“October is the fallen leaf, but it is also a wider horizon more clearly seen. It is the distant hills once more in sight, and the enduring constellations above them once again”
“October was always the least dependable of months … full of ghosts and shadows”
“October is a symphony of permanence and change”
“I have been younger in October than in all the months of spring”
– W. S. Merwin
France: Haloween anti-cop riots in various parts of country (Paris suburbs, Lyon, Etampes, Metz, Rennes….) as 15,000 cops are deployed nationally More here…including looting in Paris suburb “While they intervened to avoid the ransacking of a grocery store of the city by twenty masked young people who tried to steal objects and fireworks in the early evening, two bottles of acid were thrown at them while they pursued one of the “casseurs”. According to our information, one of the policemen was lightly burned on his hand. A 13-year-old girl was arrested for throwing one of the bottles. …Another excess not far from Etampes where an Intersport store was looted by twenty hooded people. All the displays were ransacked and emptied. Security officers present at the scene who attempted to intervene were beaten. Some suspects were arrested after the arrival of the police but most thieves had already fled. Finally in Saint-Michel-sur-Orge, forty individuals armed with iron bars and axes have trashed the city.”
Haiti, Port-au-Prince: tyres burned on several crossroads after cops fire at those trying to go to funeral of victims of October 17th demo against corruption “At least six people were injured, four of them shot, during the funerals on Wednesday of six victims of violent protests in the Haitian capital on October 17…Hundreds of people marching en route to the cemetery of Port-au-Prince were repelled by the police with gunshots and tear gas when they tried to approach the National Palace. The situation took such a turn after the bodies were taken from the parish of Perpetuo Socorro, in the Bel Air sector, where the police also fired gas. After the violent intervention of the Police on the way to the cemetery, the crowd abandoned the march and burned tires on several roads of the capital, which turned traffic into chaos. The participants of the march were enraged by the attitude of the police shooting their weapons towards the crowd. “What he (the Haitian president) Jovenel Moise wants is that there are more dead among the poor – imagine – the police attacked us in a ceremony in church. Today it is clear that this government does not offer us justice,” Alex Jean Pierre, one of the funeral participants, told Efe. He exclaimed that the poor have no value to the State, but that tomorrow they will be early in the streets to continue demanding how the money is supposedly diverted from the Petrocaribe program, for which Venezuela supplies oil to the country under easy conditions. In the late afternoon, the situation was tense on several streets in Port-au-Prince, where many police officers were seen stationed at strategic corners, while others patrolled in motorized units. Haitians return tomorrow to the streets to demand from the authorities the prosecution of those responsible for the supposed diversion of billions of dollars from the Petrocaribe program.“
South Africa, Eastern Cape: municipal buildings burnt in protest against Town Hall nepotism “Protests entered a second day on Wednesday, following a week break from the protests which began on October 16. Angry Stutterheim youth began protesting accusing Amahlathi Local Municipality officials of nepotism, taking bribes in exchange for jobs and offering jobs in exchange for sexual favours. They also alleged that the local municipal Mayor Pateka Qaba was not a resident of the the municipality and was offering jobs to people that were coming from outside Amahlathi. They burned down the buildings owned by the municipalities of Amathole and Amahlathi, a clinic and caused massive damage to infrastructure. Protests began at 4am on Wednesday, with protesters barricading roads with rocks, woods and burning tyres. Cars could not go through because there is only one route linking Mlungisi township and the town of Stutterheim. Clashes occurred as police moved in to remove the barricades and were pelted with stones by protesters. Police retaliated using teargas, rubber bullets and canisters.”
Guatemala, Huehuetenango: 2nd consecutive day of attacks on hydroelectric plant project “…a group of armed men wearing balaclavas cut down three posts of the electric transmission line of the Energy and Renovation project, on the second day of continuous attacks on the hydroelectric plant.…To knock down the poles, they used an electric polisher and several cutting discs and it took about two hours to completely cut them. The electric transmission poles are made of steel and are 24 meters high and one meter in diameter at the base, which decrease at the tip. Attacks and tension remain in the area, according to information provided by the community….In a report of the company, it was indicated that “we want to inform public opinion that the conflict in the north of Huehuetenango is historical, the attacks and the violence in San Mateo Ixtatán are not derived by the presence of the hydroelectric project, but that this has been used as an excuse to avoid control by the National Civil Police and the Army in the area and preserve an environment of ungovernability, which favors drug trafficking, migration to Mexico and the United States and illegal arms trafficking. “…The calm in the Ixquisis region, San Mateo Ixtatán, Huehuetenango, has been interrupted since Tuesday when a group of 50 men with covered faces attacked the workshop area and the regulation pond of the San Mateo Hydroelectric Project …Columns of smoke and flames were observed from a distance in Ixquisis, San Mateo Ixtatán, Huehuetenango. This attack is added to the wave of violent acts against people, machinery and equipment reported by the company, which has left 247 tubes destroyed that is equivalent to 2 thousand 868 meters of pressure pipe. According to information provided by community members in the area, so far there have been no human losses in this attack; however, the population is sheltered in their homes, for their safety. In the first attack, the company lost machinery and other equipment after protesters against the project caused a fire. In addition, for several weeks, armed groups with their faces covered have blocked the passage through the Northern Transversal Strip. At the beginning of October, the situation was still tense in Ixquisis, a mob caused damage to the hydroelectric project Energy and Renovation and a worker of that company was shot dead allegedly by opponents of the project. For more than a month the armed settlers who oppose the hydroelectric plant have taken turns patrolling and clashes have already been registered with the National Civil Police …After the disturbances that occurred on October 12, a worker at the hydroelectric plant was shot dead when he returned to his home. This is Antonio Juan Pascual, 28, who was attacked while riding a motorcycle on the route from Ixquisis to Yalangüitz. The authorities raided the site to regain control, although the governor of Huehuetenango had requested that the implementation of a state of siege in the municipality be analyzed….…human rights organizations have reiterated their concern about the climate of ungovernability that exists in San Mateo Ixtatán, where they point out the government’s passivity” See also entries for 11/10, 8/10 & 4/10 below
Greece, Athens: 100 hooded youths attack cops on demo against plans for university entrance exams…More here “The clashes erupted after a demonstration by hundreds of students demanding that the Ministry of Education withdraws a bill which they claim will increase their workload and force students to seek private tutoring.”
“… the protest turned violent after about a hundred hooded rioters started throwing flares, petrol bombs and rocks at police officers near the parliament building. Police resorted to shooting rounds of tear gas to contain the riot.”
Nigeria, Orashi: 10 trucks of armed cops plus armoured personnel carrier deployed to stop peaceful protest against neglect of flooding victims Often it feels that this News of Opposition should be called “News of crushing of even the slightest sign of Opposition”. This refers to a massacre by the Nigerian army of mostly peaceful demonstrators and how the army used a speech by Trump threatening to shoot anyone throwing rocks as justification for this massacre. “…the onset of something alarming and new” as someone wrote about current developments in China…and not just in China.
Australia, Queensland: prison riot “…about 4.50pm on Saturday, a small number of prisoners began breaking windows and being non-compliant in a block of the Maryborough Correction Centre. A fire was started, which was extinguished by the prison’s sprinkler system, while prisoners also accessed a medication tray….”
Chile, Santiago: anarchists and anti-fascists attack anti-abortion “March for Jesus” More here “The mobilization was also attended by supporters of the Social Patriot Movement, a nationalist group that has tried to promote the death penalty and which put up banners in September at emblematic high schools, with macho and homophobic phrases. According to the police, an policeman was injured after being hit by a stone, so he had to be transferred to the institutional hospital”
Bangladesh, Dhaka: cops kill transport worker during protests against bridge toll “The workers were protesting near the bridge in Keraniganj. They were hurling bricks at the law enforcers. Police initially fired rubber bullets to disperse them. Traffic suspended by skirmishes for hours came back to normal.”
UK, Bristol: interesting protest by 100 people against expulsion of apparently “illegal” immigrant “Some protesters used vehicles to block the road, according to officers called to Chelsea Road, in the Easton area of the city. One protester reportedly climbed on top of the immigration van to try to prevent it from leaving….Avon and Somerset police, which had been called at 10.15pm on Thursday, thanked community leaders for helping to resolve the incident peacefully…Laurie Underwood, one local resident who was protesting, said: “At the heart of every bit of immigration enforcement violence like this is a person who was just trying to get on with their day and a community who knows and respects them. It’s not OK to kidnap our friends and neighbours. It’s brutal and unnecessary. The response in Easton last night shows we don’t have to sit back and watch it happen.” The incident, it was said, had turned into a “surreal street party” where people bought out free hot chocolate, and others created impromptu beds in front of the vans with carpet and mattresses….Some neighbours bought blankets, and someone else bought anti-raid leaflets to share around.”…Southampton: moronic monument to militarism mended by mindless moron…Great Yarmouth: and yet another sign of lack of respect for moronic militarism
South Africa, Cape Town: bus torched during wildcat bus drivers strike“the N2 Express routes between Khayelitsha and the Civic Centre station in the Cape Town central business district have been suspended since the petrol bombing of a MyCiTi bus on Friday evening, 26 October 2018. “The attack happened at around 20:15 at the Kuyasa station. The driver was forced out of the bus before it was set alight. Nobody was injured, but the bus burnt out completely.”…KwaZulu Natal: cops shoot live rounds, 14-year-old wounded, during clashes over land occupation“The child was not part of the land invasion, he was walking from the shop and going to his home and was caught in this. The police used live ammunition to shoot at him…metro police conducted an anti-land invasion operation and destroyed the shacks.“The community allegedly pelted them with stones and rocks. Metro Police used teargas to disperse the attackers. It is alleged that a 14-year-old boy was shot and wounded to the thigh and was taken to hospital for medical attention”
France, Marseille: Another report sent by email about the continued gentrification of part of the city called “la Plaine”. See entries for 18/10, 13/10 & 11/10 below.
Last Thursday the workers tested out new fencing to put on top of the concrete blocks. The system was not fully functioning, so they lifted it by themselves. They also welded in park gates, but it’s not bad after all (the park had looked like a prison). In the evening a block of concrete which had particularly disturbed the passage of people in the park was moved by a group of people and palisades still lying on the gro“Due to the ongoing illegal strike in the company, according to estimates, the company suffered losses of great value, I estimate the loss to be at least several million zlotys,” und were attacked. Friday the two newsstands, closed for years, were removed. One of them had been reopened a few months after a carnival; it served as an information point, infokiosk and meeting point for various meetings and assemblies. On Saturday, the demo brought together 1,500 to 2,000 people. It ended at La Plaine without any skirmishes. A structure coming from the ZAD (and yes, it was necessary that this fashionable ideology was invited) is brought back and mounted on the spot in the afternoon by a few hundred people. In the evening, while several hundred people remained in the square, concrete blocks were attacked… while four surveillance cameras out of six were taken out of service and the cops who were there on the spot received huge firecrackers in their face. Two people were arrested (while another is being held in preventive detention at Baumettes Prison for a few days pending his trial in November). Sunday improvised freelance structures (gardens, sports field, toilet …) were built in the square to intrude on the construction machines. Monday morning workers tried to work. Not being equipped with helmets, and with a lot of opponents remaining on the spot, they had to go home without being able to work. In the evening, more concrete blocks were removed…Very early in the morning, the CRS arrive at 3:45 am and allow workers to break all the improvised structures, including that of the ZAD. In the middle of the morning, calm returns. In the evening there were unlicensed concerts and one of the four snack bars inside the square (two of which had been abandoned for years) was reopened. This will make up for the loss of the squatted newspaper kiosk….Today, Thursday, October 25, it still looks calm (apart from receiving the fascist supporters of Lazio) and we learn that in fact the president of the SOLEAM, which takes care of the building site for the city, was waiting for an answer from the Plaine Assembly about a joint meeting. The answer of the latter didn’t have to wait. It’s a yes ! certainly under certain conditions, but still yes.
Moral: we create a mess in La Plaine and the assembly, given the balance of forces, are then able to negotiate its alternative gentrification of the neighborhood.
Morocco, Marakesh: heavy clashes between cops and youths after cops kill young man resisting arrest for threatening them with a sword “The death of the young man made the situation extremely tense. His friends became hysterical and the clashes intensified and spread to the area around Souk Debbane, on the banks of Wadi Assil. A real street war ensued when dozens of young people from neighboring neighborhoods came to help the attackers to encircle the police patrol. …the arrival of police reinforcements was greeted by a shower of stones. …The clashes lasted for hours before calm returned to the city following the closure, by the elements of the police, of all access to and from the neighborhood. …The police department issued a statement in which it announced that around 200 people had surrounded the police patrol and tried to block the arrest of the suspect. …a police officer had fired three warning shotst before being hit by a stone in the head. He was forced to defend himself by firing a fourth bullet, then touching one of the assailants who died just after his arrival at the hospital. The injured officer was admitted to intensive care, having plunged into a deep coma following a traumatic brain injury.”
Argentina, Buenos Aires: teargas & rubber bullets v sticks & stones in protests against state budget aiming to cut education and health in line with IMF loan requirements More here and here “Police reported that nine motorcycles were damaged and two water cannon trucks had their windows broken…. The incidents began around 2pm, shortly after the start of the debate in the Lower House. With their faces covered, they tried to knock down the containment fences around Parliament and threw stones at the police. They burned trash bins and the officers responded with rubber bullets and water cannon“
Bosnian-Croatian border: migrants clash with Croatian cops; 5-year-old hospitalised “…after having decided to spend two -very cold- nights in the open, a small group of migrants broke through the police cordon and tried to cross into Croatia. Bosnian police stopped them halfway through to the Croatian border but the Croat Special Police Forces were also ready to push them back should the need arise. Migrants who got to “no man’s land” between BiH and Croatia began clashing with Croatian police hurling stones and tree branches. …Croat forces used tear-gas and closed the border using a security fence.”… Report on brutal fascistic Croatian border cops
Chile, Concepcion: protesters clash with cops after demanding resignation of mayor & councillors because of corruption & embezzlement, also attacking pharmaceutical store owned by parents of tribal chief
Poland: illegal airline strike in its 7th day More here “Due to the ongoing illegal strike in the company, according to estimates, the company suffered losses of great value… at least several million zlotys,”
South Africa, Gauteng: students occupy part of court where trial of cops who killed student is being held…North West: cops fire rubber bullets as service delivery protesters block roads “The police were removing rocks used to barricade the roads when protesters pelted them with stones, prompting them to fire rubber bullets into the crowd. Residents barricaded the road with burning tyres, logs and branches as well as rocks and steels barriers. The road between Rustenburg and Kroondal was blocked at the Hex River bridge with rocks and burning tyres. The road leading to Sibanye Kroondal mining operations was also blocked at Ikemeleng.”
South Africa, Gauteng: protesters over land & housing block roads with burning tyres & rocks...Western Cape: transport workers wildcat strike continues despite legal threats “…the City…obtained an urgent interdict against the striking workers, preventing them from intimidating, harassing or assaulting MyCiTi passengers and staff, or damaging MyCiTi stations, depots or buses. Two female bus drivers were allegedly held hostage by their fellow striking colleagues last week…The employees, who include drivers, cashiers and security personnel, are demanding, among other things, equal pay for all workers and better working conditions.” See also this…Eastern Cape: residents block megabridge building, demanding jobs for locals “Since Monday last week, the residents of Jama community in inland Amadiba area, Mbizana, have been blocking the building of the Mtentu megabridge, demanding that Sanral keeps it promises to give jobs to the locals. The cost of the 1.1km Mtentu megabridge on N2 Wild Coast is now estimated between R1.5 billion and 1.7 billion, having increased from R375 million budgeted in the 2006 Scoping Report….Community members want security guards to leave the project site and demand that the project liaison committee and its officer, Zeka Mnyamana, should be changed. In June, the community also blocked the works for one week for the same reason. Amadiba Crisis Committee is an organisation formed by villagers of Xolobeni in Pondoland to fight mining titanium in their area. “As Amadiba Crisis Committee, we are in solidarity with the Jama people. Sanral must fulfill their promises of local employment,” it said. “Our experience is that Sanral botch social engagement and makes deals with contractors that doesn’t want to hire locals. Local traditional leaders are bribed and communities are then divided.” Community members accuse the police of intimidating them and arresting their leaders, and say that the mayor of Mbizana also arrived to stop the blockade.”
Ghana, Kumasi: top science & technology university closed indefinitely following riots against cop brutality “Students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST, went on a planned protest which led to vandalizing of vehicles and parts of the varsity’s administration block. The student leadership had called the demonstrations in protest against police brutality. Eleven students were arrested in a police raid late last week on charges of illegal assembly and violent behaviour. The state-owned Daily Graphic quoted an Student’s Representative Council, SRC, statement as calling for a boycott of lectures in order for the protests to be held. …The protests took a violent turn with students smashing over twenty vehicles on campus and setting ablaze motorbikes and bicycles. A school bus was also reportedly torched by the irate students.”
India, Punjab: families of deceased and locals block railtracks with sit-in in wake of massive rail “accident”, pelt security officials & cops with stones “…the DMU driver Arvind Kumar said that after he had noticed hundreds of people on rail tracks he applied emergency brakes. He added that the train had almost come to a halt but he sped after he noticed people attacking the train with stones.” …witnesses say there’d been no stone-throwing on 19th October, the day of the “accident” But even if there had been, killing 62 people because of some stone-throwing seems as disproportionate as the IDF’s reactions to stone-throwing.
France, Val-de-Marne: facial recognition surveillance mast cut down Admittedly, this may well have been to protect street-level drug dealing, but considering how, at this level of the drug hierarchy, these people are completely proletarianised, this is simply a way of defending their illegal wage labour from the state. However, if this involved crack dealing (which is by no means certain), it’s hardly something that’s worth parading as independent opposition…Gard: bullfight-lovers teargassed accidentally by cops confronting anti-bullfight protesters “About 200 anti-bullfighting activists against 200 mobile policemen in Rodilhan. Seven years after the October 2011 incidents in which anti-corrida campaigners had been hit by aficionados [bullfight lovers] after chaining themselves at the village’s arena, tensions were still very high this year. Protesters ripped open fences and threw projectiles at mobile policemen protected by riot barriers. During a police charge, a protester fell on her head and injured her neck. She was taken out by the gendarmes on a stretcher.
Tear gas was used many times throughout the day to keep protesters shaking the fence to try to get through.
But the wind carried the gas into the arena. Inside, the aficionados protected their faces with scarves and handkerchiefs. “We wonder how it’s possible, that there really had to be such a large amount of gas, it’s something weird that we aficionados, we do not understand,” said a spectator on leaving the arena.
To return home and leave the village, the aficionados had to be escorted by law enforcement because the anti-bullfighting protesters were waiting for them at the exits.“
France, Territoire de Belfort: low rent housing agency destroyed in carefully-realised arson attack More here “Earlier, around 20:30, two cars were burned in rue des Commandos-d’Afrique in the same district of Arsot.“
South Africa, Cape Town: barricades set up during service delivery protest, also against corruption “…residents blockaded the roads with burning tyres, rubble and other objects. Police used stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. Protesters are demanding that a community centre be built and an informal settlement electrified.” Video here
China, Jiangsu: riots against forced eviction “Local authorities have clamped down on any information emerging after the clashes in Hangji township near Jiangsu’s Yangzhou city, and waged a campaign of intimidation against anyone trying to speak to the media, local residents said. The clashes came after a forced demolition team and a team of government-hired thugs visited the home of Wei Gang in Hangji on Monday, a resident surnamed Chen told RFA. “The government hired the demolition company which is definitely run by a criminal organization,” Chen said. “[On Wednesday], an incident took place in which a crowd gathered outside a police station in the town to protest.” “There was no other option; the government was taking no action [on the forced evictions], and they were holding [Wei Gang’s] wife in there,” he said. A second resident surnamed Yang said local people had rioted on Wednesday and Thursday…”On Wednesday, the police called Wei Gang’s wife to ask her to bring clothes to him [in detention], but they held her there after she went into the police station,” he said. “There were probably more than 1,000 people creating havoc outside, calling on them to let her out,” he said. Yang said Wei’s wife was eventually released, but riots continued on Thursday, prompting a visit from Yangzhou government officials and further clashes.”
France, Marseille: report sent by email on the current movement against the intensification of gentrification in “La Plaine”, a popular part of the city, where at night for years the more marginalised have gathered to drink, smoke, chat, play music and piss around etc., but which is also full of market stalls during the day; much of the area around it is partly gentrified with “alternative” shops and bars, etc. See 13/10 & 11/10 below.
News from Marseille and La Plaine
Last Thursday, after the last market of La Plaine which had taken place for loads of years, work began in this district of downtown Marseille.
This is the neighborhood in which I live and it will undergo a restructuring aimed at gentrification.
Resistance has appeared. Some of the market showbiz has quit after being paid off with crumbs, and the reconstruction work has been met by an autonomous opposition.
Thursday the 11th, concrete blocks were installed around the huge main square of the neighborhood under police escort (CRS, BAC …) and some security guards (which are now permanently on site). A lot of teargassing and arrests of some of the numerous opponents who’d come there, including a person who has gone to Baumettes Prison pending his immediate appearance on Monday, and there are some trials to come.
In the evening the blocks were taken away by opponents of the project.
The next day, the blocks are re-positioned and others are added. More arrests and gassing.
On Saturday, a cheerful demonstration walks round the city center; the local SOLEAM on the Canebière, which manages the building site for the city, has its window broken. The demonstration again tries to put the brakes on the construction machinery. Some clashes with the cops at the end of the demonstration on La Plaine and more arrests. In the evening the construction machine is sabotaged.
On Sunday, small structures are again rebuilt …
On Monday fencing is fixed above the concrete blocks with a new machine, despite the presence of opponents. In the evening, a good part of them is smashed up.
On Tuesday, a large amount of trees are cut up while some of the rest of the palisades are attacked and people climb trees but are dislodged by the cops. Some serious injuries and arrests. In the evening, after the departure of the cops, a few hundred people attack the construction machine and the workers’ shack, smash the fencing that had been put back in place once again, and set up a magnificent bonfire twenty meters high with about fifty wooden sections of fencing.
On Wednesday, the cut trees are mashed up in the morning and the company removes its machines, its workers, its prefab shacks, its fences and go off with the CRS without finishing the work.
Today, Thursday, workers arrived this morning with mobile gendarmes ready to fire things other than simple teargas grenades; the site will probably resume after this mini “truce” of half a day.
Saturday, a new demonstration is planned.
Assemblies are now almost every day. Personally, I do not go to them in view of its positions developed in recent years and in recent times even more so (before the work started, this assembly met every first Monday of the month).
– among others, those in favor of the small business district, including the hundreds of fairgrounds which gravitated around the four weekly markets.
– but also its position aiming at alternative gentrification (a clean and green neighborhood, more public services …).
This political confusion is only a reflection of a part of this neighborhood whose MP is Mélenchon [SF note: lefty recuperative demagogic politician, head of Unsubmissive France, the 3rd largest political party, who just this week said, echoing Louis XIV, “The Republic is me” whilst on his way to a trial over financial irregularities; looks like his career is pretty much on the decline as he just recently took the piss out of a journalist’s southern French accent in a very arrogant manner, forgetting somehow that most of the people who’d voted for him have that very same accent]. But also the reflection of a more general reformist atmosphere everywhere, including outside Marseille…
Comoros, Moutsamoudou: 4th day of heavy armed clashes against intensified authoritarian rule Though the governing party claims this has been initiated by the official opposition, it’s what they would say; hard to understand what exactly is happening, whether this is an attempt at armed insurrection by a handful of vanguardists or what. Apparently 5 people at least, including 3 kids, have been killed so far, almost certainly due to the official military.
UK, London: Greenpeace HQ occupied by more radical organisation “…democracy… is complicit in the ecological crisis we are facing and which is now a real emergency…[The crisis is] a systemic problem rather than something which can be treated through changes in individual consumption….NGOs like Greenpeace are part of the problem… since their messaging is a lot more narrow and doesn’t tell the truth of the extent of the upcoming ecological crisis. We need a rebellion to tackle the problem we find ourselves in”. An interesting development, though I must admit I’ve cherry-picked the quotes; the stance of this group is a bit more confused than how I’ve portrayed it. For instance, the liberal ideologue George Monbiot will be speaking at a pre-announced “spectacular” event on October 31st organised by this group. And they seem to believe that Greenpeace as an organisation can become more radical without breaking with its NGO status and its utterly hierarchical form, not to mention (but I will) its innate complicity with class society. It’s vital to develop a critique of how ecological groups which never critique the commodity economy as such can and will and already do pose an obstacle to a radical resolution to ecological collapse, even though obviously some angry well-intentioned people within these groups may well be feeling their way towards such a position. For a critique of Mobiot back in 2001, see this (scroll down about half way through the text). For an (admittedly limited) critique of Greenpeace’s crap class politics from 10 years ago, see this.
Ghana, New Abirem: rubber bullets fired at farmers protesting inadequate compensation, blocking entrance to gold mine “The police had to use tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the angry demonstrators, who had blocked the entrance to the mining company to prevent workers from gaining access to the premises. Some of the protesters are also alleged to have entered the premises of the gold mining company.”
South Africa, Cape Town: 2nd day of wildcat strike…Eastern Cape: cops kill man as unemployed protesters burn down 3 municipal buildings “Protesters alleged that they were not getting jobs from the municipality due to nepotism and jobs for sex and bribery. Xolisa Tom, 27, was shot dead allegedly by the police who were allegedly using live ammunition to disperse violent protests.”
South Africa, Cape Town: wildcat bus drivers strike…cops fire stun grenades at wildcat strikers…as strikers block roads More here “Workers were complaining about the poor working conditions they face. Some said that they do not have proper facilities and that the buses that they drive are very unsafe. “We get paid peanuts. Some drivers get paid R72 an hour; I get paid R52 an hour. We have been subjected to poor and unsafe working conditions”
Myanmar, Rangoon: riot follows brutal attack on camp of mainly women textile workers demanding reinstatement of strikers “While most of the protesters’ complaints had been resolved, the factory owners refused to re-hire the 30 workers who initially instigated the strike – prompting more anger from workers who continued to camp outside the factory gates in protest. But after eight weeks one of the protest leaders, Than Than Soe, told AFP that around “40 thugs” set upon them early on Monday morning. “The thugs came and started to beat us with wooden sticks and metal bars,” she said. “Twenty-eight people were wounded, six seriously,” she said, adding that all but one of the injured were women. The violence then escalated further as local people hurled rocks and sticks at the factory, smashing several windows….Workers say they set up a union two years ago to fight for their rights after enduring abuse from managers, limited toilet breaks and unbearably hot working conditions.“ For some interesting takes on textile history and textile workers’ history see this.
Bangladesh, Gazipur: clashes between textile workers and cops over unpaid wages “At least 18 persons, including a police sub-inspector, were injured when agitated workers of a garment factory in Gazipur clashed with police yesterday. The workers were staging a demonstration, demanding payment of their arrear salary and allowances. The workers and police clashed after several rounds of chase and counter-chase. Police brought the situation under control by opening 31 rounds of fire from shotgun and 22 tear gas canisters. The protesting workers damaged doors and windows of the factory. They also damaged several vehicles….five months’ salary of the staff and September salary of the workers remained unpaid at Intramex factory in Laxmipura area of Gazipur. The factory owners did not pay the arrears despite assuring to do so several times. As factory owners made a commitment to pay the workers’ salary for September on October 14 and once again failed, tension spread among the workers and they started agitating while abstaining from work. Yesterday, the workers again went to the factory and the owners once more pledged to pay the arrears on October 24. But workers did not agree and demanded payment yesterday. At one stage the workers came out of the factory and tried to take position on Dhaka-Gazipur highway. Police intercepted them and a chase-counter chase ensued.” For some interesting takes on textile history and textile workers’ history see this.
Argentina, Trelew: molotovs thrown at Town Hall as 1000s march for women’s rights in city’s largest ever demo “There were slogans in favor of legal abortion, against patriarchy, the separation of Church and State and the defense of gender freedom. …Shortly before 9 pm and with the cry of “Santiago Maldonado, present”, a small group of women dressed in black, hooded and with sticks, set fire to wood at the corner of Rivadavia and 25 de Mayo, in the heart of the city . They had flags with “Revolutionary Communism” and “Popular Feminism” on them. In Plaza Independencia, which is in the midst of modernization work, this group that calls itself “Las Brujas” broke the fence that surrounds the plaza. The police remained distant for a few minutes, one block away. But then the hooded ones threw Molotov cocktails and stones at the Town Hall, from where a group of the infantry evicted the demonstrators…Earlier showing their breasts, women marched through the streets of Trelew against the Church and patriarchy….The march revolutionized the city that is not used to seeing this type of demonstration with women showing their naked breasts.“
France, Marseille: further clashes over intensified gentrification of popular meeting place “Security forces were there to surround machinery intended to put the concrete blocks in their original place. In the night, opponents had managed to move the blocks laid there to …prepare for the roadworks.” These were massive very heavy concrete blocks – moved somehow by tying them to ropes.
France, Besançon: various vehicles torched “But the specificity of these nocturnal fires is that they are first and foremost of company vehicles that are harmful to our lives, the cogs that are essential to make this shitty world function, that went up in smoke: a vehicle from Engie in rue Pierre Leroy, two of Enedis (a utility vehicle and a truck) in Avenue Commander Marceau and a car from ‘l’Est Républicain ‘ in the rue de Tunnel. Engie is a well-known collaborator in the prison system. The energy company has been investing in several prisons and detention centers for many years. It is a target of choice for anyone who wants to fight the imprisonment of individuals, with or without documents….Regarding Enedis, it is the showcase of the project for burying nuclear waste in Bure…It is responsible for policing people through the installation of Linky meters….As for ‘L’Est Républicain’, it is a crucial tool for maintaining social order … distorting or concealing facts, always with the aim of serving the cops and various projects of power.”
Guatemala, Huehuetenango: worker killed in resistance to hydroelectric plant “This morning a worker of the Ixquisis hydroelectric plant died in San Mateo Ixtatán, Huehuetenango, after a mob attack on the plant…The first reports indicate that armed men wearing balaclavas shot Antonio Juan Pascual, 28, who was riding a motorcycle between the Ixquisis and Yalangüitz villages. According to the National Civil Police (PNC), the attack on the hydroelectric plant began this morning. The barricades placed on the road leading to Ixquisis have already been removed by the authorities and the restoration of order in the region is expected. To this end, various sectors have been calling for dialogue to prevent violence from continuing….
Everything seems to indicate that the threat made last Tuesday by Bernardo Caal against the hydroelectric plants is gaining strength. Caal, currently under trial in the Second Court of First Instance of Cobán, Alta Verapaz, for kidnapping and assault against workers of a cable company, threatened on Tuesday to pressure hydroelectric companies, saying that “the struggle continues.” See also entries for 8/10 and 4/10 below
France, New Caledonia (department of France in the South Pacific): arson attack on nickel mine conveyor belt destroys 200 metres of belt “This new incendiary attack, which is the eleventh this year, comes as the mining company SLN no longer takes out any ore because of the multiple acts of sabotage and the protest movement raised by young local inhabitants (which in addition to sabotage, resulted in multiple blocking actions). Since mid-August, SLN has closed its mining center. Recall that from August 6, access to the mines Méa and Kiel were blocked in a protest about the exploitation of new deposits….Moreover, here is what ‘The New Caledonia’ says: “Since the closure of the center [mid-August], the conveyor belt has been burned three times. At this stage, the SLN redeployed the majority of its employees formerly assigned to Kouaoua to other centers. The others were put on leave, waiting for possible partial unemployment. This closure also affects the many subcontractors, but also the shops and services of the municipality. The conflict seriously undermines the production of the SLN. Without Kouaoua, the plant loses a fifth of its ore supply, which is a mineral with a particular content. For the time being, the shutdown of one of Doniambo’s ovens is not relevant, says the company. But the manufacturer says it is worried about the survival of the business. In the longer term, the repercussions could even weigh on the future gas power plant, whose design has been designed to meet the energy needs of the plant. ” We also remember that the chiefs of the Kanak community had made agreements with the mining company, which absolutely did not calm the young people of the region (quite the contrary!), who are seeing their forest disappear and their environment poisoned. for the profits of the state. No negotiation with capital and all authority, wherever it comes from! The best way to struggle against an ecocidal and deathly project is attack”
UK, Devon: workers made unemployed try to steal back a bit of what’s been stolen from them…Buckinghamshire: statue of former Hitler-admirer improved slightly In an interview with Playboy, David Bowie said: “Rock stars are fascists. Adolf Hitler was one of the first rock stars. . .Look at some of his films and see how he moved. I think he was quite as good as Jagger. It’s astounding. And boy, when he hit that stage, he worked an audience. Good God! He was no politician. He was a media artist. He used politics and theatrics and created this thing that governed and controlled the show for 12 years. The world will never see his like again. He staged a country” (here) Previously in 1974 he’d said ““Britain is ready for a fascist leader… I think Britain could benefit from a fascist leader. After all, fascism is really nationalism… I believe very strongly in fascism, people have always responded with greater efficiency under a regimental leadership” – here.
France, Paris: clashes as unions demonstrate against Macron’s neoliberal reforms For some of the contradictions of this movement see this (from a year ago),and this and this from earlier this year.
Guatemala, Huehuetenango: more clashes over hydroelectric project “Both sides were having a dialogue, but the situation became tense when some of the protesters stole a weapon that the PNC used to launch tear gas. To disperse the mob and recover the weapon, agents fired tear gas. It was reported that three uniformed police and three residents were injured….One of the wounded villagers was transferred to the urban area of San Mateo Ixtatán; while the agents were also evacuated, as they suffered injuries to their faces and hands.At least 195 agents of the PNC [National Civil Police] have remained in the area of conflict as a preventive measure. …Over the last few years there have been violent actions in this municipality, because a group that opposes a hydroelectric project also demands the departure of the agents of the PNC substation and the military detachment. Since a month ago, groups of between 30 and 50 protesters have taken turns to block several points of the Northern Transversal Strip, mainly on the bridge to Ixquisis. The governor of Huehuetenango, Ramiro Barillas, said recently that the attempt to solve the conflict has failed….“According to the report, the agents resulted with injuries to the legs, ears and thorax. There is also one with a head injury. …” See also entry for 4/10 below.
India, Kolkata: parents clash with cops and teachers after teacher’s sexual abuse of young girl “Repeated calls to school authorities went unanswered…Meanwhile, the protests took an ugly turn as agitators allegedly started pelting stones when they saw teachers leaving the premises this morning. Police rushed to the spot to bring the situation under control. Some school property was also vandalised. The parents, however, refused to end their protest and also clashed with the police, following which the cops resorted to lathi-charge.”
Dominican Republic, San Domingo: students block roads with tyres & rubbish in protest against high transport & fuel prices More here “Traffic in the area has remained congested since early morning hours. The disturbances began at the entrance to the University of José Contreras Avenue and there were also riots on Correa and Cidron avenues.”
Mauritius, Port Louis: anti-slavery activists clash with cops after imprisonment of new MP “Police using truncheons and teargas dispersed demonstrators who had gathered outside parliament in Nouakchott to call for the release of anti-slavery campaigner and new MP Biram Ould Dah Abeid. Abeid is president of an unlicensed NGO called the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement. He has been in custody since early August after a journalist filed suit against him for “slander, insults and incitement to hatred.” Sure, the guy’s an MP, but at least his NGO is unlicensed and he’s so infuriated a journo-cop that he got sent down for it. Just putting this here because it just seemed a curious moment of a very contradictory instance of class conflict mediated by a political aspect which should be analysed but I know nothing about it other than this.
South Africa, KwaZulu Natal: shack-dwellers’ movement march against state-sponsored murders…North West: roads barricaded with burning tyres, cops stoned, during protest against very long delay in promised road construction
US, Washington DC: protesters against Kavanaugh ‘occupy’ Supreme Court steps “Women, survivors, and allies walked straight past the police, climbed over barricades, and sat down on the Capitol steps.” …Oregon: antifa block streets after cops shoot black guy
Banksy is very aware of the great creative hole at the heart of everything today and working in and through an ever increasingly desperate nihilism, sells the emptiness back to the super-rich “1%” in real style. Even intuitively aware of the “theological capers of the commodity” (Marx) Banksy becomes a fascinating, phantom God of Emptiness fronted by the sheer worship of money and finance capital. The Financial Times rather smartly said of Banksy, “The stencils provide the marketing; the gallery walls the cash flow, a virtuous cycle of profit and publicity”. Banksy’s trajectory has been to gradually mould genuine subversion into a hip form of avant-garde neo-liberalism, part of that “terrifying subtle” syndrome in regard to the dismal reality of corporate totalitarianism. His gestures and comments seem oh so deep and yet are no more than a return to and reinstatement of gallery product, a having-your-cake-and-eating-it post-modernist vacuity so typical of the hip neo-liberal pseudo-individual. If Banksy really wanted to create a stink even at this late decomposing stage in his meteoric career – one that would rock-on down through the years – he could turn on his big money aesthetes by simply getting a gang together to tear one of their rich condominiums to shreds – and issuing a lucid statement alongside an example of coherent vandalism and anti art subversion…..But he won’t do that, will he? – precisely because his inability to see and consequently act outside of and against the commodification and self-valorisation of every single one of his gestures, his reduction to the banality of a cultural spectacular-commodity, prevents him from becoming human, prevents him from showing his humanity by genuinely contributing to an attack on the degradation of humanity by the commodity form and its rich perpetuators.
In this upside down world which makes dead labour worth millions more than living labour, the phoney destruction of a product of the phoney Banksy receives a million more headlines than the death of the 22,000 kids who die daily from malnutrition or easily curable illnesses, which is a banality. The image of the “destruction” of this Wanksy is used in some corny anti-art framework: the art of the “destruction” of art (now, putting Banksy’s friend Damien Hirst in a tank of formaldehyde would be a genuine anti-artistic innovation, at least if he were alive before work on such a creative act began). Less likely is the use of original Banksys on the front of a barricade confronting the cops, a version of what Bakunin had suggested in the Dresden uprising of 1849 – to delay the advancing armies of the State and save the lives of insurgents. If it had been a Dali that had been shredded, you could be sure that the accusation of philistinism, not to say derangement, would have been hurled at those who would have dared destroy an original by that vile narcissistic Franco-supporter (A Vida Dollars, as Breton called him anagramatically) which supply and demand ideology ranks a million times higher than a mere exchangeable individual, a child dying of starvation.
Zambia, Lusaka: female students riot, block roads, burn stuff, after student dies from cop tear gas asphyxiation during protest against delay in meal and accommodation allowances More here“…rioting students almost overpowered the police officers”
Guatemala, Huehuetenango: locals opposed to hydroelectric project attack 4 cops “Since September 11th, a group of residents who oppose a hydroelectric project, have blocked the passage in the community of Ixquisis, in San Mateo, Huehuetenango, on the so-called Franja Transversal del Norte. This Thursday, the situation became tense there because the protesters demanding the withdrawal of the security forces, attacked four agents of the National Civil Police”
US, Washington DC: 100s arrested during sit-in at Capitol Senate office building Few seem to have noticed the irony of the fact that this included a celebrity representative of an industry that especially exploits women-as-image/object, the “well-known” model Emily Ratajkowski. But this is an epoch where we should suppress all critique because “hey, don’t be so negative”.
Costa Rica: several clashes in different parts of country on 24th day of General Strike “The riots by protesters continue in Costa Rica who, for 24 days, have shown their dissatisfaction with the tax reform that under discussion in the plenary. On Wednesday afternoon, officers of the Public Force in Costa Rica dispersed protesters who blocked the passage of vehicles in Caldera, Puntarenas, with tear gas.…Similarly, on the southern border, Public Forces had to intervene in the land crossing between Costa Rica and Panama in Paso Canoas after several protesters took over the border and blocked it. …Also…there was a disturbance in the area of the Recope entrance in Limón tonight. The report indicates that, due to the incidents, Public Forces intervened in the area after a group stoned a truck and completely blocked the roads. Protesters also burned tires and debris on the road”
India, Ghaziabad: schools and colleges close due to farmers’ action…Uttar Pradesh: statue of phoney “pacifist” vandalised Gandhi’s so-called pacifism didn’t stop him from supporting the British in 1899 in the Boer War, volunteering to help them and organising an ambulance corps. As he said, “As long as the subjects owe allegiance to a state, it is their clear duty generally to accommodate themselves, and to accord their support, to the acts of the state”. When Gandhi was organising a mass march in South Africa in 1913, to obtain rights for Indians there, the white railway workers went on strike over pay and conditions. Gandhi immediately canceled his march, saying that civil resisters should not take advantage of a government’s difficulty .On the outbreak of the First World War, Gandhi actively recruited for the British war effort, despite his ‘pacifism’. On the outbreak of the Second World War, he publicly pledged not to embarrass the British, and would lend moral support to the Allies. He used his reputation and leadership role to often disarm social movements in India when they threatened to get out of hand; he opposed strikes in the super-exploitative textile industries, even going so far as to threaten suicide if workers went on strike; and he even refused to support a mutiny of a section of the Hindu Royal Garwhali regiment – who were brutally punished for the mutiny – when it refused an order to machine gun unarmed rioting Muslims, saying he wouldn’t want soldiers in an independent India to refuse his orders to shoot if that became necessary!!!!! (Le Monde, 20th Feb. 1932).
India, Uttar Pradesh: heavy clashes between state and farmers over prices and concessions after farmers force near-complete blockade of Delhi-Meerut expressway More here “Indian police yesterday fired tear gas and water cannons to halt and scatter a march by thousands of protesting farmers heading for the capital, New Delhi, to demand better prices for their produce. Reeling from a crash in commodity prices, more than 50,000 farmers from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, a top producer of wheat and cane, blocked part of the main highway to the capital. They also sought loan waivers, cheaper power and tougher action to get sugar mills to pay dues owed for their cane”
Costa Rica: report on General Strike as it enters 4th week – “Trade union grass-root members ” reject TU bureaucrats’ negotiated settlement with state “..the strong workers and social opposition to the fiscal combo on one side, expressed by thousands of demonstrations and two big marches in the first three weeks of the general strike, and on the other hand, the insistence of the Government to push the bill through Parliament could end in a social conflict of unforeseeable consequences” …bureaucrats forced to continue backing the strike as state implicitly threatens “children, those requiring medical attention, and Costa Rica in general” See reports for 17/9/, 14/9 & 12/9
South Africa, Gauteng: roads blocked with burning tyres in protest against cop complicity in gang-related violence “It is high time that residents are given an honest, professional and well-resourced police service that is not corrupt, uncaring and colluding with gangsters and drug dealers” …and pigs may fly… as soon as become honest, uncorrupt, caring and not colluding with gangsters (like the ruling class) and drug dealers (like pushers of religion or dominant culture)…..More here “ police officers being forced to retreat as residents pelt them with stones and bottles…Clashes between police and residents have been ongoing since last week. Residents have been pelting police officers with rocks and petrol bombs.” And here “Bus station torched overnight”
Indonesia, Sulawesi: 1200 prisoners escape following earthquake “One prison in tsunami-struck Palu city — built to hold just 120 people — saw most of its 581 inmates storm past guards and escape to freedom through walls collapsed by the massive 7.5 magnitude shake. “Things were initially fine…but not long after the quake, water erupted from under the prison yard causing prisoners to panic and then run onto the road,” said Ministry of Justice official Sri Puguh Utami, adding that the water was not from the tsunami. “I’m sure they escaped because they feared they would be affected by the earthquake. This is for sure a matter of life and death for the prisoners,” she added. Inmates had fled from another overcapacity facility in Palu by breaking down its main door and another in Donggala, an area also hit by the disaster. The Donggala jail was set on fire and all 343 inmates were now on the run”