may 2020

“In the marvellous month of May when all the birds were singing, then did I reveal to her my yearning and longing”     

Heinrich Heine

“The month of May was come, when every lusty heart beginneth to blossom, and to bring forth fruit”    

Thomas Malory

2020  2019  2018  2017  2016  2015  2014  2013

June 2020 hereApril 2020 here

Some of the following has been Google Translated

31/5/20:

US, Washington DC: HQ of AFL-CIO torched

“Union bus drivers in Minneapolis and New York City have refused to transport police officers or take arrested protesters to jail. But certain unions play an important role in perpetuating police brutality and can be directly linked to the killing of Floyd. The AFL-CIO, for one, is affiliated with the International Union of Police Associations (IUAP), which represents and protects more than 100,000 law enforcement officers in the United States.”

riots in at least 40 cities (Minneapolis, Alamo, Albany, Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbia, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Emeryville, Fargo, Grand Rapids, Harrisburg, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, La Mesa, Lincoln, Los Angeles, Madison, Miami, Nashville, New York, Oakland, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Richmond, Rockford, Sacramento, Salt Lake, San Antonio, San Francisco, Scottsdale, Seattle, Toledo, Tucson, Washington) Videos and links…a colonial sense of impunity: report on more mad cop/National Guard behaviour during curfew etc.

The National Guard and local police are marching through a leafy neighborhood in Minneapolis. Then the shooting starts. Tanya Kerssen was standing on her front porch filming the procession of armored vehicles and riot gear–clad troops rolling through Whittier, a neighborhood a few blocks north of where protests over the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, had recently turned into riots. The National Guard had been called in to help restore order and enforce an 8 p.m. curfew set by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz. Kerssen was complying with that order—the curfew applies only to public spaces, not private ones like residences, porches, or front yards—but she became a target anyway. Light ’em up!” someone can be heard shouting in the video. Then bean bag rounds and paint canisters are fired at Kerssen and others, who quickly flee inside.On LIVE TV the APD [ Atlanta Police Department] just broke car windows, slashed tires, tazed both passengers and arrested both passengers for NOTHING. RIPPED THEM OUT OF THER CAR….in New York City, cops literally drove into a crowd of protesters. ”

Louisville, Kentucky

So wonderful for journalists to tell us stuff we’ve  known all our adult life

Report on Arab-Black relations and how the current situation highlights ties and tensions between the “races”

“We stand for Black Lives Matter,” Cup Foods owner Mahmoud Abumayyaleh told local publication Sahan Journal. “We are against abuse of power and racial injustice. We have a system that is broken, and it must be fixed.” On Thursday, Abumayyaleh told CNN that the employee who called the police was simply practicing “protocol” after discovering the suspicious $20 note. Officers arrived while Floyd was still outside the building and the killing was captured by the store’s security footage….Some social media users were quick to condemn the business. But Dawud Walid, the Michigan executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said store owners acting in good faith face a “dilemma” when dealing with crime at their establishments. “It is unreasonable to say to the store owners just take one for the team or look the other way when someone is allegedly committing a crime, and that’s irrespective of their skin colour,” Walid said. “On the other hand, if it’s something minor or insignificant or perhaps even a misunderstanding, then the store owner should also be aware that calling the police for a small matter could actually lead to the beating or the death of a human being.” He also urged challenging racist incidents and language within Arab communities, including the use of the word abeed (slaves) to describe African Americans. On the business end, he said store owners should put money back into the communities from which they profit. “There are horror stories about how people in the Black community are treated by our business owners and by the security they hire,” he said. “But then there are some positive developments that are good examples for everybody to use – which is hiring people from the community, hiring security, if you need it, from the community, investing in the local baseball team.” More here on this subject.

And there’s this:

“...Whereas the protesters have been described as “looters” and “violent” by some sections of the media, one restaurant that incurred major damage on Thursday night has decided to approach the damage to its property differently. On Friday, owners of the Gandhi Mahal Restaurant, about a block away from the Minneapolis Third Police Precinct that was taken over by some protesters, announced that despite the attempts by neighbours to protect it, the restaurant had been significantly damaged. “Youre [sic] efforts won’t go unrecognised. Don’t worry about us, we will rebuild and we will recover,” the Facebook post read“This is Hafsa, Ruhel’s daughter writing, as I am sitting next to my dad watching the news, I hear him say on the phone: ‘Let my building burn, Justice needs to be served, put those officers in jail’. Gandhi Mahal May have felt the flames last night, but our fiery drive to help protect and stand with our community will never die! Peace be with everyone.” The Bangladeshi-owned restaurant’s position has drawn widespread support and praise at a time when questions are being asked about the role of communities of colour and the perpetuation of police brutality. “

30/5/20:

USA, Atlanta: CNN windows smashedas protests spread to at least 30 cities

A couple of comments sent 27th – 30th May from 2 friends in the USA via email (the first is a reference to my recent 70th birthday) –

Y :

The city of Minneapolis is your birthday cake. Try blowing out those 70 candles.

It’s unreal what’s going on. It’s on par with LA ’92 and the urban
riots of the ’60s. Much more diverse and seems deeper than Ferguson.
No idea where it’s headed. Each night they could overrun and burn a
precinct. Why they don’t just arrest the dude is beyond me. Some
friends from here are going there. I imagine that’s true all over the
country. One looter was already killed last night. I think more death
is imminent with how bold everyone is. If national guard or cops kill
someone, it’ll definitely spread here and throughout the country.

My response:

No desire to blow them out – those candles can burn, baby, burn.

But why do you think it’s deeper than Ferguson?

Y:

I don’t know if it’s deeper yet. More widespread and prolonged and intense, but aside from a few bus drivers refusing to transport cops or arrested in different states, it’s not spread across other sectors of society. Z went up to Minneapolis yesterday. Said there is a strategy among some to try and overtake a new precinct once one has fallen. I think there are 5 in total. 1 down. Everything for the authorities seems delicate. Things spread to all sorts of cities last night. Small and big. Reminds me of Rodney king stuff. Clashes in the usual places- Oakland, NYC, etc., but also places like Las Vegas, Tallahassee, Dallas, Eugene, etc. went to the thing downtown here last night. Post-Ferguson activists still are able to exert some control, and last night it was barely enough to keep things civil, despite loads of young kids just waiting for someone to break that first window. Some fireworks and graffiti, and a stupid highway blockade. After we left, a terrible thing happened as some people on the fringes tried to loot an Amazon prime and Fedex semi-truck (a lorry;)). The driver of the Fedex truck panicked and ran over and killed someone looting in the back of the truck. A protestor was also shot and killed in Detroit – unclear by whom. Things are getting messy. Afraid things will turn into a deadly culture/political war, but hasn’t slipped totally into that yet. Racial unity and class consciousness seem strong enough for now, and politics hasn’t usurped all this yet. Almost feels like even if things chilled out tomorrow in Minneapolis, the rest of the country would keep going. But don’t know if the genie is out of the bottle quite yet. Here’s an article about last night in St. Louis:
https://www.kmov.com/news/man-killed-after-being-dragged-by-fedex-truck-following-night-of-protests-in-downtown-st/article_f8a89482-a259-11ea-84b8-a374c58a7d47.html

***

X:

On the tube (ABC, Channel 7) I saw the aftermath of the San Jose incident in which three pigs and the “civilian (undercover cop?)” removed the cop who had been struck and was still in a state of shock, described at the bottom of the article. I also saw a lot of the events in Oakland later in the evening, as well as a further incident in San Jose in which an SUV, blocked by demonstrators, backed up and ran down a guy – definitely the hairiest of all the action that happened. The guy got up right afterward although I swear the car passed over his arm.

The next most intense action was the blocking for a short while of Hwy 880 (the “Nimitz Freeway”) by exceedingly brave demonstrators who stopped a large stream of traffic until the arrival of CHP (California Highway Patrol) forced them to quit the scene. Large numbers briefly surged across the road and some people climbed a big-rig truck and hung there a short while.

In terms of the actual fighting, the sharpest action occurred during a standoff at an intersection in downtown Oakland where the cops held the intersection, but were pressed in on two sides by the demonstrators. Things remained static for a while until demonstrators on a second story overhang threw homemade explosives, one of which was powerful enough to disable the TV cameras filming the scene for a few moments, went off with a great blast and shower of sparks. Apparently a couple of cops at least were injured and had to be carried off. With that the remainder of the cops, who had been densely packed at the crosswalks, although their lines on one side of the intersection had bowed inwardly, cleared the area and forced a rapid retreat by the demonstrators.

X:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/protests-ramped-up-police-attacks_n_5ed316e9c5b640cb8341c6bb

Attacks against the press – and who are obviously identified as such – are clearly multiplying, an actuality which can be directly attributed to the orange clown in the White House and his own campaign against anything (facts, for instance) which show him in a bad light.

Of greater interest in this article linked, perhaps, is the language of what the protests are about: “police killings and inequality”. It is the latter, and the implication of the near-universal, systemic nature of this condition, that tells us why so many people (including many who are not black, but who identify with the plight of people who are impoverished, insecure, always vulnerable to attack by employers, landlords, pigs, and any authority who happens to come along or is in the mood, because that conditions & defines them as well, if not to the same degree) are taking to the street.

This has the possiblity of becoming a generalized revolt against class society now.

It is about time.

US, Seattle: video of riot including looting where looters throw out stuff for those outside to take what they want &/or need

 

29/5/20:

US: protests spread nationwide protesters force brief lockdown of White House workers refuse to transport cops in solidarity with protests

“Metro Transit officials suspended most of the region’s mass transit starting at 4 p.m. Thursday “out of concern for the safety of our customers and employees.” The suspension was later extended through Sunday. A spokesperson would not say if the suspension was solely due to the protests, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. It’s also unclear if the decision was directly related to the transit workers’ solidarity action.”

workers refuse to transport arrested protesters to jail

riots spread to Memphis & L.Awith protests in  Phoenix, Denver,  Louisville, &  Columbus

 

Riot in Brooklyn, New York:

“New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the coronavirus crisis, which exposed inequalities in health care, and the protests surrounding the death of George Floyd, are connected. “One looks like a public health system issue, Covid, but it’s getting at the inequality in health care also on a deeper level. And then the George Floyd situation, which gets at the inequality and discrimination in the criminal justice system. They are connected,” he said at his daily news briefing on Saturday.”

San Jose and Oakland

Hundreds gathered in Oakland and San Jose gathered in solidarity with protesters in Minneapolis denouncing the May 25 police killing of George Floyd on Friday night. Starting around 3 p.m. in downtown San Jose, protesters chanting Black Lives Matter marched to Highway 101, where they temporarily blocked traffic and smashed car windows in an otherwise peaceful demonstration. Two hours later, officers declared the protest an unlawful assembly and clashed with activists. While several protesters were detained, at least one officer was also injured before police fired off gas canisters at crowds near city hall as the demonstrators threw bottles and other items at them. According to a law enforcement source, at least one officer was struck by a glass bottle hurled by a protester, who lifted a cell phone near an officer’s face before the officer grabbed the phone, tossed it and was punched in the face. The officer was carried away from the area and later helped to his feet by three other police officials and a civilian. Meanwhile in Oakland, protesters marching down Broadway in the first of three consecutive protests planned this weekend, which are being branded the Minneapolis Solidarity Demonstration, around 7:45 p.m. About an hour later, tensions escalated again in San Jose. Some protesters began damaging storefronts again and police used tear gas and flash bangs.”

….Texas: DallasHouston & Forth Worth

Portland, Oregon

Minneapolis: streaming of events with a mix of comments, some valid, some not, fairly regularly updated“Now This Fight Has Two Sides. What the Riots Mean for the COVID-19 Era”(Crimethinc article)

This last is  also a mix of comments, some valid, some not. What’s annoying is that it’s full of “We should do this, we should do that”s – for example “Every time people stand up for themselves against the police state, we should show up in solidarity, prepared to run the same risks that those we support face every day.”  Whilst running “the same risks that those we support face every day” is good advice (depending on your circumstances at least) sometimes showing up in solidarity may not be the best thing to do at all – it may be better to start something in your own area . Amongst a group of friends &/or comrades that people know “we should” could well be valid, at least following the logic of a discussion, general perspective or previous history (ie “considering we think this, and have done that, we should do XYZ”). But as a general approach in written form to anonymous readers, it tends to take away from the reader the independence of decision about what could be done, to work out from the examples given, what may be pertinent.  Plus with this “we” there’s an assumption of an agreed line on a situation which may or may not be the case.    It comes over as playing the Leader, an anarchist version of Lenin’s “What is to be done?”. Though  obviously far better than this crappy vanguardist  text by Lenin, what it has in common with him is that it still tends to encourage a  blind follower attitude on the part of the readers, spoonfed with suggestions that haven’t developed from their own efforts, their struggle to work things out for themselves from their understanding of the situation. This personal and social struggle is far more essential for the development of  autonomy than making a list of “we should”s.

Fast food restaurant burning – licensed to grill

Report on police militarisation

28/5/20:

US, Minneapolis: cop station torchedduring 3rd night of fun, fire  & fury as National Guard are called outEyewitness account of the burning of the 3rd precinctCrimethinc article  Pretty interesting, especially tactics-wise. There are also some wonderful and heartwarming looting anecdotes etc. at the end.

Anarchist report here

the world turned right way up

27/5/20:

US, Minneapolis: shopkeeper murders possible looter during 2nd night of riots bigger than first, despite cops being fired; journocops too scared  This is full of empty pacifist platitudes, but then what can one expect from a site that calls itself “Hot Air”?  More here and here

 

On Target:

1) Washington Post article from 2006 highlighting the Target corporation’s efforts to increase survelliance and policing of black and other workers of color across US cities:

“In the past few years, the retailer has taken a lead role in teaching government agencies how to fight crime by applying state-of-the-art technology used in its 1,400 stores. Target’s effort has touched local, state, federal and international agencies. Besides running its forensics lab in Minneapolis, Target has helped coordinate national undercover investigations and worked with customs agencies on ways to make sure imported cargo is coming from reputable sources or hasn’t been tampered with. It has contributed money for prosecutor positions to combat repeat criminals, provided local police with remote-controlled video surveillance systems, and linked police and business radio systems to beef up neighborhood foot patrols in parts of several major cities. It has given management training to FBI and police leaders, and linked city, county and state databases to keep track of repeat offenders. …  “In many ways, Target is actually a high-tech company masquerading as a retailer,” said Nathan K. Garvis, Target’s vice president of government affairs.”

2) Locals’ issues with Target and the “communities” it “serves” go way back

26/5/20:

US, Minneapolis: riot in response to cop murder of black guy

With a name like Chauvin, what should we expect? See also this on the original Chauvin. Nicolas Chauvin …is a legendary, possibly apocryphal French soldier and patriot who is supposed to have served in the First Army of the French Republic and subsequently in La Grande Armée of Napoleon. His name is the eponym of chauvinism, originally a term for excessive nationalistic fervor, but later used to refer to any form of bigotry or bias…”

23/5/20:

Syria, Idlib: brief report on armed prison riot and failed escape attempt by 35 prisoners

21/5/20:

France, Seine St.Denis: cops not lured into ambush as about 30 bins torched; no arrests or injuriesIle-de-France (Argeneuil): another small riot (see 17/5/20 below), the night before a large demonstration demanding investigation of cop violence and cop lies Mulhouse:  clashes with cops after 16-year-old is seriously injured in “accident” with cops

The reports here are not at all consistent. One says the boy was slightly injured and charged with attempted homicide for deliberately running his motorbike (which he was  too young to drive legally),  into the cops,  others say he was seriously injured and some small riot started as a result.  One says he was 16, another says 17. That’s journalism for you – even with the facts you’re forced to take your pick.

19/5/20:

France, Amiens: clashes with cops in banlieu

“Explosions were heard over a large part of the city during the night of Tuesday to Wednesday May 20. “When I opened my roof window, I saw that it was to the north because even if we are southwest of Amiens, we are high up and we can see the North district. It lasted a good half hour. ” …these fires were fired on rue de Roubaix and the police officers targeted did not make any arrests. This is not the first time that this type of event has occurred, notably with heavy duty fireworks… According to a resident of the neighborhood, it was to be expected: “It becomes complicated with confinement and because deconfinement does not change much … And with  football matches being stopped this weekend, young people are a little edgy ”. As a reminder, the security forces intervened several times this weekend in the south-eastern district of Amiens to end unofficial football matches organized with some 150 people gathered at the Soufflot stadium.
At the end of April, in full confinement, the police had also been called in for reinforcement in the Philéas-Lebesgue sector where about fifteen individuals were participating in a “wildcat” barbecue. The police had managed to disperse all these young people but had been attacked with projectiles. In the days that followed,  provocations intensified, with several loud bangs heard by residents. Throwing fireworks at the police are a phenomenon that affects several districts in France.”

18/5/20:

Italy, Bologna: workers demanding outstanding payment of wages forced to leave town within 24 hours!

“At dawn this morning in Bologna, Italy, some workers and precarious workers who refused to be exploited and swindled by their shit bosses were woken up by police officers, giving them notice of these precautionary measures against them: five were ordered to leave Bologna and one was banned from approaching their ex-workplace and ex-bosses. A further 13 workers have also been charged….the police showed up without gloves and masks and without respecting social distancing rules, putting our health at risk. When one precarious worker complained, the police officer responded, to the amusement of his colleague: “Don’t worry, with this order you will end up very far away!”. They are defying the same health regulations that they were enforcing with fines and charges during the lockdown.
What is the order? It is a precautionary measure (i.e. issued in a discretionary manner by a judge and immediately enforceable without a trial, i.e. without any proof of “guilt”) that obliges those who have received it to immediately leave the city of Bologna and not to return for an indefinite period. It doesn’t matter that they have friends, partners and in some cases families in the city. It doesn’t matter that this further limits the precarious income of these workers. It doesn’t matter that we are in the midst of a pandemic, which limits mobility for public health reasons. They clearly don’t care about the virus spreading and the possibility of infection. From one hour to the next, those same workers who before couldn’t leave their homes, have to leave their homes and go who knows where and for who knows how long. …Who did these measures target? A worker in a social cooperative in Bologna, who has been forced to continue working throughout the lockdown for low pay and without adequate protection; a worker in a bar, who was supposed to restart their shifts today; a partner in a small business, who has refused to pass the crisis onto their workers and for this reason has not received a single euro from the state or the local government; a student who, to pay their way through university, has had to work illegally; a rider who during the lockdown has been forced to work to earn money to get by. On top of this, a former employee of the Nails Café, which is at the centre of the case, has also been banned from approaching their ex-workplace or their ex-bosses. These shit bosses are guilty of not having paid thousands of euros owed to an employee. The message to the workers is: let these bosses exploit and swindle you in peace.
What are they being charged with? With harassing bosses who don’t pay their workers. From this morning, demanding your wages is officially called extortion! From this morning, going to your shit boss to protest against their fraud and harassment, thus upsetting their business, is officially called violence!…revenge against these bosses won’t stop. It is time to put our masks on again.”

These people produced a leaflet which comrades of them have translated  into English :

WE HAVE NO HOME!                                                               19 May 2020

Because we pissed off the shit bosses they called us stalkers, because we took the side of every worker and because we demanded the wages we were owed we’ve become extortionists, for having protested every week outside the businesses of bosses that exploit us, they have chased us out of our homes, out of Bologna.

With this legal measure they forced us to leave the city within 24 hours without a trial, said that we can’t stay here, where we have our friends, our family, work and homes, we have to take rooms in hostels or sleep on friends’ sofas.

In response to this we want to show that you will not defeat us by targeting five people, neither with charges nor with threats, we are and we can be EVERYWHERE, we have no home! Because we are not identifiable as a group, as a political organization, as a union: we are a common condition, the expression of a common need to end the silence and get rid of these shit bosses.

We invite everyone who is in solidarity, the workers who are fed up of suffering, the unemployed who are tired of getting by on casual jobs, the precarious who want to get revenge, to go into the streets with these same masks and show that we are united, we are everywhere and we are ready for revenge!

A banner, a sign, an action against a shit boss, in a square, in front of institutional buildings or wherever. Anywhere you can put on masks like we have done and let them see we are everywhere!

Send us photos, videos and texts, we will publish everything on our page.

Make the shit bosses pay for the crisis!

https://www.ilpadronedimerda.it/ Padrone di Merda Bologna Il Padrone di Merda Bologna ilpdm.bologna@gmail.com

See also this detailed article entitled “Why did so many people in Italy die during the Corona crisis?” and this: “A dress rehearsal of subjugation of the population and a state-sponsored massacre”

17/5/20:

France, Ile-de-France (Parisian blanlieu): clashes after cops drive into 18-year-old on motorbike without helmet, killing him (videos and links)

12/5/20:

Belgium, Brussels: large wildcat strike against return to normality by bus and tram workers after unions return to the normality of trying  to sell them out

On 11-12 May 2020, a 80% of bus and 50% of tram drivers of the Brussels public transportation services went on a wildcat strike after the union had agreed to resuming normal timetables behind their backs. The strike was the first time that workers invoked the “Droit de Retrait” (right to retreat), which has been part of the Belgian labor law since 1996. It entitles workers to leave their workplace when they are in serious and immediate danger. Tram and bus drivers argue that they are exposed to such an immediate danger on the job in the face of the suspension of the lockdown.

10/5/20:

Canada, Montreal: 30-car “caravan” in noise demo in solidarity with pr8isoners after one dies of Covid

9/5/20:

Afghanistan, Ghor: 6 die including 2 cops, during protests about lack of food distribution

Venezuela, Monagas: riots and looting during food distribution day

8/5/20:

USA, Ohio: excellent sabotage by hacker of attempt by state to prevent workers claiming unemployment insurancea sabotage with successful consequences

“The state of Ohio won’t deny unemployment benefits to people who refuse to work during the COVID-19 pandemic after people targeted the website it was using to track these workers, according to officials at the state’s Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). The state previously set up a “fraud” website encouraging employers to report those who refused to go back on the job, angering workers and labor rights advocates. State officials say they are now reconsidering the policy after Motherboard reported that a hacker created a script to flood the “COVID-19 Fraud” website with junk data, with the goal of making it impossible to process these claims….The anonymous hacker previously told Motherboard they created the script as a form of direct action in support of working people. Ohio is among several states that have prematurely reopened against the advice of health experts, forcing many workers to return to their jobs and put themselves at risk of contracting the deadly virus. Over 33 million Americans have filed for unemployment since March, and unemployment benefits are quickly becoming many peoples’ sole source of income. Meanwhile, many retail and service workers deemed “essential” have said they are being forced to continue working in crowded stores and warehouses without personal protective equipment such as masks. While the hacker’s script has since stopped working after changes to Ohio’s website, another hacker has taken up the project and plans to release an updated version, the anonymous hacker told Motherboard.”

India, Gujarat: crowds chase away cops trying to enforce lockdown (videos and links)

France, Oise: no arrests (so far) as barricades erected, plus fires, when about 60 youths clash with cops sent to clamp down on drug dealing 

Colombia, Magdalena: locals break quarantine to burn tyres & logs, throw stones at cops, in protest against constant daily power cuts in sweltering heat

7/5/20:

Mali:   police station torched & ransacked etc, during clashes in 4 parts of country related to curfew-breaking and virus over previous few days

Example quotes:

Burned tires on public roads, clashes between demonstrators and police, Kati police station burned and ransacked etc. These demonstrations are taking place in several regions of the country as well as in the district of Bamako which counts from day to day new cases of covid 19. These demonstrations were first of all a way for the populations to show their dissatisfaction after the proclamation of the final results of the legislative elections by the constitutional court. But little by little the trend changed, and the demonstrators rose against the introduction of the curfew by the Malian authorities which is especially a means of fighting against the covid 19. And these movements must challenge more than one because they will contrary to all preventive measures and can be a factor in the spread of the virus.  Let us note that the source of this revolt is the lack of confidence of the population vis-à-vis the government, because at the moment when the authorities say that these measures are taken for the safety of the populations in front of the covid 19, on the other side the population thinks that these measures slow down the activities of heads of households who seek their daily bread in the evening.

 

“Commune III of the Bamako district has been under high tension in recent days. There are regular clashes between the youth and the police for the lifting of the curfew in this area. During the night of Monday May 4 to Tuesday May 5, 2020, a violent confrontation opposed the young demonstrators and the police in the various districts of Commune III of the Bamako district. Thus, around midnight to 1 am, a patrol team chasing the demonstrators broke down a closed door and broke into the Sidibé family in Badialan III not far from the GMS (Mobile Security Group) to drop gas tear gas. The intrusion by the police allegedly cost the life of Mamadou Sidibé, a 62-year-old heart patient. The mattress and bed covers on which the victim was resting within the compound of the Concession Courtyard were damaged. Did the elements of the patrol have a search warrant? According to our source, everything started from the police patrol. The patrol team of the 2nd Arrondissement Police Station allegedly found certain young people at the fronts of their doors. The said team allegedly asked these young people to return to the houses because of the curfew and they refused, because there was a death in a neighboring family. Then, the situation degenerated with the resonance of the blows of the sporadic shots of tear gas, burnt tires and throwing stones between the two parties. However, said our source, at around 0:00 am to 1:00 am, a team of 8 police officers arrived in a pick-up truck in front of the Sidibé family at Badialan III not far from the GMS (Mobile Security Group). Then three men got out of the vehicle to break down the closed door and barge into the house. “So, we were lying in the courtyard of the house, so I left my bed to go see what is happening at the door but automatically I was surprised to meet three men in uniform in our course. They told me that the young people have returned to the house. I replied by saying that if the young people are in the house, I beg your pardon and that it will not be repeated again. A policeman replied, I don’t care and he immediately dropped a tear gas under my feet. So I ran to the little hallway of the house and they also fired another tear gas towards my direction. Thus, another gas was fired towards the direction of my 62-year-old brother, Mamadou Sidibé said “Vieux-bah” who already suffered from heart problem, he could not bear the consequences of the smoke of tear gas. Then, he had breathing difficulties and he was immediately transported to the Mother-Child Hospital “Le Luxembourg” where the doctors confirmed the death on arrival the same night. The victim’s mattress and bed covers were affected by tear gas projectile fire. ” said Ibrahim Sidibé, the victim’s younger brother. For his part, the Divisional Commissioner of the 2nd Arrondissement, Mohamed Keïta, affirms that he was not approached by the hierarchy regarding this affair and he believes that his men were professional in their work. “I learned this information just like you. A police colleague sent me a message today that he had read on social media that an old man suffering from respiratory problems could not bear the smoke of tear gas and that he died after the confrontation between young people and the police (the Police, the Gendarmes and the National Guard). It’s true, I’m the coordinator of movements in the sector, but as I speak, I have not yet been seized of this matter by the hierarchy. All I know is that my men have been professional in their work, ”he said. Before wondering about the reasons for these demonstrations: “In Commune III, I don’t really know what the demonstrators are looking for. In any case, they did not object to the decision of the Constitutional Court concerning the final results of the parliamentary elections. So, if it is against the curfew, it is not the police who have established the curfew, but the police only ensure that the curfew is respected. “

6/5/20:

Bangladesh, Gazipur: clashes with cops as major highways are blocked by 1000s of garment workers from different factories seeking reopening of factory, arrears & full wages instead of 65%

“About 20-22 round teargas shells and several round shotgun bullets were fired when workers did not leave streets even after baton charge…the workers illegally called work abstention on Tuesday…The workers went back home as the factory management, mediated by police, assured them of the payment by May 9.” Video here gives an idea of numbers, but it’s in Bengali. There’d been a previous riot there on April 26th.

4/5/20:

Colombia, Magdalena: looting etc. following protests about lack of food aid

In the streets of Plato, Magdalena, there was a protest of inhabitants who demanded aid, especially food, but the demonstration ended with vandals who attacked and looted part of the population’s commerce. The protest started with burning tires and blocked the trunk of the containers, a national highway. In the presence of the Police, several attacks with stones began….The disturbances moved to the commercial sector of the municipality. Several establishments were affected and looted. José Torres, Secretary of the Interior of Magdalena, regretted that people use the roads in fact to exercise their rights and that there is no dialogue or negotiation.

India, Gujarat: 100s of penniless migrant workers wanting to return home clash with cops

3/5/20:

Argentina, Santiago del Estero: prison riot – mattress burning and escape attempts

France, Seine-St.Denis: 5 cops injured during attack with heavy duty fireworks following cop control over papers needed to allow people to break lockdownEure: similiar events following accident during race with stolen motorbikes

Kuwait: riot by workers seeking repatriation home from detention “shelter”

2/5/20:

France, Mayotte (French department in Indian Ocean): as locals continue to break curfew and confinement, 200 throw “an uninterrupted rain of stones” at  cops sent to force people into confinement, including territorial head of police; burning furniture blocks main road

India, West Bengal: angry locals vandalise shop and house of ration distributor, because he was hoarding half the rations

Brazil, Manaus: prison mutiny – mattresses burnt, 7 screws taken hostage, over visitor suspension

Senegal, Dakar: heavy clashes between cops and curfew-breakersMore here (clashes exacerbated by arrest of obviously innocent teenager)

Thiaroye, Dakar, Senegal

1/5/20:

Indonesia, North Maluku: workers at Industrial Park riot, burn several company facilities, demand major changes in work conditions

A number of employees of a company in Central Halmahera (Halteng), North Maluku, set fire to a number of company facilities during the commemoration of Labor Day or May Day. The action on Friday, May 1, 2020, took place inside the factory area…. thousands of employees asked management to reject the Cipta Karya Bill [ for outline of what this bill is, see this and this], reject termination of employment (FLE), fulfill maternity rights for women workers, and to lockdown companies during the corona virus pandemic by paying 100 percent of wages.  They also demanded the termination of employee quarantine  at the airport, the imposition of eight hours of work per day, stopping discrimination against local workers, stopping the criminalization of workers, and dismissing the head of HRD….The action then became a riot…. employees burned and damaged a number of facilities and vehicles inside the factory area. In addition, seven security officers suffered injuries due to stone throwing…Employees also looted the company canteen…police officers…arrested 11 employees suspected of being masterminds of the riots.

Unions say they have nothing to do with it, blame it on anarchist elements

“Police in Indonesia’s North Maluku province have arrested 8 people linked to a workers’ demonstration that turned violent at a nickel project run by France’s Eramet and China’s Tsingshan Holding Group, a police spokesman said on Sunday. A rally on May 1 demanding, among other things, a lockdown at the Indonesia Weda Bay Industrial Park (IWIP) during the coronavirus pandemic, turned violent with demonstrators destroying company property and looting food, North Maluku police spokesman Adib Rojikan said.  Eight people had been named suspects for their involvement in the violence and four others were being questioned, Rojikan said by telephone. The demands by workers included rejecting lay-offs and getting a full salary during the proposed lockdown, as well as blocking parliamentary deliberation in Jakarta of a bill that calls for a steep cut in severance compensation, said Rojikan. IWIP said in a statement that the two workers’ unions at the industrial park were not behind the rally and accused five unversity students of provoking some 800 workers to join the rally and conduct “anarchic action”.”

An account from Indonesian anarchists

Google Translate:

Chronology of the Mayday Action and the Declaration of the Halteng Labor Struggle Forum (FPBH)
By Palanghitam | Published: 05/04 2020

Friday, May 1 2020 5:00 WIT the worker goes to PT. IWIP.

At 5:30 CET, the mass of PT. IWIP from Central Vedas gathered at the company’s first portal.

Pkl 05:35 about twenty workers gathered and immediately moved to the point of action at the company intersection.

Pkl 8:01 IWIP workers from North Weda and East Weda gather together at the company intersection.

Pkl 08:15 WIT the action begins.

After the third orator (KORLAP) delivered his speech, the mass of action immediately broke through the gate and headed straight towards the gate of Tanjung Uli.

The oration lasted for some time at Men Gate Tanjung Uli. Some workers also gave speeches to express their complaints, including Uchen (the right worker on the 1st May came to PT. IWIP to sign the letter of dismissal). 09:00 WIT the workers broke into the gate because workers’ demands have not been fulfilled (rosalina sangadji as the head of the HRD must be open and hering open with workers). While inside the men gate, one of the security forces provoked a mass of action by throwing stones, the Akssipun mass was provoked and then a standardized throwing took place. The police had fired several warning shots into the air.

The mass of action returned to the front of the gate and set fire to the former stall that was right in front of the gate.

The police fired tear gas. The mass of action had scattered. Then returned and the police chief had tried to dialogue with workers. But because it did not find any bright spot, the action mass then changed the route of action and headed to the veronickel furnace section to boycott production activities. After that the mass of action took a briefing and agreed to go to the PLTU to turn off electricity to cripple production activities.

Workers in the veronickel division joined the mass of action and walked to the company’s power plant to turn off electricity.

Around 10:01 the PLTU turned off electricity
PT. IWIP is totally paralyzed.

The mass of action walked back to the intersection and returned to a briefing then agreed not to work (strike) until the demands were realized.

Around pkl. 13:10 WIT the mass of action finally disbanded with an agreement to strike and blockade the company’s entrance from the central and northern wedges.

STATEMENT OF FPB-HALTENG ATTITUDE

1. Fail Omnibus Law!
2. Reject layoffs under the guise of pause at PT. IWIP!
3. Fulfill women’s labor rights!
4. Return the official permit for workers at PT. IWIP!
5. PT. IWIP must lock down the company during the COVID-19 pandemic, and pay 100% of the base wage!
6. Stop the labor quarantine at the airport of PT. IWIP!
7. Apply eight working hours at PT. IWIP!
8. Meet K3 for workers!
9. Stop discrimination against TKA workers and meet the welfare of TKA workers at PT. IWIP!
10. Stop issuing unilateral memos without prior negotiations with the workers!
11. Stop the criminalization of labor!

HAPPY MAY DAY

Weda, Friday 1 May 2020″

Video here

Belgium Arlon: 4 cop cars torched

Arlon (Belgium): destroying the means of the confiners…

During the night of Thursday to Friday, around 12:45 am, a man entered the Arlon police parking lot, rue du Casino, and set fire to a mixture of things. The fire then spread to the [police] vehicles around. A total of four vehicles were effected. This is the first time that the Arlon police area has been the victim of an arson attack. …The fire was brought under control by firefighters, but four vehicles were effected, including personal vehicles. …Unfortunately, the gantry in the parking lot had been broken for several days and the repair could not have been done in the context of the confinement.  Arlon’s police have already suffered deliberate damage to vehicles, but it’s the first time they have suffered  arson. …For zone chief Michaël Collini, it’s difficult not to make a link with the call for revolt launched recently on the IndyMedia BXL site for May 1. A call in which the population is invited to “express their anger within their means” … against the police, who “seem to control everything with their prowling patrol cars” by going out in “small groups and everywhere”.
And meanwhile, the state and the long arm of the media shit out  amalgam technique propaganda to make equivalents of  fascists and  anarchists: see this. A response to this in French here. Obvioiusly I don’t endorse the eclectic mish-mash of the whole of Indymedia   by any means ( including publishing dreadful articles at times), but in current circumstance it seems worthwhile publishing this Google translate:
“On April 21, State Security released a document entitled The Danger Hidden Behind COVID 19 in which it accused Indymedia (on page 6) of calling for violence based on an article published earlier this month. Two days later, numerous press groups relayed this accusation, amplifying it considerably.
In this battle of disinformation, some rectifications are necessary. Pinning an article to judge a collective says more about the objectives of State Security than its understanding of social issues. To compare the extreme right, the extreme left and the pro-Russian powers is to establish equal groups with objectives, organization and means which are not radically comparable.
As a reminder, Indymedia is a participative media, accessible to all, which aims to be a local showcase of social, environmental struggles, and resistance against all forms of discrimination, domination and exploitation. The collective that runs the site is responsible for moderating contributions, managing the technical aspects, thinking about how to make this tool always more accessible and intuitive.
Since the media relayed this information, our collective has received emails without a clear explicit request but which sought to establish contacts to “wake up all together and decide to finally take action”, to “participate in actions concrete and responsible for civil disobedience “… Mode of action which is reminiscent of the attempts of infiltrations having aimed at the young rebels of Cureghem, the pressures exerted by the police to remove the banners” justice for Adil “hung on numerous façades or the gigantic police deployment in the Marolles on April 19.
The state and the police use an anxiety-provoking security environment and seek to scare us, divide us and pit us against one another to paralyze us. If you or your loved ones have been pressured or intimidated, we strongly invite you to testify publicly. Let’s get out of fear, dare to talk about it and don’t be alone with our fears, let’s organize against repression. Self-organization and mutual aid practices are needed more than ever. Let us refuse the pressure put in place by the police, do not let probable attempts of infiltration disturb us, nor accusations discredit us!
At a time when control and surveillance have become widespread, Indymedia remains a tool for the dissemination of ideas which tries to guarantee the anonymity of its users.ices (more info).
Indymedia is what the community makes of it, let’s continue reading, publishing and above all bringing our struggles to life!
Solidarity and courage to all!

Greece, Athens: about 3,000 people march in an empty city, still in lockdown (the composition was mainly anti-authoritarian and leftist, with some small unions, too)

Adaptation of a Google Translate, adapted by guesswork because it didn’t translate well at all,  of a text distributed along the way:
“LET’S GO OUT, ON OUR OWN TERMS, INTO THE WORLD AROUND US AGAIN

At the beginning of March, you felt an instinctive disbelief and contempt for Hardalias, Tsiodras and the rest of the political team who told you to “stay at home” because not spreading the corona is your “individual responsibility” and then treated you like an obedient child who has to be told “you must” in order for them to believe.

In this case, like us, you have come to understand that politics is always the logic of the Daddy State, which treats its citizens as if they were stupid children, in front of whom it puts dozens of improvised experts who work to protect every day the health of the commodity system.”

For yet another nauseating example of humilating people by treating them like naughty kids, see this

US, St.Louis: director of operations for city hall is unmasked trying to impose the current dominant “logic” of  stay-at-home rules on the homeless by making them doubly homeless

Since this site is not accessible in Europe, it’s impossible  to know what this link  says. However, Our Diplomatic Correspondent in the US has just sent this report by supersonic drone:

There’s been a growing homeless encampment across from city hall, in the heart of downtown since corona… Between 80-100 tents it seems. The mayor’s office window overlooks it. The city has had its hands tied legally because of emergency corona guidelines. They tried to coerce them out after the first week, but it’s grown since then and residents have been defiant. [May 1st] they tried to evict them a little more coercively, but the 20 or so cops didn’t know what to do and stood down while city health and sanitation workers tried to evict them …residents and supporters shamed garbage workers into not doing their job of seizing the tents. People stood on the tents it seemed like. Some post-Ferguson civil rights lawyer group defending the camp is now dragging the city through courts right now so the city has been forced to back off.

…unfortunately the drone got attacked by eagles and so, sadly,  we shall forever be forced to wrack our brains desperately trying to guess what the mayor said. Best guess wins a week’s holiday in Salt Lake City. 2nd best guess wins 2 weeks holiday in Salt Lake City.

Venezuela,  Guanare: “Socialist” state murders 17 during prison mutiny

“Public order disturbances” took place in the Los Llanos prison center in Guanare (west), when detainees broke down “the security fencing around the perimeter” outside the prison, “in a mass escape attempt”…Prison staff, guarded by soldiers, attempted mediation with the chief of the mutineers. But the inmates attacked them violently, injuring the prison warden “on the shoulder with a sharp object.”…”The conflict is underway,” said Carolina Giron of the Venezuelan Prison Observatory, an NGO that defends the rights of detainees, to AFP. According to her, the detainees rose up because they were victims of violence and “because they are not allowed any visit and they have no bread or water”. According to her, 2,500 prisoners are crowded in an establishment with a capacity of 750 places. Due to the coronavirus pandemic which is also raging in Venezuela, visits to detainees of families and relatives have been interrupted. However, prisoners often receive food and medicine through these visits. According to the Observatory, some 97 detainees died behind bars last year, 70% of them from illnesses such as tuberculosis, due to lack of medicines and medical care. Another detainee advocacy organization, Una Ventana a la libertad (A Window to Liberty), said that some 192 people died last year in police station cells due to lack of space in prisons. Venezuelan authorities say there have been no cases of coronavirus in prisons in the country.”

Mayday in Hong Kong

Germany, Hamburg & Berlin: heavy policing as usual, unions show their  collaboration with the state as usualWuppertal: cops wrong-footed – small but bright and loud  demo at night, no cop intervention

Unions annnounced already 2 moths or so previously, before even the state had issued any directives about demonstrations, that they’d have only an online “presence”.

Chile, Valparaiso: 57 arrested for contravening quarantine rules

There’ve been 17,008 infections and 234 deaths due to the epidemic so far. This is a considerable amount less than those murdered by the military in 1973, whose leaders for the most part, escaped with impunity. Pinochet himself was put under house arrest in London for 18 months but never convicted before his death at the ripe old age of 91. In Chile in 1957, on one day alone, some 200 deaths from flu  were reported, 600 over a whole week, though the flu there in 2019 killed very few people, probably due to generally improved sanitary conditions and increased immunity, anti-biotics possibly, vaccinations maybe, etc.

One Response to may 2020
  1. Another interesting piece of technological sabotage: when is a pop song subversive? When it’s being used to make cop technology unworkable: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/carolinehaskins1/dallas-police-kpop (there’s various follow-ups to this as well). Also, comments seem to be off on the June page, not sure if that’s intentional?

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