From The Guardian

'No regrets': activists who shut down power plant await sentence

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Members of WeShutDown stand trial for blockading the Weisweiler plant. Some call it ‘ecoterrorism’, while others label it a masterstroke in the art of protest

A group of climate activists who shut down a lignite coal power plant in Germany said they had no regrets and were prepared to repeat the action, as they awaited the conclusion of their trial.

The activists from the group WeShutDown blockaded the Weisweiler power plant near Aachen for several hours on 15 November 2017, by halting its coal-carrying conveyor belts and diggers. The energy company RWE, which owns the plant, claims the shutdown cost it €2m.

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NHS medics reject 'ideology of Trump' in rally against visit

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Protest against president’s visit to Britain follows leaked trade papers discussing US firms muscling in on health service

Doctors and nurses have led protests in London against Donald Trump’s visit to Britain, a week after leaked papers surfaced showing that UK and US trade envoys had discussed dismantling NHS drug-price protection.

Demonstrators gathered in Trafalgar Square from 4pm on Tuesday, with NHS workers slated to lead them down the Mall towards Buckingham Palace, where the US president was due to meet the Queen and Boris Johnson at a reception for Nato heads of government.

Related: General election: Corbyn expresses doubts about Trump's NHS pledge ahead of possible meeting – live news

“Our NHS, the values it represents, of kindness, of tolerance, the kindness it represents ... these values are crucial to our British society.”@SoniaAdesara, an nhs worker leading the #TrumpProtest on her fears about a trade deal with the US. #TrumpUKVisit

“NATO means Erdogan, Erdogan means Isis. The world needs to know they are connected.”

Ronak Yones, 60, on the Kurdish solidarity block at the #TrumpUKVisit demo. #TrumpProtest

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I suffered a brain injury at the hands of the police. I am still waiting for justice | Alfie Meadows

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I was lucky to survive the state violence I faced, but many – often the most marginalised – do not

Almost nine years ago, on 9 December 2010, I joined thousands in Parliament Square to protest against the coalition government’s proposal to allow universities to charge up to £9,000 a year in tuition fees, a policy that inaugurated a decade of austerity. While Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs voted through the bill, outside, the police kettled protesters and charged at us with horses. Just after 6pm that evening, while detained in the kettle in Parliament Square, I suffered a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain at the hands of the police. I had to undergo life-saving brain surgery.

After almost a decade I am still fighting for justice. There has to date been no accountability for the dangerous and violent policing of the protest, nor for what happened to me. Tomorrow, a process begins that may change this: the officer who is accused of striking me is facing a gross misconduct hearing. I am due to give evidence on 9 December, nine years to the day after the protest.

Related: The London ban on Extinction Rebellion risks a perilous erosion of public trust | Tim Newburn

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Iran state TV says ‘rioters’ shot and killed in last month's protests

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Report is fullest admission authorities have given of violence used to stem unrest

Iranian state television has acknowledged that security forces killed “rioters” in several cities during the protests that convulsed the country last month, in the fullest admission authorities have given so far of the violence used to put down the demonstrations.

Amnesty International says the government’s response to the nationwide unrest that followed a surprise rise in the price of petrol on 14 November resulted in the deaths of 208 protesters, a figure that would almost certainly increase, making it the deadliest crackdown on demonstrations in the 40-year history of the Islamic Republic.

Related: Blocked roads then bullets: Iran's brutal crackdown in its City of Roses

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Do you want to feel really good this Christmas? Boycott Amazon

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The firm’s overworked warehouse staff have had to pee in old water bottles while their CEO is paid in a second what they earn in five weeks

Jeff Bezos, says the TUC, earns as much in a second as one of his warehouse workers would earn in five weeks. It makes his performative philanthropy – such as his Bezos Day One charity, which helps families in low-income areas – slightly nauseating. If he hadn’t set Amazon up to maximise his power and overvalue his contribution, he wouldn’t have helped to create the disempowerment and exploitation he claims to want to overcome.

Serf-like conditions for Amazon warehouse staff, the atmosphere of hyper-surveillance in which every motion is monitored to check that it’s fast enough, are piled on top of the low wages to ram home to each employee how dispensable they are. But then, think of the free delivery.

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University strikes offer a lesson in principles, pay and pensions | Letter

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Academics respond to coverage about the ongoing disruption and suggest ways to resolve the issues

Your editorial is right to emphasise the wider issues in the strike by university lecturers and support services (Lecturers have a just cause in this important battle for the soul of the campus, 26 November). But the pensions issue still lies at the heart of the dispute.

With a few retired colleagues, we have been attempting to persuade both the University and College Union (UCU) and the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) to deal with the serious generational unfairness that has caused the need for additional contributions to the pension fund.

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Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti: 'My family make the Borgias look like the Waltons'

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She needed police protection after her play about a rape in a Sikh temple was axed mid-run. The playwright talks about the extraordinary upbringing that drives her

Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti was a bright, young playwright when life ambushed her art. She had just staged her second play, Behzti, which featured the rape of a young woman in a gurdwara, a place of worship, when some British Sikhs took affront. Protests turned into riots, and the hysteria rose to such a fever pitch that the Birmingham Repertory theatre caved in and closed Behzti in the middle of its run.

It is rare for British authors to be forced to go to ground. It happened to Salman Rushdie in 1989 after a fatwa was issued over The Satanic Verses. When it happened to Bhatti, in December 2004, police put bars on the windows of her flat and installed CCTV cameras outside it. As in Rushdie’s case, several ironies emerged amid the public outrage: some protesters hadn’t seen the play; others mistook it for a film. Behzti’s themes had been inspired by personal experience, but Bhatti was variously accused of sacrilege and betraying her community.

Someone once said to me: You grew up in an Ibsen play

I was proud to be part of The Archers storyline about Helen and Rob. It ran across 900 episodes

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Migration v climate: Europe's new political divide

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In Hungary and elsewhere, activists are demanding climate action but politicians say biggest threat comes from migration

The crowd that gathered outside Hungary’s neo-gothic parliament building on Friday was loud, young and passionate. The latest round of global school climate strikes drew several thousand people in Budapest, including the city’s newly elected liberal mayor. They sang, chanted and shouted demands to the country’s politicians to take the climate emergency seriously.

But there was little sign that inside parliament, dominated by the Fidesz party of the far-right prime minister, Viktor Orbán, the politicians were listening. It was an illustration of a key new political divide in Europe, between rightwing forces who preach that the greatest danger to life as we know it is migration, and those who say instead that the biggest threat comes from the climate emergency.

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The big picture: the fading of hope in post-apartheid South Africa

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Gideon Mendel’s powerful, water-damaged image from 1980s Johannesburg speaks to the deterioration of memory

In 1990, when the photographer Gideon Mendel left his native South Africa for London, he deposited a number of boxes in his friend’s garage in Johannesburg for safekeeping. These boxes contained, among other things, negatives and transparencies from Mendel’s harrowing first few years as a photojournalist during the struggle against apartheid in the mid-80s.

Over the next three decades, Mendel became renowned for his intimate, socially engaged photography, documenting the effects of the HIV/Aids crisis and climate breakdown. For one project, from his Drowning World series, he has gathered nearly 2,000 water-damaged family photographs picked up on his journeys through flooded communities in the US, India and elsewhere.

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Chinese riot police fire teargas and beat up protesters in Guangdong province

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Hundreds of residents in Wenlou township were protesting against construction of large crematorium

Riot police have fired teargas and beaten residents in southern China after they took to the streets to protest against a local construction project.

Hundreds of residents in Wenlou, a township in Guangdong province about 60 miles from Hong Kong, protested on Friday against plans for a large crematorium in an area officials had previously said would become an “ecological park”.

Related: TikTok sorry for blocking teenager who disguised Xinjiang video as make-up tutorial


(February 1, 2019) 

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Trump to face protests by NHS staff when he arrives in London

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US president’s visit to UK for Nato summit making Tories nervous about what he may say

Donald Trump arrives in London next week for a two-day Nato summit which will see him greeted on Tuesday evening by doctors, nurses and other NHS workers leading a protest of tens of thousands outside Buckingham Palace.

The protesters – aiming to highlight potential risks to the NHS in a future US-UK trade deal – will march from Trafalgar Square up the Mall, and gather at Canada Gate when Trump and other Nato leaders meet the Queen at a 6pm drinks reception.

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Eco-fascists and the ugly fight for 'our way of life' as the environment disintegrates | Jeff Sparrow

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Genuine fascists remain on the political margins, but we can increasingly imagine the space that eco-fascism might occupy

Earlier this year, when the fascist responsible for the El Paso massacre cited ecological degradation as part motivation for his killing spree, many considered him entirely deranged.

Eco-fascism sounds oxymoronic, a mashup of irreconcilable philosophies.

Related: Rightwing identity politics ignores the fact the ‘working class’ is not just white men | Jeff Sparrow

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Hundreds of thousands of students join global climate strikes

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Large turnouts in Madrid before UN summit, and in Sydney after deadly wildfires

Hundreds of thousands of young people have taken to the streets from Manila to Copenhagen as part of the latest student climate strikes to demand radical action on the unfolding ecological emergency.

School and university students around the world walked out of lessons on Friday with large turnouts in Madrid, where world leaders will gather on Monday for the latest UN climate summit, and Sydney, where protesters demanded action after devastating wildfires.

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Iraqi PM says he will resign after weeks of violent protests

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Adel Abdul-Mahdi’s move comes after call for change of leadership from top cleric

The Iraqi prime minister has announced his resignation after the country’s top Shia Muslim cleric called for lawmakers to reconsider their support for a government rocked by weeks of deadly anti-establishment unrest.

“In response to this call, and in order to facilitate it as quickly as possible, I will present to parliament a demand [to accept] my resignation from the leadership of the current government,” a statement signed by Adel Abdul-Mahdi said.

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Mass consumerism is decimating our planet. This Black Friday, let’s take a stand | Alan Bradshaw

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With climate catastrophe on the horizon, we should reject this orgy of consumption – and find joy in not shopping at all

In 2008 a Walmart worker was trampled to death by crowds at a Black Friday shop opening in New York. The event was one of a handful of incidents that became emblematic of that distinctly American occasion. Black Friday, which takes place today, still registers as the busiest shopping day of the year in the US.

Related: High street's hopes for Black Friday bonanza unlikely to be realised

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Children across the UK go on strike to demand action on climate

The Guardian | Protest -

Pupils to declare December vote a ‘climate election’ after new data highlights urgency of crisis

Children and young people in more than 100 towns and cities across the UK will walk out of classrooms on Friday for the latest youth strike to highlight the escalating climate crisis.

Strikers in the UK will focus on the forthcoming election, which they have vowed to make a “climate election” by demonstrating the growing public concern about the ecological crisis.

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‘It’s personal here': southern Iraq ablaze

The Guardian | Protest -

Anger at those perceived to have profited since the defeat of Isis has fuelled sectarian resentment

In the southern Iraqi town of al-Shatrah, after canal-side cafes have shed the last of their customers and demonstrators occupying the central market square have dispersed to their homes, an eerie howl from a brass trumpet breaks the uneasy silence.

This is the signal for a group of young men to re-congregate for a night of personal and targeted action: burning the homes of local officials, politicians and militia leaders.

Related: 'Fear factor is broken': protesters demand removal of Iraqi government

Related: How street protests across Middle East threaten Iran’s power

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Thousands in Hong Kong praise Trump with 'Thanksgiving' rally as more protests loom

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‘We really appreciate the effort made by Americans,’ says one protester, as city braces for another weekend of protest

Thousands of protesters in Hong Kong, some draped in American flags, have staged a “Thanksgiving” rally in the heart of the city after the approval by Donald Trump of human rights legislation aimed at protecting them.

“The rationale for us having this rally is to show our gratitude and thank the US Congress and also president Trump for passing the bill,” said 23-year-old Sunny Cheung, a member of the student group that lobbied for the legislation.

Related: 'Full of arrogance': Trump angers China by signing bills backing Hong Kong protesters

Related: 'They surrendered': Hong Kong activists mull next move as university siege ends

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Climate change strike: thousands of school students protest over bushfires

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Students in Australia gathered in Sydney, Melbourne and other capitals as part of the global 29 November climate protests

A teenager whose family home burned down in the New South Wales bushfires has delivered a message to Scott Morrison at a climate emergency protest outside the Liberal party headquarters, saying: “your thoughts and prayers are not enough”.

Shiann Broderick, from Nymboida, said government inaction on the climate crisis had “supercharged bushfires”.

Related: Victoria police 'extremely disappointed' with two officers after climate protests

The message outside @bhp is *pretty clear* (language warning) @7NewsMelbourne

Students at a climate change protest in Sydney. Sitting outside Liberal Party HQ. @abcnews @abcsydney #auspol

Related: BoM summer outlook warns Australia to prepare for severe fire danger

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Protesters set fire to Iranian consulate amid growing unrest in Iraq – video

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Anti-government protesters have set fire to the Iranian consulate in Najaf, accusing the Shia-led government of corruption and complaining of poor public services and high unemployment. They are also decrying growing Iranian influence in Iraqi state affairs

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