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China’s patriotic crackdown: three years in jail for ‘disrespecting’ national anthem

The Guardian | Protest -

New law issued as part of President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on disloyalty to the state alarms democracy movements in Hong Kong and Macau

China has made disrespect of the national anthem a crime punishable by up to three years in jail, as it focuses on cementing the patriotic “China dream” of its increasingly authoritarian president, Xi Jinping.

The new law is likely to alarm citizens of Hong Kong and Macau, where the March of the Volunteers has been a flashpoint for unrest, amid growing concerns about Beijing’s efforts to exert its control over the city states.

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Porto Alegre (Brazil): “When anarchy disturbs” Library Kaos statement about the prosecution against anarchists

House Occupation News -

There are many things to say, but we will start with the most urgent. In the 25 of October began an anti-anarchist persecution against FAG [Federação Anarquista Gaúcha] Parhesia institute, Pandorga squat and some individuals who had their spaces and houses raided by cops. If not all, probably a good part of the anarchist diversity was reached and several of them spoke firmly from their agreement against repression. And this is a fresh air that strengthens every one who feels sedition.

It is evident that the aim of the agents of repression also points against us, against the publications we have made or in which we participate. And that is what we are going to say. “The chronology of the Anarchic Confrontation”, the one that collects information from 2000 to 2015, and the one that collects the anarchic trigger of 2016, both are the books that are being exhibited as “evidence” of vandalism, attacks, and criminal acts. Among the many ways anarchism has to search for freedom, these books speak of anarchic informality as an option according to the current domination’s face. Further, we clarify that these books speak of actions but not only anarchists ones. The focus of the books is the diffusion of anarchic actions. To be more precise, it spread actions in which we feel the aroma of anarchy. And between anarchism and anarchy there are differences that may be delicate but which are important.

The anarchic instinct is that anti-dominating impulse that can be present in any individuality or collectivity, beyond the ideological belongings and political militancy. That is why in the chronologies we include conflicts of non-Western populations, street conflict within larger protests and diverse motivations, actions against the State and Capital, and more. Far from going by the theory, we clarify this since the persecution against the anarchists does not consider these differences in order to find a scapegoat for multiple events that bothered the cops and the powerful of always. It is surprising that the police, deputy Jardim, and the media, show as the great news some facts that were already headlines at the time and have already been searched by cops, just because all these facts are condensed in our publications. None of the books is a claim. They are books of an anarchic memory, with actions and conflicts long before the existence of the Kaos Library, which will surely continue beyond us. The publication shows with joy and yes, with head held high, the existence of an anarchic confrontation that respond to the domination, the devastation of the earth and the attack against all forms of freedom, but it does not claim responsibility of these facts that can be collected, as we have done from various internet pages and local newspapers. And if we have made these publications aware of the risk they presented, it is because insubmission deserves to be defended, howled, celebrated and shouted by all possible means. We will never believe or respect the obedience they intend to impose, the submission and the fear they want to inoculate in people from the moment they are born.

Therefore, the actions printed in the chronologies are attacks against the materiality of domination. That is against buildings, cars, machines, roads, windows. Stuff. Objects. Symbols. Cops in the territory controlled by the Brazilian state are internationally famous for being a murderous police force. The so-called “pacification operations” are massacres, authentic massacres, such as Candelária and Carandiru, as well as the murder of Eltom Brum from behind his back that even had a police crowd receiving the murderer. And are they the ones who talk about terror, about evil gangs, about attempted murder? They show a sling and ecological bricks as weapons while they’re holding guns. They speak of terrorism and evil gangs while preparing the next invasion against a village or favela, where the dead will not even be mentioned by the media. That insignificant they are to them. We would like to believe that everyone feels insulted by the evidence of the Garden Delegate. In a context where weapons are commonplace, ecological bricks presented as explosives are an insult to anyone. However, we do not forget when Pinho Sol [famous deodorizer label] was considered a weapon and used “evidence” against Rafael Braga (1) whom they held behind bars until he got tuberculosis, that is, until they felt they had done everything to kill him.

The repression against anarchists show two things. First, to present “terrorists” on screen serves as a TV show to turn the spotlight away from issues such as corruption, political-police discredit and slow genocide throughout economic reforms. That they now try to solve the facts of 2013 (2) and chase a book and literature, clearly shows a spectacular attempt to hide the growing attack on the population, to depoliticize through threats and spread fear even to read (evidently democratic practices). The second thing that presents an anti-anarchist persecution is that anarchy disturbs. When we speak of anarchy that disturbs, we are clearly not talking about well behaved boys and girls acting within the limits imposed by power, we do not speak of people who have laws in their bodies and hearts drawing their limits of action. When we speak of anarchy that disturbs, we speak of such a strong insubordination of people and groups that have been able to interrupt the normality of the power square, to paralyze the city, to break the symbols of militarization in Haiti (3), to burn the vehicles that seize, and they kill dragging like horses of the inquisition (Claudia we do not forget your death).

The Kaos Library books spread this anarchy. The one that disturbs. The one that answers the clash of agribusiness, colonization civilization, militarization, ecocide, prison society… In simpler words, while domination tries to destroy the planet and all that they find undesirable, we spread what attacks the domination.

And when anarchy bothers, the reaction of the powerful threatens and wants to sniff the fear. The anarchic response to this persecution will remain in our hearts and actions. How we face this crossroads will mark the moment of our passage through the path of rebellious life.

Strength and solidarity with those prosecuted by “Operation Érebo”

Kaos Anarchic Library
October 2017

Translation notes:

  1. Rafael Braga was arrested during 2013 protests. At the time, he was homeless and was simply removed from his place while cops repressed the demo.
  2. 2013 is remembered as a year of street uprising against transportation fairs in great part of the territory under domain of the bra$ilian state. As in other territories in the world, there were a lot of insurgent protests mostly self organized.
  3. Bra$ilian army is responsible for the militarization of Haiti.

Tormentas de Fogo

I'm an activist. Russia tried to co-opt me | Micah White

The Guardian | Protest -

We are witnessing the advent of social movement warfare: the deployment of social protest as an effective alternative to conventional military conflict writes Micah White, one of the co-creators of Occupy Wall Street

I have sometimes been approached by persons that I suspected were either agents or assets of intelligence agencies during the 20 years that I have been a social activist. The tempo of these disconcerting encounters increased when I abruptly relocated to a remote town on the Oregon coast after the defeat of Occupy Wall Street, a movement I helped lead. My physical inaccessibility seemed to provoke a kind of desperation among these shadowy forces.

There was the man purporting to be an internet repair technician who arrived unsolicited at our rural home and then tinkered with our modem. Something felt odd and I was not surprised when CNN later reported that posing as internet repairmen is a known tactic of the FBI.

Related: Did Russia fake black activism on Facebook to sow division in the US?

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Miss Peru contestants subvert tradition to highlight violence against women – video

The Guardian | Protest -

Contestants in the Miss Peru 2017 beauty pageant read out facts and statistics about violence against women in Peru instead of the traditional measurements of bust and hip sizes in an effort to draw attention to the mistreatment of women

Miss Peru contestants accuse country of not measuring up on gender violence

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Fracking protest injunction based on 'flimsy evidence'

The Guardian | Protest -

Ineos exaggerated the threat posed by protesters to justify its temporary legal action, court hears

A multinational firm has been accused of using “flimsy and exaggerated” evidence when it obtained an “astonishingly broad” injunction against all anti-fracking protesters, a court has heard.

Petrochemicals giant Ineos is seeking to enforce a sweeping injunction to prevent any protester from obstructing its fracking operations. Campaigners face being jailed, fined or having their assets seized if they break the injunction.

Related: Ineos compelled to disclose document it used to justify fracking protest injunction

Related: Campaigners challenge injunction against anti-fracking protesters

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NYC activists protest Chinatown gallery exhibit for being ‘racism disguised as art’

Waging Nonviolence -

by Skanda Kadirgamar

Activists drop a banner reading “Racism disguised as art,” in front of the James Cohan Gallery in Chinatown. (WNV/Louis Chan)

Artist Omer Fast’s crass, stereotypical mock up of a business in pre-gentrified Chinatown has finally left New York City. His transformation of the James Cohan gallery into a dingy, fake storefront with a waiting area that proudly displayed a broken ATM sign, drew fire from the community. Its emphasis on depicting faux squalor was received as poverty porn. Both artist and venue were charged with mocking immigrants being driven from the neighborhood.

On October 28, protesters from the Chinatown Art Brigade, Decolonize This Place, Bushwick’s Mi Casa No Es Su Casa, and the Boyle Heights Alliance Against Artwashing and Displacement hoisted a banner, which read “Racism disguised as art,” across the faded awning Fast had installed. Faced with protesters banging drums and chanting “Chinatown, not for sale,” the Israeli-American artist received quite the send off.

This symbolic intervention featured a conference with local Chinese language press and a bilingual speak-out about the pivotal role galleries and the art world play in gentrification. This was key, as residents and neighborhood advocates needed space to loudly decry the ongoing displacement and demand a municipal model that would protect the neighborhood. Activists say these issues are simultaneously connected to and bigger than the individual prejudices of Omer Fast and individuals like him.

In fact, the link between the art world and gentrifying developers deserves intense scrutiny. According to the Chinatown Art Brigade — a collective of activists, artists and media makers committed to defending tenants rights and fighting evictions — galleries are often involved in displacing the most vulnerable long-term residents in neighborhoods they enter. Viewed in that light, Fast and James Cohan’s conduct was simply a particularly bold iteration of entrenched structural racism that abets creeping gentrification.

The Chinatown Art Brigade has worked alongside the Coalition Against Anti-Asian Violence and the Chinatown Tenant Union. They helped launch the “Here to Stay” project, which used massive outdoor projections to illuminate art “based on oral histories, photography and video created in community-led workshops.” They have also confronted galleries for being implicated in the expulsion of 30 percent of the Chinese population and elimination of 50 percent of affordable housing throughout Chinatown and the Lower East Side.

This has catalyzed a drastic transformation of these neighborhoods. The galleries are a vanguard for pricey condos and megatowers that push out grocery stores and other services on which the community has relied. The gentrification of Chinatown is a brutal business. Ambitious landlords heap abuse on poorer tenants and reserve needed repairs for units intended for newer tenants with higher disposable incomes. At the same time, outlets like Paper and i-D ponder whether Chinatown is the “new Chelsea.”

Residents and advocates protest gentrification of Chinatown outside the James Cohan Gallery. (WNV/Louis Chan)

In reality, an incoming population that is whiter and more affluent is receiving benefits largely withheld from the existing community. This isn’t an entirely new phenomenon, though. This kind of discrimination has been integral to the historically racist treatment of Chinatown, which has taken many forms including unreliable trash collection and residential segregation. Today, these each factor into the exodus of Chinese and other residents of color from Lower Manhattan.

Moreover, gallery owners are directly involved in the real estate transformation that is making life in Chinatown prohibitively expensive. Marc Straus, for example, owns several properties near James Cohan that have been slated for demolition and replacement by a seven-story luxury building. On his website, it says his gallery at 299 Grand Street is located in what “began as a tenement and in the last century has housed various retail stores consistent with a changing population.”

James Fuentes, who fastidiously emphasizes his Lower East Side and South Bronx roots, is a creative-class nomad, like many in the gallery scene. Fuentes has relocated several times, beginning on Broome Street and then settling at 55 Delancey Street two years ago. Gallery owners, it turns out, aren’t immune to the rent cycle either. The difference is that they can pay more than Chinatown’s working class residents. When there’s a large gap between the disposable incomes of newer and established tenants, landlords see the opportunity to raise rents. Fuentes has noted this, saying that he “knew he was implicated from the minute” he signed a 10-year renewal on his latest space.

Fuentes waxes nostalgic about the Lower East Side — and by extension Chinatown — being a hub for the immigrant community. He is a fatalist about gentrification, though, convinced that the immigrant presence is bound to be supplanted and that galleries are the future of development. During an interview with the Art Dealers Association of America, he referenced Darwin when describing the “nature” of New York, explaining that “the species that survives is able to best adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.”

The Chinatown Art Brigade and its allies would dispute that sort of received wisdom. Presenting the transformation of Chinatown and the Lower East Side as an evolutionary process, where those who cannot adapt are naturally selected out, is in and of itself a historically racist position. It obscures how powerful entrepreneurs aggressively leverage their advantages, which were largely conferred by historic discrimination and segregation, over tenants.

The protest continues inside Omer Fast’s racist exhibit at the James Cohan Gallery. (WNV/Louis Chan)

Individuals like Fuentes and Straus like to brand their ventures as small businesses. Fuentes has gone so far as to anoint his space a “Mom-and-Pop” fighting the good fight before the culture of Lower Manhattan gets erased. That framing, however, is relative. As Liz Moy, one of the brigade’s activists, pointed out, a bakery in Chinatown would have to do significantly more business than a gallery to make rent, since the latter need only sell a few pieces. Moreover, the capital concentrated in galleries won’t be reinvested in the neighborhood long term, at least not in ways that are immediately beneficial to the community. Straus’ work demonstrates how investment in galleries eventually leads to building high-end condos.

This is why the Chinatown Art Brigade has been putting these owners on notice and fighting for an alternative development model in the neighborhood. Before the latest protest, a small contingent of organizers live-streamed a gallery tour in which they presented each owner with a pledge to support Chinatown’s middle and lower-class residents’ right to public and residential space, as well as initiatives to curb the impact of gentrification.

Last year, Margaret Lee of the 47 Canal gallery responded positively to a similar pledge. Straus, on the other hand, refused to look at the current version. Regardless, the gallery owners should know by now that those who won’t respect Chinatown’s existence can expect continued resistance.

UK mining firm in court over claims it mistreated environmental activists

The Guardian | Protest -

Peruvian lawsuit in London claims Xstrata should be liable for alleged police violence against demonstrators near Tintaya mine

A UK registered mining company, which is now part of Glencore, is facing claims in a London court that it hired security forces to mistreat environmental activists protesting about a copper mine in Peru.

Two demonstrators died and others were left with serious injuries following the confrontations which lasted for several days during May 2012 on a remote hillside in the Andes, the court has been told.

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Moves to curb democratic fracking protests in the UK 'extremely worrying'

The Guardian | Protest -

Green MP Caroline Lucas criticises attempts by chemicals multinational Ineos to impose a sweeping injunction against anti-fracking campaigners

The chemicals multinational Ineos is facing criticism for seeking to curb democratic protests against fracking in a move described by Green MP Caroline Lucas as “extremely worrying”.

On Tuesday Ineos began its latest legal move to impose a sweeping injunction against all campaigners protesting over its fracking operations.

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Sheffield trees campaigner may face jail for flouting injunction

The Guardian | Protest -

Calvin Payne could face two years in prison after being found guilty of twice entering ‘safety zones’ around trees due to be felled

A campaigner could face up to two years in jail after being found guilty of breaching a court order while trying to stop trees being felled in Sheffield.

Calvin Payne was found to have twice stepped inside so-called safety zones erected around trees due to be felled, in breach of an injunction brought by Sheffield city council.

Related: I’m defying the council I serve on to stop it felling trees | Alison Teal

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Crunch day for Spain as Catalonia returns to work under direct rule

The Guardian | Protest -

Madrid’s resolve faces crucial test as Catalan independence group calls for widespread campaign of civil disobedience

Spain’s control over Catalonia will be tested on Monday when politicians and civil servants return to work amid uncertainty over whether they will accept direct rule imposed by the central government to stop the region’s independence bid.

On Sunday, the Spanish government said the deposed Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, could be jailed within the next two months over his part in the regional parliament’s unilateral declaration of independence.

The Spanish government argues that any referendum on Catalan independence would be illegal because the country’s 1978 constitution makes no provision for a vote on self-determination.

(June 28, 2010) 

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'We are all Catalonia' march brings thousands out on Barcelona's streets

The Guardian | Protest -

Pro-unity Spaniards from left and right demonstrate in Catalan capital against Carles Puigdemont’s independence movement

Dario Fernández Barbero headed into central Barcelona with one word for his fellow citizens, printed out in red and attached to his backpack: “Pau”, meaning peace in Catalan.

A sea of flags, Spanish, European and the official Catalan senyera banner – a rival to the pro-independence Estelada version – waved around him, but the 65-year-old said he wasn’t comfortable with any of them.

Related: The Catalan dream will not be extinguished by force | Matthew d’Ancona

Related: ‘Catalonia’s nationalist leaders are well aware their project is fragile’

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Spain: Barcelona set for huge rally against Catalan independence

The Guardian | Protest -

Tens of thousands gather in city centre for pro-unity demonstration two days after Madrid took hold of Catalonia

Tens of thousands have gathered in central Barcelona as the city prepares for a pro-unity demonstration two days after the Catalan parliament voted for independence and the Spanish government took control of the region.

Sunday’s march, due to begin at 12 noon local time, has been called by the anti-independence group Societat Civil Catalana, which organised a similar rally earlier this month that was attended by hundreds of thousands of people.

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The Observer view on independence for Catalonia | Observer editorial

The Guardian | Protest -

It is surely not beyond the wit of Catalans and Spaniards to work out a form of amicable association that both can live with

The imposition of direct rule in Catalonia is, at best, a stopgap measure that will do little to resolve, and may seriously aggravate, the long-standing problem of the region’s troubled and rivalrous relationship with Madrid. Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s prime minister, says that, in the end, he had no choice but to take the “nuclear option” of sacking Catalonia’s government and placing himself and his ministers in charge. But while his actions may calm the situation in the short term – and the tense days to come will be determine whether that is the case – Rajoy has set a time bomb ticking that could ultimately explode in his face.

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Tennessee police on high alert but white nationalist rallies pass quietly

The Guardian | Protest -

  • ‘White Lives Matter’ rallies held in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro
  • Counter-protesters heavily outnumber extremist groups

White nationalists were heavily outnumbered by around 600 counter-protesters during a Saturday afternoon “White Lives Matter” rally in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, that passed off uneventfully after police kept the two groups separated.

Related: Three men charged after protesters shot at following Richard Spencer speech

Related: 'A white girl had to die for people to pay attention': Heather Heyer's mother on hate in the US

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March of the Mummies: a Halloween protest to help working mothers

The Guardian | Protest -

Pregnant Then Screwed has organised marches across the UK to highlight the urgent need to address discrimination against women returning to work after maternity leave

This Halloween, hundreds of women dressed as bandaged-wrapped mummies will march for the rights of working mothers. Campaigners say that archaic legislation allows workplaces to discriminate; about one in nine new mothers said they have been forced out of their jobs, according to a 2015 report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which could mean as many as 54,000 women a year.

March of the Mummies was organised by Pregnant Then Screwed, a campaign group that provides a platform for women to anonymously share their discrimination stories, which also offers free legal support. Founder Joeli Brearley, 38, says: “We have been lobbying hard but it didn’t seem to be making a difference, so we thought we need to take to the streets and shout about it as loud as we can. The government has done nothing. In this time, as many as 70,000 women have lost their jobs. Less than 1% of women who encounter discrimination raise a tribunal claim. Access to justice is an enormous problem – and so is the time limit.”

Related: What I wish I could tell my boss: 'I am terrified to go on maternity leave'

Related: How having children impacts your career

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Women's March leaders take message to Detroit as Women's Convention begins

The Guardian | Protest -

The movement looks ahead following the success of January’s march, as prominent activists and politicians address the theme of ‘reclaiming our time’

Nine months after women marched through the streets of Washington DC and cities across the country wearing pink knit hats and carrying feminist placards, thousands will gather this weekend in Detroit for a three-day convention to chart a path forward for the nascent “resistance” movement in the US.

The Women’s Convention, which takes place at the Cobo Center from Friday to Sunday, was organized by the leaders of the Women’s March, the 21 January protest that, largely unexpectedly, turned into one of the largest mass demonstrations in US history. Over the weekend, organizers will try to answer the looming question: where does the movement go from here?

Related: The Women's March reminded us: we are not alone | Jessica Valenti

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