From The Guardian

Extinction Rebellion stages air pollution protests in London and Manchester

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Demonstrators target key roads to demand government action to tackle deadly issue

Climate change activists wearing gas masks have blocked a central London road to demand the next government tackles “deadly levels of air pollution” in the capital.

Six Extinction Rebellion protesters dressed in hi-vis suits glued their hands to yellow breeze blocks in the middle of Cranbourn Street, outside Leicester Square tube station.

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Australia needs to challenge authority if we’re going to confront water, fire and climate crises | Jason Wilson

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Governments increasingly make laws to curtail rights of protest, assembly, property and privacy and we need to suspect and resist that

Any shame white Australians might have felt about the country’s origins as a penal colony has long since disappeared.

For many decades those with convict ancestors have tended to proudly claim them. By the time of my primary education in the 1980s, the crimes of those transported tended to be minimised by teachers. Almost all, the comforting story ran, had stolen loaves of bread.

Related: Every day is Survival Day in the colony of Australia | Scott Trindall

Related: Australia's anti-encryption laws being used to bypass journalist protections, expert says

Related: Oxford Dictionaries declares 'climate emergency' the word of 2019

Jason Wilson is a Guardian Australia columnist

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The UN conference move shows global heating plus inequality is a recipe for chaos | Maisa Rojas

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The protests that forced COP25 to switch from Chile to Madrid had the climate crisis at their core
Maisa Rojas is scientific coordinator for the COP25 climate conference

It’s a grey winter day as I walk through the UN climate conference (known as COP25) in Madrid. The pavilions and rooms all have the names of cities, regions and rivers in Chile. They’re especially familiar to me: as well as being scientific coordinator for COP25, I’m director of Chile’s Centre for Climate and Resilience Research. It’s all a stark reminder that we should be in Santiago.

But on 18 October 2019, the president of Chile declared a state of emergency and instituted a curfew to quell three days of public unrest that started because of an increase in metro fares. The outbreak of anger was summed up by the message, “This is not about 30 pesos, it is about 30 years”, referring to discontent lasting three decades, which appeared on walls across the city and on social media. The protests ultimately led to COP25’s move to Madrid.

The good news is that addressing social issues alongside the climate crisis can generate powerful, long-lasting solutions

Related: Neighbours meet to plot path out of Chile crisis amid exasperation at elite

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Hong Kong: mammoth rally marks six months of pro-democracy protests

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Sea of protesters pour on to streets calling for elections and inquiry into police tactics

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators have once again poured on to the streets of Hong Kong, their chants echoing off high-rise buildings, in a mass show of support for a protest movement that shows no signs of flagging as it enters a seventh month.

Chanting “Fight for freedom” and “Stand with Hong Kong”, a sea of protesters formed a mile-long human snake winding for blocks on Hong Kong Island, from the Causeway Bay shopping district to the Central business zone.

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No trains and no compromise as France faces a winter of discontent

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With hardline unions threatening indefinite strikes over pension reforms, there is apprehension at the political perils facing Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron will seek to placate angry strikers this week while honouring his election pledge to shake up France’s pension system in a delicate balancing act that will define his political future.

Ministers are looking at possible concessions that could defuse the strikes and protests that have paralysed the country since last week.

Related: Macron wants not just reform but to change the way France thinks

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Defiant protesters back in Baghdad square within an hour of slaughter

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Demonstrators grow ever more determined to force real political change in Iraq despite a bloody crackdown which left over 20 dead

The gunshots emptied protesters from Baghdad’s Khilani square in minutes, but as nearby streets filled with the crush of people running for their lives, two men stayed on, waving a vast Shia banner in defiance of the bloodshed around them.

The pair must have known they were in the gunmen’s crosshairs, and soon one of them crumpled, hit by a bullet. But their determination to continue was a powerful message to authorities and militias trying to crush Iraq’s popular uprising by force.

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Over a dozen killed in Baghdad when gunmen open fire on protesters

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Attack follows mass stabbings in Tahrir Square, a focus of the anti-government movement

At least 14 people were killed and more than 40 others wounded when gunmen in cars opened fire on a protest camp in Baghdad, sending people running for cover in nearby mosques. Three of the victims were police officers.

The attacks on Friday came a day after a string of suspicious stabbing incidents left at least 13 wounded in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, the centre of Iraq’s leaderless protest movement.

Related: ‘It’s personal here': southern Iraq ablaze as protests rage

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'A rapist in your path': Chilean protest song becomes feminist anthem – video

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A Chilean protest song about rape culture and victim shaming has become an anthem for feminists around the world.

Un Violador en Tu Camino (A Rapist in Your Path) was first performed in late November as Chile’s nationwide uprising against social inequality entered its second month.

Here's a look at how the song, and its accompanying dance moves, have spread across Latin America and the world.

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Greta Thunberg says school strikes have achieved nothing

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Activist says 4% greenhouse gas emissions rise since 2015 shows action is insufficient

The global wave of school strikes for the climate over the past year has “achieved nothing” because greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise, Greta Thunberg has told activists at UN climate talks in Madrid.

Thousands of young people were expected to gather at the UN climate conference and in the streets of the Spanish capital on Friday to protest against the lack of progress in tackling the climate emergency, as officials from more than 190 countries wrangled over the niceties of wording in documents related to the Paris accord.

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At least 7,000 people reportedly arrested in Iran protests, says UN

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Human rights office suggests 208 people killed during unrest that broke out last month

The United Nations has said that at least 7,000 people have reportedly been arrested in Iran since mass demonstrations erupted last month, and called for the immediate release of those arbitrarily detained.

In a statement, the UN human rights office also said it had obtained “verified video footage” showing security forces firing on protesters, apparently with intent to kill.

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Buy a classic Guardian photograph: Anti-poll tax demonstration, London, 1990

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This week in our ongoing series of exclusive Guardian photography we have a shot from a demonstration in Islington in March 1990 by the Guardian photographer Sean Smith

Nearly 30 years ago, anti-poll tax demonstrations swept across Britain, culminating in riots in Trafalgar Square in London on 31 March 1990 where more than 100 people, including police officers, were hurt. The tax was seen as deeply unfair – a flat rate that penalised the poor and favoured the rich. A few weeks earlier, on 13 March, the Guardian photographer Sean Smith covered a protest outside Islington town hall, one of several local demonstrations that took place around the capital, in angry scenes would not look out of place today.

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Jane Fonda on joining the climate fight: 'It's back to the barricades'

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The veteran actor and activist has been arrested four times after being inspired by Greta Thunberg and disgusted by Trump

Jane Fonda has unusual plans for her 82nd birthday: She wants to spend the night in jail.

The American actor and political activist – who has been protesting about inaction over the climate crisis at the US Capitol every Friday – has been arrested four times and kept overnight once. Her lawyers have helped her avoid serious charges. But she says the acts of civil disobedience have pulled her out of a depression she sunk into after Donald Trump took office.

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Chilean anti-rape anthem becomes international feminist phenomenon

The Guardian | Protest -

  • A Rapist in Your Path performed by women at mass protests
  • Performances staged across Latin America and Europe

A Chilean protest song about rape culture and victim shaming has become a viral anthem for feminists around the world.

Related: Chile security forces' crackdown leaves toll of death and broken bodies

"Un violador en tu camino", convocatoria Red de Actrices Chilenas @RACH, frente al Museo Chileno de Arte Contemporáneo (Santiago, Chile)#LasTesis pic.twitter.com/b6zRtbHsZ4

Related: Poet, hero, rapist – outrage over Chilean plan to rename airport after Neruda

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Nearly 500,000 people march against Macron as strikes grip France

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Transport workers bring country to standstill amid anger over pension changes

More than 450,000 people have marched in cities across France as railway workers, teachers and hospital staff held one of the biggest public sector strikes in decades against Emmanuel Macron’s plans to overhaul the pension system.

A nationwide transport strike brought much of France to a standstill and was expected to continue for the next few days as unions dug in, saying the president’s pension changes would force millions of people to work longer or receive lower payments.

Related: French workers cherish their welfare state. That’s why they’re striking | Cole Stangler

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France grinds to halt in the biggest strikes of Macron's presidency

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Rail and air transport as well as schools and policing hit by walkouts over pension changes

Emmanuel Macron is facing the biggest strikes of his presidency, as French rail workers, air-traffic controllers, teachers and public sector staff staged walkouts and took to the streets against proposed changes to the pension system.

Rail services almost ground to a halt, with 82% of drivers on strike and at least 90% of regional trains cancelled, amid fears that the open-ended transport disruption could continue for days. In Paris, 11 out of the 16 metro lines were shut, forcing commuters to scramble to hire bikes and scooters.

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Iran's deadly protests

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When Iran’s government announced it was raising the price of fuel by up to three times, thousands of Iranians took to the streets to protest. Michael Safi reports on what happened next. And: Jim Waterson on how social media has changed the way we consume news

When the Iranian government announced it was raising the price of fuel by up to three times, it triggered what may have been the largest-scale unrest in the 40-year history of the Islamic Republic. Iranian officials this week estimated 200,000 people were involved in protests and riots that led to 7,000 arrests and, by some estimates, the regime’s deadliest-ever response to demonstrations.

The Guardian international correspondent Michael Safi talks to Rachel Humphreys about his reporting on Shiraz, a city in south-central Iran which is thought to have had one of the largest protest outbreaks in the country and one of the highest known death tolls.

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Colombia: thousands take to the streets in third national strike in two weeks

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Protests put more pressure on unpopular president Iván Duque, who is engaged in a ‘national dialogue’ with strike organisers

Colombians have taken to the streets for a third national strike in two weeks, piling more pressure on the unpopular rightwing president, Iván Duque, and his proposed tax reforms.

Thousands thronged the streets of Bogotá, the capital, shutting down much of the city’s historic centre, indicating that the unrest will continue while Duque engages in a “national dialogue” with strike organisers.

Related: Colombian protesters return to streets as death of teenager fuels rage

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University of Reading investigates security staff clash with students

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Students tried to occupy building in support of striking staff but encountered ‘heavy-handed’ security officers

An investigation is under way at the University of Reading following a confrontation between security officers and students who attempted to occupy a building in support of staff taking strike action over pay, pensions and working conditions.

A 21-year-old undergraduate has been suspended and banned from campus pending enquiries, while a 25-year-old postgraduate has been banned from campus. The students claim security was “heavy-handed” and say two of their number suffered bruising to their legs.

Related: The Guardian view on university strikes: a battle for the soul of the campus | Editorial

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French workers cherish their welfare state. That’s why they’re striking | Cole Stangler

The Guardian | Protest -

Macron’s proposed retirement reforms are his latest attempt to erode the safety net. Tomorrow the people are fighting back

It’s shaping up to be one of France’s biggest strikes in recent memory. Responding to calls from unions to protest against the government’s proposed retirement reforms, an impressive swath of the workforce plans to walk off the job tomorrow – everyone from railway workers and truckers to judges, nurses, teachers and students.

While it has yet to introduce legislation, Emmanuel Macron’s government has floated a proposal that would mark the deepest overhaul of France’s pension system since its creation in the aftermath of the second world war. This would effectively hike the earliest age at which one can collect so-called full retirement benefits from 62 to 64, overhaul the formula for calculating benefits and merge the country’s 42 existing pension schemes into a single regime – all in all, resulting in likely benefit cuts for millions. Authorities have defended their ambitions with the language of French republicanism, vowing to forge a “universal system” in which everyone is treated equally. But what they neglect to mention is that the new standard would be worse than today’s.

Related: How Macron discovered the soft power of the working class | Christophe Guilluy

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Extinction Rebellion bee protesters 'swarm' Swinson battlebus – video

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A group of Extinction Rebellion activists dressed as bees ‘swarmed’ the electric-powered Lib Dem battlebus in south London and quizzed the Lib Dem leader, Jo Swinson, about her party’s approach to the climate crisis.

The said they were ‘buzzing around’ political parties’ campaign battlebuses ‘demanding the climate and ecological emergency is top of the agenda this election’

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