This is a chronology not invariably based on the date the information was published but sometimes based on the date I received it.
It should be clear that I am not in accord with the ideological aspects of the content of many of the articles I link to.
“…as has already happened in Naples, Rome, Turin and other cities, a protest against the government for anti-covid measures and the economic crisis triggered by the coronavirus was taken hostage by groups of violent people who tried at all costs to clash with the police. For the historic center of Florence it was an evening of violence. At the beginning of the evening, several people took to the streets: “We are workers of this city…this city is dead, where is the money promised by the government?”. An unauthorized demonstration, but which peacefully expressed the discomfort of those left with nothing …. It did not last long: in a short time, first at one point then at another and then at another still, scuffles broke out. Near Piazza della Signoria the police intervened after the throwing of bottles and firecrackers. The street has become a battlefield. Then in Piazza del Duomo, at least two hundred demonstrators who lit smoke bombs. The procession then moved in several directions. There have been other offices near Piazza della Repubblica. Here the demonstrators overturned baskets, threw planters and stones. According to witnesses, the attack on the police was the work of hooded boys, mostly very young; a confirmation of the fear that the demonstration was infiltrated by activists from the far right or from violent social centers. Some officers were injured, hit by throwing stones, bottles and Molotov cocktails. Overall, according to a first estimate of the police, there are over a thousand people who participated in the protests, moving in small groups that scattered around the historic center. …“
“As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection. Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice. Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.” Clearly a lowest common denominator declaration, but indicative of increasing worry even amongst the specialists.
Some critical responses to this are:
Exclusive! A well-informed source has leaked the presidential address:
My dear comprattriots
We are extremely surprised / worried / concerned that the measures decided on three days ago have not been translated into a miraculous drop in the number of cases. Despite the gradual onset of winter, we really expected that, through the operation of the Holy Spirit, the numbers of cases would suddenly begin to decline. However, oddly enough, they continue to increase: it is really surprising! Our methods having totally failed to stop the progression of the virus in any way, we are therefore not only going to renew them but amplify them: we do not change a method that’s lost!
My dear compatriots, intrafamily contagions obviously do not exist and the virus hates confined environments (no being mad, it prefers the great outdoors and the mountains); we therefore have no other choice but to take the inevitable and essential measures that have been imposed on us, without our being able to do anything else: namely full confinement for one month, until the end of November. You may tell me that there is little chance that, at this time, that is to say when winter follows autumn, the number of contagions will really decrease in any way whatsoever and that you doubt that you will really be able to eat your turkey with chestnuts and your Yule log as you’ve been promised as a reward to the little children that we are if we were well behaved. Some evil spirits may even insinuate that I already knew this and that I am only announcing a month to put you to sleep as I have always done since April, that I had decided on this confinement for a long time and that all the rest was just a simple preparation for what was my ultimate goal.
My dear compatriots, too much critical thinking kills critical thinking! Listen to me, listen to my journalists, my ministers and my experts and download the TousAntiCovid app. No – I am no more lying to you today than yesterday and you can trust me, as you always have.
The time is serious, my dear compatriots, and I do not know if you really appreciate the magnitude of what is to come. Now you know what you have to do. Destroy all sociability and human contact. Stay at home and especially in front of your screens, do not receive anyone, do not touch anyone, denounce your neighbors, beware of everyone, lead a zombie life, eyes bursting on your computers, telecommute, tele-eat, tele-fuck, tele-live, be slaves locked in your dens to consume my speeches, my media and “your” “social” networks.
Long live the Republic, long live France and long live the Covid!
This was an address by the President of the Republic.
“Anti-mask groups who don’t want to wear the required protection against COVID-19 threw rocks at police during a demonstration in Limassol on Cyprus, protesters also upset over corruption and 5G technology. Nearly 1,000 people gathered in anger against the government’s latest round of health measures …A group of 100 broke away… and threw flares and fireworkers, set trash cans on fire and became raucous as organizers pleaded with them to be peaceful but failed… police officers …were beset upon by people in hoods who threw rocks and other objects at them, the paper said. A Molotov Cocktail was thrown as a police car, setting it on fire, forcing the officers inside to scramble to get out in fear for their lives while other patrols cars and private vehicles were also damaged in the melee. Police said fire fighters trying to put out the trash can fires were stopped by a burning vehicle in their way and them also became targets of the protesters, one firefighter said to be seriously injured…Reports said multiple chants were heard during the demonstration, including “Burn down the Parliament brothel” and “put all House representatives in jail,” in apparent reference to a burgeoning scandal in which two leading politicians were accused of trying to facilitate the sale of Golden Visa residency permits and passports to someone who told them he was a criminal on the run from China. Another sign also criticized police over arresting youths for graffiti recently “instead of going after those responsible for piling up the country’s debt,” the report added, while others said they didn’t want 5G mobile phone antennas on the island.”
“A demonstration against the curfew in the streets of Pino Montano ended Tuesday night in riots. Several people have burned at least one container and knocked over a motorcycle and another garbage container…In addition, they have launched a series of flares and fireworks. The incidents motivated the intervention of the riot police of the National Police. The events occurred shortly before eleven o’clock at night on Cortijo de las Casillas street, one of the main avenues in the Seville neighborhood of Pino Montano. By half past ten, a platform called Pino Montano en lucha had called a protest against the curfew and in defense of neighborhood businesses. The demonstration was intended to be peaceful and so the organizers insisted through social networks….“It does not matter if you believe in the virus or if not. It does not matter if you are on the right or on the left. We are all suffering the unjust consequences of the disastrous management of the political class in one way or another. We are not from any party …We are the neighborhood of Pino Montano, the working class and we are going against those at the top, whatever color they may be, “…”It is the last chance we have to go out and defend the businesses and families in our neighborhood before it is too late and we have to see how our friends and family close the bars and stores that have been with us all their lives. “, adds this note, which reminds that it is a peaceful concentration…. “Less police and more health care” was another of the protesters’ shouts….“
Articles critiquing the dominant media characterisation of rioters as being only fascists:
” A post-consumerist capitalism, in which the old produce-consume-drop-dead, has been reduced to the binary process: produce-drop-dead. In this system women and men of flesh and blood are only useful if they are able to work.”
Quick Google translate: “We refuse the curfew.
We refuse to pay for the aberration of the rulers with our lives .
We refuse to endure the resentment of power over what remains of joy in our lives.
We reject the twisted paradox of preventing ourselves from living in the name of “life”.
We refuse to allow any government to claim to mistreat us “for our own good”. No one knows what is good for us better than us.
We refuse to allow the state to appropriate under the guise of “solidarity” or “collective” what relates to the bond between beings.
We refuse to let ourselves be led like children by a bunch of diploma gogols.
We refuse to ignore that any government has only control over the population, and that the curfew emanates from a “defense council.”
We refuse to see the taste for power as anything other than a sinister perversion. Whoever uses power abuses it. It’s known.
We refuse to see a presidential pervert obscurely enjoy “tightening the screw” and “hitting the spirits”.
We refuse to believe that a state which has let industry poison us for ages, which reintroduces neo-nicotinoids, which imposes 5G, which shambles protesters without qualms, which leaves the poor starving, which rationing care and caregivers, which has always covered all the abuses of the nuclear mafia, which plans under the guise of “green recovery” the devastation of the countryside by industrial wind power, claims to care less about our health.
We refuse to allow an epidemic to be used to produce the citizenship that a society that goes into the wall can no longer command.
We refuse to live to work.
We refuse to live for the economy, the disaster of which the whole earth attests.
We refuse to allow the police to step forward wherever the consent of free will recedes.
We refuse the blackmail between freedom and discipline.
We refuse to have to choose between the delirium of government propaganda and that of conspiracy.
The curfew is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. You have sought to push your advantage a step too far. Stop counting on our cooperation. You have given the full measure of your malfeasance. You will find us on your way with every new step in government insanity that you take. Take back your prefects, your ordinances, your states of emergency, your journalists, your managers, your ministries, your cops, your grand inquisitors, your experts and your politicians. We are no longer playing the game. The rules will change. We are going to take our lives back in hand. You are no longer worthy of getting involved.
We will come together, with or without torches. We will walk the streets of OUR cities to the foot of YOUR palaces.
Until your dismissal. Until we can finally breathe free air. “”
Sample quotes from 1st link (pretty excellent take on the situation insofar as I can tell not living in Italy, nor being familiar with the details of the situation there): “…The problem is that every time there is an autonomous phenomenon of wider social conflict these days, whether it is the “movement of the pitchforks” or that of the yellow vest, it appears in undesirable, ambivalent and contradictory forms. We often find people on the street who, at least in theory, are likely to have opposing interests, and even more often these contradictions are fought out on the street. So it is much easier to characterize them as a fascist phenomenon just because Roberto Fiore tries to become part of it with a tweet from his comfortable armchair in Rome, or as actions coordinated by the Camorra (it is not clear with what aim), than to try to understand them and participate in them in order to contribute to their development…” More here: “…Many have also spoken of infiltration by organized crime and the willingness of the far-right to try to lead the mobilizations. Meanwhile, even during a demonstration promoted this afternoon by workers in the entertainment industry, precarious and unemployed, there have been charges by the police…all of the economy linked to recreational consumption, clubs, nightlife and precariousness, only partly skilled, which comes from weaker social classes, has been affected. It is clear that the measures to contain the pandemic have a very strong impact on these realities and produce a protest that, beyond ideological readings, is clearly a mixed, spurious, transversal protest. Inside there is the small entrepreneur, the manager of a local shop, of activities that are now on the verge of closure, there is a large segment of unsecured precariousness, of undeclared work, which in view of the closures is not covered by any social shock absorber. Last spring the first effect of the closures was already the firing and the setting aside of the entire black, informal, precarious workforce, because many of the managers of premises had to downsize their business. On the other hand, there is also the dealer who made money in this period, speculating on nightlife and tourism, which at the first difficulty fires its employees. In short, “all together passionately” and confusedly protesting against a real suffering, a break that this situation creates, and especially against the nightmare of a lockdown announced without any social parachute….”
Amongst the exemptions from these insanely draconian measures are: you can travel to work; you can take a crowded train or a crowded plane, a logic imposed by the need to accumulate capital.
This article has an overly-sensational title: “Lockdown Is a Big Mistake: What Top Israeli Doctors Really Think About COVID-19”. It’s obviously not ALL Israeli “top doctors” who speak and I don’t necessarily agree with everything they say, and it still doesn’t deal with other important aspects of this pandemic and the politics of “health”.
“Countries that imposed a strict, early lockdown, like Peru and Belgium, suffered the most serious mortality rates. New Zealand also imposed strict lockdowns and last week announced it had defeated the virus for the second time. “The emphasis should be on ‘the second time.’ It’s like cheering at the end of a soccer game that you lost, because you were ahead at halftime. We can at least say that the same rates of infection existed in countries that imposed a lockdown and in those that didn’t. “Look at these two pieces of data: Pneumonia diagnoses declined by 30 to 40 percent [during the epidemic]; we replaced one disease with another – pneumonia caused by coronavirus instead of ‘regular’ pneumonia. The second statistic is that there had been a 30-percent decrease in the number of people arriving at ER for any reason.”
This seems to be a valid rejoinder to the dominant discourse regardless of how true it eventually turns out to be. I don’t necessarily take such facts as “the truth” since in my lifetime I haven’t ever remotely known a degree of confusion and contradiction between different facts and figures and state exhortations, sometimes altering from day to day or even from hour to hour, as during this Covid1984 epoch. Masks are useless (March to June) / Masks are mandatory in enclosed spaces / Masks are obligatory both outdoors and indoors, but not on the terrace of bars/ you can take your mask off to smoke….Stay at home and only go out for essentials. / Getting fresh air is essential….The virus remains on all surfaces for several hours / The virus is only transmitted by spittle or human-to-human contact…Chloroquine is safe and can treat Covid, as well as it’s treated malaria and other diseases/ Chloroquine is certainly toxic …You can go to work in a crowded underground, but funerals are prohibited or limited to ten people….You can only see 5 people around you but you can go on vacation by plane.
Unfortunately people tend to believe what they want to believe according to long-developed ideologies or just an evasive characterological anxiety about researching anything that doesn’t automatically accord with what they’ve already decided is “the truth”. They cherry-pick so selectively in order to reduce reality to “This is the essential thing you MUST understand”, an unpaid professor role that invariably demands the other person shuts up and listens, whilst the teacher-who-knows-best monologues what they deem is the one fixed certainty in the whirlpool of confusing facts and counter-facts and of lies and counter-lies. Macron said back in March, repeating it 5 or 6 times, “We are at war”. And “the first casualty when war comes is truth” (Senator Hiram Johnson, 1917). Which is why Macron said on October 14th “I think that in the country of the Enlightenment and of Pasteur, we need to stop having kinds of permanent debates on facts or scientific truth. “ (here) as he announced the need for 9pm to 6am curfews in areas that have had less than a third of the deaths from Covid than from flu 4 years ago.
Critical vigilance is one of the worst casualties of this miserable epoch. It’s been replaced with anti-semitic conspiracy theories. Or a leftist “critique” of the state not doing enough. Or fixations on only one aspect of the misery being imposed, to the neglect of most of the others. Or an aversion to anything but resigning oneself to the contradictions, shrugging off any critical attitude with a “That’s how it goes…What can you do about it?”. Most people have so far wiped out any attempt, any striving, any struggle, to see clearly through the tangled web they weave when they first practised to deceive. Such is the post-truth whirled.
Different countries have different situations, and since I’m so bloated with information, not just for COVID-19, but other things too, that I would have to say I can’t judge these doctors’ recommendations without going into full research mode for a week, which is unfeasible. That being said, despite the sensational headlines, most of the doctors seem to be saying more or less reasonable things from the information they have in hand.
I sense that a lot of “contradictory information” comes from media sensationalism, because I don’t remember such sensational messages being thrown around in my face. Of course, guidelines changed according to new findings, but the reasoning for their changes were more or less clear for me. Masks were not recommended because it was suspected that it can possibly encourage spreading through touching of one’s face. Masks were recommended because new studies found that they restrict spreading of the virus into the surrounding space. Etc. Etc. Of course, with different data or interpretation, you may disagree, but their logic was more or less understandable for me. But I might have not been looking into the detailed debate as closely as I should have.
I think the first lockdowns were going to be inevitable, at least to give time to hospitals until they have a better grasp at dealing with COVID patients. Whether subsequent lockdowns were actually beneficial is, I think, a good question to examine, politically, socially, scientifically, economically, etc.
“It’s not reasonable to tell people: ‘Run in the park, but don’t go to the beach’; ‘You can swim in a hotel pool, but not at the country club.’ When people don’t see logic, they lose trust.”
Not saying anything recent here, but it’s worth pointing out that global deaths from TB in 2019 were 1.4 million. TB is an easily curable disease and relatively cheap to cure as well. It’s only because costs of the cure are too expensive for those in the “Third” World who have nothing that so many die from it. I say this because many people ask if chloraquine is such a cheap cure why would the various states “ruin the economy” by not allowing such a cure to be used. The pharmaceutical industry, as illustrated, in just the one example among many, by the ridiculous Lancet report back in May, is a very powerful industry. It’s clearly in their trillion-dollar interest to suppress the very cheap cure of choloraquine (in Marseille the deaths using Raoult’s precisely individually tageted recipe using azythromocine in correct dosages has produced 25% of the deaths from Covid as compared with other French hospitals). This is a cure being used in over 50 countries in the world, though its use in Brazil has rarely followed Raoult’s recipe (and in the areas inhabited by the indigenous population, the fascist state has “allowed” people to die en masse with virtually no access to any ostensible form of medical treatment whatsoever). Already a few years ago the pharmaceutical industry tried to suppress the use of Artemis Annua in African countries as a very cheap cure for malaria, even though this had been used for decades (it’s the basis for producing hydroxychloraquine). The various states don’t necessarily or automatically answer to the pharmaceutical industry of course – but they do have an interest in reducing people’s lives to something lived in front of a screen and behind a mask. It petrifies alienation, both subjectively and objectively as the expression of centuries of accumulated capital acting as a force outside of our control, in unprecedented ways. The economy is not being ruined for the large capitalists whatsoever, though certainly smaller fish and the rest of us – the increasingly surplus-to-requirements population – are suffering in or out of lockdowns, curfews, masks etc. The economy and political economy as the producer of the need for money & as the defence and development of this need is being reinforced with every twist of the metaphorical knife. TB – 1.4m, Covid 1.12m so far. The scum at the top are happy to see the “First” World become like the “Third” World if it means those who would possibly attack their whole system are being terrified, divided, isolated and made suicidal as never before.
Banner drop on the highest point of Montpellier, France:
“With or without mask, capitalism is unbreathable”
The banner remained there for 2 days.
In the centre of Montpellier, near where I live, riot cops have been patrolling the streets openly carrying machine guns since 1st October, supposedly “to calm things down”, though what is not calm has so far not been made apparent. This report claims 30-35 riot cops, but in fact there are a lot more. At a bit before midnight 15th October I counted 16 riot cop vans, which can carry about 10 cops each, parked by the main square, which was almost empty. So reassuring to be made safe like this. From midnight 17th October there’ll be a nightime curfew from 9pm to 6am, supposedly as a crackdown on Covid. There’s only been a yellow vest demo of 300 people since the beginning of September, with the filth being heavier even than normal – chucking teargas under terrace bar tables and chairs, pepper-spraying individuals taking photos, but with virtually no “violence” from the protesters. Certainly nothing to warrant what comes over as a state of siege. State-initiated terror “for our protection” in order to nip in the bud possible independent opposition. I hypothesise that the reason for this is the building up of intensified hostility towards government policies, including crackdowns using Covid as a pretext, such hostility being expressed in social media (though not so far in the streets or workplaces, high schools etc.) and noted by the state. This may well include hostility being expressed towards the difficulties people are finding just getting previously taken-for-granted basic social services, like pension problems or health insurance problems, partly caused by the draconian suffocation of life under Covidiocies: everything now has to be done by phone with long waiting times if you’re lucky to get through. Or internet connections that are just confusing. This in a region where Covid-related fatalities are exceptionally low – about 28% compared with the deaths in the region from flu about 4 years ago. This totalitarianism is still in its infancy – how long before the over-70s are sent to Vocational Re-Healing Camps for our and other people’s “protection” – clearly the best way we can avoid being infected by those callous youth who just want to party all the time and spread their terrible virus that doesn’t affect them much onto us old and frail semi-senile coffin-dodgers. This may seem like a bad joke but the world has never been such a bad joke as now. And humour, as so often, hides desperation.
Meanwhile various government ministers are being sued by doctors for their mass murder of hospital staff and cops are carrying out searches of government ministers’ homes, offices and computers . Such legalism hasn’t stopped hospitals, which are very understaffed, from allowing people with Covid to continue working there. So it’s obviously not the courts that will decide the future.
Demo schdeduled to begin at 13.12 (ACAB, according to the position of the letters in the alphabet) included yellow vests, BLM and antifa, protesting against Covid1984-inspired 9-6 nightime curfew and commemorating anniversary of the the nazi Papon-instigated massacre during the rein of the great anti-nazi de Gaulle. Nowadays, the 1961 prohibited demo that nevertheless drew a crowd of 30,000 illustrates how horrifically different things are today: no need of a massacre – people have become too terrified, domesticated, colonised by ideology & confusion …for the moment
“I think that in the country of the Enlightenment and of Pasteur, we need to stop having kinds of permanent debates on facts or scientific truth. “ – Emmanuel Macron
France: director of scientific research at the prestigious INSERM and doctor in charge of resucitation at Parisian hospital propose using Africa as guinea pigs for anti-Covid vaccine (April 2020)
“Two weeks ago, a controversy erupted after a discussion, on set, between a doctor and a researcher, who suggested testing a vaccine against the coronavirus in Africa….The statement had aroused the anger of anti-racist associations and politicians. Two weeks ago, a doctor and a researcher exchanging on the set of the LCI chain, shocked the public by evoking the idea of testing the BCG vaccine against the coronavirus in Africa. Statements which are worth the chain, this Tuesday, a warning from the Superior council of audio-visual (CSA). “If I can be provocative, shouldn’t we do this study in Africa, where there are no masks, no treatment, no resuscitation, a bit like it’s done elsewhere on certain studies with AIDS, or among prostitutes: we try things because we know that they are highly exposed ”, declared on April 1, Jean-Paul Mira, head of intensive care at Cochin hospital , in Paris, in dialogue with Camille Locht, research director at Inserm.
” What do you think ?”, The doctor asked the researcher. “You are right,” Professor Locht had replied at the time. “We are also thinking in parallel about a study in Africa with the same type of approach, which does not prevent us from being able to think in parallel of doing a study in Europe and Australia”, added the professor…These statements sparked an uproar on social media. “It is inconceivable that we will continue to accept this. Africa is not a laboratory. I strongly denounce these serious, racist and contemptuous remarks, ” the Franco-Ivorian footballer Didier Drogba protested on his Facebook page.“
This was back in April but I’ve only just found out about it.