Home » Posts tagged 'protests'

Tag Archives: protests

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

Most Severe Internet Outage To Date Hits Iraq After Government Blocks Access

Most Severe Internet Outage To Date Hits Iraq After Government Blocks Access

Iraqi anti-government demonstrators fear a major new crackdown is coming after much of the nation’s internet access has been cut, especially in the restive south. This also as Baghdad authorities fear outside ‘foreign interference’ after President Trump referenced the mass protests on Twitter. 

A nearly nationwide blockage was first reported last night, and was briefly restored early Tuesday before being cut off again. “At the time of writing, national connectivity has fallen below 19% of normal levels sending tens of millions of users offline across Baghdad, also impacting Basra, Karbala and other population centers,” Reuters cited NetBlocks as stating late in the day Monday. “The new disruption is believed to be the most severe observed in Iraq to date,” the report added.

The large scale protests, raging for over a month, have resulted in violent clashes with police, and involved Iraq’s paramilitary units backed by Iran.

And NetBlocks monitoring group further observed into Tuesday  “Internet shut down again across most of Iraq following brief 3.5 hour restoration; real-time network data show national connectivity currently at 30% of ordinary levels” — related to the ongoing mass protests which have swept the country for over the past month. 

After accusations of Iran being involved in assisting and directing Baghdad security forces’ crackdown, which in many case has involved live ammo to disband crowds, resulting at this point in over 250 Iraqis killed and nearly 10,000 wounded, there’s growing fears that a Syria-style broader proxy war could emerge. 


⚠️

Alert: Internet shut down again across most of #Iraq following brief 3.5 hour restoration; real-time network data show national connectivity currently at 30% of ordinary levels; incident ongoing #iraq_protests #KeepItOn

https://netblocks.org/reports/iraq-shuts-down-internet-again-as-protests-intensify-Q8oOWz8n …

View image on Twitter

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…


PEPE ESCOBAR: The Age of Anger Exploding in Serial Geysers

PEPE ESCOBAR: The Age of Anger Exploding in Serial Geysers

The presidential election in Argentina pitted the people against neoliberalism and the people won. What happens next will have a tremendous impact all over Latin America and serve as a blueprint for assorted Global South struggles.

South America, Again, Leads Fight Against Neoliberalism

Alberto Fernandez supporters celebrating his presidential victory in Argentina. (Screen shot/YouTube)

The presidential election in Argentina was no less than a game-changer and a graphic lesson for the whole Global South. It pitted, in a nutshell, the people versus neoliberalism. The people won – with new President Alberto Fernandez and former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (CFK) as his VP. 

Neoliberalism was represented by Mauricio Macri: a marketing product, former millionaire playboy, president of football legends Boca Juniors, fanatic of New Age superstitions, and CEO obsessed with spending cuts, who was unanimously sold by Western mainstream media as the new paradigm of a post-modern, efficient politician.

Well, the paradigm will soon be evacuated, leaving behind a wasteland: $250 billion in foreign debt; less than $50 billion in reserves; inflation at 55 percent; the U.S. dollar at over 60 pesos (a family needs roughly $500 to spend in a month; 35.4 percent of Argentine homes can’t make it); and, incredible as it may seem in a self-sufficient nation, a food emergency.     

“The Head of Macri: How the First President of ‘No Politics’  Thinks, Lives and Leads.”

Macri, in fact the president of so-called Anti-Politics, No- Politics in Argentina, was a full IMF baby, enjoying total “support” (and gifted with a humongous $58 billion loan). New lines of credit, for the moment, are suspended.   Fernandez is going to have a really hard time trying to preserve sovereignty while negotiating with foreign creditors, or “vultures,” as masses of Argentines define them.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Over 1 Million Chileans Take to the Streets to Demand Political Reforms, Change to Country’s Neoliberal Economic System

Over 1 Million Chileans Take to the Streets to Demand Political Reforms, Change to Country’s Neoliberal Economic System

“Chile is not the same as it was yesterday.”

Protesters wave a Chilean flag during the eighth day of protests against President Sebastian Piñera's government on October 25, 2019 in Santiago, Chile.
Protesters wave a Chilean flag during the eighth day of protests against President Sebastian Piñera’s government on October 25, 2019 in Santiago, Chile. (Photo: Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images)

Chilean President Sebastián Piñera on Saturday said he would reshuffle his cabinet after over 1 million Chileans poured into city streets across the country Friday to demand structural reforms to the country’s government and economic system.

The move by Piñera came as the protest movement mobilized people in the captial Santiago and beyond. 

“We’re asking for justice, honesty, ethical government,” protester Francisco Anguitar told AFP Friday. 

Piñera made the announcement late Saturday morning. 


BREAKING: Chile’s President
Piñera has asked his ministers to resign, in the most dramatic move since protests began a week ago. The military also announced an end to the curfew. Yesterday’s protest, by more than 1 million Chileans, is forcing change.


The timeline and plan for the replacement of ministers remains unclear. On Saturday, Reuters reported that a document obtained by the news agency “suggested Piñera was considering replacing the heads of at least nine ministries, including the ministries of interior, defense, economy, transportation and environment.”

Chilean senator Felipe Kast on Twitter credited the Friday protests with prompting Piñera’s decision.

“A peaceful day that will leave its mark on our history,” said Kast. “Chile is not the same as it was yesterday.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“Panic Mode” Run On Lebanon’s Banks Feared After 7-Day Closure Amid Protests

“Panic Mode” Run On Lebanon’s Banks Feared After 7-Day Closure Amid Protests 

Banks across Lebanon have been shuttered now for a seventh consecutive day, with the country’s banking association saying banks would remain closed Friday over “safety concerns” as massive anti-corruption protests have brought multiple cities to a standstill, which began a week ago.

Reuters reports that banking operations have been “limited to paying out customer and employee salaries via ATMs” in a situation which has also hit war-torn Syria, given many Syrians rely on the neighboring Lebanese banking system to hold dollars and savings following the collapse of Syria’s currency. 

Via NBC News

For the first time addressing the protests  dubbed the ‘WhatsApp Revolution’ because it was initially triggered by a government a plan to boost state revenues with a daily tax rate on calls made via voice over internet protocol (VoIP), utilized by applications such as Facebook-owned WhatsApp — Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun in a public speech touted an economic reform package proposed by the prime minister as a “first step” toward staving off economic collapse

Aoun acknowledged state corruption has “eaten us to the bone” and assured the crowds,  “I am ready to meet your representatives who carry your concerns, to listen to your specific demands.”

He also hinted at a government reshuffle potentially in the works, saying that there was “a need to review the current government.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trader Warns “Market Dysfunction Will Ultimately Have Its Limits”

Trader Warns “Market Dysfunction Will Ultimately Have Its Limits”

Global policy uncertainty has never been higher

Source: Bloomberg

And the world is erupting in mass protests: Chile, Ecuador, Lebanon, Barcelona, France, London, Puerto Rico, Hong Kong, Iraq, Guinea, Bolivia, Algeria, Haiti, Egypt, Pakistan, Brazil, Sudan, and today, Azerbaijan.

Both of which are among the reasons why former fund manager and FX trader Richard Breslow warns that markets are, as they have become used to being, too sanguine in the face of chaos.

Nothing bad has happened in the markets so far today. In fact, they look mostly benign and calm. Although it was a little dicey at the beginning. And we’ll have to see how earning reports go. With the bulk of the news on the week’s calendar yet to come, it makes some sense that the net changes in asset prices have settled back down to not very much changed. Yet, looking through my in-box, if there is one word to describe the general mood, it’s “blah.”

Via Bloomberg,

Bond yields stalled where they, perhaps, should have, but that’s no fun. For the most part, global equities haven’t done anything particularly wrong. Yet, they appear at risk of threatening to squander the hard work they put in toward mounting a renewed push to the upside. Currency trading has had its momentum sucked out of it. Commodities look like they simply can’t come to a decision about the prospects for future demand, regardless of the news.

Traders have, time and time again, been remarkably willing to accept kicking the can down the road as a net positive. The status quo, with dovish central banks thrown into the mix, worked just fine for them.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Civil Unrest Is Erupting All Over The World, But Just Wait Until The United States Joins The Party…

Civil Unrest Is Erupting All Over The World, But Just Wait Until The United States Joins The Party…

All over the globe, the mood is turning sour.  Anger and frustration are bubbling over, and protests are becoming violent in major cities all across the planet.  In some cases economic pain is driving the protests and in other cases political matters are motivating the protesters, and it has been a very long time since we have seen so many angry protests happening all over the world simultaneously.  Unfortunately, many believe that what we have seen so far is just the beginning.  Global economic conditions are rapidly deteriorating, and as economic pain intensifies that is only going to make everyone more frustrated.  And here in the United States, the drama surrounding the potential impeachment of Donald Trump is going to greatly escalate the political tensions that are already deeply dividing this country.  No matter how things turn out, a large percentage of the population is likely to be deeply frustrated with the result, and that could very easily lead to tremendous civil unrest.

But before we get to Trump, let’s take a look at what has been going on around the rest of the world first.  In Chile, we are witnessing violent protests unlike anything that we have seen in decades

Three people died in a fire in a supermarket being ransacked in the Chilean capital early Sunday, as protests sparked by anger over social and economic conditions rocked one of Latin America’s most stable countries.

Santiago’s Mayor Karla Rubilar told reporters two people burned to death in the blaze and another later died in hospital, after the huge store controlled by US retail chain Walmart was looted.

Economic conditions are tough in Chile and rapidly getting tougher, and it is very unusual to hear of “looting” in a country that is normally so stable.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

he New Age of Protest

The New Age of Protest

Photograph Source: Marcus Coblyn – CC BY 2.0

Led by young people, climate strikers blocked traffic on two mornings at the end of last month in Washington, DC. On the first day, protestors chained themselves to a boat three blocks from the White House, and 32 activists were arrested. On the second day, activists targeted the EPA and Trump International Hotel. It was a not-so-subtle suggestion to commuters stuck in their cars on those mornings to think more favorably about public transportation or telecommuting. It was also a potent reminder, as Congress remains polarized on so many issues, that some paralysis is healthy in the nation’s capital.

The DC protests were part of a global climate strike that involved an estimated 6.6 million people. In New Zealand, 3.5 percent of the population participated. Melbourne, Berlin, and London each had rallies of 100,000 people. In Seattle, over a thousand workers walked out of Amazon headquarters, demanding that the company reduce its carbon emissions to zero.

It wasn’t just the children of the privileged in the industrialized world who were out on the streets. Protests took place in 125 countries and 1,600 cities, including 15 cities in the Philippines, throughout India, and all over Africa.

The global climate strike is just the latest mass protest this year. Demonstrations have roiled Hong Kong since the beginning of the summer. Tens of thousands of people poured into the streets in Moscow through the fall to protest restrictions on local elections. Thousands of Brazilians thronged major cities to condemn their president’s handling of the Amazon fires, and the same outrage prompted people to gather with placards in front of Brazilian embassies all over the world. Protests against Venezuela’s leadership that broke out on January 1 have recently dwindled even as demonstrations to remove Haiti’s president have heated up and security forces have cracked down on Iraqis protesting the corruption and inefficiency of their government.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Want To Save The Environment? De-Fund The Pentagon.

Want To Save The Environment? De-Fund The Pentagon.

Millions of people are uniting in demonstrations worldwide against our civilization’s ecocidal march toward extinction, which makes me so happy to see. It’s really encouraging to see so many young people burning with love for their planet and a hunger to reverse the damage that has been done to our ecosystem by the refusal of previous generations to turn away from our path of devastation. This must continue if we are to survive as a species.

The challenge now is the same perennial challenge which comes up every single time there is a massive and enthusiastic push from the public in a direction that is healthy: such movements always, without exception, become targeted for manipulation by establishment interests. I write all the timeabout how this has happened with the intrinsically healthy impulse of feminism; I just finished watching an MSNBC pundit proclaim that anyone who still supports Bernie Sanders over Elizabeth Warren is a sexist. This corralling of healthy energy into the advancement of corrupt establishment interests happens with feminism, it happens with the healthy fight against racism and antisemitism, and of course it happens with environmentalism.

Of course it does. People get very emotional when you say this, even if you fully support environmentalism and don’t have any objections to the overall scientific consensus about what’s happening to our environment, but environmentalism is not destined to be the one and only popular movement which establishment interests don’t move mountains to co-opt.

We know that our oligarchic empire will do literally anything, up to and including murdering a million Iraqis, to secure control over energy resources. We know this with absolute certainty.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Hong King Kong

Hong King Kong

Of course the notion of addressing Hong Kong has been in my mind for a while, but it’s a bit of a moving target: things change all the time, and seemingly on the fly. However, with today’s fresh developments, it seems silly to wait any longer. Hong Kong Civic party lawmaker Dennis Kwok yesterday expressed the reason way better than I could:

As I said time and again, the use of troops in Hong Kong will be the end of Hong Kong, and I would warn against any such move on the part of the central people’s government.”

He said that before today’s arrests -and subsequent release on bail- of a handful of alleged protest leaders Joshua Wong, Andy Chan, and Agnes Chow. Who, if you read between the lines, didn’t lead much of anything; they may be figure-heads, but that’s not the same thing. The protests are either lacking leaders or everyone’s a leader, depending on who you ask. So why arrest them to begin with? You tell me.

What I did find enlightening was Reuters’ report yesterday on Beijing having rejected Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s (how is CEO a political function?) proposal to communicate with the protesters and perhaps allow some concessions to their demands. I know it’s only one source, but it appears quite feasible.

Carrie Lam is between a rock and a hard place, and she admits it -at least according to the Reuters piece-, though not to the protesters. Beijing is in exactly such a spot, but won’t admit it, ever. And that right there is Hong Kong’s main issue.

China Rejected Hong Kong Plan To Appease Protesters 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Martial Law Considered in Hong Kong to Crush Pro-Democracy Protests

Martial Law Considered in Hong Kong to Crush Pro-Democracy Protests

Could lead to “total destruction” of Hong Kong’s capitalist system.

Authorities in Hong Kong are considering whether to impose draconian martial law powers in a bid to crush pro-democracy protests.

According to a report in the South China Morning Post, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor is not ruling out invoking the Emergency Regulations Ordinance for the first time in half a century.

The ordinance would grant the government sweeping powers, including authorizing the entry and search of properties, censoring the media and imposing maximum terms of life imprisonment.

Lawmaker Au Nok-hin warned that imposing emergency powers would lead to the “total destruction” of Hong Kong’s capitalist system, while law professor Simon Young of the University of Hong Kong said the ordinance meant “basically a state of martial law.”

With the government refusing to meet the five demands of the protesters, which includes withdrawing a bill that would allow suspects in Hong Kong to be extradited to China, escalation seems inevitable.

Beijing still has troops massing nearby, but experts agree that they are unlikely to be deployed inside Hong Kong.

As we previously highlighted, riot police deployed water cannons for the first time during violent demonstrations on Sunday, protesters also being hit with tear gas and rubber bullets.

How To Make Sense Of Foreign Protests, Conflicts And Uprisings

How To Make Sense Of Foreign Protests, Conflicts And Uprisings

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, our government-funded media outlet, has published an article titled “Australian expat living in Hong Kong throws off business suit to join protest movement“. The entire story is in the headline: some random guy, who ABC keeps anonymous but for the name “Daniel”, has joined the protests in Hong Kong. That’s it. That’s the whole entire bombshell newsworthy news story.

“In Australia we have proper democracy but in Hong Kong, democracy is being slowly eroded away and I’ll try to do whatever I can to try and help the cause,” the anonymous guy told ABC.

This sort of enthusiastic empty non-story cheerleading is typical for western media coverage of the Hong Kong protests so far, while these same media outlets consistently ignore or downplay protests against the government of France, Israel, Honduras, India, Indonesia and any other region that happens to fall within the US-centralized power alliance. It’s an amazingly reliable pattern: the entire western political/media class finds protests and uprisings endlessly fascinating when they are in opposition to governments which haven’t yet been absorbed into the imperial blob like China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Syria, pre-collapse Libya, or then-Moscow-aligned Ukraine, but any protests or uprisings within that empire are ignored at best or demonized at worst.

If dissidents in the United States began donning yellow vests and holding aggressive demonstrations in the current media environment, you could safely bet your bottom dollar that they would be ignored for as long as possible and then smeared as fascists, antisemites and/or Russian pawns thereafter. This would happen with absolute certainty.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Hong Kong Activist Leader Calls For a Run on the Bank

Hong Kong Activist Leader Calls For a Run on the Bank

Chen Haotian asks citizens to withdraw cash deposits to target Chinese banks.

Prominent Hong Kong pro-independence political activist Chen Haotian has called for a run on Chinese banks, asking that everyone withdraw their money on the same day.

Haotian is a founding member and the convenor of the Hong Kong National Party.

Arguing that large scale protests have only led to injuries and escalating police brutality, Haotian believes another method could be used to severely undermine China’s influence – a good old fashioned run on the bank.

He suggested that another method could be used, namely, impacting the financial system,” reports China Press.

“He called on Friday (August 16) that Hong Kong citizens take out all bank deposits. The primary goal is Chinese banks, but he said other banks should also be targeted, otherwise Chinese banks can borrow money from other banks to solve problems.”

Hong Kong has been rocked by weeks of violent protests by pro-independence campaigners. Earlier this week, riot police stormed Hong Kong International Airport to clear them out.

As we reported on Tuesday, while China is unlikely to invade using PLA troops, experts have suggested that soldiers could be disguised as Hong Kong police.

Chinese Paramilitary Troops, Tanks Hold Threatening Exercises At Shenzen Sports Stadium

Chinese Paramilitary Troops, Tanks Hold Threatening Exercises At Shenzen Sports Stadium

As we shared yesterday, satellite images confirmed President Trump’s warning that Chinese troops were massing on the Hong Kong border.

Now, the AFP has published photos showing more military buildup unfolding in Shenzen.

The photos show what Reuters reports are hundreds of members of the People’s Armed Police, a pro-regime paramilitary organization, carrying out military exercises in a stadium in Shenzen. They could be preparing to carry out demonstrations of its own in Hong Kong.

Not to mention the hundreds of carriers and what appear to be tanks driving toward the field.

And let’s not forget about those satellite images.

And let’s not forget the video of military vehicles clogging the streets of Shenzen.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Macron’s French Police Openly Attacking the People Seriously Injuring if not Trying to Kill Them

Macron’s French Police Openly Attacking the People Seriously Injuring if not Trying to Kill Them 

Video

Unfortunately, as governments begin to collapse moving into 2021/2022 due to the complete failure of Socialism, they will not simply yield to the people and admit that their fiscal mismanagement is the cause of destroying everyone’s future. They will not go quietly into the light. Here we see French police acting no different than the police in Venezuela terrorizing and suppressing the people there as well.

“This Cannot Be Tolerated”: Beijing Hints It Could Send Troops Into Hong Kong If Protests Don’t Stop

“This Cannot Be Tolerated”: Beijing Hints It Could Send Troops Into Hong Kong If Protests Don’t Stop

A few days after another round of violent protests rocked Hong Kong, Beijing on Wednesday issued its harshest warning yet to the citizens of Hong Kong: It sought to remind them that Beijing has the authority to mobilize the People’s Liberation Army garrison in Hong Kong if it felt that the central government’s authority was threatened. 

The New York Times reports that the warning was part of the unveiling of the Communist Party’s new “defense strategy” which relied heavily on demonizing the western powers – an oblique reference to the US and the UK – for encouraging the protests.

Col. Wu Qian

Citing the Sunday protests, Senior Col. Wu Qian, a spokesman for China’s defense ministry, implied that the destructive behavior – protesters painted the central government’s liaison office with graffiti, the latest example of the extradition bill protests leading to the vandalism of government buildings – was swiftly straining the patience of Beijing.

“The behavior of some radical protesters challenges the central government’s authority, touching on the bottom line principle of ‘one country, two systems,'” Colonel Wu said during a news conference in Beijing where he laid out the government’s new strategy. “That absolutely cannot be tolerated.”

When pressed, Wu said that “Article 14 of the Garrison Law has clear stipulations,” and refused to elaborate, the SCMP reports.

Hong Kong’s government would need to request the garrison’s assistance, like it does during a natural disaster.

In response, a spokesman for the Hong Kong government said on Wednesday that the city was “fully capable” of dealing with its own affairs.

“There is no need to ask for assistance from the garrison,” he said.

Eric Chan Kwok-ki, director of the Chief Executive’s Office, dismissed Wu’s reference to the Garrison law, suggesting that it wasn’t a threat.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase