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Protest held outside trial of Moroccan journalist accused of illegal abortion

The Guardian | Protest -

Hajar Raissouni says charges are fabricated and motivated by her work, which is critical of government

Demonstrators have staged a protest outside a court in Rabat to coincide with the latest hearing in the trial of a Moroccan journalist accused of undergoing an illegal abortion and having sex before marriage.

In a letter written from prison, Hajar Raissouni said the charges were fabricated and motivated by her work, which had been critical of the government.

Related: Moroccan investigative journalist released after 10 months in jail

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Asda workers stage protests against 'punitive' new contract

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GMB union says contract removes pay for breaks and forces supermarket staff to work bank holidays

Asda workers have staged protests at stores across the country against a new “flexible” contract they say will leave about 3,000 shop-floor staff worse off.

The GMB union said members would face the sack on 2 November if they did not sign the “punitive” contract, which it said removed pay for breaks and forced employees to work bank holidays.

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Horrible bosses: masked activists publicly shame businesses in Bologna

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The anonymous members of Il Padrone di Merda (“crappy boss”) stage protests outside employers in the Italian city who are accused of exploiting their workers

On a warm summer afternoon in the Italian city of Bologna, a group of around 15 young people march through the crowded city centre to a high-end pastry shop in Strada Maggiore.

If employers are afraid of image damage, things can change

They do not deliver social justice but carry out vendettas for those who want to damage the image of their employers, perhaps unjustly

Related: How the 'Las Vegas of Italy' is kicking its slot machine addiction

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Hong Kong police fire water cannon at protesters throwing petrol bombs - video

The Guardian | Protest -

Officers also fired teargas at the demonstrators, who had gathered outside the government office complex on Sunday. The latest violence came after tens of thousands defied a police ban and marched toward the seat of the government, chanting: ‘Five demands, not one less.’ For the past three months, Hong Kong has been gripped by the most serious political crisis in decades, triggered by a proposal to allow extradition to mainland China

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'Liberate Hong Kong': protesters defy police ban to march on seat of government

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Police fire teargas as London urged to press Beijing to uphold ‘one country, two systems’

Hong Kong riot police have fired teargas and deployed water cannon on pro-democracy demonstrators in the latest episode of political unrest to rock the city.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators defied a police ban and marched toward the seat of the government, chanting “Resist Beijing, liberate Hong Kong”.

The complete withdrawal of the proposed extradition bill

Hong Kong’s democratic struggles since 1997

Related: 'I'll take the blow for them': the volunteers protecting Hong Kong protesters

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Hongkongers sing God Save the Queen in plea for UK support - video

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Hundreds of Hong Kong protesters sang God Save the Queen and waved the union flag as they rallied outside the British consulate on Sunday to demand the UK ensures China honours its commitments to the city’s freedoms. The Sino-British joint declaration, signed in 1984, laid out a ‘one country, two systems’ formula

‘We will not surrender’: Hongkongers rally for support outside UK consulate

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Jailed Turkish writer Ahmet Altan: My words cannot be imprisoned

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Newly nominated for a Baillie Gifford literary prize, the political prisoner has written a novel from behind bars

“You can imprison me but you cannot keep me here,” writes Ahmet Altan at the end of his acclaimed book I Will Never See the World Again. “Because, like all writers, I have magic. I can pass through your walls with ease.”

The novelist’s series of essays, smuggled out of jail among notes to his lawyers, was lauded by critics as an instant classic when it was published in Britain in spring this year, and last week it was longlisted for the £50,000 Baillie Gifford nonfiction prize.

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How Sunday lunch at nan’s led to a vegan’s battle against the climate crisis

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Animal Rebellion’s actions highlight the impact of meat eating on the planet’s future

In 1991, 17-year-old Alex Lockwood was flipping through the Guardian Weekend magazine in his family’s car, en route to a family Sunday roast, when he spotted an image that changed his life. A harpooned whale, its body bloodied and lifeless, drew him to a feature about its killing.

“That picture just shook me; it seemed so wrong. When I got to my nan’s house it hit me that the roast on the table was an animal that had also been killed.” He became vegetarian, then vegan, and nearly three decades later is one of the founding members of Extinction Rebellion’s new sister organisation, Animal Rebellion, which formed in June and plans to blockade London’s Smithfield Market – Britain’s largest meat distribution market – in October.

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Call to stop ‘badger massacre’ as cattle TB rises in cull zones

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Latest data ‘not released until Defra announced 60,000 animals would be killed in 2019’

Tuberculosis levels in cattle have risen in the original two areas of the country where the badger cull has been piloted over the past five years, raising questions about the merit of expanding the scheme.

The figures are confirmed in official data quietly released last week as the government announced plans to expand the controversial cull in England, which campaigners say could see more than 60,000 badgers killed this year.

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'Going to the streets again': what you need to know about Friday's climate strike

The Guardian | Protest -

Organisers expect a stronger presence from unions, workers and companies as student activists reach out to adults

Thousands of Australian school students are again preparing to walk out of classrooms across the country to demand action on the climate crisis.

The global mass day of action will take place on Friday 20 September, three days before the United Nations climate summit in New York.

Related: Australian tech company Atlassian urges business to support climate strikes

Related: NSW Uniting church backs school climate strike, Sydney Anglicans and Catholics decline

Does climate change cause bushfires?

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Hong Kong protesters clash after standoff in shopping mall – video

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Rival groups of protesters clash in the Amoy Plaza mall in another weekend of mass demonstrations after months of political unrest. Dozens of protesters scuffled at the shopping district in Kowloon Bay, with groups of people trading blows and some using umbrellas to hit their opponents. Police detained several people.

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Judge blocks attempt to remove Charlottesville Confederate statues

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  • Statues of Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson will stay
  • Lee statue was at heart of deadly far-right violence in 2017

Efforts to remove the statue of Robert E Lee which was at the centre of deadly far-right violence in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 have been blocked in court.

Related: I lost my column for keeping Charlottesville police accountable. I'd do it again | Molly Conger

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Hong Kong enters 15th week of mass protests as unrest continues

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Pro-democracy demonstrators clash with Beijing supporters as riot police subdue protesters

Rival groups of demonstrators clashed in Hong Kong and police made arrests in another weekend of mass protests after months of political unrest.

Dozens of pro-Beijing protesters waved Chinese flags and chanted “support the police” at a mall in Kowloon Bay on Saturday, as pro-democracy demonstrators gathered, clad in black and wearing masks. After a standoff, members of the two sides began to fight, throwing punches and hitting each other with umbrellas before police separated them. At least one man was seen bleeding from the head.

Related: 'I'll take the blow for them': the volunteers protecting Hong Kong protesters

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Greece: Why is the state attacking Exarcheia?

House Occupation News -

The Greek state’s long anticipated attack on the rebellious district of Exarcheia began with the eviction of four occupied spaces and a provocative and dangerous attack on the social centre K*Vox. Since the return to power of right-wing New Democracy in the July elections the move has been expected and a difficult struggle lies ahead for Exarcheia and the anarchist and anti-authoritarian space in Greece. The short-term fixations of New Democracy and the right explain the police operation but the attack on Exarcheia is part of a deeper desire by the state draw a line under its decade long crisis and declare total victory.

New Democracy have their own reasons for the attack on Exarcheia.1 While in opposition they raised the right’s traditional banner of ‘law and order’ and helped by a cooperative media painted a picture of a society spiralling into lawlessness. None of this was true, after all SYRIZA evicted occupied centres and refugee solidarity projects as well as sending the riot police into the neighbourhood and against demonstrations countless times while one of SYRIZA’s final campaign rallies for the July elections was attended by prominent police officials. Still the new Prime Minister Mitsotakis repeatedly threatened to ‘end’ Exarcheia while in opposition. That the refugee and migrant occupations were targeted first along with other announcements that the government will speed up deportations demonstrates that an anti-immigration agenda will be a priority. This reaffirms New Democracy’s connections with the far-right despite the liberal ‘centrist’ presentation of Mitsotakis.

The operation against the neighbourhood also fits in with economic and social objectives. One of Mitsotakis’ first announcements as Prime Minister was that the long-established law against smoking in enclosed spaces will be enforced. It was a symbolic measure to proclaim that from now on all laws of the state, no matter how minor, will be enforced. Eradicating the social tolerance for the bending or breaking off the state’s rules is a key element of Greece’s restructuring which was begun by the memoranda programmes. Exarcheia as an apparently ‘lawless’ neighbourhood is the physical embodiment of a mentality the government has set out to end. On the economic side Exarcheia is set to be another of the Athenian neighbourhoods undergoing rapid gentrification and exploitation as low property prices, the rise of tourist rental platforms and the tourism industry as a whole combine to reshape the face of the city. Should the political groups be neutralised or removed from the area, Exarcheia will be the perfect hip/alternative tourist destination.

There are then a number of reasons why the new government is attacking Exarcheia but such an operation was inevitable whoever administers the state. Exarcheia and the anarchist and anti-authoritarian space are one of the few remaining obstacles on the state’s path to a restoration of normality. The Greek state is in the process of moving on from a devastating decade long political and economic crisis and in recent years it has been able to present itself as slowly returning to normal. In August 2018 the third memorandum programme was finally completed, though budget targets still must be meet for the next forty years and the Greek state remains under ‘enhanced supervision’ from the eurozone. The July 2019 elections saw New Democracy restored to power under one of the traditional dynastic families that have dominated Greek politics since the early twentieth century. Despite being the longest serving memorandum government SYRIZA consolidated their position as the new left pillar of the state, replacing the previously dominant PASOK and restoring the possibility of a stable two-party system. Even better the neo-Nazi group Golden Dawn failed to re-enter parliament. Borrowing costs are falling to historic lows and in recently the final capital controls, put in place in 2015, were lifted. Over the last two years the memorandum and austerity were replaced as the main political issue by a focus on national questions such as the historic identity of the state’s northern neighbour and tensions with the Turkish state. When viewed from the top of society it is as if there has been a magical restoration of the pre-crisis status-quo.

While it seems in some sense that so little has changed despite the upheavals of the decade-long crisis events since 2008 revealed a political shift in Greece. For much of the twentieth century the Greek state was in a prolonged struggle against a large section of its own population. This internal enemy was the left whether that was the Communist Party (KKE) who led the resistance to Nazi occupation and the fight against the right-wing Greek state that was restored by the British and the Americans post-1944 or the broader left that struggled against an authoritarian state and the far-right throughout the 1960s and 1970s. That struggle ended, as elsewhere, with the election of a Socialist (PASOK) government to carry out progressive reforms and democratise the state. With the election of PASOK in 1981 the Greek left was reconciled with the state. In the modern crisis this allowed the left to step in and stabilise the state. Between 2008-2012 the Greek state was rocked by a series of revolts and social movements that began with the December revolt of 2008 and continued through the massive anti-austerity movements of 2010-2012. The result of these movements was that by 2014 the two traditional ruling parties, New Democracy and PASOK, were huddled together in a coalition that was so politically exhausted it was incapable of carrying out the next phase of the bailout and memorandum programme. In 2015 the Greek state needed SYRIZA and the left dutifully stepped in to manage the situation better.

During 2008-2018 it became clear that the internal opponent of the Greek state is no longer the left but the anarchist and anti-authoritarian space. It was the space which was central to the revolt of December 2008 that marked the beginning of the crisis. The anarchists and anti-authoritarians were key to the riots which threatened revolt during the most precarious moments of the crisis in 2010-2012. The space formed the core of the anti-fascist movement that combatted Golden Dawn and the far-right turn of the state while going on to contribute to the post-2015 refugee solidarity movement. Anarchists such as Alexis Grigoropoulos and Lambros Foundas were killed by the state’s police. It was members of the space that conducted an armed struggle against the state and have since been at the centre of a continuous anti-terror repressive campaign. The anarchist and anti-authoritarian space has become the main challenger to the state and so a strike at its heart in Exarcheia was inevitable at some point.

While the Greek state hopes to sweep into Exarcheia and wipe away a district that has cause it problems for half a century its operation is not without risk. In 2012-2014 another New Democracy led government aimed to defeat the anarchists and anti-authoritarians. Squats were attacked and evicted, there were attempts to shut down the space’s websites and radio stations, guerrillas and their family members and acquaintances were imprisoned and tried as terrorists while a new maximum security prison and isolation regime was threatened. At the same time Golden Dawn were let loose with the protection of the police. In those years the anarchists and anti-authoritarians fought back and while some battles were lost the state’s offensive was blunted. The current situation is perhaps more threatening as in previous years the existence of wider social tensions and mobilisation meant that the state’s ability to attack the anarchist and anti-authoritarian space was tempered by the threat of the wider disorder that could provoke. Now Exarcheia and the anarchist and anti-authoritarian space are more isolated as large parts of society are demobilised and disillusioned. Still the fact the police waited until the end of the summer tourist season to launch any major operations shows they remain uncertain of the political cost of the operation.

Greece is almost ‘back to normal’. Its old governing elite is back in power with members of one of the dynastic families as Prime Minister and Mayor of Athens. SYRIZA has stepped into PASOK’s shoes to restore a two-party system. Golden Dawn are no longer needed and have been side-lined while parts of the far-right agenda have been fully absorbed into the mainstream. The memoranda and bailouts are over, the banking systems of northern European and America were protected and now Greece is an open field for exploitation and investment. Exarcheia and the anarchist and anti-authoritarian space are the last bastion of opposition that must be overcome. In this precarious and dangerous position only one thing is certain: Exarcheia will fight.

Neil Middleton

Some squats in Greece:
Groups in Greece:
Events in Greece:

1 For a closer look at some of New Democracy’s current objectives see this article by Omniatv (in Greek)

'We have a once-in-century chance': Naomi Klein on how we can fight the climate crisis

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In this extract from her latest book On Fire, the No Logo author looks at why capitalism and politics have got in the way of addressing the climate crisis

• Interview with Naomi Klein: ‘We are seeing the beginnings of the era of climate barbarism’

On a Friday in mid-March, they streamed out of schools in little rivulets, burbling with excitement and defiance at an act of truancy. The little streams emptied on to grand avenues and boulevards, where they combined with other flows of chanting children and teens. Soon the rivulets were rushing rivers: 100,000 bodies in Milan, 40,000 in Paris, 150,000 in Montreal. Cardboard signs bobbed above the surf of humanity: THERE IS NO PLANET B! DON’T BURN OUR FUTURE. THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE!

There was no student strike in Mozambique; on 15 March the whole country was bracing for the impact of Cyclone Idai, one of the worst storms in Africa’s history, which drove people to take refuge at the tops of trees as the waters rose and would eventually kill more than 1,000 people. And then, just six weeks later, while it was still clearing the rubble, Mozambique would be hit by Cyclone Kenneth, yet another record-breaking storm.

Humanity has a once-in-a-century chance to fix an economic model that is failing the majority of people on multiple fronts

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Dozens arrested as Extinction Rebellion protesters blockade Melbourne bridge

The Guardian | Protest -

The climate protesters had promised to shut down the Princes Bridge near Flinders Street station from midday

Climate protesters have blockaded a bridge in central Melbourne with police moving in and arresting multiple people.

Organisers from the Extinction Rebellion movement promised to shut down the Princes Bridge near Flinders Street station from midday.

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Greta Thunberg and youth climate activists protest outside White House

The Guardian | Protest -

Young activists rallied in protest of inadequate government action on the climate crisis, chanting: ‘Protect our future’

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg – who has inspired young people around the world to strike in protest of inadequate government action on the crisis – accompanied her American counterparts in the youth climate movement at a rally near Donald Trump’s White House on Friday.

Thunberg quietly joined near the edge of the group, whispering along with chants and shaking her head when thanked by other advocates.

Related: Greta Thunberg responds to Asperger's critics: 'It's a superpower'

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Extinction Rebellion activists target London fashion week

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Protesters to hold fashion funeral in demand for industry to take climate crisis seriously

Not long ago, high drama at London fashion week meant a battle over hemlines or between designer egos. But as the climate crisis challenges fashion’s fundamental viability as an industry, the stakes, and tempers, have been raised.

Hours before the first catwalk show of the five-day run, the climate campaign group Extinction Rebellion staged a “die-in” outside the central London venue, throwing buckets of fake blood to symbolise how “business as usual” for fashion and other industries is leading toward the extinction of life on earth. The group is calling for the industry to be “cancelled” and is planning continued disruption to fashion week, culminating in a “funeral procession for fashion” to be staged on Tuesday evening.

Our generation has been very self-centred ... now we have to take some responsibility

Related: Scrap the catwalk: Extinction Rebellion is right – London fashion week is unsustainable

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Uncle Wong, 82: protecting Hong Kong protesters with his walking stick – video

The Guardian | Protest -

Uncle Wong is part of Protect the Children, a community group whose members put their bodies between the police and young Hongkongers protesting against the government. Waving his walking stick in the air and wearing swimming goggles to protect against teargas, he tries to reason with police and provide a distraction to allow activists to evade arrest. As tensions continue to rise between protesters and police, however, so does the emotional burden on Uncle Wong

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