The American Bear

Sunshine/Lollipops

thepeoplesrecord:

Indonesian students clash with police during protests against planned fuel price hikes on March 27, 2012 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Thousands of Indonesians students in big cities all over the county gathered to protest the governments plans to increase the price of subsidized fuel by 30 percent. The Indonesian parliament is currently debating the fuel hikes which would go into effect March 25, 2012 if approved.

More here.

(Source: thepeoplesrecord, via anarcho-queer)

Lessons from the 1970s | Dan Hind

To the business and governing elite, too much democracy was/is considered a ‘crisis’:

In the years that followed [the massive popular mobilisations of the ’60s and early ’70s] businessmen in Britain and the United States spent huge sums on a campaign to establish new forms of expertise and to persuade the public that their chosen favourites had special talents. Neoliberal economists who had been dismissed as cranks suddenly became the prophets of true freedom and national renewal. Meanwhile, strenuous efforts were made to break up popular coalitions by exploiting and highlighting existing social tensions. Men were set against women, whites against blacks, blue collar patriots against egghead liberal intellectuals and so on.

At the moment, our rulers can only do so much to persuade us that they have special talents and expertise. The financial crisis has made a mockery of their claims to basic competence. This goes largely unmentioned in the media over which they continue to exercise control. But free markets and deregulation no longer seem like a royal road to general prosperity.

But the established powers are having much more luck in setting potential allies against one another. The fault lines in society, the points at which sentiment and identity can be exploited, are different this time. But the game remains the same. So, in the US, mainstream politics organises itself around the disputes over lifestyle and values. The secular are menaced with the bogey of fundamentalism, the God-fearing with death boards and compulsory abortion. Such things make a wonderful alternative to a politics of redistribution and retribution.

Read the whole thing

Restless Planet | Tom Engelhardt

On the streets of Moscow in the tens of thousands, the protesters chanted: “We exist!”  Taking into account the comments of statesmen, scientists, politicians, military officials, bankers, artists, all the important and attended to figures on this planet, nothing caught the year more strikingly than those two words shouted by massed Russian demonstrators.

“We exist!”  Think of it as a simple statement of fact, an implicit demand to be taken seriously (or else), and undoubtedly an expression of wonder, verging on a question: “We exist?”

And who could blame them for shouting it?  Or for the wonder?  How miraculous it was.  Yet another country long immersed in a kind of popular silence suddenly finds voice, and the demonstrators promptly declare themselves not about to leave the stage when the day — and the demonstration — ends.  Who guessed beforehand that perhaps 50,000 Muscovites would turn out to protest a rigged electoral process in a suddenly restive country, along with crowds in St. Petersburg, Tomsk, and elsewhere from the south to Siberia?

In Tahrir Square in Cairo, they swore: “This time we’re here to stay!”  Everywhere this year, it seemed that they — “we” — were here to stay.  In New York City, when forced out of Zuccotti Park by the police, protesters returned carrying signs that said, “You cannot evict an idea whose time has come.”

And so it seems, globally speaking.  Tunis, Cairo, Madrid, Madison, New York, Santiago, Homs.  So many cities, towns, places.  London, Sana’a, Athens, Oakland, Berlin, Rabat, Boston, Vancouver… it could take your breath away.  And as for the places that aren’t yet bubbling — Japan, China, and elsewhere — watch out in 2012 because, let’s face it, “we exist.” [Read]

denverpost:

Chile endures violent night amid nationwide strike

Students and workers clash with riot police during a 48-hour national strike – the first to hit Sebastian Pinera’s government, convened by the largest workers union in the South American country with some 780,000 members.

The reform protest, spurred by the education demands, will also include hospitals and emergency services, whose personnel are expected to only attend emergency shifts during the strike. Union officials also said taxi drivers and an association of truck drivers had joined the industrial action.

Marches and rolling demonstrations by students demanding far-reaching education reforms and dismissing the government’s latest plan to resolve the weeks-old crisis have continued for months now.

More photos.

(via halfcentonline)

Chile’s most powerful unions launch nationwide political strike

socialismartnature:

On the eve of their two-day nationwide strike, Chile’s largest labor confederation, the Central Workers Union (CUT), is finalizing plans for demonstrations, marches and protests with the support of politicians, citizens and more than 80 of Chile’s most important social organizations and unions.

The labor unions’ demands also include improved public health care, more equitable tax reform, better environmental protections and — echoing the demands of the student movement — free state-funded public education.

It’s going to take large popular movements to change this. And that can happen. It’s happened in the past. That’s why freedom and justice have expanded over the centuries. It’s never been gifts; it wasn’t gifts from the rich and powerful. These are things that were won, by the labour movement, by the women’s movement, by the civil rights movement, and by other rights movements. They’re won by popular struggle, then you move forward. But they’re never given as gifts, and they won’t be in the future. Noam Chomsky (via lilmaj132)

(Source: tumblr.jacob-cook.net, via pieceinthepuzzlehumanity-deacti)

Chile hit by violent anti-government protests

redlightpolitics:

via Chile hit by violent anti-government protests | World news | guardian.co.uk

Protesters have clashed violently with police in Chile’s capital to decry President Sebastián Pinera’s policies, as a poll showed him to be the least popular leader in the two decades since the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship.

Demonstrators led by students demanding cheaper and better state education blocked roads and lit fires as police used water cannons and tear gas to quell the latest outcry against the conservative billionaire.

More at the link, including video of the protests.

(via bethefoodoflove-deactivated2012)

nickturse:

A detained protester showsa V-sign as he sits in a police van during an action 	      “Revolution via social network” in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. 	      Police in Belarus have violently quashed a peaceful anti-government rally, 	      detaining dozens of people protesting the authoritarian regime of President 	      Alexander Lukashenko.
Credit: Sergei Grits

nickturse:

A detained protester showsa V-sign as he sits in a police van during an action “Revolution via social network” in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Police in Belarus have violently quashed a peaceful anti-government rally, detaining dozens of people protesting the authoritarian regime of President Alexander Lukashenko.

Credit: Sergei Grits

metamorphoseandbodhi:


A Malaysian activist from Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) is sprayed by a water cannon during a rally in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, July 9. Police fired tear gas and detained hundreds of activists as more than 10,000 demonstrators massed across Malaysia’s largest city demanding electoral reforms in the country’s biggest political rally in years.

 AP reports:
Demonstrators marched in defiance of Najib’s administration, which declared the rally illegal and warned people repeatedly to avoid it. Officials insisted it was merely an opposition attempt to trigger chaos and stir anti-government sentiment, while activists accused authorities of being afraid of any large display of dissent that could undermine their authority.
Read more here.

metamorphoseandbodhi:

A Malaysian activist from Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) is sprayed by a water cannon during a rally in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, July 9. Police fired tear gas and detained hundreds of activists as more than 10,000 demonstrators massed across Malaysia’s largest city demanding electoral reforms in the country’s biggest political rally in years.

 AP reports:

Demonstrators marched in defiance of Najib’s administration, which declared the rally illegal and warned people repeatedly to avoid it. Officials insisted it was merely an opposition attempt to trigger chaos and stir anti-government sentiment, while activists accused authorities of being afraid of any large display of dissent that could undermine their authority.

Read more here.

Photo: A government proposal to scrap by-elections has been criticised by politicians as infringing on voters’ rights [AFP]
Mass protest against Hong Kong government - Al Jazeera

More than 200,000 demonstrators have staged a peaceful rally against government policies and soaring property prices, the protest’s organisers have said.
Protesters at the rally, which marked the 14th anniversary of the former British colony’s return to China, vented their frustration at a slew of issues including a controversial plan to scrap by-elections Police arrested 231 people that took part in the march for “illegal assembly” and “causing obstruction in public places”.
[read more]

Photo: A government proposal to scrap by-elections has been criticised by politicians as infringing on voters’ rights [AFP]

Mass protest against Hong Kong government - Al Jazeera

More than 200,000 demonstrators have staged a peaceful rally against government policies and soaring property prices, the protest’s organisers have said.

Protesters at the rally, which marked the 14th anniversary of the former British colony’s return to China, vented their frustration at a slew of issues including a controversial plan to scrap by-elections

Police arrested 231 people that took part in the march for “illegal assembly” and “causing obstruction in public places”.

[read more]

pantslessprogressive:

Uganda. April 14. Military police officers watched as supporters of pro-democracy leader Kizza Besigye staged a protest in a road in Kasangati, a suburb of the capital Kampala. Tear gas was fired to disperse the crowd. [Photo: James Akena/Reuters]
What’s happening in Uganda:
Ugandan citizens are protesting the country’s high inflation rate - topping out at 11.1 percent - which has lead to higher food prices and deteriorating economic conditions. Diminishing public services are another leading cause for protests against the government. Major demonstrations began on April 14.
Three protesters were killed and three opposition politicians were arrested on Thursday in the city of Gulu during a ‘walk to work’ protest. International news outlets picked up the story on Thursday after former presidential candidate and leading opposition figure Kizza Besigye was shot in the hand by military police during protests in the capital of Kampala.
Students protested at Makerere University on Saturday to oppose an increase in tuition fees. 70 were injured and seven were arrested.
As of Saturday, at least 290 people have been arrested.
Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) leaders and other leading pro-democracy activists were ‘lifted up and dumped into police trucks like common criminals’ during protests last week, according to AllAfrica’s Halima Abdallah.
President Yoweri Museveni says he will prevent any future demonstrations.
All radio stations in Gulu were barred from reporting news from protests on Friday.
Uganda’s government blocked Facebook and Twitter as of Friday.
Uganda Democratic Party president Norbert Mao says he is organizing prayers and fasting for Monday in protest of the three people killed in Gulu.
 Opposition members say they plan to continue their ‘walk to work’ protests throughout this week.
Read more at AllAfrica here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
Also read more at New York Times, Voice of America, Bloomberg and AFP .

pantslessprogressive:

Uganda. April 14. Military police officers watched as supporters of pro-democracy leader Kizza Besigye staged a protest in a road in Kasangati, a suburb of the capital Kampala. Tear gas was fired to disperse the crowd. [Photo: James Akena/Reuters]

What’s happening in Uganda:

Ugandan citizens are protesting the country’s high inflation rate - topping out at 11.1 percent - which has lead to higher food prices and deteriorating economic conditions. Diminishing public services are another leading cause for protests against the government. Major demonstrations began on April 14.

Three protesters were killed and three opposition politicians were arrested on Thursday in the city of Gulu during a ‘walk to work’ protest. International news outlets picked up the story on Thursday after former presidential candidate and leading opposition figure Kizza Besigye was shot in the hand by military police during protests in the capital of Kampala.

Students protested at Makerere University on Saturday to oppose an increase in tuition fees. 70 were injured and seven were arrested.

As of Saturday, at least 290 people have been arrested.

Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) leaders and other leading pro-democracy activists were ‘lifted up and dumped into police trucks like common criminals’ during protests last week, according to AllAfrica’s Halima Abdallah.

President Yoweri Museveni says he will prevent any future demonstrations.

All radio stations in Gulu were barred from reporting news from protests on Friday.

Uganda’s government blocked Facebook and Twitter as of Friday.

Uganda Democratic Party president Norbert Mao says he is organizing prayers and fasting for Monday in protest of the three people killed in Gulu.

Opposition members say they plan to continue their ‘walk to work’ protests throughout this week.

Read more at AllAfrica herehere, here, here, here, here and here.

Also read more at New York TimesVoice of AmericaBloomberg and AFP .

(Source: pantslessprogressive)

pantslessprogressive:

Thousands join competing Moscow rallies | AFP

 
Thousands protested Russia’s ruling regime in central Moscow on Saturday calling for transparent elections as the pro-Kremlin Nashi movement [seen above] staged a massive anti-corruption demonstration.
Up to 3,000 people protested on Moscow’s Bolotnaya square near the Kremlin in a protest organised by the unregistered oppositional Party for People’s Freedom, an AFP correspondent estimated.
Moscow police estimated the turnout at 900 people. People chanted “Russia Without Putin” and other slogans, waving banners reading “Let’s Take Back the Right to Choose”.
The two-hour protest was preceded by a large demonstration in another part of central Moscow staged by the pro-Kremlin Nashi movement.
Nashi said in a statement that 50,000 young people from 20 Russian cities “demanded answers to inconvenient questions about corruption” in personal videos, which were then shown on a big screen at the demonstration. Witnesses estimated the actual turnout at no more than 30,000. [read more; photo: Konstantin Chalabov/RIA Novosti]

pantslessprogressive:

Thousands join competing Moscow rallies | AFP

Thousands protested Russia’s ruling regime in central Moscow on Saturday calling for transparent elections as the pro-Kremlin Nashi movement [seen above] staged a massive anti-corruption demonstration.

Up to 3,000 people protested on Moscow’s Bolotnaya square near the Kremlin in a protest organised by the unregistered oppositional Party for People’s Freedom, an AFP correspondent estimated.

Moscow police estimated the turnout at 900 people. People chanted “Russia Without Putin” and other slogans, waving banners reading “Let’s Take Back the Right to Choose”.

The two-hour protest was preceded by a large demonstration in another part of central Moscow staged by the pro-Kremlin Nashi movement.

Nashi said in a statement that 50,000 young people from 20 Russian cities “demanded answers to inconvenient questions about corruption” in personal videos, which were then shown on a big screen at the demonstration. Witnesses estimated the actual turnout at no more than 30,000. [read more; photo: Konstantin Chalabov/RIA Novosti]

(Source: pantslessprogressive)