From The Guardian

Fighting tyranny with milk tea: the young rebels joining forces in Asia

The Guardian | Protest -

Activists in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand have formed a novel international alliance to defy authoritarian rule

The language, the demands and the backdrop were different, but the protests across central Bangkok last week would have looked familiar to anyone who followed the mass demonstrations that roiled Hong Kong for a year from June 2019.

Crowds of young protesters, dressed in black and wearing hard hats, poured through the streets to locations announced at the last minute on social media. As the police closed in and the protesters prepared for confrontation, hand gestures and human chains ensured supplies including protective masks and water reached the front lines.

Some Thai protesters see not only a shared goal of democracy but a shared enemy in Beijing

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The Observer view on Poland's draconian abortion ban | Observer editorial

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The EU must defend itself against the attack on women’s rights in one of its member nations

Last week’s flawed ruling by a constitutional tribunal in Warsaw drastically restricting the right to abortion is a grim reminder that women’s rights and, more broadly, the rule of law are under serious threat in Poland. This oppressive decision is part of a slide towards authoritarianism that began in earnest after the rightwing populist Law and Justice party (PiS) of Jarosław Kaczyński won an absolute majority in 2015. It must not be allowed to continue.

Halting this deterioration is, first, a matter for the people of Poland. Although this predominantly Catholic, socially conservative country already has some of the strictest abortion prohibitions in Europe, surveys suggest that only a small minority supports additional curbs. Not for the first time, Kaczyński and PiS are deliberately ignoring the democratic consensus to advance a narrow ideological and religious agenda.

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'Just stop killing us': young Nigerians rise up against brutal police force

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Protesters remain defiant after at least 12 were gunned down in Lagos

After weeks of unrest, men in fluorescent coats were clearing ash and blood from the streets of Lagos on Saturday. But for many like 22-year-old Anthony Oyodele, the memories of soldiers firing live ammunition at hundreds of peaceful protesters at a tollgate in Lagos, killing at least 12 people, will be harder to scrub clean. “Whether here, or in Yaba, or Alausa, we all saw the atrocities online. It’s not possible that we will pass through there and not remember.”

A wave of protests which erupted across Nigeria against the now officially disbanded Sars police unit, and more generally against police brutality, have met the brutality they hoped could finally end. At several protests, police units have responded with force, and groups of young men wielding knives and sticks have attacked demonstrators. “It doesn’t make sense,” said Oyodele. “We were only demanding that they stop harassing and killing us but they still responded by doing even worse.”

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Police disperse fourth anti-lockdown march in London

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Thousands of protesters gather with some shouting at passersby to take off face masks

Tens of thousands of people joined a march through central London against the coronavirus restrictions on Saturday afternoon, calling for an end to lockdowns and other measures they described as a threat to civil rights.

Chanting and shouting at people to take off their masks, protesters marched a winding route through the centre of London, taking in Oxford Street, Leicester Square and Buckingham Palace, before ending at Trafalgar Square.

Anti #lockdown protesters march down Oxford Street, telling passers by to take off their masks pic.twitter.com/pdb49bIUqR

Related: Pub and restaurant check-in data hardly used by England's health officials

Related: Coronavirus vaccine final-stage testing to restart in US

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Teargas deployed at anti-lockdown protest in Naples on day of new curfew – video report

The Guardian | Protest -

Angry over a newly imposed 11pm to 5am regional curfew, demonstrators in the southern Italian city of Naples threw stones and bottles at police on Friday evening. The authorities responded with teargas. The stricter measures are an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus, which has killed more than 37,000 people in Italy since the start of the pandemic

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Thousands join Poland protests against strict abortion laws

The Guardian | Protest -

Protests follow ruling that law allowing abortion of malformed foetuses is incompatible with constitution

Thousands of people marched in cities across Poland on Saturday in the third straight day of protests against a near-total ban on abortion, with some promising further action in the coming days.

The protesters were reacting to Thursday’s ruling by Poland’s highest court that an existing law allowing the abortion of malformed foetuses was incompatible with the constitution.

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‘Boogaloo Boi’ charged in fire of Minneapolis police precinct during George Floyd protest

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Ivan Harrison Hunter, a Texas rightwing extremist, bragged about helping to set the fire then was seen shooting 13 rounds at the building

A rightwing extremist boasted of driving from Texas to Minneapolis to help set fire to a police precinct during the George Floyd protests, federal prosecutors said.

US attorney Erica MacDonald said on Friday that she has charged Ivan Harrison Hunter, a 26-year-old Texas resident, with traveling across state lines to participate in a riot. The charges are the latest example of far-right extremists attempting to use violence to escalate national protests against police brutality into an uprising against the government, and even full civil war.

Related: How Facebook and the White House let the 'boogaloo' movement grow

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BLM UK gains legal status and renames as Black Liberation Movement UK

The Guardian | Protest -

Registration enables campaign group to access donations of £1.2m and invite people to join

Activists from the Black Lives Matter UK campaign group have placed their organisation on an official footing, marking it with a change of name.

The group, which received £1.2m in donations following widespread protests in June, has registered as a community benefit society under the name Black Liberation Movement UK.

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The young protesters taking on the monarchy are changing Thailand for ever | Pravit Rojanaphruk

The Guardian | Protest -

Where older generations chose reverence, young Thais are demanding freedom of speech and basic rights

A youth revolution is brewing in Thailand. The generational-cum-ideological clash is taking place both online and on the streets of Bangkok and beyond.

Over the past few months, monarchy-reform protesters have staged protests week after week. The dissolution of the Future Forward party, hugely popular among young voters, in February alienated many young Thais, spurring them on to seek change outside the parliamentary system. Hundreds gathered at Democracy Monument in Bangkok after Arnon Nampa, a human rights lawyer and political activist, publicly called for reforms of the monarchy in August. Since then, the number and determination of the protesters has only grown. On 16 October, after most leaders were arrested two days earlier, unarmed protesters resisted police in riot gear using high-pressure water cannon, laced with chemical irritants and blue dye to identify the protesters. At least a dozen were arrested, as were around 60 more in subsequent protests.

Related: Thai protest leaders play cat and mouse with police as thousands rally

Related: Thailand's prime minister lifts emergency measures

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Poland braces for more protests over abortion ban ruling

The Guardian | Protest -

Demonstrations planned amid anger over court decision banning almost all abortions

Protests are planned for various Polish cities this weekend amid public anger over a ruling banning almost all abortion in the country.

Poland already has some of the most draconian abortion laws in Europe, and on Thursday a constitutional tribunal ruled that one of the few exceptions to the ban – cases of severe foetal impairment – should also be made illegal. These cases, which hardline Catholic anti-abortion activists have called “eugenic abortion”, made up almost all of the small number of abortions performed legally in Poland.

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MPs urge Dominic Raab to demand China return detained Hong Kong protesters

The Guardian | Protest -

Exclusive: Dozens of MPs and peers write to UK foreign secretary, saying Beijing cannot be allowed to imprison activists on mainland ‘with little outcry or response’

More than 60 UK MPs and peers have written to Dominic Raab calling on him to demand the return of young Hong Kong activists detained in mainland China after attempting to flee to Taiwan by boat.

In the letter delivered to the foreign secretary on Thursday night, the parliamentarians warned of a profound chilling effect should Chinese authorities be allowed “to prosecute and imprison Hong Kong activists in the mainland with little outcry or response from the international community”.

Related: Save 12 HK youths: campaign to free boat detainees goes global

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'They just acted like animals': anger after protesters shot by security forces in Nigeria

The Guardian | Protest -

Demonstrators were braced for a confrontation but hail of bullets still left them – and the world – reeling

In the minutes before the shooting began, hundreds of mostly young protesters at a toll gate in Lagos, were sitting on the hot ground on a Tuesday evening, waving Nigerian flags, singing the national anthem and defying the government.

Protesters had braced themselves, prepared for when security forces would surely arrive, said 21-year-old Shola Abdul, a kitchen assistant, to enforce a 24-hour curfew across the state that effectively banned mass protests against police brutality.

Related: Nigeria: protests continue despite curfew and president's plea

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The Guardian view on #EndSars and the crackdown: Nigerians deserve better | Editorial

The Guardian | Protest -

The shooting of peaceful protestors has highlighted the injustice and state brutality that have fuelled this movement

Nigeria’s flag is stained with blood once more. Protestors were clutching it as security forces opened fire at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos late on Tuesday. The state’s governor denied that anyone was shot dead, but witnesses spoke of multiple fatalities among the hundreds gathered in defiance of a curfew. The #EndSars campaign against police abuses has drawn high-profile support around the world, but at home has unleashed more state brutality.

Around the country, demonstrators had already been attacked by groups of thugs. Although there has been unrest during the protests – participants blame unscrupulous elements taking advantage of the demonstrations, or police provocateurs – the tollgate gathering was peaceful. Official rhetoric towards the movement had hardened, with the army warning that it could step in “against subversive elements and troublemakers”. It now denies involvement, but the governor of Lagos said it had been deployed, and that Tuesday had seen “some of the darkest gradients of our history”.

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Pink emerges as 2020's colour of political protest

The Guardian | Protest -

Just as ‘Vote’ has become the fashion slogan of the season, pink has been reframed as the colour of activism

“Political pink” has become the colour of activism in the US, as a pivotal election approaches next month.

This week, celebrities including Kerry Washington, Amy Schumer and Zoe Saldana posted selfies on Instagram of themselves wearing pink pantsuits. The outfits are part of a collection which benefits Supermajority, an advocacy group set up by members of Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter and the National Domestic Workers alliance, which encourages women into political action.

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It's not enough for Black Lives Matter to protest. We must run for office too | Chi Ossé

The Guardian | Protest -

It’s time for Black Lives Matter to convert our popularity into political power

Black Lives Matter, the second civil rights movement, was born seven years ago in the wake of the killings of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. It has now come of age. After numerous waves of protest, the 2020 surge marked the largest protest movement in the history of the country. In June, I co-founded Warriors in the Garden, one of New York’s leading protest collectives, and spent nearly every day for months in the streets. This mass mobilization sprang to life following the killings of two more Black Americans, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, at the hands of the police. But the catalyst was not the fuel. Slavery came to our shores in 1619, and has for 400 years defined both the Black experience and the United States. The nation is a powder keg; 2020 lit the fuse.

Related: As a social worker, I know we must do more than stand in solidarity with black people | Vava Tampa

Black people built this country. For 400 years, our contributions to its foundations and fabric have been invaluable

Chi Ossé is a member of the activist collective Warriors in the Garden. He is also a candidate to represent New York City’s 36th district

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Pakistani Shias live in terror as sectarian violence increases

The Guardian | Protest -

The Sunni majority is using blasphemy laws to target and murder those they call ‘heretics’

Syed Kareem* has been in hiding for weeks. He fears if he is seen on the streets of Karachi, the Pakistan city he calls home, he will be a dead man walking.

His ordeal began with a Facebook post in early September, where he condemned the killers of a Shia Muslim martyred centuries ago. Though Kareem had meant it as a post of religious devotion, it caught the attention of an extremist Sunni Muslim group, who called him a traitor to Muslims.

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Teargas used on Portland protesters risks ‘grave health hazards’, says lawsuit

The Guardian | Protest -

Complaint against local and federal agencies seeks remedies for ‘sustained, repeated, high-volume’ use of gas weapons at protests

A new lawsuit filed by environmental and human rights groups in Oregon alleges that federal agencies’ use of chemical crowd control weapons in Portland, like CS gas, has created “potentially grave health and environmental hazards”, and that the use of such weapons should be subject to assessments of its environmental impact.

The complaint filed Tuesday by Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticide (NCAP), Willamette Riverkeeper, Cascadia Widlands, Neighbors for Clean Air (NCA), 350 Portland and the ACLU of Oregon names the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its Acting Secretary Chad Wolf as defendants.

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Protesters vow to defy Nigerian curfew in fight against police brutality – video

The Guardian | Protest -

Protesters have vowed to continue demonstrating across Nigeria as the country’s most populated city, Lagos, was put under a 24-hour lockdown on Tuesday.

Police have continued to clash with demonstrators protesting against the notorious Sars police unit, now dissolved but long-accused of extra-judicial killings, torture and extortion.

The government has adopted measures including judicial panels to investigate abuses and compensation for victims, and officials have called for protesters to suspend the demonstrations to give the government time to make good on its pledges

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Hong Kong banks told to report potential breaches of security law

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Transactions that could violate Beijing-imposed law should be treated the same as if financing terrorism, says guidance

Hong Kong-based banks have been told to report any transactions that they believe may violate the national security law, in new advice from the financial regulator.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority updated its advice to companies last month, in an amended document of frequently asked questions, to say transactions suspected to be linked to the law should be treated the same as transactions suspected to be money laundering or financing terrorism.

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Nigeria protests lead to 24-hour Lagos curfew

The Guardian | Protest -

Airport shut as city governor condemns ‘anarchy’ and violence surrounding Sars police brutality protests

The government of Lagos has imposed an immediate 24-hour curfew, shutting down protests against police brutality that have erupted across Nigeria and paralysed large areas of the state that includes Africa’s largest city.

The protests have been against the notorious Sars police unit, now dissolved but long-accused of extra-judicial killings, torture and extortion. More broadly the demonstrations have been against systemic abuse by Nigerian police forces.

Related: Nigeria's anti-police brutality protests bring Lagos to standstill

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