From The Guardian

Hong Kong residents turn up for local elections in record numbers

The Guardian | Protest -

Poll for relatively toothless district councils has become proxy referendum for the city’s future after months of protests

Hong Kong’s residents turned out in record numbers for local elections that have taken on national significance, becoming a proxy referendum on the future of the semi-autonomous city after nearly six consecutive months of protests.

On Sunday, voters were officially choosing new members for their district councils. But for most who voted, the poll was a chance to pass a city-wide verdict on the crisis that has engulfed the international financial hub since June, pitting pro-Beijing authorities against pro-democracy demonstrators.

Related: Hong Kong protesters pin hopes on the ballot box after weeks of violence

(February 1, 2019) 

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Sisi’s thugs think they can get away with abducting Shady Zalat. Don’t let them | Omar Robert Hamilton

The Guardian | Protest -

Egypt’s rulers want to silence Mada Masr, its last independent news outlet – but can only do so if the world consents

Editor’s note: as this piece was published, news broke of a raid on Mada Masr’s offices. Security forces left after over three hours, having detained at least three staff members including the editor-in-chief, Lina Attalah. Shady Zalat, the subject of this article, was released from detention on an outlying Cairo road an hour after the raid ended.

In the early hours of Saturday morning there was a loud banging on Shady Zalat’s door. He will have known they had come for him.

They are counting on fatigue, confusion, boredom – the friends of all authoritarians

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Hong Kong protesters pin hopes on the ballot box after weeks of violence

The Guardian | Protest -

District council elections are usually a quiet affair. But young candidates sense change

Clarisse Yeung believes the road to full democracy in Hong Kong will pass through a dog park. Specifically a dog park that she has promised to build if her coalition sweeps local elections today.

The district council elections held in Hong Kong every four years are normally a sleepy affair, with low turnout, mostly because councillors have very limited powers and budget, as well as a reputation for graft.

Related: How Hong Kong's local elections have become a proxy vote on the protests

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Harvard and Yale students disrupt football game for fossil fuel protest

The Guardian | Protest -

Students began campaigning in 2012 for both universities to stop investing in oil and gas companies that contribute to climate crisis

Students and alumni from Harvard and Yale disrupted the annual football game between the two elite universities on Saturday, occupying the field in New Haven, Connecticut, at half-time and demanding the colleges divest from fossil fuels.

A group of more than 100 protesters planned to stall the high-profile game for as long as possible, probably resulting in their arrests.

Related: Top investment banks provide billions to expand fossil fuel industry

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Streets on fire: how a decade of protest shaped the world

The Guardian | Protest -

From Occupy Wall Street to Extinction Rebellion, this has been a combustible 10 years

In March 2011, I asked a class at an unemployed training centre in Madrid who would be prepared to emigrate to find a job. They all raised their hands. Youth unemployment in Spain stood at 43% – higher than both Egypt and Tunisia. Everyone in the room said most of their friends were unemployed. One in five of those under the age of 30 in Spain were still looking for their first job. Almost every young person I spoke to believed their lives would be harder than their parents’.

“This is the least hopeful and best educated generation in Spain,” Ignacio Escolar, then 35 and author of the country’s most popular political blog, told me. “And it’s like a national defeat that they have to travel abroad to find work.”

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Hong Kong is a de facto police state | Letter

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Karen Yuen responds to letters about the Hong Kong government and allegations of police brutality

I am writing in response to the letter from Winky So, director general of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London (22 November). Her claim that Hong Kong police have “carried out enforcement actions in strict accordance with the law” is simply ludicrous.

International and local media have documented numerous cases of police brutality that are in violation of Police General Orders – citizens being pepper-sprayed in the face because they did not move fast enough; protesters being beaten ferociously on the head with batons when they were already immobilised; officers verbally abusing protesters. The list goes on.

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Hong Kong university siege continues as city prepares for election

The Guardian | Protest -

Medics warn of humanitarian crisis as protesters trapped inside campus for sixth day

Hong Kong’s university siege stretched into a sixth day on Friday, as medics warned of a humanitarian crisis and the city prepared for weekend elections that will be a key barometer of public support for protesters.

The new police chief, who was sworn in on Tuesday after the Polytechnic University had already been sealed off, is apparently trying to avoid more violent confrontation.

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Colombia: violence erupts in Bogotá after anti-government protests – video

The Guardian | Protest -

Violent clashes broke out in Bogotá's storied Bolívar Square on Thursday with police using thick clouds of teargas and water cannon to disperse protesters amassed there. People fleeing the scene were visibly affected by clouds of noxious gas. Earlier in the day, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets across the country to demand the government maintain the minimum wage for young people and the universal right to a pension, even though the authorities have repeatedly denied they are considering those changes

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Masked balls and gay uprisings: Queer Maps is a guide to 150 years of LGBTQ history

The Guardian | Protest -

Online tool highlights 800 locations across Los Angeles, where many landmark institutions have closed their doors

A theater for masquerade balls and “vile orgies”. An all-night diner where gay teens once gathered. A bar for black lesbians who called themselves “hard dressers”.

These are some of the 800 historic LGBTQ institutionsthat have found new life this week with the launch of Queer Maps, an interactive website that has catalogued 150 years of gay history in the Los Angeles region.

Related: What happened when a gay choir toured America's Bible belt

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The Hong Kong government and police are trying to restore peace | Letters

The Guardian | Protest -

Letters from Winky So, director general of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London, and from Hong Kong resident Koh-Ann Chu

Your editorials (19 November and 13 November) allege that actions by the Hong Kong special administrative region government and the force used by the police have accelerated and magnified the protests in Hong Kong. The government’s political team and the police have worked tirelessly to seek ways to restore peace and order. In the past few months, the chief executive, Carrie Lam, and all principal officials have been meeting various community representatives to hear their views.

The government is open to frank and candid exchanges with groups from all sides. Its priority is, first and foremost, to end the violence and restore calm so as to create a positive environment for dialogue on the deep-seated issues in our society.

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Arrests made after more than a thousand protest Ann Coulter speech

The Guardian | Protest -

Six to seven were arrested during the far-right pundit’s event at University of California, Berkeley campus on Wednesday night

More than a thousand young protesters linked arms and tried to physically block people from entering a speech by the far-right pundit Ann Coulter at the University of California, Berkeley campus on Wednesday night.

Rows of students chanted “Go home Nazis!”, “Shame!” and “You’re not getting in”, while behind them, hundreds of law enforcement officers, many in riot gear, guarded the building where Coulter was slated to speak.

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'Even Isis wouldn't shoot at us': medics on frontline of Baghdad protests

The Guardian | Protest -

Medics risk injury and arrest to treat wounded protesters amid crackdown by security forces

When demonstrators took to the streets of Baghdad in early October, two military medics, Abbas and Ahmad, saw people beaten back by police and soldiers, cut down with canisters and bullets and overcome by noxious gases designed for use on the battlefield.

Later in the month they left their homes, ignored their orders and joined the demonstrators in the heart of the Iraqi capital, and they have been treating those wounded in the clashes ever since. “We couldn’t just stay at home and pretend nothing was happening,” said Ahmad. “We had to get out and look after the injured.”

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

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Scott Morrison says no evidence links Australia's carbon emissions to bushfires

The Guardian | Protest -

PM suggests Australia could increase emissions without worsening current fire season, and says government finalising plans to crack down on environmental protests

Scott Morrison has argued there is no direct link between Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and the severity of fires ravaging the continent, even suggesting Australia could increase its emissions without making the current fire season worse.

Under pressure due to a record season of early bushfires and the accusation by a coalition of former fire chiefs that the government has avoided the issue of climate change, Morrison said on Thursday there was no “credible scientific evidence” that cutting Australia’s emissions could reduce the severity of bushfires.

Related: Australia fires: Victoria issued code red bushfire warning amid thunderstorm asthma threat

Related: What are the links between climate change and bushfires? – explainer

Related: Former Australian fire chiefs say Coalition ignored their advice because of climate change politics

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'We couldn’t hesitate': escaping Hong Kong's university siege

The Guardian | Protest -

People trapped inside campus are using increasingly desperate measures to escape

Yanny Man, 23, had no time to think about it before crawling over the ledge of a bridge, eight metres high, grabbing a rope and pushing off toward the ground below.

Behind her people shouted: “Just go, just go!” Police trying to stop them had paused from shooting teargas and were likely to fire again.

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Extinction Rebellion founder’s Holocaust remarks spark fury

The Guardian | Protest -

German politicians accuse Roger Hallam of downplaying significance of genocide

A co-founder of Extinction Rebellion has sparked anger in Germany after referring to the Holocaust as “just another fuckery in human history”.

Roger Hallam has been accused of downplaying the Nazis’ genocide of 6 million Jews by arguing in an interview that the significance of the Holocaust has been overplayed.

This is despicable – and no, “good intentions” don’t get you a pass on being historically illiterate.

The Holocaust was not “just another fuckery in human history” and German culture of memory does not “paralyze” the country.#ExtinctionRebellion https://t.co/r4seRgavjy

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Extinction Rebellion protest: Met accused of 521 abuses of power

The Guardian | Protest -

Network for Police Monitoring collated reports by XR protesters who took part in ‘autumn rebellion’

Police carried out widespread abuses of power during Extinction Rebellion’s two weeks of protests in October, according to investigators who have collated dozens of reports from protesters.

The Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol) says it counted 521 reports by XR protesters of abuses of police power, including 200 accusations of rough handling and physical harm and 99 of intimidation or inappropriate behaviour.

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Former UK official in Hong Kong 'tortured in 15-day China ordeal'

The Guardian | Protest -

Simon Cheng, who worked at consulate, alleges repeated mental and physical abuse

A former employee of the British consulate in Hong Kong has alleged he was tortured while being detained in China, during a 15-day ordeal in which he said he was branded “a British spy and secret agent” and held in solitary confinement.

The UK foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, has summoned the Chinese ambassador to demand an explanation after Simon Cheng, a Hong Kong citizen who worked for the British government for two years, went public with his account of repeated physical and mental torture.

Related: My beloved Hong Kong has become a war zone and daily life is full of anxiety

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Hong Kong has declared war against its young people | Avery Ng

The Guardian | Protest -

I witnessed the determined solidarity of the protesters, even while police stormed their university campus

Over the weekend, defiant young activists in Hong Kong demonstrated their capacity to look after themselves in the campus of Polytechnic University. I was there, and witnessed how the students worked together to build brick barricades, took over the canteen to feed hundreds and set up first-aid stations. This all amid a heavy police presence, and occasional volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets.

Then, on Sunday night, the police laid siege to the campus, saying everyone inside would be arrested for rioting – a serious offence punishable by 10 years in prison. The pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong has been in force since the summer, but the renewed anger is in response to the tragic death on 8 November of Chow Tsz-lok, a 22-year-old computer science student who fell from a car park during chaotic confrontations with the police.

The government continues to refuse permission for mass peaceful protests. It is adding fuel to the fire

Related: Hong Kong protests: about 100 still holed up at university

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UN urges Iran restraint amid reports of high protester death toll

The Guardian | Protest -

Concerns raised over alleged use of live ammunition against petrol price demonstrators

The United Nations has urged Iran to end its shutdown of the internet and ensure its security services show restraint after the “clearly very serious” extent of casualties in protests that have swept the country in response to steep petrol price rises.

The office of the United Nations high commissioner for human rights said it was “deeply concerned” about reports of live ammunition being used against demonstrators.

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Hong Kong protesters escape through sewers in attempt to leave university – video

The Guardian | Protest -

Protesters in Hong Kong have been going into the  sewers to escape the Polytechnic University campus they have been occupying since last week, which police have surrounded. About 600 protesters surrendered to authorities overnight, while 200 remain inside the building, which has become the focus of the most prolonged and tense confrontation between police and protesters in more than five months of conflict in the semi-autonomous city.

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