All News Feeds

Revolution in France: an eyewitness account - archive, 7 August 1830

The Guardian | Protest -

7 August 1830: The July revolution in Paris saw the overthrow of the Bourbon monarchy and the birth of the modern uprising

We communicated in a second edition, last week, the fact of an insurrection having taken place in Paris, in consequence of the arbitrary and tyrannical decrees of the King; and we now furnish such details of that insurrection, and of the memorable consequences resulting from it, as we have been able to collect from the London newspapers.

Related: Insurrection in Paris: attempt at a new revolution - archive, 1832

“Vengeance! – Liberté! – A bas le Roi! – Vive la Charte! – Vive l’Empereur! – Vive Napoléon II! – La Mort à Polignac! – La Mort à Peyronnet! – Liberté ou la Mort!”

Continue reading...

Racism in Britain: the time for denial is over | Letters

The Guardian | Protest -

Readers respond to an interview with the footballer Danny Rose in which he recounted the racism he has suffered, and to the Guardian’s Young, British and Black interviews with 50 of those behind the UK’s anti-racism protests in recent months

In the context of Black Lives Matter, I have read little that is more shameful and quietly eloquent than your interview with Danny Rose (Tottenham’s Danny Rose tired of police stopping him to ask if car is stolen, 3 August). Danny is right: nothing will change, because sexism and racism seem so ingrained in some institutions as to be hardly worthy of notice. After all, institutional racism does not exist in the Metropolitan police according to its commissioner, Cressida Dick, nor elsewhere according to some government advisers.

Let us imagine that Harry Kane, say, was stopped, searched and breathalysed, with no proper cause, or questioned on the propriety of his sitting in a first-class carriage – it would be front-page news and the commentariat would be up in arms.

Continue reading...

A year on from a devastating siege, Kashmir is being turned into a colony | Mirza Waheed

The Guardian | Protest -

Since erasing the region’s special status India is selling off its rich land and mineral rights – and crushing all dissent

  • Mirza Waheed is a novelist and essayist

I’m sure many people have heard of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina. It’s a movement of Argentinian women who staged a silent protest against the disappearance of their children during the military dictatorships of the 1970s and 80s.

From 1977 to about 2006, they gathered at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires and wore white headscarves embroidered with the names and dates of birth of their children – demanding answers from the state. It was a bleak form of protest, but it succeeded in getting the generals and police officers prosecuted and punished for crimes against humanity.

Local law is frozen. An astonishing 99% of habeas corpus pleas since last August are pending

Related: Modi's brutal treatment of Kashmir exposes his tactics – and their flaws | Arundhati Roy

Continue reading...

Husband of LA district attorney charged after pointing gun at Black Lives Matter protesters

The Guardian | Protest -

David Lacey, whose wife Jackie Lacey is running for re-election, has been charged with multiple firearm assaults

The husband of the Los Angeles district attorney has been charged with multiple firearm assaults after he pointed a gun at Black Lives Matter activists and said, “I will shoot you.”

David Lacey, whose wife Jackie Lacey is the elected prosecutor currently running for re-election, is facing three misdemeanor charges for pointing his firearm at three organizers who were protesting outside their house on 2 March, the day before the primary election. The charges come from the state attorney general’s office.

Related: Los Angeles sheriff's department faces a reckoning after another police shooting

Continue reading...

Unlike the pandemic, nuclear war can be stopped before it begins

Waging Nonviolence -

Nuclear weapons have been posing a threat to humanity for 75 years — ever since the U.S. bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

These days, our focus is understandably on the COVID-19 virus and the threat it poses to human life. But as we commemorate the anniversary of these bombings, it is important to acknowledge that unlike the coronavirus, nuclear weapons can only be remediated with prevention. Millions of people could be killed if a single nuclear bomb were detonated over a large city, and the added threats of radiation and retaliation could endanger all life on Earth.

As political and socioeconomic instabilities grow, the risk of nuclear conflicts and even a global nuclear war is growing by the day. In fact, the world’s nuclear-armed countries spent a record $73 billion on their arsenal of weapons of mass destruction last year, almost half of that sum represented by the United States, followed by China. Mobilizing global action for the abolition of nuclear weapons — to safeguard health, justice and peace — is more important now than ever.

“When societies become more unstable, all forms of violence become more likely,” says Rick Wayman, CEO of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. “We, as individuals and as humanity, must overcome the root causes that have led to the past 75 years of nuclear weapons [development]. Absent this, we will continue to have national leaders that cling to nuclear weapons.”

Previous Coverage
  • What will it take to ban the bomb?
  • The dangerous choice that is still being made by some government leaders of nuclear-armed nations has been threatening the world’s population for decades. But the global health threat presented by nuclear war can be stopped before it begins. And the way to do it is through the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, or TPNW, which has been the focal point of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

    The road to nuclear disarmament

    Today, nine countries possess nuclear weapons — the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea — and it is estimated that they possess almost 15,000 nuclear warheads in total. Yet another report shows that 22 countries currently have one kilogram or more of weapons-usable nuclear materials, compared to 32 nations six years ago.

    On July 7, 2017, the TPNW was adopted by the United Nations as a multilateral, legally-binding instrument for nuclear disarmament. However, the treaty will only enter into force and prohibit the development, testing and use of nuclear weapons worldwide once 50 nations have signed and ratified it. That’s what the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN, is working hard to achieve.

    Meet the people behind the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, who are taking big steps toward a global ban on such weapons (Flickr/Ari Beser/ICAN).

    ICAN is a coalition of non-governmental organizations in over 100 countries that won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 for its efforts to achieve a global nuclear weapons ban treaty. They have been working to raise public awareness about the catastrophic consequences of weapons of mass destruction, while persuading decision-makers and mobilizing citizens to pressure their governments to sign and ratify the TPNW — a treaty that they have managed to bring forward after years of advocacy meetings at the United Nations and in national parliaments.

    Daniel Högsta, ICAN’s campaign coordinator, says the TPNW is “the most promising new vehicle for changing attitudes and the political status quo around nuclear weapons.” He adds that residents and leaders of cities and towns “have a special responsibility and obligation to speak out on this issue” for nuclear disarmament, given that these places are the main targets of nuclear attacks.

    ICAN developed a Cities Appeal initiative and a #ICANSave online campaign, to encourage local authorities to lead the way in supporting the treaty, building momentum for national governments to sign and ratify it. This is usually done through council resolutions, official statement or press releases from municipal authorities communicating their support for the global ban treaty, sometimes including nuclear weapons divestment commitments.

    “We have been very excited by the positive responses from cities all around the world,” Högsta said. “We have just surpassed 300 cities and towns that have joined [the ICAN appeal], which includes municipalities of all sizes, from huge metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, Berlin, Sydney, Paris and Toronto, to small but nevertheless committed towns.”

    These steps are not only fast tracking the success of the TPNW, explains Högsta, but it is also challenging the assumption that local politicians cannot influence foreign policy decisions. In the United States, for example, many city leaders have joined the ICAN appeal and committed to divest public pension funds from nuclear weapons companies, although President Trump has not yet shown the same interest.

    The humanitarian appeal

    The ruins of central Hiroshima after the nuclear attack in 1945. (U.S. National Archives)

    The cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were completely destroyed by the nuclear bombs dropped over Japan, which killed more than 200,000 people immediately and injured countless others. Those who survived suffered long-term health effects such as cancers and chronic diseases due to the exposure to radiation. Yet their story remains very much alive.

    Some hibakusha people — survivors of the atomic bombings from 75 years ago — have partnered with ICAN to share their testimonies and make sure the world does not forget about the catastrophic consequences of nuclear conflicts. Setsuko Thurlow, one of the survivors and an anti-nuclear activist, has been sending letters to government leaders worldwide to encourage them to join the TPNW. She sent a letter to Donald Trump last month.

    Doctors around the world have also been warning about the dreadful consequences of potential nuclear conflicts amid the coronavirus pandemic, given that health professionals and facilities are already overwhelmed. A recent study showed that a limited nuclear exchange between just two countries, like India and Pakistan, would be enough to cause a global disaster in food production and natural ecosystems. That’s why these weapons must not be used and countries should commit to banning them once and for all, before irreversible damage to humanity and the planet is done.

    Fortunately, this is close to being achieved. Chuck Johnson, director of nuclear programs at the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, ICAN’s founding organization, says that 82 nations have already signed the TPNW and 40 have ratified it. That means only 10 more ratifications are needed for the global ban treaty to enter into force.

    The world has never been so close to abolishing nuclear weapons and there’s hope this may be achieved by the end of this year. After all, the pandemic is teaching government leaders about the need to put humanity at the center of security plans.

    The role of peace education

    The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is a partner organization of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Yet their focus has been on training people in peace literacy.

    Wayman says that to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons — and free of other serious problems such as wars, mass shootings, racism and sexism — we need to look at the root causes of why our society continues to embrace these forms of violence. And it all comes down to non-physical human needs, such as belonging, self-worth and transcendence. “If people can’t find healthy ways of fulfilling them, they will find unhealthy ways,” Wayman said.

    #support-block_5f298f21e0e48 { background: #ECECEC; color: #000000; } Support Us

    Like the movements we cover, Waging Nonviolence depends on grassroots support. Become a sustaining member today and get a WNV tote.

    Support

    He believes that peace literacy can give people “the tools they need to recognize, address and heal the root causes of these serious problems plaguing societies around the world.” That is crucial because if people do not confront the root causes of violence and engage in healthy and peaceful relations with themselves and others, nuclear weapons may not be entirely abolished.

    Take slavery for example. Most countries in the world passed laws to abolish slavery in the 19th or 20th centuries, but slavery-like working conditions and forced labor are still reported nowadays. That’s because racism and other unhealthy, violent forms of human relations have not ceased to exist and oftentimes are not discouraged by individuals, organizations or politicians.

    Therefore, passing laws to ban nuclear weapons is an important step, but it is probably not enough to end this public health threat. Educating people, across all levels of society, about the importance of doing no harm and practicing nonviolence is fundamental for building a future where peace, not war, is the status quo.

    Given the immense challenges our global society is facing today, especially in terms of health, it is time to mobilize for nuclear disarmament. As Setsuko Thurlow, a hibakusha, said in her letter to President Trump: “Every second of every day, nuclear weapons endanger everyone we love and everything we hold dear. Is it not yet the time for soul searching, critical thinking and positive action about the choices we make for human survival?”

    The evolution of Extinction Rebellion

    The Guardian | Protest -

    In its first year of existence, XR transformed the global conversation around the climate crisis. But then it was gripped by internal conflicts about its next steps. Can the movement reinvent itself for the post-pandemic world? By Matthew Taylor

    In November 2017, Roger Hallam looked up from his cup of tea in a central London cafe and made a bold prediction. He had been walking me through the principles behind a new air pollution campaign he was organising, which involved small groups of activists blocking some of London’s busiest junctions, when he paused, mid-sentence. “Of course, this is just small-scale stuff compared to what is coming,” Hallam said. “The scale of the ecological crisis is a different thing. It is going to change everything.”

    The air pollution campaign, Stop Killing Londoners, had yet to gain traction with politicians or the media, but Hallam didn’t seem too concerned. He explained that it was partly being used to “road-test” civil disobedience tactics. “Within a year or so we will have thousands of people on the streets, blocking large parts of central London for days on end,” he said. “Hundreds will be arrested and the government will be forced to sit down and tell the truth about the climate emergency.”

    Related: A fortnight with Extinction Rebellion – in pictures

    Related: The sound of icebergs melting: my journey into the Antarctic

    Continue reading...

    We can’t ‘fix’ policing or prison — but we can decide how to create actual safety

    Waging Nonviolence -

    “Prison By Any Other Name” is a new book that shows how many alternatives to prison in recent years have still reinforced and extended mass incarceration. It comes as a new wave of reforms are being proposed following the George Floyd protests, and activists are calling to defund the police. The book is written by two prominent journalists ― Maya Schenwar, editor-in-chief of Truthout, and Victoria Law, co-founder of Books Through Bars-NYC and longtime editor of the women’s prison zine Tenacious. (Both are also connected with Waging Nonviolence, with Schenwar serving as an advisory board member and Law as a columnist and contributor.)

    Cautioning against any quick-fix solutions and spotlighting those doing grassroots movement building, the book includes many powerful stories from those impacted — including a Black mother who is on electronic monitor, an Asian American trans person who spent time in a mental institution and a young African American girl who was disciplined by her school for her clothing. While not confined to a formal prison setting, they were all a part of the same system that enforces white supremacy, isolation, control and surveillance.   

    This is an unapologetically abolitionist book. It includes examples of those working on the ground to create other options than prison, such as organizations like the Icarus Project, Just Practice, Visible Voices, Sero Project, Safe OUTside the System and Creative Interventions. In place of militarized police and a war economy, they seek systems for de-escalating violence, healing past trauma and investing in our communities. I spoke to the authors about what we can learn from this book at this critical moment in time. 

    What inspired you to team up to write this book? 

    Victoria: We were both growing increasingly concerned about bipartisan proposals for reform, many of which basically proposed to slightly reduce mass incarceration and then offer prison “alternatives” that looked much like prison. Both of us had observed this phenomenon in policy, in our journalism and through personal experience. I had been reporting for years on women’s criminalization and incarceration ― and their resistance. 

    Through my reporting, I noticed a disturbing trend in which some of the most popular reforms widen the carceral net to include people (of all genders) who might previously not have been incarcerated or punished. But these alternatives often come with a long set of rules and restrictions with heavy punishment for even the most minor infraction. 

    I myself had been on probation as a teenager, a time when technology had not caught up. Had technology existed to monitor my every movement under the threat of imprisonment for the smallest rule violation, I recognize that, far from an alternative, probation would have been a more circuitous pathway to imprisonment.  

    In this current moment, we’re seeing how politicians have turned demands to defund the police into shell games.

    Maya: Yes, we were both observing this ongoing trend of reforms being implemented that did not change the fundamentally racist, punitive, surveillance-oriented nature of the system. In my own life, I had long been witnessing my sister being funneled in and out of jail and prison ― and then into other harsh systems like electronic monitoring, locked down drug treatment, probation and more, all of which served to punish her and deepen her addiction to heroin. 

    At the same time, many of those I’d interviewed about their experiences in prison had ended up right back in prison, thanks to extensions of the prison-industrial complex like probation, the sex offender registry, predictive policing and more. It became clear that focusing solely on mass incarceration didn’t create a full picture of the vastness of this system. 

    This book was written before the George Floyd uprisings. How does it anticipate and speak to the current calls to defund the police? 

    Victoria: We’re in a momentous time where we’re seeing demands to defund and abolish the police, not simply to reform via body cameras, sensitivity training and diversity hires. We’re optimistic and cautious. While reporting for our book, we’ve seen how demands for decarceration have led to reforms that are kinder, gentler ways of expanding the carceral system. Some of these reforms ― such as locked down mental health and drug treatment ― are near-exact replicas of incarceration which don’t address underlying causes, such as trauma and violence, and don’t promote safety. Other reforms expand the prison into our homes and communities ― via community or neighborhood policing, electronic monitoring and school policing. 

    We have to remember that organizing towards abolition and safety takes many forms.

    In this current moment, we’re seeing how politicians have turned demands to defund the police into shell games. In New York City, for instance, organizers have demanded a $1 billion cut to police ― and that those funds be put into community resources. Instead, the City Council shifted several hundred million dollars ― and police officers ― from the NYPD to the Department of Education so that, at the start of the school year, those same school police officers will report to work, but be paid by the Department of Education rather than the NYPD. That’s one stark example ― as demands to defund the police continue and grow louder, I’m sure we’ll see other reforms that ostensibly address these demands, but instead reinforce the policing system, a pattern that we’ve already seen in some of the reforms to reduce mass incarceration.

    How have new forms of state surveillance been a repackaging of mass incarceration? How have they impacted marginalized communities? 

    Maya: The reforms that we discuss in our book ― from electronic monitoring to mandated treatment, from data-driven policing to sex offender registries ― have done nothing to uproot the structures of white supremacy and capitalism that gave rise to mass incarceration. Instead, they present themselves as “replacements.” Instead of confining people in a literal cage, for example, electronic monitoring works to turn your home into a cage. People on electronic monitoring are effectively on house arrest, not allowed to leave ― on penalty of incarceration ― except for preapproved departures. One of the people we interviewed could not even take her garbage out for fear of activating her monitor.

    Building a society in which people’s needs are met, where they can not only survive, but thrive, is crucial to abolition.

    All of these “alternatives” still disproportionately impact Black, Brown and Native communities — as well as trans people, disabled people, drug users and other marginalized groups — because these are the communities that our systems of criminalization were set up to target. 

    What I most appreciate in your book are the many voices of people directly impacted by mass incarceration. Can you describe how the experiences of some of the individuals you interviewed show how prisons and the alternatives to prison have failed? 

    Victoria: Again and again, people told us about the myriad ways that the rules and regulations prevented them from participating in family and community life while doing nothing to address the root causes of their criminalization. Let’s look at mandated drug treatment, for instance: one woman told us that, when her father was diagnosed with a terminal illness, the drug treatment center would not give her permission to leave to visit him. Because she was in drug treatment as an alternative to incarceration, leaving would have resulted in her being jailed ― which eventually happened after she had had enough and left. Like jails and prisons, the program removed even the most basic autonomy, such as how many socks and underwear people could have. At the same time, many do not offer ways for people to explore the underlying traumas and root causes of substance use.

    An important aspect of this book is the inclusion of women and queer people who are often overlooked in other books about mass incarceration. Could you say something about how their stories give us special insight into the prison system? 

    Maya: I would say the majority of the people we interviewed were women, trans or nonbinary people. There’s a misconception that almost everyone affected by these systems is a cis man. That’s not true for jails and prisons, and it’s even more false when it comes to many of the so-called “alternatives” and extensions we cover in our book. Ten percent of incarcerated people are women, but 25 percent of people on probation are women ― partly because women are more likely to be convicted of small-time offenses like drug possession and theft. 

    If violence and oppression are entrenched in institutions, you can’t try to mold them to be something different.

    Another example is the child “welfare” system, which ostensibly protects children from alleged neglect and abuse by placing their parents ― disproportionately Black and Indigenous parents ― under heightened surveillance, under threat of removing their children. In reality, it is another extension of the prison-industrial complex. Very often allegations of neglect, which comprise the majority of cases, stem from poverty: Children don’t have enough to eat, adequate housing, adequate clothing and parents are blamed for their poverty. They’re investigated and sometimes their children are torn from them ― and of course, the vast majority of parents and caregivers who are most impacted are women.

    Women are often in a uniquely difficult position to meet the strict, harsh requirements of surveillance regimens (like probation and electronic monitoring), because most women entrapped in these systems are mothers and have caregiving responsibilities. That makes them vulnerable to being incarcerated, because incarceration tends to be the penalty for violating the conditions of probation and other alternatives.

    Also, we recognize the fact that most women entrapped in the legal system are survivors. This manifests in all kinds of ways, but one that we draw attention to is within the child “welfare” system. One mother that we interviewed had her four children taken away because she called a domestic violence hotline for help. She was trying to find support in getting away from her abuser ― instead, authorities came to remove her children, saying their home was unsafe.

    #support-block_5f1f8ff8632ff { background: #ECECEC; color: #000000; } Support WNV

    Become a Waging Nonviolence member today at $5/month and get a T-shirt or tote bag featuring movement logos and icons past and present.

    Support

    I encourage people to read all the way to the end of the book. The last chapter is really my favorite. It’s about how organizations and individuals are doing the difficult day-to-day work of transforming their communities. What are some of the tactics and strategies they employ to make change?  

    Victoria: Across the country, groups are working towards community safety. The Safe Neighborhoods Campaign in central Brooklyn, for instance, invites business owners to make their stores into safe spaces for queer and trans people. The campaign trains them not only in recognizing queer and transphobic violence, but also in de-escalation techniques. The campaign not only centers the safety of queer and trans people of color, but also pushes business owners (and employees) to imagine themselves as people who can ensure others’ safety. Participating business owners reported being better equipped to deal with immediate violence ― for example, one coffee shop owner reported witnessing a young woman fleeing a group of boys chasing her down the street. The shop owner let her in, locked the door, and got in touch with her parents to ensure the girl was able to get home safely.

    We get to decide how to actually create safety and reduce harm and violence in our communities.

    We also describe the Build the Block pilot project implemented by Rachel Herzing in a neighborhood in Oakland. Herzing supported neighbors in developing alternatives to 911 ― since so often, 911 results in the presence of police, which can lead to police violence. One strategy they used was to develop a detailed directory of the needs of all the neighbors, and the skills and resources they could offer. For example, neighbors could share that they had young children, lived with an elderly parent with dementia, had certain mental health conditions, etc. And then they could share if they were an EMT, or were trained in harm reduction, or knew de-escalation techniques, or had a whole range of other skills to offer. This paved the way for neighbors being able to call each other ― people they knew and cared about ― in many situations, instead of calling the police.

    We have to remember that organizing towards abolition and safety takes many forms. To paraphrase Ruth Wilson Gilmore, who we interviewed for our book, organizing for farm workers’ rights and environmental justice are steps away from mass incarceration. Building a society in which people’s needs are met, where they can not only survive, but thrive, is crucial to abolition. 

    Why is it important to uphold prison abolition in this moment? How can abolition provide ways for us ― as families, as neighbors and community members ― to find nonviolent ways to keep our communities safe? 

    Maya: Abolition is the only way forward. Recent acts of police violence (in cities that have already done police reform, like Minneapolis) and the ensuing uprisings have again brought to the fore the fact that the police cannot be made nonviolent. The U.S. police grew out of slave patrols and genocidal vigilante groups; they are an inherently violent, racist and oppressive force. Prisons, too, are descendants of slavery and genocide. And they are torture chambers, no matter how you dress them up; caging a human being is an inherently violent act.

    If violence and oppression are entrenched in institutions, you can’t try to mold them to be something different. Would you try to “fix” war, to make it nonviolent? So, we can’t fix policing or prison.

    But this opens up all kinds of exciting opportunities. We get to decide how to actually create safety and reduce harm and violence in our communities. People are doing this already in all kinds of ways, all over the country, in specific organizing projects but also just in daily life. So of course, now is a moment when it’s possible to get involved in some really exciting organizing work ― around defunding the police, around getting police out of schools, around creating real paths to safety. Plus, it’s a moment when we can particularly lift up all those lifegiving priorities that have been getting the short end of the stick ― like health care, education, housing. All of those priorities that would be well-resourced if we were to stop pouring funds into war and police and prisons and prison-like institutions.

    Coronavirus US: bailout funding deadlocked as urgent talks resume in Washington - live

    The Guardian | Protest -

    3.38pm BST

    Trump is atwitter this morning, airing his usually stream of mixed-caps and all-caps grievances against political enemies, real and perceived.

    In his latest missile about the coronavirus pandemic, Trump attacked two of the nation’s most prominent female leaders responsible for navigating the coronavirus pandemic: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Dr Deborah Birx, who leads the White House’s coronavirus task force.

    So Crazy Nancy Pelosi said horrible things about Dr. Deborah Birx, going after her because she was too positive on the very good job we are doing on combatting the China Virus, including Vaccines & Therapeutics. In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait & hit us. Pathetic!

    3.00pm BST

    Donald Trump has once again said the quiet part out loud.

    In a tweet reacting to a decision by Nevada state lawmakers to allow mail in ballots to be sent to all active voters ahead of the November election, Trump said the legislation “made it impossible for Republicans to win the state”.

    In an illegal late night coup, Nevada’s clubhouse Governor made it impossible for Republicans to win the state. Post Office could never handle the Traffic of Mail-In Votes without preparation. Using Covid to steal the state. See you in Court! https://t.co/cNSPINgCY7

    2.46pm BST

    Texas congresswoman Veronica Escobar, who represents El Paso, has released a statement on the one year anniversary of what was the deadliest attack on Hispanics in the US in modern history.

    I’m posting her statement in full, including the names of the 23 victims killed. I encourage everyone to read our piece by Claudia Tristán, who spoke to the congresswoman.

    2.35pm BST

    Hello! Lauren Gambino in Washington, taking over for Martin.

    We’re keeping on eye on Capitol Hill, where negotiations over a new coronavirus relief package appear at a standstill.

    Campaign Manager @BillStepien: Joe Biden is “an empty vessel of the Radical Left” pic.twitter.com/zxREmywTjM

    2.13pm BST

    Two weeks ago, my life as I knew it changed in an instant. And my family will never be the same. A madman, who I believe was targeting me because of my position as a federal judge, came to my house.

    So begins an incredibly powerful video statement released this morning by Judge Esther Salas, recalling the 19 July shooting at her house which killed her son and injured her husband.

    1.40pm BST

    Domenico Montanaro has a piece over at NPR looking at the latest polling for November with a blistering opening: “It’s hard to believe that the hole president Trump dug for himself could get deeper, but it has.”

    Montanaro says:

    A record and widening majority of Americans disapprove of the job he’s doing when it comes to handling the coronavirus pandemic; he gets poor scores on race relations; he’s seen a suburban erosion despite efforts to win over suburban voters with fear; and all that has led to a worsened outlook for Trump against Democrat Joe Biden in the presidential election. As a result, in the past month and a half, the latest NPR analysis of the Electoral College has several states shifting in Biden’s favor, and he now has a 297-170 advantage over Trump with exactly three months to go until Election Day.

    1.35pm BST

    I mentioned earlier about Republicans being keen to use Joe Biden’s VP pick as an attack line, and senior advisor to the Trump campaign Jason Miller was doing just that last night, trying to ramp up the stakes by describing the choice as “his political living will”

    “He’s already said he’s going to be a transition candidate on to the next generation. He’s refused to say that he would run for a second term, so it really does matter who is picked” Miller told Fox News on Sunday.

    1.07pm BST

    Continued concerns about the health of Ruth Bader Ginsburg have reignited the discussion around what happens around appointments to the Supreme Court during an election year. Sahil Kapur has been looking at this for NBC News this morning, and quoting some combative Democratic Party words over the prospect of there being a tussle over appointments in what are potentially the last months of the current administration.

    Sen. Tim Kaine is quoted as saying “We knew basically they [Republicans] were lying in 2016, when they said, ‘Oh, we can’t do this because it’s an election year.’ We knew they didn’t want to do it because it was President Obama.”

    12.42pm BST

    It is the anniversary of the mass shooting that killed 23 people last year in the Texas border town of El Paso. Claudia Tristán has been there for us as the Hispanic community remembers the tragic loss of life, and the impact of the attack.

    A year on it still pains people in El Paso that race was allegedly a leading motive for the suspect, who survived and is now awaiting trial on federal hate crimes, which he denies. The shooting was crushing. But also infuriating, firstly because El Paso had become one of the cities caught up in Donald Trump’s battle against migrants and asylum seekers crossing the border into the US, drawing negative attention. Secondly, because key figures ignored the racial element of the attack.

    12.08pm BST

    The timetable may have slipped a little, but we are expecting Joe Biden to announce his VP pick possibly as soon as this week, maybe next week - and Annie Linskey has written about the situation for the Washington Post this morning.

    It’s a fascinating piece looking at how the wide field and lengthy selection process has, as she puts it, allowed “Trump’s campaign an opening to dig up dirt and launch attacks on potential rivals.”

    The increasing nastiness is fueled by a sense, even among Biden’s closest advisers, that Biden is entering the final phase of the search without a clear favorite. Rather than a traditional “shortlist” of three candidates, people close to the process expect him to interview five or six finalists for the position.

    Several people interviewed said the delay has intensified currents, many of them sexist, that have been swirling for weeks. The resulting backbiting risks inflaming divisions within the party that complicated the 2016 campaign — but that Biden has worked to coalesce since locking down the nomination in the spring.

    11.57am BST

    The coronavirus pandemic may have disrupted campaigning for November’s election, and it has also had an impact on activist groups trying to raise awareness in the US of the climate emergency gripping the planet. The US is currently experiencing the two extremes of Hurricane Isaias on the east coast, and raging wildfires on the west coast.

    Lauren Aratani has written for us today about how young activists are adapting their tactics to get the message across during a pandemic and at a time when the Black Lives Matter protest movements have heightened awareness of racial injustices.

    Related: With big rallies cancelled, young climate activists are adapting election tactics

    11.51am BST

    Auction site Moments In Time has been generating a lot of publicity this morning about the planned sale of a hand-written letter from civil rights icon Rosa Parks which mentions Rev. Martin Luther King Jr in the course of it.

    Priced at $54,000, the letter, dated 6 October 1981, was sent to a Mr. Kessler more than a decade after King’s assassination.

    11.18am BST

    One company that the coronavirus bailout measures could be coming too late for is Lord & Taylor, one of America’s oldest department stores, which has filed for bankruptcy.

    Established in 1826, Lord & Taylor has long been a trailblazing brand. We are America’s oldest department store, the first to offer personal shopping, the first to open a branch store – and the first to have a female president. Today, we announced our search for a new owner who believes in our legacy and values. Part of our announcement also includes filing for Chapter 11 protection to overcome the unprecedented strain the Covid-19 pandemic has placed on our business. This strategy is part of our fierce commitment to preserve a nearly 200-year-old brand that has served local communities and loyal customers for generations.

    11.06am BST

    Slow, grinding negotiations on a huge Covid-19 relief bill are set to resume, reports Andrew Taylor in Washington for the Associated Press. The path forward, though, promises to be a challenge.

    Both the Trump administration team and top Democrats reported some progress over the weekend, even as they highlighted their differences.

    10.56am BST

    Good morning, welcome to our live coverage of US politics, the Black Lives Matter protest movement and the coronavirus crisis for today

    Continue reading...

    Berlin protests against coronavirus rules divide German leaders

    The Guardian | Protest -

    Up to 20,000 demonstrated against restrictions, raising fears of a rise in infections

    German leaders are divided over whether to restrict the rights of demonstrators, after tens of thousands of people who took to the streets of Berlin at the weekend failed to abide by hygiene and distancing rules.

    According to officials, up to 20,000 people took part in demonstrations against the government’s coronavirus restrictions at different locations across Berlin on Saturday, amalgamating for a joint rally later in the day. Organisers said up to 1.3 million people took part, a figure that police denied.

    Related: Coronavirus world map: which countries have the most Covid-19 cases and deaths?

    Continue reading...

    Will Trump actually pull federal agents from Portland? – video explainer

    The Guardian | Protest -

    Federal agents accused of behaving like an 'occupying army' are said to be pulling out of Portland, Oregon, in an embarrassing climbdown by the White House, but many protesters are sceptical over whether the agents will actually withdraw from the city.

    The force, which have been dubbed by some as 'Donald Trump’s troops', were sent in by the president a month ago to end what he called 'anarchy' during Black Lives Matter protests sparked after the police killing of George Floyd.

    The Guardian's Chris McGreal looks at what Trump was hoping to gain by sending paramilitaries into the city, if and how they will leave, and how their presence has fuelled anger among most residents

    Continue reading...

    Listen to the young voices of the Black Lives Matter movement | Letters

    The Guardian | Protest -

    Readers respond to the Young, British and Black special report and interviews

    Your necessary airing of the views of young black Britons (Young, British and Black, 29 July) raises vital questions. What is important is what can be done to make their lives better. I have two adopted African-Caribbean children and have regularly discussed their experiences with them and I have found that authorities are supportive if problems are drawn to their attention.

    My son was bullied by older children on his way home from primary school. When we took this up with the head, action was so effective that it stopped instantly. At secondary school a teacher used a racist insult and, instead of discussing it with us, my son wrote to the county education authorities, who contacted the school and the teacher was disciplined (he was later sacked for hitting a pupil).

    Continue reading...

    Serbie : le dernier front des émeutes liées au COVID-19 : Un point de vue anarchiste depuis Belgrade

    Crimethink -

    Aux frontières mêmes de l’Union Européenne, la Serbie est le dernier pays de l’ère du COVID-19 en date au sein duquel l’agitation politique et sociale s’est transformée en une révolte ouverte. Dans ces troubles, comme au début du mouvement des Gilets Jaunes en France, des manifestant·e·s de toute obédience – allant des fascistes et hooligans de clubs de football aux libéraux, gens de gauche et anarchistes – concourent pour déterminer la direction et la forme que prendront les futurs mouvements de protestation. Dans le texte qui suit, des anarchistes de Belgrade décrivent une semaine d’affrontements dans la capitale, en expliquant pourquoi il est important d’empêcher les fascistes d’imposer leur domination lors des affrontements avec les autorités, ainsi que d’empêcher les libéraux de délégitimer ces affrontements comme étant « violents » ou intrinsèquement fascistes.

    Les scènes d’émeutes urbaines et de violences policières ayant fait le tour du monde, nombre d’entre nous, ici en Serbie, ont reçu des messages de camarades s’interrogeant sur la nature des troubles et particulièrement sur leur caractère confus et souvent contradictoire. Nous sommes quelques-un·e·s à être descendu·e·s dans la rue chaque soir depuis le début des manifestations et souhaitons offrir notre point de vue et analyse. Nous ne parlerons que de Belgrade, la situation à Novi Sad et dans les autres villes étant assez différente.

    Les récentes émeutes ont certes été déclenchées par la décision gouvernementale de réintroduire le couvre-feu ainsi que d’autres mesures restrictives en réponse à la nouvelle vague de cas liés au COVID-19, mais la cause véritable tient dans le mécontentement durable et largement répandu envers le régime toujours plus répressif d’Aleksandar Vučić et du SNS (le Parti progressiste serbe). Au tout début de l’épidémie, le régime exhibait lors des conférences de presse un charlatan qui se moquait littéralement du virus, avançant qu’il s’agissait du « virus le plus drôle du monde », et faisant des commentaires sexistes comme quoi les femmes devaient profiter de la pandémie pour aller faire du shopping en Italie. Le virus s’étant propagé, le gouvernement a rapidement dû changer de disque et la Serbie a introduit des mesures parmi les plus sévères d’Europe. Vučić et la Première ministre Brnabić ont nié avoir sous-estimé le virus puis ont accusé à tort les gens ordinaires, donnant aux mesures de confinement un caractère punitif. Dès que le nombre de cas a commencé à baisser début mai, le gouvernement a vite abandonné la plupart des mesures de précaution et a permis un retour à la normale. En moins d’une semaine, les habitant·e·s de Serbie sont passé·e·s d’instructions à ne pas quitter leur logement à des annonces comme quoi ils et elles pouvaient se rendre librement dans les cafés et les bars.

    Le confinement s’est achevé juste avant les élections prévues en juin, élections que les partis d’opposition boycottaient déjà avant la pandémie. Le gouvernement a manipulé les chiffres des morts et des malades jusqu’aux élections. Le parti au pouvoir les a facilement remporté puisque ce dernier n’avait pas vraiment d’adversaire face à lui. Après les élections, la gravité de la situation est devenue évidente. Les infrastructures sanitaires serbes, détériorées après des décennies de négligence, étaient surchargées. Dans les villes les plus durement touchées, comme Novi Pazar, les personnels de santé ont fait savoir qu’ils étaient contraints de soigner des patient·e·s atteint·e·s par le COVID-19 dans les couloirs des hôpitaux par manque d’espace et de moyens. Le président Vučić et la Première ministre Brnabić ont tenu une conférence de presse dans laquelle ils ont remis en question les dires des travailleur·euse·s de la santé en déclarant que les hôpitaux en Serbie étaient aussi bien équipés que les hôpitaux des pays les plus riches d’Europe occidentale pour faire face à l’épidémie.

    Manifestations spontanées : chronologie et composition

    Le prélude aux grandes manifestations spontanées a eu lieu dans la nuit du 2 juillet, quelques jours avant l’annonce du Président Vučić qui a provoqué les troubles. En réponse à la décision d’imposer des mesures de contrôle accrues, y compris celle d’expulser les étudiant·e·s de leurs résidences, de nombreux·euses étudiant·e·s ont manifesté de leurs résidences, situées dans différents quartiers de Belgrade, jusqu’au Parlement, en plein centre-ville.

    Les étudiant·e·s avaient plusieurs raisons d’être en colère. À peine de retour dans leurs résidences après la réouverture des universités, ils et elles découvraient qu’on leur avait menti et qu’ils et elles couraient maintenant le risque d’être renvoyé·e·s chez elleux et de potentiellement mettre en péril les membres de leurs familles. C’est une situation préoccupante dans un pays où de nombreuses personnes vivent au sein de ménages où coexistent plusieurs générations, et tout particulièrement pour les étudiant·e·s originaires des petites villes et des zones rurales qui sont encore moins bien équipées pour faire face à un afflux de nouveaux cas.

    Ces protestations se sont déroulées sans intervention étatique majeure. Pourtant, comme de plus en plus de personnes affluaient dans les rues, un contingent de manifestant·e·s de droite s’est rassemblé, ce qui a entrainé une altercation quand plusieurs étudiantes activistes leur ont demandé de retirer une banderole nationaliste. Après la manifestation, ces activistes ont été victimes de doxxing – divulgation d’informations privées – ainsi que de menaces de viol et de mort sur Internet par des trolls et militants de droite.

    7 juillet

    Quelques heures après les nouvelles annonces du Président Vučić incluant un couvre-feu pendant le weekend, des manifestant·e·s ont commencé à se rassembler devant le Parlement. La majorité d’entre nous ont été informé·e·s de ce rassemblement par le bouche-à-oreille, les autres ayant vu les appels sur Internet. À mon arrivée, plus d’un millier de personnes étaient déjà rassemblées. La foule était composée de gens lambda, de membres de divers mouvements et partis de gauche ou libéraux et, devant, au plus près du Parlement, d’une avant-garde de militant·e·s de droite. Les militant·e·s de droite sont facilement reconnaissables à leurs drapeaux et chants, couramment entendus lors des matchs de foot et autres rassemblements de droite. Vers 22h, les manifestant·e·s occupaient les marches du Parlement et ont commencé à lancer des fusées éclairantes et des feux d’artifice sur le bâtiment ; finalement, certain·e·s manifestant·e·s ont pu entrer dans le bâtiment.

    Beaucoup de monde continuait encore d’arriver sur la place quand la police a fait usage de gaz lacrymogènes. La réponse policière a été brutale ; les forces de l’ordre ont arbitrairement lancé des gaz lacrymogènes sur de nombreux passants, des appartements, et sur d’autres personnes coincées dans la circulation. Les affrontements se sont poursuivis pendant quelques heures pour s’achever vers 3h du matin.

    Bien que de nombreuses personnes aient participé aux affrontements avec la police, la majeure partie d’entre elles provenait des rangs des militants de droite. Les scènes de violence policière se sont rapidement répandues sur les réseaux sociaux et à la télévision, notamment la vidéo d’un homme qui déclare en direct à la télévision qu’il prend part au rassemblement en mémoire à son père qui est mort parce qu’il n’y avait pas assez de respirateurs de disponibles à l’hôpital, ou celle où l’on voit des flics frapper violemment plusieurs personnes assises sur un banc dans un parc.

    Le moment où les gaz lacrymogènes ont été utilisés pour la première fois.

    « Papa, c’est pour toi. »

    8 juillet

    Furieuses des violences policières de la nuit précédente, des milliers de personnes se sont rassemblées le soir suivant autour du bâtiment du Parlement. Cette fois, la police avait significativement renforcé sa présence en ville en déployant des forces anti-émeutes venues d’autres villes, ainsi que la gendarmerie et l’Unité spéciale antiterroriste (SAJ). Les affrontements ont commencé tôt et, de manière prévisible, la répression policière a été encore plus forte que la veille. Des gaz lacrymogènes ont été lancés dans tout le centre-ville et certains atteignirent même la plus grande maternité de la ville.

    Pendant plusieurs heures, la police a continué à repousser violemment les manifestant·e·s du centre-ville vers les quartiers avoisinants. À la fin de la soirée, peu nombreuses étaient les rues aux abords du centre qui n’étaient pas bloquées par des barrages improvisés et constitués en général de bennes à ordures.

    L’extrême-droite était certes de nouveau en première ligne lors des affrontements, mais cette fois, il y avait une atmosphère de révolte généralisée. Cette nuit là, certain·e·s d’entre nous ont croisé des connaissances qui n’avaient rien à voir avec les militant·e·s de droite mais qui prenaient part aux affrontements avec la police, et qui participaient à des actions de destruction de biens.

    Le début des affrontements.

    Des barricades dans un quartier résidentiel.

    9 juillet

    Le troisième jour consécutif de manifestations s’est principalement caractérisé par ce qui peut être considéré comme une réaction libérale à la violence des jours précédents. Cette fois, l’appel principal consistait en un sit-in pacifiste devant le Parlement. Cette idée convenue par les organisateur·rice·s, et soutenue par quelques mouvements et partis politiques, avait pour but de montrer que la majorité des manifestant·e·s étaient pacifiques et ne souhaitaient pas provoquer de violence.

    Une fois de plus, la manifestation était massive mais la plupart des gens ne comprenaient pas bien le but de cette action, à part celui de s’asseoir et de rejeter la « violence ». Certain·e·s d’entre nous ont entendu les commentaires de plusieurs personnes qui étaient agacées qu’on leur répète sans cesse de s’asseoir sur un ton condescendant et péremptoire.

    Ironiquement, certain·e·s manifestant·e·s caressaient les chevaux de la police montée et serraient dans leurs bras ces mêmes policiers qui, lors des deux soirs précédents, avaient frappé les gens sans pitié. Bien que des manifestant·e·s soient parvenus à faire sortir les militant·e·s de droite du périmètre de la manifestation, la plupart des personnes assises ont finalement décidé de partir, faute d’accord pour faire quelque chose de concret comme par exemple occuper la place. Plus tard dans la soirée, quelques militant·e·s de droite sont revenu·e·s sur la place et ont chanté l’hymne national, puis ils et elles ont dansé le kolo – une danse traditionnelle – avant de rentrer chez elleux.

    La police attaque brutalement et au hasard des spectateur·rice·s le 7 juillet.

    Voici les mercenaires vicieux que des manifestant·e·s se décrivant comme « non-violent·e·s » ont serrés dans leurs bras le lendemain.

    10 juillet

    Étant donné l’inefficacité de la manifestation de la veille, on se demandait bien ce qui pourrait arriver ce vendredi soir. Pour la première fois, on distinguait un bloc de gauche incluant quelques groupes avec des banderoles faisant référence aux brutalités policières et au système de santé.

    Une fois de plus, les groupes de droite composaient les éléments les plus déterminés des premières lignes lors des affrontements. Cependant, cette fois-ci, il y a eu une plus grande prévalence de chants qui n’étaient pas explicitement de droite. Dans l’ensemble, l’humeur semblait être à l’affrontement ; lorsque les gens ont commencé à tirer des fusées éclairantes et des feux d’artifice sur le Parlement, il y a eu un mélange de huées et d’acclamations, mais dans l’ensemble, il semble que les gens y étaient plus ou moins favorables. Des manifestant·e·s ont forcé une ligne de police qui défendait le Parlement et ont réussi à atteindre les escaliers, avant que la police ne réplique par des coups et des gaz lacrymogènes. La police a procédé à quelques arrestations et a fini par disperser la foule.

    Le « bloc de gauche » lors des manifestations à Belgrade le 10 juillet. Les banderoles disaient : « États-Unis, France, Monténégro, Serbie – les travailleur·euse·s se lèvent – la police tue » et « De l’argent pour la santé, pas pour la police ».

    Des manifestant·e·s chantant « Va te faire foutre, Vučić. »

    11 juillet

    Un groupe de droite a ramené un podium avec une sono et des enceintes et s’est rassemblé autour d’un prêtre défroqué répandant des théories du complot. Pendant qu’il haranguait son auditoire, la majorité des gens ont quitté la manifestation. Alors que nous faisions de même, l’un·e d’entre nous a entendu quelqu’un·e dire « Allez, attaquons ce putain de Parlement ».

    Plus tard dans la nuit, des policiers anti-émeute et en civil ont brutalement attaqué et arrêté quelques personnes qui étaient restées sur place et qui n’étaient pas pour autant liées aux militant·e·s de droite mentionnés précédemment.

    Quelques réflexion sur la violence

    Depuis le début, le discours de l’État et de la plupart des groupes de l’ensemble du spectre politique se résume à la condamnation de la « violence » commise par des fascistes, l’argument étant que cela discrédite le message mis en avant par la majorité des manifestant·e·s. Mais que souhaite la majorité des manifestant·e·s ? La mauvaise gestion de la crise liée au COVID-19 n’est que le symptôme de quelque chose de beaucoup plus vaste et la composition des manifestations dépeint tout le caractère hybride de l’opposition au régime d’Aleksandar Vučić.

    La droite en fait partie puisque, selon elle, Vučić a renié ses racines d’extrême-droite et à « vendu le Kosovo » vu qu’il est devenu une marionnette de l’Union Européenne/de George Soros/de l’Otan/des migrant·e·s/des reptiliens et de toutes les théories du complot en vogue ce mois-ci. Pour celles et ceux qui ne sont pas familiarisé·e·s avec la situation dans les Balkans, Aleksandar Vučić a mené l’essentiel de sa carrière politique au sein du Parti radical serbe d’extrême-droite. Pendant la période de dissolution de la Yougoslavie, ce parti a été l’un des mouvements politiques les plus virulents et génocidaires de l’époque, portant sur ses épaules la responsabilité de la mort de milliers de personnes. Après cela, Vučić s’est transformé en un « homme politique moderne et pro-européen ». D’autre part, l’opposition libérale au régime de Vučić, quelle que soit sa forme, est largement discréditée pour avoir mis en œuvre les réformes néolibérales qui ont permis à Vučić d’accéder au pouvoir en premier lieu.

    Bien entendu, en tant qu’anarchistes et antiautoritaires, nous rejetons évidemment toutes les options précitées. Aujourd’hui, il semble qu’une bonne partie des manifestant·e·s fait de même. Les deux premiers jours, les quelques politicien·ne·s qui ont essayé de tirer profit de la colère populaire en se montrant dans les manifestations ont été refoulé·e·s ou pris·es à partie. Cela inclue aussi bien les politicien·ne·s d’extrême-droite que les autres leaders d’opposition et ce, quelle que soit leur appartenance politique. Aussi, de notre point de vue, l’attaque de symboles du pouvoir et du capital n’est pas de la violence. La police existant exclusivement pour protéger ces institutions, résister à cette dernière ne peut pas être quelque chose de fondamentalement mauvais. Nous rejetons toute opinion politique qui estampille d’illégitime ou de fasciste le fait d’attaquer de telles structures. Dans le cas des récents troubles, les militant·e·s d’extrême-droite étaient les plus déterminé·e·s à passer à l’action et à attaquer. Nous ne partagerons jamais leurs idées et objectifs et il n’est pas non plus nécessaire de fétichiser leurs actions juste parce qu’ils et elles sont actuellement prêt·e·s et capables d’affronter les structures du pouvoir pour atteindre leurs propres objectifs.

    Se lâcher en direct sur la télévision d’État.

    On a beaucoup parlé de l’utilisation de fascistes et de hooligans par l’État dans le but de provoquer les violences. Il est bien connu qu’en Serbie, l’extrême-droite a de bons rapports avec l’État, la police et les services secrets. Vučić s’en est beaucoup servi pour son accession au pouvoir, ainsi que pendant les années 1990. Y a-t-il eu des provocateurs envoyés dans la foule pour provoquer des violences policières ? Probablement. Ces derniers jours, nous avons entendu parler de nombreux cas où des groupes d’extrême-droite reconnus (comme Levijatan) collaboraient avec la police, et allaient même jusqu’à arrêter et tabasser des personnes en leur nom. Raison de plus pour les combattre – ils ne sont qu’un autre bras de l’État.

    Si ces derniers jours nous ont enseigné une chose, c’est bien de ne pas laisser les fascistes coopter l’action directe. Lors des récentes révoltes au Chili et aux États-Unis nous avons vu que le fait d’affronter directement l’État peut apporter beaucoup, et nous avons vu combien un mouvement peut perdre s’il laisse les politiques de respectabilités libérales le dominer. Nous savons que les anarchistes, antiautoritaires et autres militant·e·s radicaux·ales sont largement resté·e·s chez elleux quand ils et elles ont vu le profil des manifestant·e·s qui se trouvait en première ligne lors des affrontements. Nous connaissons aussi des ami·e·s et camarades qui se sont rendu·e·s aux manifestations, ont agit activement, et ont affronté·e·s d’autres manifestant·e·s, prenant ainsi de nombreux risques.

    À Belgrade, l’extrême-droite a de nombreux liens avec l’État et le capital. Beaucoup de fascistes travaillent dans le secteur de la sécurité privée, possèdent des bars et des cafés ou gèrent d’autres commerces. Tout ceci a créé une situation peu favorable pour que les gens descendent dans la rue en force. Mais nous avons vu qu’il existe une réelle envie de confrontation et que nous devons créer un espace au sein duquel nous pouvons nous préparer aux actions futures.

    Photo de masina.rs.

    Implications et enseignements

    Depuis le début, de nombreux messages de soutien et de solidarité ont été envoyés par d’autres personnes vivant dans la région de l’ex-Yougoslavie. Malgré des différences considérables, c’est la première agitation de grande ampleur dans la région depuis les révoltes de 2014 en Bosnie-Herzégovine. Avec les manifestations qui ont eu lieu en Slovénie, nous ne pouvons qu’espérer que la révolte s’étende dans les Balkans.

    Le consensus évident entre les libéraux et les militant·e·s de droite comme quoi la violence et l’action directe relèvent exclusivement du domaine des fascistes représente le pire aspect des récents événements à Belgrade. Cela est particulièrement dangereux dans la mesure où l’État déclare systématiquement comme « violente » toute action qui constitue pour lui une menace réelle, quelle que soit sa nature, et que plus ce discours est accepté en tant que tel, plus l’État est libre d’employer la violence contre celles et ceux qu’il juge « violent·e·s ». C’est ce qui est apparu clairement lorsque Vučić a qualifié de « terrorisme pur » la tentative ratée des manifestant·e·s pacifiques à Novi Sad de bloquer une autoroute.

    Photo de masina.rs.

    Outre le fait que chaque acte de désobéissance et de rejet envers l’autorité étatique peut être libérateur, un autre aspect positif de ces événements a été que la majorité des manifestant·e·s ont réagi avec dégoût aux chants et aux actions chauvines des manifestant·e·s fascistes qui étaient minoritaires. C’est une chose à laquelle beaucoup de manifestant·e·s ne s’étaient jamais opposé·e·s auparavant et de manière aussi directe.

    En même temps, ce serait un désastre pour nous si ce dégoût venait à s’exprimer à chaque action « violente » ou action directe en tant que telle. Il est clair que c’est l’objectif du parti au pouvoir et des partis d’opposition. Les membres du régime n’ont pas dissimulé leur joie de voir les manifestations devenir à la fin inefficaces. De même, les politicien·ne·s de l’opposition ont finalement été autorisé·e·s à se rendre au sein de ces manifestations. Quand les deux factions de l’État – celle qui détient actuellement le monopole de la violence et celle qui aspire à l’obtenir – évoquent les méfaits de la violence, elles ont en fait peur de perdre leur capacité à nous contrôler.

    On le voit notamment quand les politicien·ne·s de l’opposition tentent d’établir un contrôle dès qu’ils et elles ont la possibilité de participer à une manifestation. Ils et elles ont immédiatement commencé à dire aux gens ce qu’ils et elles devaient porter (uniquement des vêtements blancs) et à leur dicter s’ils ou elles étaient autorisé·e·s à se lever ou non.

    Nous ne devons pas être dupes. Nous devons :

    1. Empêcher les libéraux ou les autoritaires d’assimiler l’action directe et la destruction de biens avec le fascisme.
    2. Comprendre que celles et ceux qui critiquent la « violence » souhaitent en réalité nous contrôler : la question de l’autonomie, le refus de la domination est ce qui leur fait réellement peur, et non pas la violence en tant que telle.
    3. Toujours combattre le fascisme.

    Concluons par ces mots de Marianne Ivšić, poétesse surréaliste de Belgrade qui, ayant pris part à la révolte parisienne de mai 68, a écrit dans un tract anonyme de l’époque :

    « En ce moment, seule la poésie de la rue progresse. Le programme minimal est l’acte de destruction : c’est l’acte politique par excellence. Il n’y a ni contrôle ni règle. La révolution ne peut être que quotidienne si nous souhaitons lutter contre la fascination du pouvoir… La route vers l’anéantissement du fascisme et la mort de Dieu passe par le CHAOS. »

    Retrouvons-nous ! Autonomie et solidarité !

    Concern as Hong Kong postpones elections for one year, citing Covid-19

    The Guardian | Protest -

    The government’s decision is ‘an assault on fundamental freedoms’, says Hong Kong Watch, as democracy deteriorates

    The Hong Kong government has postponed its upcoming elections for one year, citing the growing coronavirus outbreak in the territory but sparking immediate accusations that the pandemic was being used as a pretext to suppress democracy.

    The city’s leader, Carrie Lam, announced on Friday she had invoked colonial-era emergency regulations to delay the 6 September vote to 5 September 2021, saying it was the “hardest decision I have made in the past seven months”, but had the full support of the Chinese central government.

    Related: Hong Kong: 12 pro-democracy candidates banned under security law

    Related: European committee chairs jointly condemn China over Hong Kong

    Continue reading...

    Portland sees peaceful night of protests following withdrawal of federal troops

    The Guardian | Protest -

    Thursday night’s protest passed off without major incident or intervention by the police in the absence of federal officers

    The withdrawal of federal agents from frontline policing of demonstrations in downtown Portland significantly reduced tensions in the city overnight.

    Protesters in support of Black Lives Matter once again rallied near the federal courthouse that became a flashpoint, and the scene of nightly battles amid the swirl of tear gas, after Donald Trump dispatched agents to end what he called anarchy in the city after weeks of demonstrations.

    Related: 'These are his people': inside the elite border patrol unit Trump sent to Portland

    Continue reading...

    Pages