From The Guardian

Richard Ashcroft quits Tramlines festival owing to its Covid research

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Verve frontman was set to headline Sheffield event, but says it was ‘sadly forced to become’ a ‘Government Experiment’

Richard Ashcroft has pulled out of his headline slot at Sheffield’s Tramlines festival later this month, as he opposes the event being used as part of government research into the transmission of Covid-19 at large events.

He wrote on Instagram:

Apologies to my fans for any disappointment but the festival was informed over 10 days ago that I wouldn’t be playing once it had become part of a government testing programme. I had informed my agent months ago I wouldn’t be playing concerts with restrictions. The status of the festival was one thing when I signed up for it, but sadly was forced to become something else. It must be an age thing but the words Government Experiment and Festival #naturalrebel #theydontownme

Related: Noel Gallagher says he refuses to wear a 'pointless' mask despite UK laws

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This England team has taken on challenges that go way beyond sport | Musa Okwonga

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No matter what happens in the semi-final, the players’ stand against inequality and racism should be lauded

Watching Raheem Sterling play with such freedom against Ukraine was an absolute joy. In the middle of the euphoria, the only thing that gave me pause was the thought that, had Sterling not been astonishingly resilient when certain sections of the media loved him somewhat less, we might never have seen this day. The onslaught that he suffered, which he spoke about publicly only when a fellow black footballer was targeted with similar unfairness, might have broken most players.

Related: I love the football team but can’t get tribal about England. What’s going on? | Kenan Malik

Musa Okwonga is a poet, journalist and musician, and co-hosts the Stadio football podcast

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The low-desire life: why people in China are rejecting high-pressure jobs in favour of ‘lying flat’

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It’s been dubbed ‘tangping’ – shunning tough careers to chill out instead. But how is the Communist party taking the birth of this new counterculture?

Name: Low-desire life.

Age: People – young ones especially – have been rebelling, dropping out, rejecting the rat race for pretty much ever, since the rat race began. But in China, it’s becoming more common. On trend, you might say.

Related: How hard does China work?

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Europe’s rights tsar urges MPs and peers to oppose protest curbs

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Dunja Mijatović says policing bill would seriously harm freedom of expression in England and Wales

A proposed new law that could impose time and noise limits on protests in England and Wales would seriously harm freedom of expression and should be rejected by parliamentarians, Europe’s human rights commissioner has said.

Dunja Mijatović of the Council of Europe made her concerns clear in a letter to MPs and peers as the former prepare to debate the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill on Monday.

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‘I can’t give up on my leg’: the Gaza protesters resisting amputation at all costs

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Despite chronic pain and deadly infections, Palestinians wounded in protests three years ago still hope to recover without surgery

Sitting on his hospital bed, with external fixators screwed into his right leg, Mohammed al-Mughari has been in pain and on medication since he was shot in the leg more than three years ago.

He lives with a chronic bone infection – from bacteria now resistant to most antibiotics. Doctors, including in Jordan and Egypt where he sought treatment previously, have all recommended that an amputation could end his long-term suffering, but he has steadfastly refused.

For many, amputation is a last resort that is seen as a failure, even though it could greatly improve life quality

Related: ‘I refuse to visit his grave’: the trauma of mothers caught in Israel-Gaza conflict

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Extinct review – firenadoes, melting ice and one hour to halt apocalypse

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Theatre Royal Stratford East, London
Featuring plague and shootouts in M&S, XR supporter April De Angelis’s dystopic climate drama is a powerful, urgent polemic

During Extinction Rebellion’s climate protests of 2019, April De Angelis staged a riotous drama called Mrs Noah in Parliament Square in central London. A riff on the biblical floods, it reflected on human extinction with laughs along the way.

Now comes another climate drama in which De Angelis declares her XR affiliations, but with no hint of levity. We begin in a dystopic 2030. The narrator, played by Kiran Landa, tells us of a nuclear hot sun, marauding gangs and shootouts in M&S food halls. The scenario bears some echoes of pandemic stresses, from the food queues to the pervading panic.

Related: Mrs Noah fights back: 'It's about extinction. There is no bigger story'

Extinct is at Theatre Royal Stratford East until 17 July and will also be streamed from 13 to 18 July.

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The Engagement review: a tour de force on the fight for same-sex marriage

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Don’t let the length or density of Sasha Issenberg’s new book put you off – it is a must-read on the fight for true civil rights

Sasha Issenberg’s tour-de-force, 900-word chronicle of “America’s quarter-century struggle over same-sex marriage” might have been even better had it been given even a few illustrations.

Related: This is the Fire review: Don Lemon's audacious study of racism – and love

Related: Gay marriage declared legal across the US in historic supreme court ruling

The white gay community is banging its head against the glass ceiling of a room called equality, believing that a breakthrough on marriage will bestow on it parity with heterosexuals.

But the right to marry does nothing to address the problems faced by both Black gays and Black straights. Does someone who is homeless or suffering from HIV but has no healthcare, or newly out of prison and unemployed, really benefit from the right to marry someone of the same sex?

Related: The Deviant's War: superb epic of Frank Kameny and the fight for gay equality

The Engagement: America’s Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage is published in the US by Penguin Random House

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Protests call for end to NHS underfunding and understaffing

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Anger grows over recommended 1% pay rise, as nurses and doctors consider taking industrial action

Dozens of protests have called for an end to underfunding and understaffing in the NHS across England, Scotland and Wales to mark the health service’s 73rd anniversary.

Campaigners from Keep Our NHS Public said they wanted an end to health service privatisation, better pay and to highlight threats to patient safety due to working conditions.

These are the scenes right now outside University College Hospital in London as health workers and NHS activists join the national day of action for a decent NHS pay rise and against privatisation ✊️✊️✊️#NHSPay15 #endNHSprivatisation@NurseSayNO @THKONP @keepnhspublic pic.twitter.com/IGROn7Wymr

Samba band heads up #London #NHSPay15 protest #NHSBirthday #NHS73 #MigrantsMakeOurNHS pic.twitter.com/lApe976sim

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The Brazilian protest leader determined to bring Bolsonaro’s ‘genocidal’ government down - video

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The Guardian follows Guilherme Boulos, who ran against Bolsonaro in the last elections, as he leads thousands through the streets of São Paulo, calling for the country’s president to be impeached. 

The pressure is mounting on Bolsonaro as he faces a scandal over allegedly corrupt Covid vaccine deals and public rage over his handling of a pandemic that has killed more than half a million people. 

Boulos has helped lead and organise two mass demonstrations already in the past month and will be at the forefront of a third protest this Saturday. Tens of thousands of people are expected to turn out. 


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Getty Inclusion Scholarship winners – in pictures

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Getty Images’ Inclusion Scholarships promote greater diversity and inclusion within the photographic and media industries, by supporting emerging talented photographers and photojournalists within minority groups and enable careers within the industry. Partnering with Women Photograph, National Association of Black Journalists, Asian American Journalists Association and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, four scholarship grants of $10,000 each were awarded

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Inquiry condemns policing of Sarah Everard vigil and Bristol protests

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Report says police breached fundamental rights and used unnecessary and disproportionate force

The policing of the Sarah Everard vigil in London and “kill the bill” demonstrations in Bristol breached fundamental rights to protest and involved unnecessary and disproportionate use of force, a parliamentary inquiry has found.

Multiple failings were committed by the Metropolitan police service (MPS) and Avon and Somerset constabulary (A&SC), including wrongly applying the lockdown regulations and failing to understand their legal duty to facilitate peaceful protest, the all-party parliamentary group on democracy and the constitution (APPGDC) found.

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Fears for Chilean indigenous leader’s safety after police shooting

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Alberto Curamil, an award-winning environmental activist, was seriously injured during a protest against the burning of a Mapuche home

Former recipients of a prestigious environmental award, together with Amnesty International and the lawyer of indigenous land rights defender Alberto Curamil, have launched an appeal for Curamil’s safety after he was seriously injured in a shooting by police.

Curamil, an indigenous Mapuche leader who in 2019 won the Goldman Environmental Prize (GEP), also known as the “green Nobel”, was left with 18 riot shotgun pellets embedded in his body after police chased his truck and opened fire after a protest against an arson attack on a Mapuche home on contested land in southern Chile.

Related: Brazil aerial photos show miners’ devastation of indigenous people’s land

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

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Teargas used against protesters in African kingdom with an overnight curfew imposed

Government forces in the southern African kingdom of Eswatini fired gunshots and teargas on Tuesday to break up protests calling for reforms to its system of absolute monarchy, witnesses said. A dusk-till-dawn curfew was also imposed.

The acting prime minister, Themba Masuku, denied media reports that King Mswati III had fled the violence to neighbouring South Africa.

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

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After lockdown, what Britain needs most is moments of collective joy | James Greig

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Yes, we must mourn our losses, but we must also party in the streets. There’s nothing ‘antisocial’ about that

We might not be close to a post-pandemic society but we are, at the very least, entering into a post-lockdown one. The challenge facing us now is how to deal with the enormous loss of life we have collectively experienced, how to even begin to move on from something that has been traumatic for so many. Lots of people have proposed some kind of formalised collective mourning, perhaps a permanent national memorial or day of remembrance. But if we need a process of collective mourning (and I think we do), we also need collective joy: a national memorial service, followed by a raucous wake.

Collective joy, whether it takes the form of carnivals, festivals, protests, nightclubs, or Scottish football fans singing “you’re just a shite Rabbie Burns” at an unwitting statue of William Shakespeare, addresses a deep human need. It has the power to cut through isolation, and make us feel part of something larger than ourselves. Despite this, it’s hardly a prominent feature of modern life. What little of it there is is often expensive and exclusive: think of the steel fences that enclose £100-day-ticket music festivals. In the pre-industrial age, on the other hand, there was a feast day, carnival or festival just about every week. According to the historian EP Thompson, “these occasions were, in an important sense, what men and women lived for.”

James Greig writes about culture and society

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Top US general got into shouting match with Trump over race protests – report

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Book claims Gen Mark Milley yelled at Trump, prompting former president to yell back: ‘You can’t fucking talk to me like that!’

Gen Mark Milley, the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, reportedly “yelled” at Donald Trump that he was not and would not be in charge of the federal response to protests for racial justice, prompting the then president to yell back: “You can’t fucking talk to me like that!”

Related: ‘Republicans are defunding the police’: Fox News anchor stumps congressman

Related: Trump told top US general to ‘just shoot’ racism protesters, book claims

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Three arrested and three officers injured at anti-lockdown protests in London

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Hundreds of tennis balls, some bearing messages, launched at the Houses of Parliament to chants of ‘shame on you’

Police arrested three people and three officers were injured during anti-lockdown protests on Saturday that saw thousands descend on central London and hundreds of tennis balls launched at the Houses of Parliament.

The Metropolitan police said three people were arrested at the protests – for breach of the peace and assault on police, plus one was already wanted for a previous assault – and three officers suffered minor injuries.

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Vaccine hesitancy wanes despite thousands joining ‘Freedom March’

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Size of anti-vax protest in London far smaller than turnout predicted by organisers

Thousands of anti-lockdown and anti-vax demonstrators marched through central London on Saturday amid broader signs that hesitancy towards Covid-19 vaccines in the UK is waning.

It was billed the “Freedom March” by protesters who assembled at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park from midday, some holding banners backing Donald Trump’s run for presidency in 2024, or supporting the far right conspiracy movement QAnon.

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Met police brace for ‘busy weekend’ of major London protests

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Dance music acts along with anti-lockdown, anti-austerity and climate activists will all converge on capital

Some of the UK’s leading dance music acts are expected to join a protest march in London calling for the government to scrap Covid restrictions on nightclubs, as the capital gears up for a weekend of mass demonstrations.

Anti-lockdown protesters, anti-austerity campaigners and environmentalists will also stage protests in London on Saturday and Sunday, and the Metropolitan police said they were preparing for “a busy weekend”.

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Lack of support for theatre is to discourage dissent, says top playwright

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Laura Wade, writer of Posh and Home, I’m Darling, criticises government’s attitude to industry as unions fight cuts to performing arts degrees

The government has insufficiently supported the crisis-hit theatre industry because it wants to “discourage ideas and dissent” the leading playwright Laura Wade has warned.

The perception persists, Wade believes, that theatre is a “frivolous” luxury, rather than valued as enriching, and that “people would be doing it whether or not they are being paid”. It had been taken for granted that most towns have a theatre, Wade added. “I think when we lose those, it will be a surprise.”

I did draft after draft of The Watsons. I had a sick feeling when I sat down to have another go at it

Related: Recipe for disaster: what's behind the rise of 50s-style domesticity?

Home, I’m Darling is at the Stephen Joseph theatre, Scarborough, 9 July-14 August, at the Octagon, Bolton, in September and at Theatre By the Lake, Keswick, 6-30 October.

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