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Teenage girl among 20 Extinction Rebellion activists strip-searched by Brisbane police

The Guardian | Protest -

Exclusive: Prisoner advocate describes routine practice as ‘sexual assault by the state’ that could could wake up middle-class Australians to ‘police brutality’

A 17-year-old girl was among more than 20 Extinction Rebellion activists strip-searched in the Brisbane City police watch house recently during a week of climate protests.

On 9 October, the third day of Extinction Rebellion civil disobedience, a protester had brought a phone undetected into her cell at the watch house and livestreamed video for about 15 minutes to a private Facebook page.

Related: NSW police officer admits his 19 strip searches at music festival may have been illegal

Related: Palaszczuk cites incident 14 years ago to justify crackdown on climate protesters

Related: Climate change protests: four teenage girls among 30 arrested in Sydney

Related: Police strip searched 16-year-old girl at Splendour music festival, inquiry hears

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Chilean leader tries to calm unrest with wage rises and taxes on rich

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Sebastián Piñera announces plans after riot police use teargas to disperse protesters

The Chilean president, Sebastián Piñera, has called for modest rises to low incomes and increased taxes on the rich after the fifth night of anger on the streets raised the death toll in the unrest to 15.

Rioting, arson attacks and violent clashes wracked Chile on Tuesday night. About half of the normally stable country’s 16 regions remained under an emergency decree and some were subject to a military curfew, the first since Chile returned to democracy in 1990, barring natural disasters.

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'We're an open wound': São Paulo's underground music scene

The Guardian | Protest -

Brazil has long had countercultural music, but Jair Bolsonaro’s repressive presidency has made this community more determined than ever

‘When he got stabbed I just thought, we’re fucked. If he is alive, there is nothing we can do.” Brazilian journalist Amauri Gonzo is recalling the moment that he knew Jair Bolsonaro would be elected his country’s president. The stabbing of the far-right candidate seemed to confirm the picture of Brazil that Bolsonaro had been painting to voters: lawless, unsafe, and in need of a leader unafraid to meet violence with violence. Just two months later, in protest at five years dogged by economic crisis, corruption scandals and political turmoil, Brazil chose the openly racist, misogynistic, homophobic and anti-environmentalist former paratrooper as its leader. The underground musical community, which had come out in force against the extreme right candidate, was stunned. “It all went quiet,” says Gonzo, “like, ‘Oh, what do we do now?’”

Brazilian music might bring to mind the warm breeze of bossa nova, or a sound humid with the sweat of carnival, but a group of loosely connected São Paulo artists are making much harsher music to reflect, and resist, the Bolsonaro era, underlining values of community and artistic freedom.

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If Piñera wants to wage war in Chile he should fight the real enemy: inequality | Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser

The Guardian | Protest -

The president declared ‘Chile is at war’ but the crisis is, at heart, a message to the Chilean elite: profound changes are needed to rebuild the social contract

As with the yellow vest movement in France, it was impossible to foresee that an increase in the price of the Santiago metro would trigger demonstrations throughout Chile. When you think about it, however, it is unsurprising. Inequality in Chile is scandalous and most middle-class Chileans live in precarity. Now Chile is roiled by mass protests and looting; the government has declared a state of emergency and imposed curfews in many cities across the country.

The scale of the looting shows that the country has a structural problem with a clear name: inequality. The per capita income of the bottom quintile of Chileans is less than $140 a month. Half the population earns about $550. Tax evasion has cost the treasury approximately $1.5bn. Two-thirds of Chileans believe that it is unfair that those who can pay more have access to better health and education. They’re right.

Related: 'They smashed me in the head': anger at Piñera as Chile's bloodied protesters allege brutality

Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser is a professor of political science at Diego Portales University, Santiago de Chile

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Shots fired at protesters defying curfew in Chile – video

The Guardian | Protest -

Footage passed to the Guardian by the freelance journalist Jonathan Franklin shows shots being fired at protesters on the streets of Chile's capital on Monday night.  Armed men in masks fired at people defying a fourth night of curfew under martial law. 

The death toll on Tuesday morning stood at 15. The Chilean government claimed all those who died were looters, but there have been widespread allegations of brutality by the military. 

Chile is facing its worst unrest in three decades




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A crude awakening for modern art world | Letter

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Extinction Rebellion’s protest at the National Portrait Gallery was a work of art in itself, writes Dr Clive Ashwin

The demonstration entitled Crude Truth by Extinction Rebellion at the National Portrait Gallery should be recognised as an art work of considerable significance and beauty in itself (Fake oil spilled in art gallery protest over BP sponsorship, 21 October).

It is in fact a group portrait of three semi-nude demonstrators which brings together issues of the vulnerability of flesh with the socio-political significance of oil and its corrosive influence in our world, in the best tradition of the event art and happenings of the 1960s. It is the Three Graces of our time.

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Extinction Rebellion protests cost Met police £37m so far

The Guardian | Protest -

Figure more than double that spent each year on trying to reduce violent crime in London

Protests by Extinction Rebellion have cost the Metropolitan police £37m so far this year but Britain’s most senior officer has said she is against a ban on the climate emergency group’s campaign of disruption.

Dame Cressida Dick said the fortnight-long autumn demonstrations, which ended last week, cost at least £21m, a figure expected to rise by several million. It comes on top of the £16m spent on policing the group’s protests in April.

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‘It is inhumane’: Santiago’s protesters point finger at Piñera

The Guardian | Protest -

After Chile’s president declares country is ‘at war’, people in capital accuse military of brutality

As helicopters clattered overhead and army truck convoys rumbled through the city, armed men in masks prowled the streets of Santiago on Monday night, firing at protesters defying a fourth night of curfew under martial law.

There were widespread allegations of brutality against the military, following the declaration by Chile’s president, Sebastián Piñera, on Sunday night that his country was “at war”.

Related: Protests in Chile against cost of living – in pictures

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Spanish politicians are spinning the Catalan crisis to suit their own interests | Carlos Delclós

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Both left and right have refused to deal with the conflict as an administrative issue, leaving it to be consumed by dog-whistle nationalism

All last week, Barcelona went to sleep to the sound of police helicopters hovering overhead, as smoke rose in columns from burning barricades in the city centre. Each day brought new images of riot police firing foam and rubber bullets into large crowds and swatting stragglers with batons. Each day, too, brought news of angry young people in hooded hordes sowing chaos in the streets. Helmeted television journalists scrambled behind them, broadcasting a shaky live stream. The background noise evoked war films and video games.

Things have become messy in Catalonia. The harsh sentencing of pro-independence politicians and civic leaders has unleashed a tidal wave of indignation. On the day it was announced, thousands of protesters shut down the Barcelona-El Prat airport, the action called via an anonymous, highly centralised app called Tsunami Democràtic. Over the next several days, roads were blocked, railways sabotaged and demonstrations held, and pro-independence mayors announced they would march into the capital to protest.

In Barcelona, graffiti reads: 'You have shown us that being peaceful is useless.'

Related: Catalonia’s separatists were jailed for sedition, but brought down by hubris | Giles Tremlett

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The Guardian view on Extinction Rebellion: numbers alone won’t create change | Editorial

The Guardian | Protest -

People being in the streets isn’t effective without a strategy, and XR needs a clearer one for what could be years of non-violent struggle

The speed and size of the Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests over the past year add weight to the idea that people in this decade were in revolt before they had any clear idea what form a revolution might take. Politically it has long looked like a whole generation was up for grabs. In the beginning of the decade this anger veered leftwards with movements like Occupy, but at the end it has moved greenwards, under XR. The question is how much of the country will go with it.

Extinction Rebellion succeeded in putting the climate crisis on the political agenda. This is a welcome pivot to an existential issue for a society that has become gummed up by enervating fights over Brexit. There is an urgent need to decouple economic activity from carbon emissions and ecological destruction. For all the fine words global emissions of carbon dioxide are higher than they have ever been, almost three decades after the first global conference aimed at reducing them. The situation is becoming dangerous for human life. The latest figures show there is little more than a decade to save ourselves and the other creatures with whom we share the planet.

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Chile on edge as worst unrest in three decades claims 11 lives

The Guardian | Protest -

More clashes likely after Piñera expands state of emergency following ‘weekend of rage’

Latin America’s most prosperous country is braced for fresh upheaval after Chile’s president expanded a state of emergency beyond the capital and the death toll from three days of violence rose to 11.

“We are at war with a powerful and uncompromising enemy that respects nothing and no one,” Sebastián Piñera declared in an unyielding late-night address on Sunday.

Related: Protests in Chile against cost of living – in pictures

Related: 'This conflicted place made me who I am': Santiago, Chile – a cartoon

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US troops pelted with rotten fruit and stones as they leave Syria – video

The Guardian | Protest -

People have thrown rotten fruit and stones at US troops as they left Syria in armed vehicles, with one man appearing to shout: ‘You liars!’

Donald Trump’s decision to suddenly withdraw US forces from Syria, which prompted an incursion by Turkish forces, has also created concern on what to do about accused Isis fighters and their families

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2,000 would-be Greta Thunbergs: London summit unites world's environment prodigies

The Guardian | Protest -

Hundreds of precocious teens and 20somethings from 190 nations descend on UK capital for One Young World

The world’s largest global forum for young leaders will open on Tuesday, as more than 2,000 young people from across the world converge on London.

One Young World’s 10th annual summit will welcome young delegates from more than 190 countries as well as political and humanitarian leaders, including the former UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, the former president of Ireland Mary Robinson, Sir Richard Branson, Sir John Major and the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau.

I learned about the climate crisis at firsthand: the water level in our local dam had fallen by 2ft, which meant our water and electricity was severely rationed. There was nothing abstract about the issue for me. Starting the environmental club, planting trees and talking to local shopkeepers about plastic bags were things I couldn’t not do.

One of the biggest things that being young gave me was the power to go up against huge issues because I simply didn’t appreciate that they were widely regarded as impossible problems.

It was tough, aged just 10, to get my head around things like economic growth and responsible consumption but it’s important that children understand these issues because for most of my life, the major political parties have done as little as they can get away with when it comes to climate change.

Young people like me are the ones who will live with the consequences of inaction on climate. That was a huge motivator for me.

Some politicians and local councillors said I was too young but I didn’t care: I knew what I was doing was right.

I was 12 when I became aware that climate change was causing the floods that regularly destroyed my community. The flood waters were always full of plastic waste.

When I was 15, I had a lightbulb moment: I realised that plastic was harder after being heated, which meant I could use the plastic waste to rebuild my community’s homes strong enough to withstand the floods. It was one solution to two problems.

I mobilised my community, we planted trees, I organised marches, opened conservation clubs in schools across the area. By the time I approached the radio station, they had already heard about me and my work.

Being so young meant I was free-spirited: I wasn’t afraid on my programme to call a spade a spade. I called to task multinationals and government.

I have aways been aware of climate change but we all grew up being told that if we recycled more and switched off the lights, we would save the planet.

I realised as I got older that that’s wrong. I realised that I couldn’t plan my future 20 to 30 years ahead because the world was going to hit a brick wall: it would descend into chaos.

When I was 8, I planted my first tree and began talking to the children and grown ups around me about environmental issues. I realised that the children were so much more responsive and enthusiastic than the adults I was speaking to, so I determined to work with children instead, informing them about environmental issues and what they could do about it.

Young activists have an advantage over adults because we have an uninhibited view of the world. We’re not affected by cynicism or by awareness of how big problems are. We are determined to solve problems and are truly open to new solutions. The world needs more of that attitude.

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Semi-naked activists protest against National Portrait Gallery's links to BP

The Guardian | Protest -

Protesters from Extinction Rebellion and other groups drenched themselves in fake oil

Semi-naked environmental campaigners have been drenched in fake oil at the National Portrait Gallery to protest against its sponsorship by BP.

Activists from Extinction Rebellion, BP or Not BP? and Culture Unstained assumed the foetal position while others poured the “oil” on their nude bodies in the Ondaatje Wing main hall, where a collection of pieces sponsored by BP is on display.

The UK group of Extinction Rebellion has three core demands:

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On my radar: Weyes Blood’s cultural highlights

The Guardian | Protest -

From environmental protest to a witty animated look at puberty, the California musician reveals what makes her tick

Born in California in 1988, as a teenager Natalie Mering began performing music under the name Wise Blood, taken from a Flannery O’Connor novel, later changing the spelling to Weyes Blood. She was active in the noise underground scene in Portland and Baltimore before releasing her solo debut, The Outside Room, in 2011. She has since released three more albums, including Front Row Seat To Earth (2016) and this year’s acclaimed Titanic Rising. She plays in Glasgow on 28 October, Manchester on 29 October and London on 30 October.

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On the ground with People's Vote marchers: ‘It’s not done by a long way’ – video

The Guardian | Protest -

From morris dancers to a man dressed as death and everyone in between: the Guardian followed anti-Brexit protesters in London on Saturday as they marched to demand a fresh referendum. Organisers of the march said the turnout was comparable to that of another second referendum rally six months ago when a million people gathered in the capital


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Tube protest was a mistake, admit leading Extinction Rebellion members

The Guardian | Protest -

Senior figures in protest group forced to rethink future tactics

Senior figures in Extinction Rebellion (XR) admit it was a mistake to target London’s public transport network at rush hour, a move that has split opinion within the movement. Future strategy is now being reassessed, they say.

At the end of the two-week global “uprising”, members of the movement’s political circle announced that it needed to learn from the angry scenes at Canning Town tube station last Thursday when commuters dragged protesters from the roof of an underground train and set upon them. Eight XR activists were arrested during the disruption, joining a total of 1,768 held during the fortnight of demonstrations.

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