Tag Archives | Protests

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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Activists Present Corporate Tax Avoidance Award At Retirement Banquet

Dave Hartnett is the former top official at the HMRC, the branch of the U.K. government that handles tax collection. His tenure has been marked by controversy over deals in which corporations such as Goldman Sachs and Vodafone may have been let off the hook for billions in unpaid back taxes. Thanks to a group of protesters called WeAreTheIntruders, events at the black tie dinner celebrating Hartnett's service to the nation took an unexpected turn towards the surreal, culminating in a livid official's threatening to release the hounds on the surprise attendees:
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USA Made Dictators, NY Times Propaganda, ‘They’ Hate Us Because We Bomb Them

Breaking the Set: Abby Martin discusses the ongoing narrative of sweeping generalizations resounding in the establishment following the wave of protests spreading across the Muslim world. BTS then interviews former New York Times journalist, Daniel Simpson, about his choice to leave the famous newspaper after citing war propaganda in its publications. Abby wraps up the show with a look at the United States' notorious international military training facility 'the School of the Americas', with interviews from peace activist Father Roy Bourgeois, and takes a closer look at US foreign Policy in Latin America with a discussion with RT Producer, Rachel Kurzius.
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Foxconn Factory In China Shut Down As Thousands Of Workers Riot

Rueters reports on major unrest at the source of the world's baubles:
About 2,000 Chinese employees of an iPhone assembly company fought a pitched battle into the early hours of Monday, forcing the huge electronics plant where they work to be shut down. Authorities in the northern city of Taiyuan sent 5,000 police to restore order. On Monday evening, paramilitary police with riot shields, helmets and batons guarded one entrance of the massive factory complex, while an announcement over loudspeakers said there had been a criminal incident the night before and urged people to respect the law. Employees and people posting messages online accused factory guards of provoking the trouble by beating up workers at the factory, which is owned by the world's largest contract maker of electronic goods.
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Koch Brothers Funding Pro-Free Market, Anti-Occupy Rally In New York City

Ordinary billionaires are mad and they’re not going to take it anymore, Raw Story reports:

An activist group funded by the billionaire Koch brothers is planning a rally in New York on Thursday to “stand up to Occupy Wall Street extremists”.

Americans for Prosperity will gather at the Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan to demonstrate against Occupy protesters and Barack Obama’s handling of the economy. “The Occupy Wall Street crowd is nothing but a fringe element of malcontents bent on mayhem and destruction,” said Steve Lonegan, Americans for Prosperity’s New Jersey state director.

David and Charles Koch have poured money into Americans for Prosperity, which is tied to the Tea Party movement and has a focus on small government and low taxes. A spokesman for Americans for Prosperity would not predict how many people might attend the rally at the Rockefeller, but the group’s website claims to be “more than two million activists strong” across the country.

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A 2009 Letter From Occupy University Of California

Via We Want Everything, looking back on an Occupy California manifesto from calling for the disruption and occupation of university spaces, using tactics which are now more familiar:

Like the society to which it has played the faithful servant, the university is bankrupt. This bankruptcy is not only financial. It is the index of a more fundamental insolvency, one both political and economic, which has been a long time in the making. No one knows what the university is for anymore. We feel this intuitively. Gone is the old project of creating a cultured and educated citizenry; gone, too, the special advantage the degree-holder once held on the job market. These are now fantasies, spectral residues that cling to the poorly maintained halls.

For those whose adolescence was poisoned by the nationalist hysteria following September 11th, public speech is nothing but a series of lies and public space a place where things might explode (though they never do).

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