demonstrators gave them protest stickers and tried to get them to participate in the protest, but they were busy removing their equipment.

By midnight, the square looked like a war zone. A recycling bin was on fire in the middle of the street. All the adjacent streets were blocked off by overturned trash cans. The demonstrators used the paving stones that had not yet been laid to block the road near Kings Hotel. The sand underneath the paving stones was exposed, and for a moment it recalled the slogan from the 1968 student rebellion in France – sous les pavés, la plage – Under paving stones, the beach.

The police water cannon was shifting back and forth, clearing the hundreds of demonstrators from the streets with its powerful spray. Most of them took shelter behind cars or in courtyards, while others stood defiantly to bear the brunt of the water. Several people were injured and some threw water bottles back at the cannons, but I did not see any stones thrown.

Three mounted policemen repeatedly charged at groups in the crowd and in the center of it all, members of the Yasam Special Patrol Unit began carrying out mass arrests. Ironically, the detainees were loaded onto a bus with signage showing that it belonged to a regional council of West Bank settlements.

On the roof, one demonstrator tried to set fire to an Israeli flag – the same person who two hours earlier had tried to grab a microphone from Channel 13 News reporter Avishay Ben Haim. The flag just wouldn’t ignite and the man left and then came back with two cigarette lighters, but was spotted by another protester. “You’re causing harm,” the other demonstrator yelled, “It’s your country too.”

“My country is finished, scorched,” he responded. Other protesters gathered around and tried to convince him to stop.

“I’m fighting over my country because I care about it. If it was finished, I wouldn’t be here,” one woman implored.

At one point, the situation nearly deteriorated into violence. “It will be the picture of the protest. That’s exactly what they want. You’re helping our enemies.” The man put out the small flame that had begun to burn on the flag and the woman took it away from the scene. The furious man was forced to relent and came down from the roof.

[T Note: numerous online commenters claim this guy was an ‘agent provocateur’, a Right-winger that came to cause provocation, some even mention his alleged name. I have no idea if it’s true or not]

Longtime reporters in Jerusalem don’t recall another demonstration likes this, at least not in West Jerusalem. In 2011, during the wave of social protests in Israel, there was a larger protest near the Prime Minister’s Residence, but it dispersed quietly. In 2015, there was a turbulent demonstration by young Ethiopians, but they were smaller in number and it was also less violent.

Tuesday’s demonstration was a turning point in the evolution of protests against Netanyahu. The protests had been sustained up until now by older demonstrators, most of whom are relatively well off – retirees from the center of the country who are furious over what they see as the prime minister’s betrayal of their values, and have a hard time reconciling with the fact that someone under indictment is prime minister.

On Tuesday, however, the protest baton was passed on to the younger generation, whose anger is of an entirely different kind. Jerusalem District police commander Doron Yedid called them “leftists” and “anarchists,” but it’s more complicated than that.

On the fringes of the protests there were in fact been a few young people who might barely be considered anarchists. But in the course of the entire evening on Tuesday, I saw just one individual who was masked (other than for pandemic reasons), and he appeared to be a friend of the man who tried to burn the flag.

Most of the protesters had other things on their minds. It wasn’t just rage over corruption and frustration over the political situation. It was also, and perhaps even mostly, economic frustration. The coronavirus pandemic has dealt a critical blow to the finances of university students and other young people. Many of them have been forced to return to live with their parents, to change their lifestyles and to forgo many of their dreams.

“There’s a feeling that redlines and the limits of shame have been crossed,” said Arnon of Gedera, “when everything is collapsing all around, and a man who is worth 50 million shekels, whose level of miserliness should be illegal, asked for a tax exemption and Miki Zohar says he can’t make it through the month.”

He was referring to coalition whip Zohar, who recently justified a one million shekels tax exemption for the prime minster by saying that he shouldn’t have to worry about making it through the month financially.

“As you can see, we are young and no longer willing to shut up and be nice,” said Sahar Vardi of Jerusalem, who was arrested during the course of the protest. The police violence, she claimed, is making protesters understand “the extent to which the current regime is doing whatever it wants.”

At around 1:30 A.M., the police finally managed to clear the square. The young people broke up into smaller groups. Several of them tried to get around the barricades at the Prime Minister’s Residence but it seemed that they weren’t from Jerusalem and didn’t know the neighborhood. A few others got into shouting matches with Rehavia residents who had poked out of their windows to complain about the noise.

The last group of protesters gathered opposite the Great Synagogue on King George Street. Mounted police stormed into the group and dispersed them as well. One of the demonstrators shouted before leaving: “We’re meeting again in front of the Prime Minister’s Residence on Thursday. Come.”

***

From the pay-walled Haaretz.com website.

***

Arieh King, a right-wing activist who works to help Jews settle in East Jerusalem and evict its Palestinian residents, hails ‘law and order’ after assisting police in detaining protester.

Jerusalem Depuy Mayor Arieh King helped police officers on Tuesday arrest one of the protesters at a thousands-strong rally in the city demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

King, a well-known right-wing activist who works to help Jews settle in East Jerusalem and evict its Palestinian residents, was elected to the city council on the United Jerusalem party slate, and was recently appointed a deputy mayor. In the past few weeks, he has criticized the city and its inaction against the protesters outside the Prime Minister’s Residence.

At the beginning of the week, King praised the removal of tents and equipment of the protest camp by the Prime Minister‘s Residence. “Congratulations on the sidewalk returning to pedestrians and law and order being enforced,” tweeted King after the removal of the protester’s equipment. The evacuation and its reverberations drew much greater numbers of protesters in advance of Tuesday’s demonstration.

King was present during the entire demonstration, where some 50 people were arrested, and condemned the protesters’ actions. During the night, when the arrests were being made, King noticed an attempt to arrest one of the protesters, Gili Levy, and decided to aid the police officers by holding Levy by the leg and dragging him along the street for about two meters.

In response, Levy shoved King and a short time later was arrested.

King said he acted according to the law, which allows a citizen to aid a police officer.

Levi wrote on Facebook that at a certain point during the protest at Paris Square in Jerusalem, when “policemen decided it was great to beat some random young man, I laid down to protect him and began to be hit myself. Inside the mess of kicks and punches, I suddenly felt that someone was dragging me. I raised my head from my curled up state and saw there among the jumble of policemen and horses a person wearing civilian clothes dragging me along the street.”

King said he helped out the police officer who was attacked by the protesters, but in a video of the incident the protesters cannot be seen attacking an officer. Instead, the officer and another policeman were seen seemingly trying to separate a cluster of protestors, possibly in order to arrest one of them.

King said in response that “a police officer arrested a masked protester at a distance of just a few meters from me. Within seconds, three other anarchist protesters joined the detainee and tried, with the use of force and physical violence against the officer, to prevent the arrest. When I saw that the officer was in distress and that they were acting violently against him, I helped him by removing one of the protesters who lay on him. I moved the protestor 1.5 meters from the scene and in doing so I ended up helping the police officer in distress.”

 

****

More about various protests in Israel over the last few days:

The ultra-Orthodox demonstrators are protesting at the same point for the third night, where two nights ago a cop punched an ultra-Orthodox man in the face after the man asked him why he was not wearing a mask.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/ultra-orthodox-hold-3rd-straight-night-of-protests-in-jerusalem-against-lockdown/

***

Still almost exclusively pacifist, civil and patriotic in the non-orthodox protests (except for road blocking), but some small positive aspects:

“Hours before the protest, organizers announced that various politicians had asked to join and give speeches at the event but were asked not to attend as they had “Had enough time to work for us.” Organizers said they wished for the protest to not be affiliated with any political factions. … Meanwhile, demonstrators called on others online not to bring cellphones to the demonstration so that they could not be later tracked and required to quarantine if they happened to be in the vicinity of a confirmed coronavirus patient.”

Full text of the Haaretz report (it’s blocked behind a paywall):

Police Arrest 20 After Thousands Protest Poor Government Aid Amid Coronavirus Economic Crisis

Self-employed from hospitality, tourism and arts industries stage protest in Tel Aviv ■ Three officers lightly injured.

Over 10 thousand Israelis protested in Tel Aviv on Saturday against the government’s handling of the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

After hundreds left the square after the event, they marched through the city’s main streets, blocking roads and junctions and chanting “Bibi go home!” Police arrested 20 after clashes erupted between law enforcement and protesters. Of those, 16 have been questioned and two will have court hearings regarding extending their detention.

Police said that three officers were lightly injured as protesters attacked police, threw tear gas and bottles at them and vandalized public property on Rothschild Boulevard. “Police are constantly avoiding the use of force and are working to clear traffic jams to allow traffic flow,” a police statement said.

On Sunday morning, Finance Minister Yisrael Katz said in an interview on Kan television network that “Demonstrations are part of democracy, I understand the allegations and the pain of the demonstrators. Our plan is to provide an economic safety net for employees and the self-employed for the coming year. We will leave no one on on the streets.”

On Friday, leaders from hospitality, tourism, transportation, arts and culture industries declined an invitation by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the situation.

Tel Aviv, July 11, 2020:
“The Israeli government and its leader are responsible for the failure in implementing aid programs,” said the organizers, who called on the government to amend its financial aid packages.

On Thursday, Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yisrael Katz announced that self-employed individuals will receive an immediate 7,500 shekels ($2,150) stipend. They promised that money would be transferred to accounts by next week, following criticism that the two previous rounds of coronavirus aid were delayed and insufficient.

Iliya Zsibulsky, a 32-year-old actor, said he’s been unemployed since theatres were shut in March. Holding a mask of a pig’s face, he explained that it represents the government “of pigs and too many ministers who don’t see us. They’re detached from reality.”

“I received a meager and ridiculous sum from the government and I also have to pay taxes for it,” said Zsibulsky, who went back to living with his parents and is working in deliveries after years of living alone and earning a decent income as an actor.

Boaz Meirchik, owner of the Duplex nightclub in Tel Aviv, told Haaretz that implementing health regulations made his business no longer profitable and that he is uncertain about its future. “The whole economy is going to collapse if the government doesn’t act. There will be a period of austerity after the coronavirus. Netanyahu’s plan is not enough,” he said.

“I’m retired and unemployed but the state doesn’t recognize or compensate me,” said Ruti Sofer, 74, from Jaffa, who had been working as a caretaker before the pandemic. “I received 4,000 shekels ($1150) in two payments and that’s it, they told me I’m not illegible for more. This is the first time in my life that I have to ask for money from my six children in order to pay for food and bills,” said Sofer, adding that Netanyahu should “Climb down and remember that whoever put him there can also take him down.”

Hours before the protest, organizers announced that various politicians had asked to join and give speeches at the event but were asked not to attend as they had “Had enough time to work for us.” Organizers said they wished for the protest to not be affiliated with any political factions.

Organizers agreed to a number of conditions for the police to allow the protest to go ahead, some related to the coronavirus, in anticipation of a large number of attendees. Groups of 20 people are required to stand two meters apart from one another,  while each group is required to maintain a distance of ten meters from other groups.

In a statement distributed among protest groups, organizers asked that those attending the protest not give the police a reason to stop the event, urging them to comply with Health Ministry guidelines.

Meanwhile, demonstrators called on others online not to bring cellphones to the demonstration so that they could not be later tracked and required to quarantine if they happened to be in the vicinity of a confirmed coronavirus patient.

***

Other report on Tel Aviv [not paywalled]:
https://www.timesofisrael.com/hundreds-block-roads-clash-with-police-in-tel-aviv-after-economic-protests/

“several hundred people blocked traffic and clashed with police at several locations…”

13/7/20:

Russia, Amur region:  wildcat strikers smash up office of contractor after not having been paid for 2  months

RS writes:

“Migrant workers in the Amur region destroyed the office of a company that is building a gas processing plant for Gazprom. They haven’t been paid for two months.

1000 builders broke into the office of “Renaissance Heavy industries”, a contractor involved in the construction of the Amur gas processing plant, and began to destroy everything around them.

According to the workers, they had a good reason – they have not been paid for 2 months, so they decided to demand their money by force.

They are striking without professional organizers from trade unions. According to statistics, 77 percent of strikes and workers ’ protests in Russia are Non-Union.

There are several important points here.

1) This strike is the result of self-organization, not of a trade Union bureaucratic organization.

2) Precisely because there is no trade Union, the workers took violent actions. Trade unions, at least in Russia, always block such actions.

3) However, even the vast majority of non-Union strikes in Russia are non-violent.

4) Violence against bosses in Russia is usually used by groups of workers from Central Asia, often Iranian-speaking Tajiks or Turkic-speaking Kyrgyz. The presence of millions of foreign migrant workers in Russia makes the situation interesting. The ethnic composition of the Russian population is gradually changing, and foreign workers sometimes use very radical methods of fighting against their masters, including real uprisings with the cold weapons in some cases. Groups of Tajik workers have repeatedly engaged in armed clashes not only with ordinary bosses, but also with mafia groups that tried to harass them or did not pay their salaries

P.P.S Currently, the Investigative Committee of Russia has opened a criminal case against the participants of the strike.

youtube.com/watch?v=JWPcvZvG20c&fea...

P.P.S. This is no longer a struggle with monuments (like in USA) or other examples of bourgeois ugliness, but a real proletarian uprising. [SF note: this implies that the movement in the USA is not a partially proletarian uprising; undoubtedly it’s been a mixed bag but then it’s on a far vaster scale – something like 2000 towns involved in protests, riots, looting and monument destruction – than what RS calls an uprising in one work situation involving considerably less people]

Workers who live on the territory of the construction are systematically deceived.

The employer recruits most of the workers for a month, then they are dismissed under various pretexts, without paying their wages, and then employer recruit new ones. Those who are lucky, stay to work, but also from time to time become victims of deception. This happened to the participants of the riot, who were not paid part of their salaries for 2 months.

The monthly salary of workers is 600 dollars. Workers live in poor conditions – 8 people per 20 square meters.Their working day is 11 hours. They work with 1 weekend in 2 weeks. If you do not come to work for 1 day due to illness, the bosses take from your salary the amount equal to the salary for 2 working days! Transportation costs are not paid. There are no vacations. The food in the factory canteen is of disgusting quality. At the same time, the bosses take money from the workers ’ wages for this food. All together is a violation of the obligations that the bosses took on earlier.

Among the workers there are many cases of coronavirus. Living conditions contribute to infection. As a result of the quarantine, prices in the store increased by 2-3 times. This last circumstance prompted the workers to seize the store and take away the products.
Most of the workers are migrants, Uzbeks and Kyrgyz. However, there are Turks and Filipinos among the workers. At the same time, the Renaissance company that organizes work on this construction in the Russian village is Turkish company. This is a class conflict of the era of globalization.

Workers seized part of the buildings in the village and took food from a store. They are opposed by riot police. A diplomat from Uzbekistan went there. We are talking about a revolt of 1000 workers. The riot continues. The Russian Governor promised the workers to return their money. But this has not been done yet. The village, which was captured by workers, is surrounded by police, riot Police and the Russian army, including armored vehicles. The government has opened criminal cases against the workers.

The workers probably consult among themselves about what to do next, but they have not created an organized revolutionary proletarian structure (regular assemblies and an elected workers ’ Council for operational management, whose delegates can be replaced at any time). The workers also do not have a bourgeois-reformist structure (such as any trade Union) designed to introduce conflict into the field of legal systemic measures (inviting and hiring lawyers, negotiating with the employer, attracting the media, etc.). this is Partly why the situation is uncertain.”

More from this anarcho-syndicalist site (Google translate):

Workers involved in the construction of the Amur Gas Processing Plant, who had not received their wages for several months, rebelled and ransacked the company’s offices. The riot was suppressed by the riot police and the National Guard. Several participants were reportedly arrested. Criminal cases have been initiated against the rioters. We view them as social prisoners and demand that all charges be dropped immediately!

The incident occurred due to the financial claims of employees against the management of the contractor. On Monday, various websites and media published videos in which people in orange overalls smash whatever they get in their way and throw things. “This is how the workers passed. They smashed everything, even knocked out the light bulbs. They just turned everything over,” the man summed up in one of the videos.

According to the Telegram channel Baza, the workers were not paid their wages for three months, and they “decided to demand their money by force.” The site vesti.ru indicates that the workers demanded “an increase in wages and payments for three months of quarantine.” The video also recorded overturned cars and the arrival of riot police officers at the plant.

About 300 people took part in the riot, the press service of the AGPZ told RBC. She also noted that as a result of “unlawful actions”, the “utility and administrative premises” of the contractor Renaissance Heavy Industries were damaged. “The reason for the conflict was the disagreement between the employees of Renaissance Heavy Industries and its management on additional financial remuneration,” the press service of the enterprise said. At the same time, the message emphasized that the contractor “in a timely manner and on an ongoing basis receives payment for the work performed within the framework of contractual obligations for the project.”

On the fact of “mass riots” a criminal case was initiated on the grounds of a crime under Part 2 of Art. 212 of the Criminal Code (participation in riots), indicates the management of the Investigative Committee for the Amur Region. The report notes that the conflict arose “between the citizens of the Republic of Uzbekistan – employees of the contractor and its management.” In addition, on the basis of reports, a pre-investigation check was organized on the facts of non-payment of wages to the contractor’s employees.

The Amur gas processing plant near the town of Svobodny is being built by order of Gazprom. The company emphasizes that it will become one of the world’s largest natural gas processing enterprises with a design capacity of 42 billion cubic meters per year. The plant will be an “important link” in the gas supply chain to China via the Power of Siberia gas pipeline.

Renaissance Heavy Industries was founded in 2011 and implements large-scale construction projects in the heavy industry in Russia, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Iraq, Mozambique and Kazakhstan. The company performed work for Norilsk Nickel, Phosagro, Novatek, Gazprom Neft and other Russian companies. Renaissance Heavy Industries is part of Renaissance Construction F 79, one of the largest construction contractors in Russia. Among the projects of the company, which was founded in 1993 by the Turk Erman Ilydzhak, are Evolution and Neva Towers in Moscow City, Lakhta Center in St. Petersburg (https://www.forbes.ru/newsroom/ obshchestvo / 404965-vse-krushili-dazhe-lam …)

+ + +

The authorities were forced to admit that the workers were really not paid wages. The contractor Renaissance Heavy Industries, whose workers staged a pogrom at the Amur gas processing plant, underpaid workers more than 14.4 million rubles. This is reported by the prosecutor’s office of the Amur region.

The prosecutor’s office began checking after the riots at the Amur Gas Processing Plant (AGPZ). As noted in the prosecutor’s office, Renaissance Heavy Industries unilaterally withheld 14.4 million rubles. from salaries of more than 1000 employees. The money went to pay personal income tax for two months of the current patent. Also, the prosecutor’s office said that Renaissance Heavy Industries did not take measures to provide material and household support for foreign workers. In this regard, the Svobodnensky city prosecutor opened an administrative case against the organization under Part 1 of Art. 18.9 of the Administrative Code (violation of the rules for the stay of foreign citizens in Russia). In addition, he made representations to the heads of organizations involved in the construction of the Amur GPP in connection with violations of labor and migration legislation.

Also, in relation to the organization and the head of the territorial separate unit, the prosecutor’s office opened cases of an administrative offense under Part 1 of Art. 5.27 of the Administrative Code (violation of labor laws). The regional prosecutor Ruslan Medvedev went to the scene. On his instructions, a temporary reception office of the prosecutor began to work at the plant on violations of the rights of workers involved in the construction. At the same time, the prosecutor’s office controls the investigation of criminal cases under Part 2 of Art. 213 of the Criminal Code (hooliganism) and part 2 of Art. 212 of the Criminal Code (participation in riots).

The UK stated that citizens of Uzbekistan participated in the pogroms. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan also took control of the incident with its citizens in the temporary rotational camp of the company Renaissance Heavy Industries. The consul general of the embassy went to the scene. He will find out the circumstances of the incident and ensure the protection of the rights and interests of citizens of Uzbekistan (https://www.rbc.ru/rbcfreenews/5f0d5b6b9a7947da1187f92b)

+ + +

On the fact of the riots on the territory of the construction of the Amur gas processing plant, two criminal cases have already been initiated. Earlier it was reported that a case of hooliganism was opened, but on Tuesday the prosecutor’s office of the Amur region clarified that a criminal case was also opened under Part 2 of Art. 212 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (participation in riots) (https://www.rosbalt.ru/russia/2020/07/14/1853562.html)

+ + +

Financial disagreements between a Turkish contractor company and builders from Uzbekistan at the Amur Gas Processing Plant (AGPZ) have been resolved, in the next few hours the employees “should fully return to work” at the site, the joint press center of the AGPZ told reporters.

“The financial disagreements between a group of Renaissance Heavy Industries employees and its management, which caused workers to speak at the Amur Gas Processing Plant, have been resolved. It is planned to fully return the contractor to work on the construction site within the next few hours. The main construction work is being carried out as usual,” the press said -the center of the plant.

It is noted that the negotiations were held with the participation of the Governor of the Amur Region Vasily Orlov, representatives of the regional government and law enforcement officers. “During the preliminary investigation … the information about the delays in salaries to the working personnel of Renaissance Heavy Industries was not confirmed for several months. The employees receive their full salaries on time in accordance with the labor contracts … The refund of the amount of patents to the employees will take place according to the plan on July 15th. .. the issue of additional payment for construction personnel, who is on duty for a long time, is being considered, “the press center adds (https://ria.ru/20200714/1574316782.html)”

9/7/20:

Greece: riots over repression of rights to demonstrate

6/7/20:

Chile, Valparaiso: furious riots over lack of aid following Coronavirus and economic crisis

5/7/20:

Kenya, Kisii: police station torched after cop shoots dead market trader

“…The Kisii incident adds to a long list of alleged extra-judicial killings during the Covid-19 period, with heavy-handedness in enforcement of regulations on the pandemic blamed for the deaths….protests were witnes sed in Nandi County earlier in July when a local shoe shiner was allegedly shot by police for not wearing a face mask. According to residents of Olessos, the shoe shiner refused to part with a Ksh50 bribe for not wearing a face mask, causing a heated argument between him and the police officer who shot him.Two more Nandi residents were shot dead by police as they protested the shoe-shiner’s death on the Nandi-Kapsabet highway. At a service held on Thursday, July 2 to honour the three lives lost, Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika warned Police Inspector-General Hillary Mutyambai of an uprising if the situation worsened. “I want to tell the Police and the IG, get prepared because we shall not sit and watch you do this to our fellow Kenyans. We will set all the police stations in Kenya on fire if that is what we have to do.

4/7/20:

US, Baltimore: died on the 4th of July – city harbors war criminal

Oregon: Americans show their independence by protesting & rioting for 38th consecutive daySeattle: car driver murders protester, maims another; court calls it “vehicular assault”Pennsylvania: nazis manipulated into defending the indefensible with guns and cops

3/7/20:

Chile (1-3/7/20): clashes in 13 areas of at least 2 cities as social movement continues (videos & links) More here.

Sample quote:

One dead, confrontations and a burned bus in a new night of incidents in various communes of SantiagoThe most serious disorders took place in Melipilla, where a 21-year-old man died after being shot, which the police said came from protesters. There were also some protests in sectors of Estación Central, Cerro Navia, La Granja, Peñalolén, Quilicura or Pudahuel.One dead, confrontations and a burned bus in a new night of incidents in various communes of Santiago….For the second consecutive night, this Friday, protests and incidents were registered in various communes of the Metropolitan Region in response to a new call on social networks to demonstrate against the social and economic crisis that is causing the pandemic…In Cerro Navia, in the northwestern area of ​​the capital, a bus from the company Metbus of the Red system (ex Transantiago) was burned….In Villa Francia, at Central Station, there have been clashes between protesters and policemen on 5 de Abril Avenue with Quemchi passage, with the launching of Molotov bombs at the uniformed police, who responded with tear gas bombs. While in the town of Lo Hermida, in Peñalolén, unknown individuals set fire to barricades along Grecia avenue and shots were fired at police personnel ..There were also some barricades in sectors of Pedro Aguirre Cerda, La Granja, Quilicura and Pudahuel.”

UK, London: boneheads’ broken bones as cops crash and crush street party

2/7/20:

Ethiopia, Ambo: cops kill 2 at funeral of radical singerinternet access continues to be blocked as over 100 killed  This report is rather confusing – hard to tell which are racist attacks, which are conveniently attributed to racism, which are by the cops, etc. etc.; confusion is the sole unifying policy of all the powers-that-be.

US, Portland: fire in County Injustice Centre etc. on 2nd day of protests being declared “riot”  More here report on workers’ strikes at 2 Chrysler plants over  management’s bad handling of coronavirus risksColorado (Denver): clashes over attempt to create autonomous zone

1/7/20:

US, Seattle:  state chops Capitol Hill “Autonomous Zone”

More here and here and here

Iowa: minor clashes outside Capitol

Ethiopia: yet another massacre by the ruling class

“…more than 80 people had been killed in the clashes in Oromiya on Tuesday, including protesters and three members of the security forces.” See entry for 30/6/20 here. More videos and links here

China, Hong Kong: almost 400 arrests as state capitalist bureaucracy passes law claiming to be applicable over whole planet

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