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Massive Protest By Czechs Targets Russia Sanctions, High Prices

Massive Protest By Czechs Targets Russia Sanctions, High Prices

Fed up with soaring food, energy and housing costs, tens of thousands of Czech protestors railed against their government on Friday, demanding the resignation of conservative Prime Minister Petr Fiala’s government, withdrawal from NATO and the negotiation of gas purchases from Russia.

“This is a new national revival and its goal is for the Czech Republic to be independent,” said organizer Ladislav Vrabel. “When I see a full square, no one can stop this.”

The protests occurred both in the capital city of Prague as well as the second-largest Czech city of Brno. Organized under the slogan of “Czech Republic First,” the demonstrations drew their strength from both the left and right wings of Czech politics.  

“Russia’s not our enemy, the government of warmongers is the enemy,” one speaker said, according to the Associated Press. Czechia has donated tanks and other heavy weapons to Ukraine, and provided nearly a half million visas to Ukrainian refugees, along with benefits. Protest organizers are also demanding that the refugees not be granted permanent residency.

The protest was the third in a series organized by a group demanding Czechia’s withdrawal from NATO and better relations with Russia. As observed in the United States, the Czech government has attempted to marginalize the by calling them “pro-Kremlin propagandist narratives.”

The Czech government has tried to battle the rising prices with aid to businesses and household electricity price caps.

Friday’s protests were part of a rising wave of discontent throughout Europe. On Thursday, thousands protested in France, demanding higher wages to offset the rising cost of living — among them, striking teachers, healthcare providers and railway workers. Recent weeks have seen similar protests in Germany, Austria and Belgium too.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Fuel protests gripping more than 90 countries

Fuel protests gripping more than 90 countries

Protesters in Ecuador hit the streets over the rise in cost of livingIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
Image caption,

Protesters in Ecuador hit the streets over the rise in the cost of living

High costs of living are driving people to protest in the streets against crippling prices. The BBC has mapped all reported demonstrations over fuel since January 2021, revealing a huge increase in protests this year.

Fuel costs affect many aspects of daily life – personal travel, transportation of goods, energy for electricity and heating.

Around the world demonstrators have called for change. They’ve demanded that petrol be made more affordable or available at all.

They’ve sat in peaceful protests and they’ve attacked governments.

Some have paid an even higher price.

Fights over fuel

16-year-old Khadija Bah was standing on her family’s front porch when she was shot.

For days, Khadija had been watching growing crowds of demonstrators rally, gathering only metres from her house on the east side of Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown.

But on 10 August, the protests turned violent. As armed police clashed with protesters, a stray bullet hit Khadjia. She sank to the ground and died almost immediately.

Her mother, Maria Sesay, is still struggling to come to terms with the death of her daughter. A student at the local secondary school, Khadija’s dream was one day to become a nurse.

Khadija's parents, Maria (L) and Abdul (R)
Image caption,

Khadija’s parents, Maria (L) and Abdul (R)

“I’m so sad,” her mother says. “Up until now, I have struggled so hard to raise my daughter. But now she is dead. I’m in so much pain.”

Violence like this has not been witnessed in this small west African nation for years. This time, it was sparked by record-breaking fuel prices.

In the month of August, violent clashes in the capital killed 25 people, including five police officers.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Revolution In Air As Brits Burn Power Bills Amid Historic Energy Crisis

Revolution In Air As Brits Burn Power Bills Amid Historic Energy Crisis

Energy prices for millions of households across the UK rose on Saturday. Soaring power bills amid the worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation led to a continuation of growing discontent ahead of the dark winter.

Thousands of Brits marched in London and other metro areas this weekend in protest of being thrown into energy poverty while inflation is at forty-year highs.

There were countless videos on social media showing Brits holding signs about their dire financial situation. “Can’t afford to live,” “Freeze profit, not people,” and “Eat the Tories,” read some of the signs people held. 

The protest was organized by Don’t Pay UK, an anonymous group spearheading the effort to have more than one million Brits boycott paying their power bills this winter (the movement is nearly 200,000 strong).

“Millions of us simply won’t be able to keep our heads above water and many will freeze when the weather turns cold,” a spokesman for the campaign said.

The protest coincided with the new energy price cap that took effect on Saturday, increasing the power bill average per household from £1,971 to £2,500 annually. Without this government intervention, annual bills would’ve continued skyrocketing.

New Prime Minister Liz Truss said that the government’s support for households and businesses shields them from energy hyperinflation. Meanwhile, Truss’ support is already in turmoil. Labour leads the Conservatives by a stunning 33%, according to a recent YouGov poll, up from 14% when she assumed power just three weeks ago.

However, the price cap for a typical household has doubled since last year — the massive increase has sparked discontent among Brits who are crushed by a cost-of-living crisis.

The UK Misery Index is at its worst level in three decades. We noted that Half Of UK Households Will Be In Fuel-Poverty By January last week. 

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

Czech PM Blames Russian Propaganda For Mass Protests In Pragu

Czech PM Blames Russian Propaganda For Mass Protests In Prague

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala is blaming pro-Russian forces for mass demonstrations this weekend that saw tens of thousands of people protest against the government, the European Union and NATO amid soaring energy prices and inflation.

The “Czechia First” demonstration saw 70,000 people gather to protest the government in a development the Czech prime minister is blaming on elements influenced by Russian propaganda.

“It is clear that Russian propaganda and disinformation campaigns repeatedly appear on our territory and that someone is simply succumbing to them,” Fiala said, as reported by Euractiv.

Protesters, brought together by the Communist Party, the Freedom party, the Direct Democratic Party, and other groups labeled as “radical”–both far-left and far-right–called on the government to address soaring energy prices and the highest cost of living since the early 1990s for everything from housing to consumer goods.

Protesters called for a new deal with Russia for gas supplies, just a day after Moscow said natural gas flows through Nord Stream 1 to Europe that had been cut off for maintenance would not be restored on Saturday as scheduled, and would be delayed indefinitely.

Inflation has hit 17% and is marching towards 20% in the coming months, according to Fortune, citing the Czech central bank.

The mass protests also came a day after a no-confidence vote against the five-party coalition government failed.

While the prime minister blamed Russian influence, other coalition government officials warned against sidelining real economic issues facing the people.

News reports noted that some demonstrators donned T-shirts favoring Russian President Vladimir Putin and some carried anti-EU and anti-NATO posters.

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

European Natural Gas Prices Are 6 Times Higher Than Last Year, And This Is Sparking Widespread Civil Unrest All Over Europe

European Natural Gas Prices Are 6 Times Higher Than Last Year, And This Is Sparking Widespread Civil Unrest All Over Europe

This is going to be a bitterly cold winter for a whole lot of people.  In particular, things are likely to get really uncomfortable in Europe.  Soaring energy prices and concern about potential shortages are causing anxiety all over the continent, and widespread protests have already started to take place.  The cost of living has become extremely painful for those on the bottom of the economic food chain, and people want their governments to do something.  Of course this is what always happens when nations embrace socialism.  There is an expectation that those in charge will solve any and every problem, but this time around the limitations of the socialists running Europe will become very clear.

Thanks to the war in Ukraine and a number of other factors, the price of natural gas in Europe is now approximately six times higher than it was last year…

European natural gas prices are taking a breather amid further signs that soaring energy costs are crippling economic output, heaping pressure on politicians to resolve the crisis with winter just a few months away.

Benchmark futures retreated after settling at a record high on Monday. Prices are still about six times higher than they were at this time last year, with the panic spreading across nations ahead of peak winter demand.

Needless to say, many in Europe are being completely stunned by the size of their energy bills, and a massive backlash has been brewing.

In fact, we are already starting to see very large protests in a number of different countries

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

“Widespread Civil Unrest” Looming in UK Over Cost of Living Crisis

“Widespread Civil Unrest” Looming in UK Over Cost of Living Crisis

Movement to stop paying bills snowballs.

SOPA Images via Getty Images

The chance of “widespread civil unrest” occurring in the UK as a result of people being unable to afford to pay their bills due to the cost of living crisis is “inevitable,” according to one campaigner.

With energy prices set to soar even higher in October as a result of the sanctions on Russia, many Brits have resolved to refuse to pay their bills as part of a growing backlash some are comparing to the poll tax riots.

London was hit with violent riots back in 1990 in response to the government’s efforts to introduce the poll tax, and the new levy was eventually scrapped after a coalition of interest groups amongst both the working class and the middle class combined to defeat it.

A similar movement under the umbrella of the Don’t Pay organization is now urging people to cancel their direct debits in October if energy prices continue to rise.

Average energy bills in the UK for dual fuel are expected to rise to £3,615 by January 2023, an increase of 283 per cent on March levels.

“Millions of us won’t be able to afford food and bills this winter,” asserts the Don’t Pay manifesto. “We cannot afford to let that happen. We demand a reduction of bills to an affordable level. We will cancel our direct debits from October 1st if we are ignored.”

However, others have warned that a mass refusal to pay bills will only result in energy prices soaring even higher because more companies will leave the market, allowing fewer corporations to create pricing monopolies.

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

Panama’s Inflation Upheaval Causing Food, Fuel Shortages

Panama’s Inflation Upheaval Causing Food, Fuel Shortages

It started as a teacher’s strike to protest the high cost of gas, but it’s now the largest civil unrest in Panama since the end of dictator Manuel Noriega’s reign in 1989. 

With fiery roadblocks disrupting commerce and causing shortages of food, fuel and other supplies, the Panamanian government has entered a new round of talks meant to placate the masses and avoid further economic damage, which some assess at $500 million and counting.

President Laurentino Cortizo had already made two major moves to quell the unrest, only for it to continue.

On June 11, he widened subsidies to extend a freeze on gas prices to all consumers, capping the price at $3.95 a gallon, which was 24% lower than the end-of-June price. He also promised to pursue price caps on 10 basic goods, including pasta, beef loin, vegetable oil and canned sardines.

With protestors demanding economy-wide price cuts and increased spending on education and health care, the demonstrations continued, not only in the form of marches and strikes but also roadblocks of major highways, including the internationally-critical Pan-American Highway. The Panama Canal has thus far escaped disruption; strikes by canal workers are illegal.

Last weekend, Cortizo announced a deal by which the government would reduce the price of gas again — this time, to $3.25. That price cut was offered in exchange for an assurance that the roadblocks would be cleared while discussions of price relief on medicines and other essentials continued.

However, on Monday, leaders of the National Alliance for the Rights of the Peoples (Anadepo), a protestor coalition representing labor unions, civic organizations and indigenous people, announced they were breaking their commitment, saying they had made the deal under pressure. Some groups said they weren’t represented in the negotiations.

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

Dutch Farmers Livid Over EU’s ‘Green’ Nitrogen Rule Block Border Between Holland And Germany

Dutch Farmers Livid Over EU’s ‘Green’ Nitrogen Rule Block Border Between Holland And Germany

Thousands of tractor-driving Dutch protesters came out this week to continue demonstrations against the government’s radical plan to cut nitrogen emissions by 30% – 70% as part of their ‘green’ agenda.

Farmers from the world’s 5th largest exporter of food are demanding that the Hague immediately reverse course, and have blocked the border between Holland and Germany over the rule which would lead to the closure of dozens of farms and cattle ranches.

On Wednesday, dozens of tractors blocked a highway close to the German border, according to traffic authorities.

Even larger protests are scheduled for July 4, with organizers taking to Telegram to call people to action against rules they say will “flatten” the country’s agriculture industry.

According to the Epoch Times, the message calls on concerned farmers and citizens to organize their own regional actions with the goal of closing all “distribution centers for food supplies and all major polluters” until “the government changes its plans.”

One viral call for a July 4 protest came from a large truckers’ Telegram group, suggesting that some truckers in the Netherlands may find themselves in solidarity with the nation’s agriculturalists.

The farmers, who plan to protest at many of the nation’s airports, specifically mentioned Schiphol and Eindhoven. NLTimes.nl has reported that spokespersons for both airports say they are monitoring the situation but have little information at present.

In 2021, the Netherlands’ coalition government proposed slashing livestock numbers in the country by 30 percent to meet nitrogen emissions targets.

The country has already implemented stringent restrictions on new construction with the aim of curbing nitrogen emissions.

Rabobank has argued that those new hurdles have slowed down homebuilding in the Netherlands, intensifying a housing shortage in the densely populated coastal nation.

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

The Struggle For What’s Essential

Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. 

We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.

 Arundhati Roy, April 2020

Just over two years ago when lockdowns were being declared like dominoes around the world, there was a brief moment when the COVID-19 pandemic seemed to hold the potential for much-needed reflection. Could it lead to a reversal away from the profit-driven ecological and socio-economic dead end we’ve been propelling toward?

Arundhati Roy’s call to critical reflection was published in early April 2020. At the time, she was observing the early evidence, on one hand, of the devastating toll of the pandemic as a result of extraordinary inequality, the privatized health care system, and the rule of big business in the U.S., which continued to play out along lines of class and race.

She was also writing with horror at how the Modi government in India was enacting an untenable lockdown on a population of over a billion people without notice or planning, in a context of overlapping economic and political crises…

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

Will Famine Emerge by Year End? Yes.

Will Famine Emerge by Year End? Yes.

Inflation Protests Erupt Across Peru As President Imposes Curfew, Calls In Military 

Inflation Protests Erupt Across Peru As President Imposes Curfew, Calls In Military 

Inflation poses severe challenges for emerging market economies. The latest example is in Peru, where social unrest spreads across the country, forcing the government to impose a curfew in the capital, Lima, on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

“The cabinet has agreed to declare a ban on the mobility of citizens from 2 a.m. through 11:59 p.m. of Tuesday, April 5, to protect the fundamental rights of all people,” Peruvian President Pedro Castillo said in a live broadcast last night. 

The South American country was already struggling before commodity prices jumped to record highs because of the Ukraine invasion and virus pandemic supply chain disruptions. Social unrest began last month as demonstrations led by farmers and truckers have intensified over soaring food, fuel, and fertilizer prices.

Days ago, Peru Finance Minister Oscar Graham reduced the consumption tax for fuel and basic food items, hoping it would quell protests.

This all comes as Peru’s annual inflation hit 6.82% in March from a year earlier, the most since August 1998. April’s number is expected to top 7%.

Source: Bloomberg 

Higher commodity prices, pushing up overall inflation, is metastasizing into a political crisis for Castillo, whose slumping popularity could fall even faster. Castillo has also called in the military to control violent protests.

“This strike isn’t happening just here, it’s all over Peru,” one unnamed protester told Reuters. 

Besides tax cuts, the government has desperately raised the minimum wage by about 10% to about $322 per month.

As the situation worsens in Peru, none of this should be surprising to readers. We’ve explained that social unrest in emerging market economies was inevitable due to the rapidly rising cost of everything.

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

‘Climate Revolution’: Scientists Launch Global Civil Disobedience Campaign

Scientists hold sign calling for a climate revolution

Scientists hold a sign reading, “Climate Revolution Or We Will Lose Everything” at a rally. This week, scientists around the world will occupy universities to demand a “Climate Revolution” following the release of the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (Photo: Twitter/@ScientistRebel1)

‘Climate Revolution’: Scientists Launch Global Civil Disobedience Campaign

“Scientist Rebellion will be on the streets between April 4th and 9th, acting like our house is on fire,” said organizers. “Because it is.”

Scientists from around the world on Monday mobilized to demand a “Climate Revolution,” holding rallies and staging acts of civil disobedience with the goal of making the planetary emergency “impossible to ignore.”

With a kick-off timed to coincide with Monday’s release of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), researchers across the globe this week will participate in the Scientist Rebellion, staging strikes and occupations at universities, research institutes, and scientific journals to demand that the community speak out forcefully against continued fossil fuel emissions to highlight “the urgency and injustice of the climate and ecological crisis.”

“In short, there’s no worthy reason for me to be doing this work if I’m not also pushing for climate action.”

“We have not made the changes necessary to limit warming to 1.5°C, rendering this goal effectively impossible,” said Dr. Rose Abramoff, an American climate scientist, referring to the goal set by the Paris climate agreement in 2015. “We need to both understand the consequences of our inaction as well as limit fossil fuel emissions as much and as quickly as possible.”

For scientists, Abramoff added, “it is no longer sufficient to do our research and expect others to read our publications and understand the severity and urgency of the climate crisis.”

One neuroscientist named Jonathan posted a video on social media explaining why he is taking part in the Scientist Rebellion.

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

Organizing Across State Lines to Stop a Pipeline

Organizing Across State Lines to Stop a Pipeline

Activists in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Nebraska are proving that building collective community power can successfully counter Big Oil’s monied interests.

Emily Sutton loves the Haw River, with its boulders and whitewater, perfect for rafting. The river’s 110 miles flow through rural North Carolina, touching six counties in the state. But the Haw, which Sutton advocates for as its “riverkeeper” with the Haw River Assembly, is also the backdrop of an ongoing battle against a proposed pipeline, which threatens the health of the river and those who enjoy it.

Plans for the Mountain Valley pipeline were first announced in April 2018. The proposed pipeline would transport fracked gas 300 miles from West Virginia to a compressor site in southern Virginia, and then another 70 miles into northern North Carolina. This last section is called the Mountain Valley Southgate Extension, and it goes through the state to allow a major stakeholder that already services nearly 30% of counties to expand its market. It is this section of the pipeline that would decimate the Haw River.

The pipeline was originally supposed to be completed in less than a year and cost financial partners $3.5 billion. But four years of coordinated cross-state grassroots resistance to the pipeline’s construction has thus far prevented the Mountain Valley pipeline corporation from laying even an inch of pipeline in North Carolina soil. New county, city, and state laws have a far reach in preventing pipelines that are slated to start in one state and end in another, as seen with a Virginia state law that impacts the North Carolina section of the pipeline.

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

“Doesn’t Really Add Up”: Canadian MPs Grill Public Safety Minister On Use Of Emergencies Act

“Doesn’t Really Add Up”: Canadian MPs Grill Public Safety Minister On Use Of Emergencies Act

MPs grilled Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino on Feb. 25 at a House committee hearing to examine the public order emergency declared by the government, with some focusing on whether the threshold had been met to call a national emergency, and others looking to find out why the Ottawa occupation lasted so long.

Addressing whether the threshold was met to invoke the Emergencies Act on Feb. 14, Conservative MP and public safety critic Raquel Dancho asked Mendicino if “our safety was in jeopardy with the protests in Ottawa?”

“Well certainly the size, scope, and scale of the illegal blockades at a number of borders and ports of entry, as well as the illegal occupation in Ottawa, met the threshold under the Emergencies Act,” replied Mendicino as he testified before the House of Commons public safety committee.

Large-scale protests in Ottawa, dubbed the “Freedom Convoy,” along with Canada-U.S. border blockades had occurred across the country in recent weeks to demand the lifting of COVID-19 mandates and restrictions. Most of the blockades were cleared before the government invoked the act, and the one in Emerson, Manitoba, dispersed on its own on Feb. 16, so Dancho focused on the Ottawa protest.

“I walked to West Block for two weeks past these protests. If there was such a threat to public safety, how could you have allowed members of Parliament to walk by that protest every day?,” asked Dancho.

Families join the Freedom Convoy protest in downtown Ottawa after police distributed arrest notices to truckers and their supporters occupying Wellington St. and the Parliament Hill area on Feb. 16, 2022. (Richard Moore/The Epoch Times)

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

Activism Uncensored: The Freedom Convoy

Activism Uncensored: The Freedom Convoy

Fringe Minority, Eh? TK Partners News2Share take a balanced look at the Canadian protests

In the above video, TK Partners News2Share do a fantastic job of doing what the conventional press mostly hasn’t done with the “Freedom Convoy” story, asking the right questions about who’s participating, what their concerns are, and how the event is being received on the ground.

As Ford Fischer demonstrates in his narration, the protesters are a mix of people who see themselves as politically liberal, and politically conservative. There are some whose objections seem to be purely about mandates. “I’m double-vaccinated,” says one speaker. “To think… I will show my papers to buy a sandwich? Hell, no!”

For others, the issue is the vaccine itself:

“They said, ‘Get your booster…’ If it doesn’t work once, it doesn’t work twice, maybe it’ll work the third time. You know who does that? Gamblers. People who play blackjack!”

The scenes outside the Super Bowl, meanwhile, look quite different. Although trucker protests have gathered steam in too many countries around the world to count by now, the U.S. version has so far failed to produce the large numbers Canadians have seen. The News2Share footage also shows a crowd that looks and sounds different from the ones in Ottawa.

Stories like the Freedom Convoy are exactly why we like the idea of having Ford and his shooters just let the cameras run for a while at heavily covered events. The idea is to let audiences watch longer pieces of footage with minimal contextualization, so they may draw their own conclusions. Hopefully, News2Share’s pictures from Ottawa and L.A. shed some light.

An earlier version of this story contained an extraneous quote at the bottom of the page. TK apologizes to readers, and to News2Share, for the error.

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