Ever since Al Gore first launched his climate crusade, the sight of any given public figure making the case for action, anywhere other than in their own home, has frequently been met with the following genre of response: if you care so much, how come you took a plane? If you didn’t take a plane, how much did the alternative cost? How much steel does a train use these days, anyway? Wouldn’t it be cheaper, ergo greener, not to go anywhere?Continue reading...
As demonstrations entered their 11th week, the Guardian shadowed a protester for the day at a major anti-government rally banned by the police
It is noon on a muggy August day in Hong Kong. Patrick Wong*, 20, has just eaten a breakfast of instant noodles and vegetables with his parents at a nearby cha chaan teng, an old-school local diner. Now he is preparing for another long Sunday on the streets.
He is packing a black T-shirt, a yellow helmet, and a pair of goggles that can withstand 0.22-calibre bullets. He hopes for a peaceful march, as organisers and protesters have planned, but he is preparing for the worst.
We have tried blocking the airport, the MTR, and government facilities. None of it has workedContinue reading...
As protests in Hong Kong entered their 11th week, the Guardian shadowed a protester for the day as he joined a major anti-government rally. Organisers say the march, banned by police, was attended by as many as 1.7 million people. It was the first peaceful gathering of protesters for many weeks.Continue reading...
Amid mass demonstrations and a trade war, financial observers say the city’s slowdown could deepen
Hong Kong is a free marketer’s dream. The tiny island has a GDP bigger than many industrialised countries, low tax and abundant cheap labour, and is a world-class financial centre boasting a stock market with a total value of more than £2.5tn.
No wonder then that the city’s most powerful vested interests are showing signs of nerves after 11 weeks of street protests that have paralysed the city, prompting its biggest political crisis since the handover to China in 1997 and threatening to push it into recession. Even worse, some observers believe the standoff could destroy Hong Kong’s cherished entrepot status and send it on a journey of no return into China’s orbit.
The bigger concern is more to do with Hong Kong’s image as a stable business environment"Continue reading...
Three protesters found guilty despite intervention of shadow chancellor in their support
Three Extinction Rebellion activists involved in protests in central London in April have been convicted of public order offences at a trial which heard a message of support for them from the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell.
The men were among more than 1,000 people arrested during the environmental group’s demonstrations – which caused large-scale disruption in what organisers described as the biggest act of civil disobedience in recent British history – but are the first to have gone on trial with legal representation.Continue reading...
Victoria police circle ahead of slated bulldozing of more than 260 trees that are significant to Aboriginal women
A standoff between authorities and hundreds of protestors trying to protect sacred trees in western Victoria could come to a head on Thursday night as a police evacuation deadline looms.
More than 260 Djap Wurrung trees that are 800 years old are slated to be bulldozed to make way for a 12km duplication of the Western Highway between Buangor and Ararat.
Spending another night on Djab Wurrung country. @danielandrewsmp @jacintaallanmp @vicroads if you’ve ever paid respect to traditional owners of the kulin nation, this is what that actually means. Listen to the elders. #djabwurrungembassy #notreesnotreaty #alwayswasalwayswillbe pic.twitter.com/vP0ZBqxEEsContinue reading...
Queensland Labor gearing up to criminalise activism is only a taste of the kind of intimidation that’s likely to come
“Even though I was the one who had been assaulted, I was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. […] I will never forgive or forget what came next. I was ‘verballed’ by the police who manufactured the most incredible statements about the whole thing.”
That was Peter Beattie, who would later become ALP premier of Queensland, detailing his treatment by police during anti-apartheid protests against the South African rugby team in July 1971.Continue reading...
Resources minister defends his extraordinary spray accusing engineering firm of being ‘weak as piss’ and giving in to anti-coal ‘bullies’
The resources minister Matt Canavan has defended an extraordinary spray against engineering firm Aurecon over its decision to sever ties with Indian energy company Adani.
Canavan had labelled Aurecon’s decision “weak as piss”, and on Thursday rejected claims from the Greens that he is a hypocrite for using public pressure to bully the company while criticising anti-coal activists.Continue reading...
The club will be expelled from English Football League unless it provides evidence of solvency
A former director of Bury FC has chained herself to a drainpipe at the club’s stadium in a bid to save the beleaguered team from impending extinction.
The club, one of the oldest in the league, is due to be expelled from the English Football League (EFL) on Friday unless it can provide financial information showing that it can pay its debts and adequately function.Continue reading...
London protests were disruptive but made rational case, officer tells court where three activists are on trial
A senior Scotland Yard officer giving evidence at the first group trial of Extinction Rebellion activists behind mass protests in central London said the demonstrators had provoked “soul searching” and proved articulate and rational as they made their case.
The protests, in April this year, had found support even among the public facing severe disruption from the demonstrations, he said.Continue reading...
Anti-abortion activists argued Ealing’s buffer zone for Marie Stopes clinic was unjustified
Anti-abortion activists have lost a court of appeal challenge against a council’s decision to ban protesters from gathering outside a clinic in west London.
Judges on Wednesday dismissed an appeal against an earlier ruling that the restrictions imposed by Ealing council outside a Marie Stopes clinic were justified.
How does access to abortion vary across the UK?Continue reading...
Like the rockers and ravers before them, this generation treats the choices of their elders with alarm
In the documentary Everybody in the Place, the Turner prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller delivers a talk to a group of sixth-form politics students about late-80s acid house in Britain. As well as documenting the massive cultural changes that took place, he draws a clear line between the decline of industrialisation, the miners’ strike, sound-system culture and the rise of dance music. As Deller shows old footage of whey-faced ravers in bucket hats and sports gear dancing in fields and warehouses, the students look on with a blend of bafflement and fascination. It’s weird, one of them says, that no one has a phone.
Another film, also out now, reports on a youth movement born from political and social disenfranchisement, and a desire for a new way of living. Woodstock – Three Days that Defined a Generation tells the well-documented story of the hippy era and the 1969 music festival that took place in the shadow of Vietnam and civil rights unrest. “We were looking for answers,” says one attendee. “We were looking for other people that felt the same way as we did … If 400,000 people could get together and have absolutely no violence, absolutely no conflict, I felt like we could bring all of that love back into society – and change the world.”Continue reading...
Exclusive: Premier claims Extinction Rebellion using ‘sinister tactics’ such as traps, but police have never laid charges with such an offence
The Queensland government has been accused of “fabricating” claims about climate activists setting booby traps to justify a crackdown on escalating protests, including using images more than 18 months old as evidence of the new allegations.
The state premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, on Tuesday announced that police would be given new powers to search anyone suspected of carrying “locking on” devices, which delay the removal of protesters during acts of civil disobedience.Continue reading...
Your coverage of the 200th anniversary commemorations in Manchester of the Peterloo massacre was superb (Peterloo protesters turn focus on modern inequality and need for reform, 17 August). Can I add one thing? I wish to suggest that the most effective and completely unmissable way to commemorate the event, crucial as it is in any narration of democratic progress in this country, would be to change the name of Manchester Piccadilly railway station to Manchester Peterloo station. The change would cost next to nothing. But it would put the name Peterloo on millions of train tickets and timetables bought and carried by millions of people every day, and would have the name, hence the event it commemorates, boomed out across station platforms across the whole country.
• A simple but effective way to keep the memory of Peterloo alive would be to rename St Peter’s Square “Peterloo Square”. In addition, removing the saint’s name from the square would be a useful nod to our multicultural city and its declining Christian dominance.
We may not have to fight for the vote. But the deceit that led to the referendum result is a historic betrayal
Monday 16 August 1819 was a beautiful summer’s day, when at least 60,000 people came in their Sunday best to St Peter’s Field in Manchester for the peaceful demonstration that turned so tragically into the bloody Peterloo massacre. On 16 August 2019, by contrast, there was a relentless downpour of the worst Mancunian variety. But the spirit of 200 years ago was not the least bit dampened by the torrential rain.
In our complex world of lies and fake news and sinister manipulation, democracy is under threat on so many levels. And the radicals and reformers of two centuries ago have much to teach us – the lessons of Peterloo go far beyond the issue of universal suffrage. As John Thacker Saxton, a real-life radical played by John-Paul Hurley in my film, says: “Though we can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark, the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
When we were kids, these buildings were pitch black. How surprising to see their true beauty after the Clean Air ActsContinue reading...
Leader says she hopes calm will now be restored, but protesters dismiss offer as trap
Hong Kong’s embattled leader, Carrie Lam, has said she will “immediately” set up a platform for dialogue with citizens and tackle complaints against the police, after a weekend of peaceful protests that she hoped would be the start of a return to calm in the financial hub. Her offer was dismissed by activists as “a trap”, however.
“Work will start immediately to build a platform of dialogue,” Lam said. “We hope this dialogue can be built upon a basis of mutual understanding and respect to find a way out for Hong Kong.”
Why are people protesting?Continue reading...
Crackdown includes new laws that make it illegal to possess a device used for locking on, and comes as Extinction Rebellion ramps up activities
Queensland police will be given new powers to search suspected climate change protesters, as the state government attempts to crack down on an escalating campaign of civil disobedience.
Extinction Rebellion protesters have regularly disrupted traffic in the Brisbane CBD. They have indicated those stoppages would escalate in the coming months. Other groups have attempted to stop the operations of mining companies, contractors and coal freight networks across the state.
Everyone has the right to conduct a peaceful protest but the activities of some are not. Blocking roads is dangerous, reckless, irresponsible, selfish and stupid. The sinister tactics some protesters are using are dangerous and designed to harm. pic.twitter.com/y7Izir3SuDContinue reading...
Company also suspends thousands of accounts as it reports ‘state-backed information operation’
Twitter disclosed a “significant state-backed information operation” originating from within the People’s Republic of China (PRC) targeting the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. It removed 936 accounts and suspended approximately 200,000 accounts its investigation found were illegitimate.Continue reading...
In the Shona language, Nyamavhuvhu (August) signals the end of winter. The strong winds carry away the frost as they usher in the warmth of summer. With the silent strength of a new season, public discontent towards President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s failing socio-economic policies sweeps across Zimbabwe, manifesting itself through mounting displeasure and the growing threat of civil unrest.Continue reading...
Naively, I assumed the publication I worked for was as committed to unashamed truth-telling as I was. I was wrong
When the editor of a weekly paper approached me about writing a regular column about local politics, the first thing I asked her was: “Are you sure you know what you’d be getting yourself into?”
That was February. I’d been live-tweeting Charlottesville city government meetings for a year and a half, ever since the deadly Unite the Right rally in August 2017. Entirely by accident, I had created a fairly large audience for what amounted to municipal meeting minutes narrated by a mouthy socialist.
I’m not surprised a police officer and a former prosecutor would try to weaponize the legal system to silence a critic
I am surprised the paper’s owners reacted with such incredible cowardiceContinue reading...