From The Guardian

The Guardian view on Cuba’s protests: people deserve better from their leaders – and the US

The Guardian | Protest -

Despair and frustration have exploded into unrest. Demonstrators should be heard, not exploited

The crackdown is well under way. On Sunday, thousands of Cubans took to the streets in cities across the country, impelled by food shortages, high prices and other anti-government grievances. These were the biggest protests in decades. Over 140 activists, demonstrators and journalists are believed to have been detained or disappeared, and one man has died. A few hundred more protested on Monday, but – while internet shutdowns make it harder to follow events – the unrest appears to have ebbed for now. The discontent has not.

Though the speed and scale of the demonstrations took everyone by surprise, and owe much to the advent of social media, the pressure has long been building. Cuba is in the throes of its worst economic crisis since the “special period” of the early 1990s, after the Soviet Union, its patron, collapsed. The government’s long-term failings, including foot-dragging on reform, have been matched by the impact of the American embargo. Hopes aroused by Barack Obama’s restoration of relations and loosened restrictions were cruelly dashed when Donald Trump reclassified the country as a state sponsor of terrorism and imposed new sanctions barring travel to the country from the US and, crucially, remittances: a key source of income. Washington’s claim that Havana is failing to meet people’s most basic needs is undeniable. But the US has ensured this is the case. Mr Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, reportedly told diplomats that the aim of the tightened sanctions was to “starve” the island to bring down the regime.

Continue reading...

High-profile Cuban musicians show rare public support to protesters

The Guardian | Protest -

Historically musicians steered clear of addressing political topics that risk reprisals at home but Sunday’s explosion changed that

High-profile Cuban musicians from salsa band Los Van Van and jazz pianist Chucho Valdés to pop star Leoni Torres have offered rare public support to protesters and criticized Communist authorities’ handling of the worst unrest in decades.

Thousands of Cubans joined rare protests nationwide on Sunday over shortages, Covid-19 and political rights. The government blamed US-financed “counter-revolutionaries” exploiting economic hardship caused by US sanctions.

Related: Why have Cuba’s simmering tensions boiled over on to the streets?

Continue reading...

Georgia TV stations protest over far-right attacks on journalists

The Guardian | Protest -

Broadcasts suspended after violence at Pride event with journalists calling PM a homophobe

Four independent TV stations in Georgia have suspended broadcasts for 24 hours as part of a wave of media protests against attacks on journalists by far-right mobs.

More than 50 journalists were beaten last week, some with sticks, while covering a protest against a Tbilisi Pride parade, Ultraconservative politicians and priests urged on supporters who raided the offices of pro-LGBTQ groups. The violence ahead of the Pride event led organisers to cancel the parade.

Continue reading...

South Africa grapples with unrest as looting and violence continue – video

The Guardian | Protest -

Unrest in South Africa triggered by the jailing of the former president Jacob Zuma has intensified, despite the deployment of thousands of soldiers on to the streets to reinforce struggling police. There has been widespread looting and shopping centres have been set alight. In one tense scene in Durban, a mother dropped her toddler from a burning building to a group of people below, who caught the child. The wave of violence has also hit South Africa’s faltering Covid vaccination rollout, which has been halted amid safety concerns

Continue reading...

At least 140 Cubans reportedly detained or disappeared after historic protests

The Guardian | Protest -

Activists, protesters and journalists, including a reporter for one of Spain’s leading newspapers, reportedly in custody

Scores of Cuban activists, protesters and journalists, including a reporter for one of Spain’s leading newspapers, have reportedly been detained as Communist party security forces seek to smother Sunday’s historic flare-up of dissent.

Erika Guevara-Rosas, Amnesty International’s Americas director, said at least 140 Cubans were believed to have been detained or had disappeared in the aftermath of Cuba’s largest demonstrations in decades.

Related: Why have Cuba’s simmering tensions boiled over on to the streets?

Continue reading...

Thousands join rare anti-government protests in Cuba – video

The Guardian | Protest -

The biggest mass demonstrations for three decades have rippled through Cuba, as thousands took to the streets in cities throughout the island, demonstrating against food shortages, high prices and communist rule. President Miguel Díaz-Canel blamed the unrest on foreign influence and said that ‘destabilisation in our country’ would be met with a ‘revolutionary response’. Cubans are living through the gravest economic crisis the country has known for 30 years

Continue reading...

Arson and looting continue for fourth day after jailing of Zuma

The Guardian | Protest -

South Africa’s highest court to rule on Monday on whether former president’s sentence is upheld

Buildings have been set on fire and properties looted in South Africa as unrest sparked by the jailing of the former president Jacob Zuma last week continued for a fourth day.

The country’s highest court, which ordered Zuma to be jailed for refusing to appear before a corruption inquiry, is holding a review of its decision with a ruling expected later on Monday on whether the sentence will be upheld.

Continue reading...

New Cross fire tragedy should be taught in schools, says Steve McQueen

The Guardian | Protest -

Director has made three-part BBC documentary, Uprising, on story of fire and subsequent Brixton Riots

The story of the New Cross fire should feature as part of the national curriculum, according to Steve McQueen and the makers of a documentary about the tragedy that happened 40 years ago and changed race relations in the UK for ever.

McQueen’s three-part documentary, Uprising, tells the story of the fire, and the Black People’s Day of Action and the Brixton riots that followed it in 1981, with the Oscar-winning director believing the restive period should be taught in schools.

Related: Forty years on from the New Cross fire, what has changed for black Britons?

Continue reading...

South Africa violence spreads after jailing of Jacob Zuma

The Guardian | Protest -

Looting in former president’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal spreads to economic hub of Johannesburg

Shops were looted overnight and a section of the M2 highway was closed in Johannesburg on Sunday as violence following the jailing of the former South African president Jacob Zuma spread to the country’s main economic hub.

Violence had mainly been concentrated in Zuma’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), where on Wednesday night he began a 15-month sentence for contempt of court.

Continue reading...

‘Growing risks’: Hong Kong pro-democracy group scales down

The Guardian | Protest -

Organisation known for annual Tiananmen vigil lets go of all paid staff and halves its steering committee

One of Hong Kong’s most established pro-democracy civic organisations has said it is letting go its paid staff and halving the size of its steering committee after Beijing stepped up its crackdown on opposition activity.

The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China is best known for its annual rally and candlelight vigil remembering those killed in the bloody 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Related: Hong Kong trial of 47 pro-democracy activists delayed for 11 weeks

Continue reading...

‘Such a relief’: Charlottesville onlookers cheer the removal of Confederate statue

The Guardian | Protest -

Hundreds gathered to see the monument to Robert E Lee, once a rallying point for white supremacists, hoisted off its pedestal

As the statue of Robert E Lee, the Confederate general, was hoisted off its pedestal and strapped to a waiting truck in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, the removal was largely greeted with cheers and expressions of relief by those witnessing it.

Several hundred people had gathered to see the early morning removal of Lee’s statue from the city’s Market Street park, with shouts of “get up and get outta here” and “bye bye” marking the moment.

Stonewall Jackson gets hauled out of Charlottesville, ass first, with U.S. flags waving behind him. The crowd yells "THANK YOU!!" to the workers on the contracting team as they drive their trucks away. #CvilleStatuesDown pic.twitter.com/7D40x6Opif

Related: Charlottesville removes Confederate statues that helped spark deadly rally

As the crane moves into position to remove Charlottesville's Lee statue, 3 Black women in City leadership (police chief, Mayor @NikuyahWalkerCC, student activist @ZyahnaB) speak to the press about symbolic 1st steps to eradicating white supremacy. #Cvillestatuesdown pic.twitter.com/H7G53EElCa

Related: How Charlottesville became the symbolic prize of the far right | Edward Helmore and Lois Beckett

Continue reading...

South Africa: 28 arrests over protests sparked by ex-president’s jailing

The Guardian | Protest -

One of country’s biggest highways closed as supporters of Jacob Zuma burn tyres and trucks

South African police said on Saturday that 28 people had been arrested and one of the country’s biggest highways remained closed over violent protests linked to former president Jacob Zuma’s imprisonment.

Protests erupted this week in parts of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), Zuma’s home province, after the ex-leader handed himself over to police to serve a 15-month jail term for contempt of court.

Continue reading...

Charlottesville removes Confederate statues at center of deadly 2017 protest – video

The Guardian | Protest -

Statues of Confederate generals Robert E Lee and Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson were taken down in the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, nearly four years after white supremacist protests over plans to remove them led to clashes in which a woman was run down by a car and killed. A small crowd of onlookers cheered as the statue of Lee was hoisted away first, lifted by crane from its stone pedestal and taken away on a flat-bed truck.

Continue reading...

Charlottesville to remove Confederate statues that helped spark deadly rally

The Guardian | Protest -

  • Monuments to generals Jackson and Lee to be taken down
  • One person killed during white supremacist rally in 2017

A statue to a Confederate general that helped spark a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in 2017 is set to be removed on Saturday.

In a news release, the Virginia city said the equestrian statue of Gen Robert E Lee and a nearby statue of Gen Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson would be removed to storage. Designated public viewing areas for the removals were to be established.

Continue reading...

Hong Kong trial of 47 pro-democracy activists delayed for 11 weeks

The Guardian | Protest -

Prosecutors granted more time to prepare cases against those arrested under sweeping national security law

Prosecutors have been granted another months-long delay to the trial of 47 pro-democracy politicians, activists, and campaigners in Hong Kong who held pre-election primaries declared illegal under its sweeping national security law.

A court on Thursday was originally expected to hear an application to transfer the case to a higher court with powers to order longer jail sentences, but prosecutors instead requested an 11-week adjournment, saying they needed more time to prepare, local media reported.

Related: ‘They can’t speak freely’: Hong Kong a year after the national security law

Continue reading...

Eswatini protests: ‘we are fighting a liberation struggle’

The Guardian | Protest -

Dozens have died seeking reforms to African kingdom where many are dubious about authorities’ offer of talks

Authorities in Eswatini have promised a “national dialogue” in an attempt to avert further unrest after dozens died and hundreds of businesses were burned down in weeks of protest in Africa’s only remaining absolute monarchy.

The move has been greeted with scepticism by opposition leaders and analysts, with fears of further violence in the landlocked country of 1.3 million if there are no significant reforms to the autocratic political system.

Related: Armed forces open fire in crackdown on anti-monarchy protests in Eswatini

Related: Swaziland king's Facebook exposure of party lifestyle could lose him friends

Continue reading...

The Guardian view on Boris Johnson’s liberalism: no more than a myth | Editorial

The Guardian | Protest -

The prime minister’s instincts are revealed in the populist and authoritarian side of his legislative agenda

Part of the mythology surrounding Boris Johnson is the idea that his politics are, at heart, liberal. The prime minister’s record as mayor of London, where he was careful not to offend the cosmopolitan culture of the capital, is held up by moderate Tories as the guide to their leader’s true instincts. It is also said that his reluctance to impose anti-Covid measures derives from principled aversion to state control over the individual.

In truth, Mr Johnson is a libertine, believing in his own freedom to do as he pleases. That only superficially resembles concern for the rights that protect society against authoritarian government. If the prime minister were sincerely interested in liberty, his party would not this week have given Commons assent to a law that rewrites the terms on which citizens can peacefully protest against the government.

Continue reading...

Biden’s Bureau of Land Management pick grilled over 30-year old protest

The Guardian | Protest -

Tracy Stone-Manning faces Senate Republican opposition to her nomination who accuse her of collaborating with ‘eco-terrorists’

Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Bureau of Land Management is in danger of failing to be confirmed, over her involvement in an ecological protest more than 30 years ago which Republican senators say marks her as an environmental extremist.

Tracy Stone-Manning is currently a senior adviser at the National Wildlife Federation. She acknowledges that in early 1989 she borrowed a typewriter to copy an anonymous letter given to her by environmental activists who claimed to have driven hundreds of metal spikes into trees in the Clearwater national forest, in Idaho.

Related: Republicans criticizing Haaland's nomination have ties to fossil fuels

Continue reading...

Protests across Spain after gay man beaten to death in Galicia

The Guardian | Protest -

Nursing assistant Samuel Luiz, 24, was out with friends in A Coruña when he was set upon

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of towns and cities across Spain to demand justice, equality and protection after a gay man was beaten to death in what police believe could have been a homophobic attack.

Samuel Luiz, a 24-year-old nursing assistant, was out with friends in the Galician city of A Coruña in the early hours of Saturday when an argument started outside a nightclub.

Related: ‘You can’t cancel Pride’: the fight for LGBTQ+ rights amid the pandemic

Continue reading...

Hong Kong police say nine arrested over alleged bomb plot

The Guardian | Protest -

Suspects aged 15-39 accused of attempting to make the explosive TATP in makeshift hostel laboratory

Hong Kong’s national security police say they have arrested nine people on suspicion of engaging in terrorist activity after uncovering what they described as an attempt to make explosives and plant bombs across the city.

According to police, the suspects were aged 15-39 and included six secondary school students, a teacher, an unemployed person and a management-level university employee.

Related: Hong Kong police say mourning officer’s attacker is like backing terrorism

Related: Hong Kong needs law to tackle ‘hostility against the police’, says force’s new chief

Continue reading...

Pages