From The Guardian

Women are ready to take on fracking | Letters

The Guardian | Protest -

There is a whole generation of women out here who were protesters at Greenham Common, Aldermaston, and the Newbury Bypass (Anti-Fracking groups plan protest camps, 26 May). Besides working with our partners to help our children carve out a life in a horribly hostile financial climate, we are volunteering on committees to help keep youth and children’s centres, libraries, and village halls open, because council budgets are totally inadequate. In our 50s, 60s and 70s, we are supporting the junior doctors, standing against welfare cuts, and for renewable energy. We want this government to publish the report, which they have been sitting on since the end of March, on the Environmental Impact of Shale Gas Technology, by the independent Climate Change Committee. Yes, I think there will be anti-fracking camps like Balcombe here in the north. I think there might be all sorts of imaginative social disobedience. We’ve been round the block already, and demographics show that our age group is growing. Even if we didn’t get to Greenham Common, there are quite a lot of us who might make up for it in Kirby Misperton, Preston New Road, or Roseacre Wood.
Janet Russell
Silsden, West Yorkshire

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Victorian protesters could face mask ban under laws flagged after violent rally

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Police taskforce to be created to catch people who hid faces and sparked violent clashes during Melbourne rally against both Islam and racism

Protesters could be banned from wearing masks and there are calls to reinstate laws that give police more powers at rallies after violent clashes at a Melbourne rally.

Seven people were arrested as more than 500 people rallied in heavy rain against both Islam and racism in Coburg on Saturday.

Related: Melbourne protests: seven arrested as clashes erupt between opposing rallies

Related: From conservative hip-hop to white power rock, rightwing politics inspires woeful music | Jeff Sparrow

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'Baird out': protesters in Sydney rally against NSW premier's policies

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Vocal opponents of Mike Baird call for an end to council amalgamations, Sydney’s light rail development and lockout laws

Waving placards saying “Baird Out” and “Save Sydney from Baird’s butchery”, thousands rallied on Sunday outside Sydney’s town hall to protest a swathe of policies introduced by the NSW premier, Mike Baird.

The vocal crowd included opponents of the NSW council amalgamations, light rail development, nightspot lockout laws, anti-protest legislation and the WestConnex motorway project.

Related: Mike Baird’s forced council mergers are a disgraceful rort | Luke Foley

Loud applause from protesters opposing @mikebairdMP govt @ rally in Syd #AMNnews vid @AdamMarsters #marchagainstmike

Asked an experienced rally counter, who reckons there are easily 5k people at #marchagainstbaird #marchagainstmike

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Police officer throws woman to ground during France protests – video

The Guardian | Protest -

WARNING: Some viewers may find the following footage distressing. Amateur footage shows a woman being pushed to the ground by a policeman during a protest in Toulouse on Thursday. The protests are against President François Hollande’s planned labour bill, which aims to make it easier for companies to hire and fire workers, and which was forced through parliament without a vote this month

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‘It makes you want to fight back’: activists on life after prison

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Charlie Gilmour was sentenced to 16 months for violent disorder during a student riot. He talks politics and punishment with four protesters

The prison wing erupted with joy. People were shouting and cheering and banging heavy objects against their cell doors. It was like everyone’s favourite football team had scored at once. “Did you see that?” my cellmate asked excitedly. “Rupert Murdoch just took a hit to the face!”

Comedian and activist Jonnie Marbles had managed to sneak a shaving-foam “custard pie” into the July 2011 committee hearing about phone hacking, which he launched at the octogenarian media mogul on behalf, he later explained, of “all the people who couldn’t”. Few anticipated that, within weeks, he would be joining us behind bars.

We were like: shall we go to the Tate Modern, or should we attempt to get into parliament where I will pie Murdoch?

I was getting 10 to 20 letters a day. I’ve kept every single letter that was ever sent to me

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France’s chaos stems from its failure to adapt to globalisation | Natalie Nougayrède

The Guardian | Protest -

A showdown is taking place on the streets. President Hollande must stick firmly to his plans for long overdue reform

Demonstrating is in the French political DNA. It’s almost as if, for each generation, pouring out on to the streets is part of growing up. There is a collective ritual to this – we have a national penchant for cathartic moments. Historians point to a revolutionary narrative harking back to 1789. But if you are looking for some of the romanticism of May 1968 in the latest unrest, don’t hold your breath.

Related: Riot police crack down on Paris protests against labour reforms

Never before, under the Fifth Republic, has a socialist government been confronted with this degree of social unrest

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Barcelona's Gràcia district braces for more riots

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Protesters refuse to accept defeat in row over eviction of squatters from former bank in fashionable neighbourhood

Barcelona’s fashionable Gràcia neighbourhood is braced for a weekend of violence after three nights of rioting this week.

The trouble began on Monday when police evicted squatters from an abandoned bank which has served as an informal civic centre for the past five years. Running battles between protesters and police followed for the next three nights, resulting in numerous injuries and widespread damage.

Related: Is this the world’s most radical mayor? | Dan Hancox

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Scores arrested in Democratic Republic of Congo clashes

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One protester killed in Goma during opposition-organised protests against President Joseph Kabila’s plan to delay elections

Police and demonstrators have clashed in the Democratic Republic of Congo amid growing fears that elections scheduled for later this year will be postponed.

One protester died during running battles in Goma, the largest city in the east, while security forces in the capital, Kinshasa, fired teargas at an opposition march.

Related: Fears DRC president's push to keep power will spark major violence

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The man behind #ThisFlag, Zimbabwe's accidental movement for change

The Guardian | Protest -

What started as personal rant has quickly become a rare way for citizens to vent anger against Mugabe’s government, the Daily Maverick reports

Pastor Evan Mawarire was sitting at his desk in Harare, worrying about how he was going to pay his children’s school fees, when something inside him snapped.

The Zimbabwean, who isn’t paid a salary by the church, decided to film himself venting his frustrations with the Zimbabwean flag around his neck, explaining to camera: “When I look at the flag it’s not a reminder of my pride and inspiration, it feels as if I want to belong to another country.”

This flag represents my hopes and my aspirations. The realisation of dreams that i have been robbed of #ThisFlag

Imagine what we could do with $600 000.
Food aid
School fees help
Etc #ThisFlag

Oh. Very revealing. So #ThisFlag thing is a pastor's fart. How stinking!

First #ThisFlag was a "fad" then they said it was "politics" now they say its funded by the west. The citizens movement is surely alive.

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Zimbabweans show support for Robert Mugabe in 'million man march'

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Thousands turned out to celebrate leader and his Zanu-PF party in response to rally organised by opposition last month

Several thousand Zimbabweans joined a march through Harare in support of President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday after the main opposition party staged its own rally last month.

The marchers, many of whom were transported to the capital by bus, sang songs praising Mugabe and wore T-shirts displaying his image as they gathered at a central square to hear him address the crowds.

Related: Thousands march in Harare in rare mass protest against Robert Mugabe

You can't beat this #millionmanmarch #Mugabe

How much of hundreds and thousands of $s spent on this could have gone to paying long-suffering unpaid civil servants? #MillionManMarch

Related: Alleged Mugabe cronies kept offshore firms years after UN alert raised

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Donald Trump could face chaos as he heads to ‘riot-happy’ California city

The Guardian | Protest -

California continues to put up the noisiest resistance to the Trump campaign; by holding a rally in Anaheim, the Republican nominee is ‘wishing for chaos’

If Donald Trump is eager to avoid the large, impassioned, noisy protests that almost derailed his last visit to California – and maybe he’s not – he has certainly picked the wrong location for his return trip on Wednesday.

Anaheim may be the home of Disneyland and a reliable source of affluent, conservative white voters in the suburban tracts an hour south of Los Angeles, but it is also bubbling over with tensions, as a restive and growing Latino minority clamors for greater political representation, a less repressive police force and a more tolerant environment for immigrants and their families.

Related: Reality stars and xenophobes: Trump's California delegates mirror their maker

My stomach turns when I hear the man’s voice … he provokes a very bad feeling among the communities he has stepped on

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Brussels anti-austerity protesters clash with police – video

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Police in Brussels fire water cannon during clashes with protesters at an anti-austerity demonstration. Fighting broke out at the end of a peaceful rally on Tuesday that saw around 50,000 take to the streets. Around 100 masked protesters starting hurling objects and firecrackers at the police, who responded by firing jets of water. Photograph: AP/Michel Spingler

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Brussels police fire water cannon at anti-austerity protesters

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About 100 masked protesters reportedly broke away from main rally and started hurling objects and firecrackers at police

Belgian police have fired water cannon during clashes with protesters at a demonstration in Brussels against the centre-right government’s austerity measures.

A 100-strong group of masked protesters broke away from the peaceful main rally of about 60,000 people in the Belgian capital and started hurling objects and firecrackers at riot police, reporters at the scene said.

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Fracking wins battle in Yorkshire but not the war | Damian Carrington

The Guardian | Protest -

For those backing fracking, the approval of exploration plans at Kirby Misperton is a vital victory, but they are fighting growing public opposition

For those backing fracking, the approval of exploration plans at Kirby Misperton in Yorkshire is a vital victory.

But the war is far from won, with public opinion moving ever further against fracking. The more zealously the government goes on the offensive on shale gas, the more people oppose it.

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Counter-extremism bill puts our rights at risk | Letter from Diane Abbott MP, Natalie Bennett and 47 others

The Guardian | Protest -

Letter from Labour MPs Diane Abbott, Kate Osamor, Clive Lewis, Green party leader Natalie Bennett, NUS president-elect Malia Bouattia and 42 others

We, the undersigned, are concerned about the implications of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy, Prevent, and the proposed counter-extremism bill on civil liberties, freedom of speech, religion and cultural expression, the right to protest and dissent (Mixed bag promises laws on crime and broadband, 18 May).

Prevent is not working. We all agree with the need for a counter-terrorism strategy, but it must do exactly that.

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Protesters urge North Yorkshire councillors to vote against fracking

The Guardian | Protest -

A vote allowing Third Energy to frack for shale gas could pave way for technique to be used across England, critics say

North Yorkshire councillors have been urged not to turn the region into “the fracking capital of the UK” before a crucial vote that could pave the way for the technique to be used across England.

The UK firm Third Energy wants to frack for shale gas at its existing drilling site near the village of Kirby Misperton, between Malton and Pickering.

Related: Police 'used sexualised violence against fracking protesters'

North Yorkshire council has now finished hearing concerns of anti-fracking protesters ahead of decision later today

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Give children a stake in society to improve their mental health

The Guardian | Protest -

An explosion of despair among teenage girls and cuts in community services is resulting in their admission to general hospital wards

Pressure on mental health services for young people is increasing (“Care for children with mental health problems is woeful, say GPs”, News, last week). But it is no good calling for more money for services without attending to the causes. Widespread social insecurity is bad for health – mental and physical.

The canary in the mine is the phenomenal explosion of despair among teenage girls, who are turning up to hospital emergency departments, self-harming and suicidal. As community child and adolescent mental health clinics turn patients away, more of them are admitted in crisis to general hospital wards, with patchy mental health expertise to call on. Norman Lamb MP was a coalition government mental health minister when these trends began, so it is rather weak of him now to complain that “rationing of care in such a vital area of care is scandalous”. While most political pressure will be on community funding, what is urgently required is specially skilled mental health and social service professionals in hospital paediatric departments.

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'We are like a bomb': food riots show Venezuela crisis has gone beyond politics

The Guardian | Protest -

Three years of shortages have left Venezuelans desperate and angry for change, posing the most serious threat yet to President Nicolás Maduro

The rumour was there would be chicken.

Word had spread that a delivery of poultry meat was due at the Central Madeirense supermarket, and long before dawn a queue of shoppers was snaking around the block.

Related: Venezuelans on the food and economic crisis blighting their daily lives

Related: President says Venezuela won't be next to fall, but he may not have a choice

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Fracking protesters gather in North Yorkshire as crucial planning meeting begins

The Guardian | Protest -

Ryedale residents tell councillors they do not want to be the first place in the UK to allow fracking

People living close to a proposed fracking operation in North Yorkshire have told councillors they do not want to be the first community in the UK to allow the controversial gas extraction technique.

A meeting has begun to consider an application by UK firm Third Energy to frack for shale gas at its existing drilling site near the village of Kirby Misperton, between Malton and Pickering, in North Yorkshire.

Related: UK support for fracking hits new low

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