Tag Archives | Protests

London Throws Party Celebrating Death Of Margaret Thatcher

Anti-Margaret Thatcher badge, 1980sReuters reports that only “hundreds” of people turned up for “the party of a lifetime” celebrating the death of reviled (and occasionally revered) former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher in London today:

Several hundred people turned up for a “party” in central London on Saturday to celebrate the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as a mass protest predicted by some failed to materialize.

The British capital’s mayor had warned of potential rioting as organizers promised thousands of opponents of Thatcher, who died aged 87 on Monday, would descend on London’s Trafalgar Square to mark the passing of a leader who was loved and loathed in equal measure.

Current British politicians and world leaders past and present have paid tributes to the former premier, Britain’s longest serving prime minister in over a century, but she continues to divide Britons over policies which saw her crush trade unions and privatize swathes of industry.

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Anti-Austerity March Hoped To Be The Biggest Protest In U.K. History

Organizers of the largest protest in history to this point, the 2003 march against the invasion of Iraq, are among those hopping to orchestrate a watershed moment for the global movement against austerity, writes the Independent:

The new “People’s Assembly Against Austerity” will march through London on 22 June, and, with the help of the Stop The War Coalition, intends to break that group’s record for the largest public rally in the nation’s history. The group claims it will be “an alternative democratic forum to a Parliament that has failed the people it is supposed to represent.” It will be, they hope “the launch-pad for mass resistance to austerity”.

Green Party Member of Parliament Caroline Lucas, Labour’s Katy Clark, Director of Executive Policy at the Unite trade union Steve Turner, head of the National Union of Teachers Kevin Courtney, comedian and disabled activist Francesca Martinez, as well as Independent columnists Owen Jones and Mark Steel, are the figureheads of a group they hope will appeal to anyone against austerity, regardless of background.

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Rioting Video Game Allows You To Fight The Police

Atlantic Cities describes the 8-bit-style smartphone game RIOT, a thought-provoking attempt to capture the liminal state which occurs during uprisings when order breaks down. I’d rather have my kids playing this than a game which makes them Navy SEALs:

“Riot” is a developing project in Italy that’s led by film-and-game director Leonard Menchiari, who previously did cinematography for “Half-Life” creator Valve Corporation. The atmospheric little simulator of bedlam, which runs on iOS or Android phones, is inspired by real-life political turmoil from around the globe.

There’s a hefty element of strategy involved, with the player taking on either the role of the agitators or the truncheoned legions of police trying to maintain order.

The developers have received modest funding so far on their Indiegogo page. If they collect enough cash, they hope to enrich the simulator by traveling to the sites of recent uprisings in Greece, Egypt and Italy to interview people involved in the conflicts.

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Anarchists Commemorated Inauguration By Smashing Bank Windows And ATM

The proper way to ring in Barack Obama’s second term. Via Politico:

About 60 anarchists smashed windows and damaged an ATM machine overnight just blocks from the National Mall, police [said] Monday.

At about midnight Sunday night, a group moving through the Gallery Place/Chinatown/Mt. Vernon Square area of Washington, D.C., broke a window and splashed yellow paint on a TD Bank branch, smashed a window at a Hooters restaurant and broke the screen of an ATM machine belonging to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Credit Union.

The damage took place at sites about 7 to 9 blocks from the mall, where hundreds of thousands of people gathered later Monday for the re-inauguration of President Barack Obama. The group dropped flyers saying, “Against Every Cop. Against Every Boss. Against Every President,” the report said.

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A Look At Oath Keepers Preparing For Revolution

A fair look at those who believe that societal collapse may be immanent? This VICE piece features perspective on conspiracy theorism and the breakdown of the American Dream from several angles, including Alex Jones and Chris Hedges:

Traveling from Texas to Massachusetts, VICE investigates whether the country is actually on the verge of the 2nd Revolutionary War.

The Department of Homeland Security classifies them as potential “domestic terrorists”; they prefer to be called patriots. As the economic crisis deepens, a growing movement of Americans is rejecting the two-party system and the mainstream media. They believe a violent revolution is imminent, and they’re getting ready for it now. We meet Sgt. Charles Dyer, a U.S. Marine who has taken an oath to disobey unconstitutional orders and take up arms against the government if it becomes tyrannical — and is training a citizen militia to do the same.

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Blocking Prison Construction With A Makeshift Schoolhouse

Decarcerate PA creates a surreal scene in its effort to impede the construction of a new state correctional facility:

Early morning November 19, seven members of Decarcerate PA set up school desks, banners, and a little red schoolhouse to block the entrance to the prison construction site in Montgomery County. They then sat at the desks, linking arms and refusing to move or allow construction vehicles onto the sight. Construction was delayed for over an hour before all seven protesters were arrested and taken away.

The new prisons are being built on the grounds of SCI Graterford in Montgomery County. If completed, they will cost $400 million and house 4,100 people. We believe these prisons must be stopped, and that the money should be reinvested in our schools and communities.

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Police Arrest Black Friday Protesters On Behalf Of Walmart

On Black Friday, peaceful protest is a jailable offense, while violent mobs are acceptable so long as they are spending money. Rania Khalek writes:

The treatment of peaceful protesters compared to the unruly and sometimes violent crowds of stampeding Black Friday shoppers couldn’t be more different. While the former is ostracized and forcibly removed by police, the latter is encouraged to come out for a competitive brawl over marked off goods. Nowhere is this contrast more clearly defined than in the police treatment of Walmart protesters over the last 24 hours.

On Friday, at least 1,000 Walmart employees throughout the country walked off the job to protest Walmart’s poor labor practices. Local police departments have been happy to disperse and even arrest strikers and their supporters on behalf of the world’s largest retailer.

At a Walmart store in Paramount, just outside of Los Angeles, some 1,500 people rallied against Walmart. Josh Eidelson, live-blogging about the Walmart strikes at The Nation, reports that “Nine people have been arrested for sitting in the street on Lakewood Boulevard, including three striking Walmart retail workers from area stores.

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Portland Protesters Pepper Sprayed

Via Komo News:

Protesters associated with Occupy Portland and a group calling itself Portland Action Lab were pepper sprayed by riot gear-clad police during a Saturday march. Apparently the police felt that large wooden shields carried by the protesters posed a threat. Take a look in the video below and see what you think:

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Riot Police Arrest Walmart Warehouse Workers On Strike Against Abysmal Working Conditions

Via Buzzfeed, activist Daneyvilla took an snapped photos as a veritable army of riot police cracked down on a demonstration by several hundred completely peaceful, largely middle-aged Walmart warehouse employees. From the workers’ website, the reason for the strike:

No one should come to work and endure extreme temperatures, inhale dust and chemical residue, and lift thousands of boxes weighing up to 250lbs with no support. Workers never know how long the work day will be- sometimes its two hours, sometimes its 16 hours. Injuries are common, as is discrimination against women and illegal retaliation against workers who speak up for better treatment.

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Street Politics And The Quebec Student Movement

A short dissection of the great success recently achieved by the student protest movement in Quebec:

For over 4 months, students and their allies, took over the streets of Montreal every day, to protest a tuition hike imposed by the liberal party in Quebec.

On September 21st, the newly elected Premier of Quebec scrapped the tuition hike and repealed a controversial law that effectively banned public demonstrations.

While this is being touted as a victory by many in the student movement, one element that made this success possible is already being overshadowed. How the the movement’s militant street politics transformed the student strike from a single issue campaign to an uncompromising social insurrection.

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