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Google fires 28 staff after protest against firm’s contract with Israeli government

The Guardian | Protest -

Google workers linked to No Tech for Apartheid denounce ‘flagrant act of retaliation’ in dispute over $1.2bn cloud contract

Google said on Thursday it had terminated 28 employees after some staff participated in protests against the company’s cloud contract with the Israeli government.

The Alphabet unit said a small number of protesting employees entered and disrupted work at a few unspecified office locations.

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Georgia footballers protest against Tbilisi’s ‘foreign influence’ bill

The Guardian | Protest -

Captain of national team among those posting apparently coordinated social media messages

Leading players in Georgia’s national men’s football team have come out in support of pro-EU protests sparked by a controversial “foreign influence” bill criticised for mirroring a repressive Russian law.

Riot police have clashed in recent nights with large rallies of people protesting outside the parliament building in Tbilisi against a controversial “foreign influence” bill, which it is claimed will hamper the country’s application for EU membership.

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Republican senator Tom Cotton calls for vigilantism to break up Gaza protests

The Guardian | Protest -

Outcry as Cotton says those inconvenienced by protesters blocking roads and airports should ‘take matters into own hands’

The Republican senator Tom Cotton has urged Americans to “take matters into their own hands” when encountering pro-Palestine supporters, an apparent call to vigilantism as Israel’s military strikes in Gaza continued despite global calls for a ceasefire.

Demonstrations on Monday by supporters of Palestine blocked roads in major US cities, including New York and Philadelphia; delayed flights at the bustling Chicago O’Hare and Seattle-Tacoma international airports; and caused traffic congestion on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

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Climate activists in New England can finally celebrate ‘the end of coal’

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This article Climate activists in New England can finally celebrate ‘the end of coal’ was originally published by Waging Nonviolence.

On March 27, Granite Shore Power, or GSP, announced that it will “voluntarily” stop burning coal at its Merrimack and Schiller Stations in New Hampshire by 2028. Major news outlets have been hailing the news as the “end of coal in New England” and casting GSP as a leader in the transition to clean, renewable energy.

Insofar as media have acknowledged the role of outside pressure on GSP at all, they have mainly cited a lawsuit by the Sierra Club and Conservation Law Foundation for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. But activists know better: Nonviolent direct action gets the goods.

Those of us who have participated in the No Coal No Gas campaign, or NCNG, have been anticipating Merrimack Station’s closure for some time. (Schiller Station has not run since May 2020.) In fact, in June 2023, we threw a festive retirement party outside Merrimack Station’s gates, complete with cake and surveillance by the New Hampshire Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Then, just three weeks before GSP’s own press release, we held a weekend retreat to reflect on everything our campaign has accomplished, plan for the future and strategize when, how and whether to declare victory.

It had become obvious to us that victory was imminent, if not a fait accompli. In partnership with the Sierra Club and 350NH, we have been monitoring the plant’s failed attempts to complete federally-mandated stack tests to measure its pollution emissions. At the same time, from conversations with local IBEW workers, we also know that employment at the plant has all but dried up, as union workers only come in to do repairs. What’s more, by monitoring our regional grid operator’s annual “forward capacity payments” — which are effectively taxpayer subsidies for coal — we know that funding for Merrimack Station is slated to end in 2026.

Previous Coverage
  • Blocking trains and removing coal, climate activists fight to close one of New England’s largest power plants
  • However, the most striking bit of evidence pointing to the plant’s demise is the fact that we have not seen any new coal deliveries in well over a year. We believe this is largely due to the campaign’s rather spectacular and widely reported coal train blockades. From December 2019 to December 2022, we stopped multiple trains in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. We stopped a single train no less than three times on its route, and we stopped another for hours by erecting scaffolding on the tracks. This strategy pushed rail carrier CSX, in one case, to split a very long coal train into segments in an unsuccessful and expensive attempt to “hide” from activists. 


    Halting resupply, even temporarily, is one tactic to convince corporate oligarchs that coal is a bad investment. Another approach, used by NCNG’s corporate research group, was to directly target Merrimack Station’s two private equity owners, Castleton Commodities and Atlas Holdings. We delivered coal to their corporate offices and even to the homes of CEOs, holding rallies and dropping banners. In 2021, Castleton decided to divest from the partnership.

    Beyond pressuring for divestment, though, these tactics strive to show what’s possible. In this vein, we’ve also pursued civil disobedience at Merrimack Station itself. In 2019, 69 people in Tyvek suits were arrested as they carried buckets onto the property, vowing to carry the coal out bucket by bucket. In 2021, 18 of us began renovating the facility’s driveway, digging up asphalt and planting food for people and flowers for soil remediation. Like so much nonviolent direct action, these were not only attempts to interfere with business as usual; they were acts of collective imagination.

    On the streets, in the courts, in our writing, art and advocacy, activists seek to expose, critique and upend systems of power. Like anyone who practices civil disobedience, we’re often told that there are “more appropriate” ways to enact change. But as one of our members, Nastasia Lawton-Sticklor, puts it, “disobedience. . .[is] an uncompromising vision of radical, as in from the roots, change.” This doesn’t necessarily mean that we see ourselves as some kind of extreme flank, “throwing ourselves into wild escalation to make lawsuits and the legislation seem inherently reasonable.” Rather, Lawton-Sticklor says, “I see this as an invitation to continue peeling back the layers of systemic power, to make visible the inherent compulsion for self-preservation that grounds systemic concession, and to keep going.”

    #newsletter-block_cd23e3d9730efaba6d24d8aa6742c039 { background: #ececec; color: #000000; } #newsletter-block_cd23e3d9730efaba6d24d8aa6742c039 #mc_embed_signup_front input#mce-EMAIL { border-color:#000000 !important; color: #000000 !important; } Sign Up for our Newsletter A campaign and a community, not an organization

    How does a climate campaign “keep going”? How do we sustain such pressure and diversity of tactics over a period of years? It actually has a lot do with NCNG being a campaign, as opposed to a more formal nonprofit organization.

    While we certainly benefit from — and could not continue without — support from the Climate Disobedience Center and 350NH, NCNG is not embedded in or beholden to the nonprofit industrial complex like many other organizations are. As a result, our strategic decision-making is not driven by fundraising concerns or donor preferences. Rather, the campaign draws on capillaries of power running through multiple, shifting affinity groups and mutually beneficial relationships with other established groups and campaigns.

    Since its inception in 2019, NCNG has had three precisely articulated goals: 1. Build unity and community; 2. Show what is possible; and 3. Shut down the Merrimack Generating Station. It’s worth noting that shutting down Merrimack Station was only ever our third — and arguably the least important — goal. We know, after all, that this coal plant is only one contributor to climate catastrophe and that our own actions are only one tiny part of a much larger, multi-pronged climate justice movement.

    “Building community” does not simply mean that campaign participants become their own kind of cohesive in-group, although that has sometimes happened. Rather, the campaign seeks to establish and nurture relations among existing and yet-to-be communities.

    Previous Coverage
  • Campaign to shut down New England’s last coal plant is doing ‘what must be done’ for the planet
  • We are college professors, ministers, farmers, artists, scientists, lawyers, students, parents, grandparents and shift workers. We bring connections to schools, churches, radical collectives and political formations. We help stitch together relations among existing nonprofits like 350.org and fellow campaigns like Fix the Grid; we encourage new affinity groups and support longstanding ones; and we have made our presence known to our regional grid operator ISO-New England. Sometimes we have done so in playful ways — for example, by delivering a wheelbarrow of coal to their security gate during a blizzard on Super Bowl Sunday.

    Moreover, we have intently studied their arcane operations and then elected members to their Consumer Liaison Group in what became known locally as the “ballroom coup.” In this capacity, we have pressured ISO-New England to stop giving ratepayer money to legacy fossil fuel plants. We have enlisted hundreds of friends and supporters in writing public comments urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reject these forward capacity payments.

    In turn, we show up for others’ struggles. Perhaps because we did so much intensive organizing during the height of COVID — when so much work and sociality had to move online — we have been able to draw in like-minded activists from around New England and beyond, and to connect with other activist efforts.

    NCNG participants routinely show up for each other’s actions on, for instance, LGBTQ+ rights or the Free Palestine movement. We sometimes even put the campaign on pause to lend support to major actions, as we did during 2021, when many of us traveled to Minnesota in the fight against Line 3, incurring arrest and continuing to provide remote legal support to fellow co-defendants. Showing up for other groups’ struggles is critical, not only because our issues are all so intertwined, but also because in doing so, we learn. We share our skills and develop new ones. We engage in the critical, sustaining activity of thinking together.

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    On April 4 we held a mass call on Zoom to celebrate Merrimack Station’s closure announcement, and to sketch out our next phase. Continuing to show what is possible, we are looking to shut down all of New England’s so-called fossil fuel peaker plants — those facilities that, like Merrimack Station, run only during times of peak electricity demand, generally during periods of extreme cold or heat. As the Christian Science Monitor reported, Merrimack Station ran for only about 500 hours last year.

    Peaker plants are expensive and dirty, and arguably unnecessary. In many places they are being replaced with battery storage. They could also be eliminated, we believe, with better demand response, which means encouraging consumers to shift their electricity use to times when demand on the grid is lower. We feel that leadership from our utilities and grid operator has been lacking in this regard, so we are doing what they won’t: building a ratepayer collective that will practice demand response on the New England grid ourselves.

    As our demand response cohort puts it, this means “We will stay grounded in community and mutuality because we are more than individual ‘consumers.’ We have the power to choose to work collaboratively to shift our relationship to energy use, to become more intentional. And this means that together we have the power to transform how the energy markets in our region work.” In short, by building an alliance of ratepayers “ready to support each other in the face of snowballing economic, environmental, health and social crises,” we will be laying the foundation “for joyful, community-centered conservation demand response and a just transition.”

    This, maybe, is what “victory” in the climate fight really means: that we are learning what we can achieve together, with or without the necessary actions that our governments, economic leaders and regulators seem categorically or politically unwilling to take. Something that has always stuck out to me is a series of questions I’ve heard posed by Marla Marcum, one of the founders of the Climate Disobedience Center (and our campaign). Many times, after a nonviolent direct action, we will be debriefing, and Marla will ask, “Regardless of whether this particular action succeeds in shutting down this particular coal plant, what has it done for us? What have we learned? How have we grown stronger? What does this growth make possible?”

    When we fight, we really do win. And what we win is the ultimate bulwark against climate grief and despair. We find each other.

    This article Climate activists in New England can finally celebrate ‘the end of coal’ was originally published by Waging Nonviolence.

    Artists refuse to open Israel pavilion at Venice Biennale until ceasefire is reached

    The Guardian | Protest -

    Curators protesting against Gaza conflict say ‘art can wait but women, children and people living though hell cannot’

    The artists and curators of the Israeli national pavilion at the Venice Biennale have announced their decision not to open until “a ceasefire and hostage release agreement is reached” in the conflict in Gaza, on the opening preview day of the largest and most prominent global gathering in the art world.

    A sign on the front of the Israel pavilion in the Giardini, or public gardens, in Venice, one of the main venues for the Biennale, conveyed the team’s decision – while the pavilion itself is guarded by three armed Italian military personnel.

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    'Stop the world for Gaza': US protesters block roads, bridges and airports – video

    The Guardian | Protest -

    Thousands of people held demonstrations across the US on Monday, blocking roads and traffic along major thoroughfares to protest against Israel's war on Gaza. People were seen calling for a ceasefire on San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, Wall Street and on the Kennedy expressway into Chicago O’Hare airport, one of the country’s busiest hubs

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    Roads blocked as thousands protest in US against Israel’s attack on Gaza

    The Guardian | Protest -

    Flights delayed and traffic disrupted as protesters in major US cities intensify call for ceasefire in Gaza

    Thousands of people held protests across the US on Monday condemning Israel’s attack on Gaza, shutting down airports and disrupting traffic in major cities from New York to San Francisco.

    A portion of the Kennedy Expressway into Chicago O’Hare international airport, one of the US’s busiest, was blocked off by protesters calling for an end to the violence.

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    Jail for holding a placard? Protest over the climate crisis is being brutally suppressed | Natasha Walter

    The Guardian | Protest -

    The legal repression of activism has been fast and frightening, yet it won’t make protesters disappear and only sows division

    Years ago, when Dr Sarah Benn recognised the scale of the climate crisis, she made sure that she was doing all the right things. She recycled, she went vegan, she stopped flying, she voted Green, she signed petitions. It was because she didn’t see real change happening, despite doing all those things, that she then went further. She glued her hand to a building. She sat down in front of an oil terminal. And she stood on a grass verge with a handwritten sign, saying, “Stop New Oil”.

    Benn’s story will be pretty familiar to anyone with a passing interest in the current wave of climate protest. This wave grew out of deep frustration with existing avenues for change. And it did feel, for a time, as if these protests might be a catalyst for the wider shift that so many people recognised was urgently needed. The marches and sit-downs sparked so much sympathy and curiosity, even with politicians from Michael Gove to Dawn Butler. I remember walking along a street on an Extinction Rebellion march in 2019 and people were cheering from their windows. A big part of all the early protests was outreach, with protesters talking to people on the streets, in communities and workplaces, and finding eager responses.

    Do you have an opinion on the issues raised in this article? If you would like to submit a letter of up to 250 words to be considered for publication, email it to us at observer.letters@observer.co.uk

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    Smuggled protest videos offer a rare glimpse at resistance in occupied Tibet

    Waging Nonviolence -

    This article Smuggled protest videos offer a rare glimpse at resistance in occupied Tibet was originally published by Waging Nonviolence.

    Under the cover of darkness, the monks were evicted. Amid the freezing temperatures of late February, they knelt, prostrated and wept before a group of Chinese police officers, their sacred red robes ablaze against the black state uniforms. 

    In videos captured and sent out of eastern occupied Tibet — an act that in and of itself can warrant jail time — monks and citizens pleaded to protect a life-sustaining river, to preserve their ancient monasteries and to save the tight-knit communities of Derge, in the mountainous Kham region. But by day, and by night, outside of the monasteries and inside the town centers, monks, nuns and residents were arrested one by one. In the following weeks, the list of alleged crimes would run long, but on Feb. 23 more than a thousand Tibetans were arrested for protesting. 

    Drimey, a Tibetan in exile who has asked to be identified by his first name only, watched these videos in horror.  Monks are highly respected in Tibet, but what he saw — desperate people begging on their knees — was saddening, almost denigrating, to someone from a highly reverent culture. Hailing from the town of Wongpo Tok (one of the sites of the arrests), Drimey crossed the Himalayas on foot in 1999 to pursue Tibetan and religious studies not accessible in his home under occupation. Now, he is watching from afar as his community is criminalized, his town is submerged and his religion is desecrated.   

    “I have known those mountains and those roads,” he said through a translator. “I have known everything.”

    About a week before the arrests in early February, just across the mountain from Wongpo Tok, some 300 people gathered outside the Derge County Seat — home to the Chinese Communist Party’s provincial office — to protest the construction of the Kamtok Hydropower project. Slated to straddle the banks of the Drichu River, the headwaters of Asia’s 3,915-mile Yangtze River, the hydropower dam will not only strangle the river’s winding route but forcibly displace thousands of Tibetans. According to a 2019 report from the International Campaign for Tibet, the hydropower project is one of 25 dams set to carve through the Tibetan plateau and generate “clean” electricity. 

    A parallel situation is also unfolding in Amdo county where the Chinese government recently announced plans to relocate the historic Atsok Monastery and surrounding communities to make way for another large-scale hydropower project. Tibetans told Radio Free Asia that in the wake of this news, residents gathered at the monastery to pray while monk leaders were told to accept the relocation plan and promise not to protest.

    “These huge dams are not for Tibetans,” said Dr. Lobsang Yangtso, the programme and environment coordinator at International Tibet Network, a global coalition of Tibet-centered organizations based in Berkeley, California. “It’s a colonial mentality where these resources are to be consumed by mainland China.”

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    Tibet has a long history of nonviolent resistance dating back to 1959, around 10 years after China’s occupation. Under extreme repression, the country’s monasteries have become a driving force behind nonviolent actions including peaceful demonstrations and poster campaigns that, in recent years, have become less frequent given the grave consequences.

    While it’s largely unknown how the February protests were organized, videos sent out of the country have offered a rare glimpse into nonviolent resistance in occupied Tibet in 2024. In video clips, Tibetans can be seen peacefully gathering, chanting and, in some instances, holding up two thumbs — a gesture that expresses an appeal for pity. In others, Tibetans are shown waving the Chinese national flag. According to Tenzin Norgay, a research analyst at International Campaign for Tibet, this was an attempt to show that they are not separatists, as they are likely to be labeled, but simply expressing their concerns and desire to be heard.

    That desire for discussion is internationally known as free, prior and informed consent, or FPIC — a right enshrined in the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and applicable to Tibetans. While this is an imperfect process in much of the world, China has among the highest levels of development-related displacement despite resettlement being labeled as 100 percent voluntary. In the same way that protest is silenced and information restricted under Chinese occupation, “consent” is usually achieved without consultation and through coercion. True FPIC is an “absolute luxury,” said Norgay, and there are few mechanisms through which Tibetans can voice their concern or opposition to state projects and policies. 

    Globally, hydropower projects from Honduras to the Philippines have been a violent frontline for environmental defenders. According to a 2019 study drawing data from the Global Environmental Justice Atlas, resistance to hydropower projects is met with a similar pattern of violence as other extractive industries, including oil and mining. In 2009, six women in Tibet were shot during demonstrations against a hydropower project according to the Tibetan government in exile, now based in Dharamshala, India. In Derge, more recently, some of the charges enumerated by the Chinese government in the wake of these recent demonstrations include fines and imprisonment for protesting against government initiatives, distributing pamphlets and shouting slogans. 

    “When we think of environmental defenders, there is no more visceral scene than hundreds of Tibetans begging on their hands and knees to protect their environment knowing full well that they’re risking arrest and imprisonment,” said Topjor Tsultrim, the communications coordinator at Students for a Free Tibet, an organization that works in solidarity with the Tibetan struggle. “It’s the same issue and the same mindset as defenders in the Amazon coming up against the impossibly large forces of government or corporations.”

    In Derge, as internet access became even more restricted and cell phones were confiscated, arrested Tibetans — including those who had simply enquired about their loved ones — were told to bring their own bedding and tsampa (a barley flour staple). The sheer number of arrests in a single day meant detainees could not be imprisoned in local jails but were sent across occupied Tibet and into China’s Sichuan province. Jail conditions are poor with overcrowded cells, scarce food and, in the winter, a cold that can strike to the bone. In these conditions, one-on-one interrogations are constant and  physical violence — such as  beatings, thrashings and, in extreme cases, torture — is used as a tactic to elicit information.

    According to reports out of Tibet, several detainees were beaten so badly they required hospitalization. The goal of these interrogations is to single out the alleged organizers, Norgay said, and it’s likely officials already have. While there are no specific figures, most detainees are believed to have been released in late March, except for a village official and the administrator of the Wonto monastery.  

    “The Chinese authorities don’t like organizers so I’m expecting they will get around 10 years in prison, maybe even more,” he said. “They are thought of as the ringleaders who are basically revolting against the state.”

    Wonto Monastery in Dege with the Drichu River in the background. (sourced by Students for a Free Tibet)

    Despite the repression that followed these protests, Tibetans — both in the occupied country and in exile — know what is at risk should the hydropower project continue. The Wongpo Tok of Drimey’s memory is one of summertime wildflowers, free-flowing rivers and peaks that stretch towards the sky. It is a place where the farmers cultivate their crops twice a year, where the nomads herd their cattle across the grasslands and where every family has more than a hundred yak and geese. Monasteries are centers of language, culture, religion and education. Lamas are venerated, mountains revered. The Drichu River is a source of life. For Drimey, the community of Wongpo Tok is pleasant, prosperous and alive. But relocation, Drimey said, will destroy the community, as well as knowledge of the land, mountains and waters passed down from one generation to the next. 

    “People have a strong attachment to the land,” Drimey said. “If it goes underwater, they will lose everything forever.” 

    For many communities across Tibet, everything has already been lost. In recent years, Chinese policies operating under the guise of “poverty alleviation” or “ecological restoration” have been leveraged to displace thousands of Tibetans from their ancestral homelands. Two years ago, more than 17,000 people were resettled nearly 250 miles from their community as part of the state’s “very high-altitude ecological relocation plan.” The policy, introduced in 2018, stipulates that by 2025, 130,000 Tibetans will have been relocated. Bused en-masse to government-constructed housing akin to “boxes,” according to Norgay, forced resettlement means the loss of traditional farming knowledge, the erasure of nomadic ways of life and the unmooring of a strongly Buddhist people from the center of their faith.  

    “Tibetan towns are built around monasteries,” Tsultrim said. “They are the heartbeats of the community.”

    While the Wonto Monastery was damaged during China’s Cultural Revolution, locals preserved the ancient murals, some of which date back to the 13th century. (Sourced by Students for a Free Tibet)

    According to reports, the Kamtok Hydropower project is expected to submerge six monasteries, including Wonto, the scene of some of the arrests. These monasteries, long protected and preserved by monks and lamas, are not only the spiritual center of a community but also home to Tibetan Buddhist murals dating back to the 13th century. After China fully occupied Tibet in 1959 and throughout China’s Cultural Revolution, more than 97 percent of monasteries and nunneries were destroyed, according to the 10th Panchen Lama, writing in 1962. The destruction of these ancient monasteries is more than a cultural and religious loss — it’s another means of dismantling what it is to be Tibetan.  

    “For the state, a dam is an important symbol of modernity,” Norgay said. “But for local Tibetans, these cultural artifacts — monasteries and murals — signify their identity.”

    At the heart of that identity is a way of life that for centuries has preserved the delicate balance of the Tibetan plateau and what is often known as the “Third Pole.” Glaciers in Tibet act as a water storage tower for Asia, holding the third-largest store of water ice in the world. This glacial melt then feeds some of south and southeast Asia’s largest rivers, including the Ganges and the Mekong, which around 1.5 billion people rely upon.

    Large-scale dams across Tibet, including the potential Kamtok, also drain the Tibetan plateau to generate electricity. But Tibet is a country on the frontlines of climate change, perhaps more so than any other, as temperatures are rising two to four times higher than the global average. Because of that, glaciers are melting rapidly, threatening the future water supply while below-average rainfall has already impacted China’s current hydropower generation despite the constant construction of more dams.  

    This investment in hydropower, as well as solar and wind, is part of China’s plan to transform itself from the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gasses to a leader in climate change action. By 2030, the Chinese government plans to peak carbon emissions and become carbon neutral by 2060. Alongside clean energy investments, the government has been quietly mining the plateau for minerals such as gold, copper and lithium, which are essential to the green transition. These extractive processes — protected by checkpoints, prohibited for Tibetans and often undertaken at night — can pollute the soil, air and water, said Yangtso from the International Tibet Network. 

    Given that Tibet largely exists in a media blackout and the consequences of sending even a photo out of the region are dire, it’s difficult to monitor the environmental impacts of these projects. But the plundering of resources — from water to lithium — also raises the question: Is climate change mitigation under occupation simply a greenwashing of human rights abuses?

    “There’s no value of the Tibetan people and no respect for traditional knowledge or the ecosystem,” Yangtso said. “The Chinese government just wants to exploit the natural resources as much as possible. They see Tibet as a solution for their global climate goals.”

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    At an international level, the recent protests and human rights abuses have not gone unnoticed. Tibetans in exile, from northern India to London, protested in solidarity with those arrested. Thousands more across Europe and the U.S. joined for Tibetan Uprising Day, which commemorates the lives lost during the 1959 protests against China’s occupation. Thanks to the efforts of organizers, a new bipartisan House resolution recently recognized the 65th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising Day and condemned the human rights violations in Derge.  

    While there is some uncertainty as to whether the Kamtok Hydropower Project will be constructed, organizations have continued their advocacy work through petition writing and lobbying Western governments to pressure China. Meanwhile, the videos captured in Tibet, which people knowingly risked personal safety to send outside of the country, have circulated on social media and in international news. It is this assertion of autonomy under occupation that has not only revealed the cost of protest under repression but served as a reminder that — despite the consequences — there remains power in dissent. 

    “This dam may be built, they may get arrested, but one thing within their control is to get this news out into the world,” Tsultrim said. “To show people that this is the reality of what’s going on inside China’s occupied Tibet, this is the reality for Tibetans.”

    This article Smuggled protest videos offer a rare glimpse at resistance in occupied Tibet was originally published by Waging Nonviolence.

    ‘We’ve built something extraordinary’: six months of UK pro-Palestine marches

    The Guardian | Protest -

    Despite politicians’ criticism and close police scrutiny, Palestine solidarity demonstrations have continued to draw thousands

    It was in late March when Maaria Ahmed found herself driving down the M1 from Leicester to London to join thousands of others calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

    Ahmed, a 31-year-old mother of three, had never been to a protest in the UK before. But, she said, she felt compelled to attend the demonstration along with marchers from across the country, despite her initial anxieties.

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    ‘Revolutions are coming’: who are Youth Demand and what do they want?

    The Guardian | Protest -

    New organisation behind protest outside Keir Starmer’s home have big plans for future political change

    A new organisation calling itself Youth Demand has hit the headlines in recent weeks after spray painting the Labour party headquarters and the Ministry of Defence, as well as staging a protest outside Keir Starmer’s home.

    Rows of children’s shoes were laid at the Labour leader’s front door in Kentish Town, in north London, at the beginning of the week. A banner surrounded by red handprints was hung outside the house he shares with his wife and children, with the words: “Starmer stop the killing.”

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    Susan Sarandon, Olivia Colman and Paul Mescal join star donors of Cinema for Gaza auction

    The Guardian | Protest -

    Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn gives jam as swathe of film and TV celebrities add support, including Zone of Interest’s Jonathan Glazer and Thor’s Tessa Thompson

    A host of film directors and stars, including Susan Sarandon, Paul Mescal and Olivia Colman, have added their names to those offering time and memorabilia to a Cinema for Gaza auction that is raising funds for humanitarian relief in Palestine.

    Joining the celebrities is the former Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn – billed as the star of Sumotherhood, thanks to his cameo in last year’s Adam Deacon urban thriller – who is donating a Zoom poetry reading and a selection of homemade jam.

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    ‘These are crazy stories!’ Riz Ahmed on the south Asian Britons who fought off the far right

    The Guardian | Protest -

    The actor’s new documentary tells the shocking story of pitched street battles against fascists and a furious fight against police violence. He talks about how a community rose up against racist killings

    On a busy high street in Southall in June 1976, people quietly shuffled past a police cordon outside the Victory pub. Behind the tape was a pool of blood that had come from Gurdeep Singh Chaggar, an 18-year-old Sikh teenager who had been stabbed to death during a racist attack in the centre of the south Asian community in west London.

    His death stunned Southall. The idea of white youths coming to their area to kill a Sikh boy seemed unthinkable, but in reality it was part of a sustained campaign of racial violence that spread across the entire country. In his classic book Staying Power, about the history of the Black and south Asian presence in Britain, Peter Fryer estimated that, between 1976 and 1981, 31 people had been murdered by racists in Southall, Brick Lane, Swindon, Manchester and Leeds.

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    ‘We are not the arena to solve a Middle East conflict’: Sweden braced for a politically charged Eurovision

    The Guardian | Protest -

    Israel’s inclusion in the lineup while war rages in Gaza may lead to the most controversial contest ever

    Behind pink metal barriers at Malmö’s Folkets park, with signs of spring emerging from the flower beds, pictures of Abba’s Agnetha and Anni-Frid watch over proceedings as the area is transformed into “Eurovision village”. Somewhat fortuitously, after Loreen’s win in Liverpool last year, the southern Swedish city is preparing to host the contest in the 50th anniversary year of Abba’s breakthrough 1974 Eurovision-winning performance in Brighton of Waterloo.

    When proceedings for “Eurovision week” kick off on 4 May before the grand final at the Malmö Arena seven days later, Sweden will be hoping to present a vision of peace and joy to a bitterly fractured world from its third largest and fastest growing city.

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    Gender-critical activists and pro-transgender groups clash in Edinburgh

    The Guardian | Protest -

    Let Women Speak leader says rally aimed to test Scotland’s new hate crime legislation, Telegraph reports

    Gender-critical activists and counter-protesters clashed in Edinburgh in a dispute over transgender rights.

    Let Women Speak (LWS), an organisation described by supporters as a “gender-critical feminist” campaign, led a rally outside the Royal Scottish Academy in the Scottish capital on Saturday.

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    Tens of thousands protest in Hungary against Viktor Orbán’s government

    The Guardian | Protest -

    Former ruling party insider Péter Magyar leads march to parliament building in Budapest

    Tens of thousands of people have turned out in downtown Budapest to protest against the government of Viktor Orbán.

    Protesters marched to parliament in the unusually warm spring weather, some of them shouting “We are not scared” and “Orbán, resign”.

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    Outcry after Michigan university announces plan to restrict protest rights

    The Guardian | Protest -

    University of Michigan president Santa J Ono proposes ‘disruptive activity policy’ after pro-Palestinian group cuts his speech short

    The University of Michigan is facing backlash from students, faculty and civil rights attorneys following a proposal to significantly restrict the right to protest on campus.

    The “disruptive activity policy”, announced last week in a campus-wide email from the university president, Santa J Ono, would create strict punishments for anyone who interrupts official university events, including speeches, classes, athletic events, field trips, performances, graduation and award ceremonies.

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