From The Guardian

Bans, defiance and death blows: how theatre tore down the Berlin Wall

The Guardian | Protest -

They defied the Stasi and sparked a revolution. Our writer reveals the pivotal role East Germany’s dynamic theatre culture played in the fall of the GDR – and the collapse of European communism

Thirty years ago this coming Monday, a vast crowd of East Germans streamed into Alexanderplatz in then-divided Berlin to protest against the regime they lived under. The German Democratic Republic was crumbling around them. Erich Honecker, the reviled leader of the GDR, had been forced out. Thousands of people had already fled. Five days later, after a party functionary mistakenly announced that anyone who wanted to leave the country was free to do so, hordes began to clamber over the Berlin Wall.

As journalists observed – and numerous playwrights have realised – the events of 4 November 1989 were so dramatic, they would have been impossible to script. Who would believe a play in which a country gave up the ghost without a shot being fired, and that this helped bring about the end of European communism? All because an apparatchik fumbled his lines.

Legend has it Frank Castorf got away with his scandalous shows because his Stasi informant protected him

Continue reading...

Deadly Ethiopia unrest hampers PM's political reform attempts

The Guardian | Protest -

Nobel peace prize winner Abiy Ahmed’s fallout with former supporter sparked violence that killed scores

Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister of Ethiopia who won the Nobel peace prize last month, is facing the most serious crisis of his term in office after the death of scores of people in a wave of violent disorder.

Billene Seyoum, Abiy’s spokesperson, blamed “a very senseless act of violence” and said the death toll of 78 could rise.

Related: The Nobel peace prize can inspire Abiy Ahmed to new heights in Ethiopia

Continue reading...

Scott Morrison threatens crackdown on protesters who would 'deny liberty'

The Guardian | Protest -

PM signals action on secondary boycotts of resources companies and says progressives want to tell Australians ‘what you can say, what you can think’

Scott Morrison has branded environmental protesters “anarchists” and threatened a radical crackdown on the right to protest in a speech claiming progressives are seeking to “deny the liberties of Australians”.

In a speech to the Queensland Resources Council on Friday, the prime minister said a threat to the future of mining was coming from a “new breed of radical activism” and signalled the government would seek to apply penalties to those targeting businesses who provide services to the resources industry.

Related: Climate crisis: business leaders say cost to taxpayers will spiral unless new policies introduced

In Scott Morrison’s Australia everyday citizens are
- not allowed to protest
- not allowed to boycott or spend money where we want
- not allowed to blow the whistle
- not allowed to report what the government is up to

Next he’ll be telling us how many children we must have..

Related: Climate crisis: business leaders say cost to taxpayers will spiral unless new policies introduced

Continue reading...

Chile protesters: 'We are subjugated by the rich. It's time for that to end'

The Guardian | Protest -

Chile’s worst unrest in decades has transformed into a nationwide uprising for change. Here seven protesters explain what they’re fighting for

The spark that lit the flame was a 3% hike in subway fares, but after 12 days of mass protests and street violence, Chile’s worst unrest in decades has transformed into a nationwide uprising demanding dramatic changes to the country’s economic and political system.

Eighteen people have died in the violence and 7,000 have been arrested amid widespread outbreaks of violence and arson, and credible allegations of human rights abuses by the security forces.

Related: How Pinochet's economic model led to the current crisis engulfing Chile

Related: Chilean president cancels Apec and climate summits amid wave of unrest

Continue reading...

'Bosses take note': why GM's strike could inspire more collective action

The Guardian | Protest -

More Americans engaged in work stoppages last year than since 1986 – and the successful GM strike may encourage other union leaders, experts say

The recently ended General Motors strike was part of a surprisingly large recent wave of walkouts, and by many measures, the 49,000 strikers emerged so well from their 40-day showdown with the US auto giant that the results could help inspire more worker militancy and strikes, labor analysts and experts say.

“They did pretty well,” said Kristin Dziczek, vice-president of industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “They got more money. They got a pathway to regular employment for temporary workers. They defended their healthcare” when GM was seeking to sharply increase the premiums the United Automobile Workers (UAW) members paid.

Related: ‘We’re organizing to improve lives’: New York fast-food workers push to unionize

When CEOs are making 250 to 300 times what the average worker is making, that just adds to the frustration

Continue reading...

Melbourne police arrest 12 on second day of climate protest at Imarc mining conference

The Guardian | Protest -

Officers use capsicum spray to break up blockade and most arrests made for obstructing emergency services worker

A dozen climate change protesters have been arrested on day two of action outside a global mining conference in Melbourne, where activists glued themselves to the ground.

Officers used capsicum spray to break up the blockade on Wednesday, which was designed to prevent conference delegates entering the Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Related: Climate protesters clash with police outside Melbourne mining conference

Violence erupts as police detain one of the climbers ⁦@abcmelbourne⁩ ⁦

Continue reading...

The Guardian view on Lebanon and Chile: too little, too late for protesters | Editorial

The Guardian | Protest -

Mass unrest has seized both countries. The long-term causes will not be resolved quickly or easily

The events which have brought two countries to the brink were precipitated by apparently small policy shifts that proved emblematic of the ruling elite’s inability to answer or even understand their people’s basic needs while enriching themselves. Chile’s biggest political crisis since the return of democracy almost 30 years ago was triggered by a 3% rise in metro fares, the protests which have engulfed and paralysed Lebanon by a proposed tax on WhatsApp calls. But the underlying causes run far deeper, and have been building for much longer. There is deep anger at political and economic systems that have ignored most of the population.

These countries are, of course, very different. Lebanon has been staggering along for years, due to both political dysfunction and endemic corruption. The central bank governor warns that its economy – long shored up by remittances from overseas – is now days away from collapse. Recently it emerged that, before he became prime minister, Saad Hariri gave $16m to a South African model: a sum encapsulating the gulf between the lives of those at the top and the rest.

Continue reading...

Met police accused of 'degrading' treatment of disabled XR activists

The Guardian | Protest -

Force’s disability advisers lodge complaint about treatment of Extinction Rebellion protesters

The Metropolitan police’s advisers on disability have accused the force of “degrading and humiliating” treatment of disabled activists during the Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests in London this month.

A formal complaint by the Met’s disability independent advisory group says members are “disappointed and angered” the force failed to engage with them over the policing of the protests, and the Met may have caused “irreparable damage” to relations with disabled people.

Continue reading...

Demonstrators killed in Iraqi holy city as protests gain momentum – video

The Guardian | Protest -

At least 18 people were killed and thousands injured in the holy city and pilgrimage site of Kerbala in Iraq, in one of the deadliest single attacks on protesters since anti-government demonstrations erupted earlier this month. Unidentified masked gunmen fired live rounds and teargas at protesters.

Protests that have gripped the country since 1 October were nflamed in the past week as university and high-school students joined demonstrators in Baghdad

Continue reading...

Masked men gun down Iraqi protesters in holy city of Karbala

The Guardian | Protest -

At least 18 people killed and hundreds injured as anti-government protests continue

Masked gunmen have opened fire on Iraqi protesters in the Shia holy city of Karbala, killing at least 18 people and wounding hundreds, security officials said, in one of the deadliest single attacks on protesters since anti-government demonstrations erupted earlier this month.

The attack, which happened overnight, came as Iraqis took to the streets for a fifth consecutive day, protesting against corruption, lack of services and other grievances.

Continue reading...

Chicago is not 'on fire': police chief hits back at Trump criticism – video

The Guardian | Protest -

Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson responded to Donald Trump's criticism after he shunned the president's speech to a national convention of police officers that was being held in the city while protests against his visit took place on the streets.

Trump said the police chief 'could learn something' from the event, but in a statement published later, Johnson said the city was leading the way on lowering crime and that he would not get 'caught up in negativity'

Continue reading...

This wave of global protest is being led by the children of the financial crash | Jack Shenker

The Guardian | Protest -

From Hong Kong to South America to London, young people have had enough of economic, social and ecological collapse

“I’m 22 years old, and this is my last letter,” the young man begins. Most of his face is masked with black fabric; only his eyes, tired and steely, are visible below a messy fringe. “I’m worried that I will die and won’t see you any more,” he continues, his hands trembling. “But I can’t not take to the streets.”

The nameless demonstrator – one of many in Hong Kong who have been writing to their loved ones before heading out to confront rising police violence in the city – was filmed by the New York Times last week in an anonymous stairwell. But he could be almost anywhere, and not only because the walls behind him are white and characterless, left blank to protect his identity.

The problem for governments is there is no longer a centre ground to snap back to, and their opponents know it

Related: If Beijing does not budge, the struggle for Hong Kong will last decades | Louisa Lim and Ilaria Maria Sala

Continue reading...

Iraq's young protesters count cost of a month of violence

The Guardian | Protest -

More than 150 have died and thousands injured in anti-government protests

In Al Umma Park in central Baghdad – the “park of the nation” – a small group of men and two women debated under ageing eucalyptus trees how best to articulate the demands of the protesters who have taken to the streets of Iraqi cities in their thousands this month.

“Burning army trucks won’t help us, it will only help the government accuse us of being hooligans,” said a young man. “If I give you 17 RPG [rocket-propelled grenade] launchers and you burn that building, how will that benefit our demands?” Another man called for the government to be toppled. As the group gathered around him listening, someone shouted: “Who made you a speaker?” This spurred the rest of the crowd to break into chants of “no one represents us” and “Iran out, out”, denouncing Iraq’s ruling Islamic parties and their Iranian backers.

Continue reading...

Climate protesters clash with police outside Melbourne mining conference

The Guardian | Protest -

More than 20 activists arrested amid violent scenes, with officers accused of being ‘incredibly hostile’

A climate protester has been taken to hospital and more than 20 others have been arrested while blockading an international mining conference in Melbourne after violent clashes erupted between the group and police.

From 6am on Tuesday, hundreds of activists from a dozen different groups began blocking entry to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Related: Dozens arrested as Extinction Rebellion protesters blockade Melbourne bridge

Related: Teenage girl among 20 Extinction Rebellion activists strip-searched by Brisbane police

Continue reading...

Chile: protesters light bonfires and clash with police despite cabinet reshuffle

The Guardian | Protest -

Fresh upheaval erupts shortly after president Sebastían Piñera announces firing of hardline officials

Fresh street battles and fires have broken out in downtown Santiago just hours after Chile’s embattled president, Sebastían Piñera, fired hardline members of his cabinet in an attempt to defuse the country’s biggest political crisis since the return to democracy in 1990.

Bands of protesters lit bonfires along the central Alameda Avenue and clashed with riot police as clouds of teargas and smoke engulfed the centre of the city.

Related: Hundreds shot and beaten as Chile takes to the streets

Related: An explosion of protest, a howl of rage – but not a Latin American spring

Continue reading...

People’s Vote staff walk out over sacking of senior figures

The Guardian | Protest -

Campaign in chaos after key figures say chairman had no right to order dismissals

Dozens of staff at People’s Vote have staged a walkout in protest at moves by the PR guru Roland Rudd to force two leading figures out of the organisation, plunging the campaign for a second referendum further into chaos.

The campaign was in disarray on Monday after James McGrory, the director, and Tom Baldwin, the head of communications, were asked to leave with immediate effect.

Continue reading...

If Beijing does not budge, the struggle for Hong Kong will last decades | Louisa Lim and Ilaria Maria Sala

The Guardian | Protest -

Police violence has further radicalised protesters, and China’s ‘one country, two systems’ formula lies in tatters

“Is there any way that Hong Kong can avoid becoming another Northern Ireland?”

This was the first question posed by a well-known Hong Kong activist at the start of a recent interview. A few months ago, the comparison to decades of civil unrest would have seemed absurd. But after 21 weekends of protests, the endgame seems further away than ever before. The escalating weekend insurgency and the police brutality deployed in response have marooned the territory in a cycle of violence that is doing serious damage to its economy, rule of law and public trust in its institutions.

The authorities are boxed in; any reforms that fall short of concessions could worsen the situation, as would no action

Related: Hong Kong protesters in UK say they face pro-Beijing intimidation

Continue reading...

At least 80,000 attend march against Catalan independence

The Guardian | Protest -

Pro-Spanish unity groups lead rally in Barcelona after 350,000 gather in support of separatists

Tens of thousands of people joined a protest in Barcelona yesterday demonstrating against independence from Spain, and calling for unity across the country and peaceful co-existence in Catalonia, following the violent unrest of the past fortnight.

The demonstration on Sunday, organised by Societat Civil Catalana, an umbrella group of political parties and civic bodies that want Catalonia to remain part of Spain, was attended by about 80,000 people, according to local police, although SCC put the attendance at 400,000.

Continue reading...

Protesters form human chain across Lebanon

The Guardian | Protest -

Anti-government grassroots movement says it wants to foster feeling of national unity

Tens of thousands of protesters in Lebanon have attempted to form a human chain running across the country to symbolise newfound national unity.

Demonstrators planned to join hands from Tripoli to Tyre, a 105-mile (170km) chain running through the capital, Beirut, as part of an unprecedented mobilisation across sectarian lines.

Continue reading...