GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) — Thousands of demonstrators packed a German Alpine resort town on Saturday to protest a wide range of causes, from climate change to free trade, before the arrival of the leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized democracies for a two-day summit.
Though the demonstration in Garmisch-Partenkirchen was largely peaceful, a small group of protesters clashed with police as they marched through the town, charging at officers who responded with pepper spray. At least two protesters had to be taken away by medics for treatment. Police said one officer was also injured by the pepper spray; there were no arrests. Continue reading »
A protester holding a placard shouts slogans at a rally against Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to expand Japan’s military role as police officers refrain him in front of Abe’s official residence in Tokyo June 30, 2014 (Reuters / Yuya Shino)
Thousands gathered outside the Japanese prime minister’s office to protest constitutional changes that would expand Japan’s military role and allow overseas deployment. It comes one day after a man set himself on fire in protest against a proposed law.
Protest organizers have estimated that 10,000 people – including students, pensioners, and women – attended the rally outside Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s office in Tokyo. However, police put the number of participants at “several thousand.”
The demonstration comes on the eve of a cabinet meeting, where lawmakers are expected to endorse a resolution that would expand the use of Japan’s military by reforming the constitution. Continue reading »
Under Article 9 of its post-war pacifist constitution, Japan is blocked from the use of force to resolve conflicts except in the case of self-defense; but, as The BBC reports, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he wants a new interpretation of the constitution to be agreed on. This has brought major protests in Japan, climaxing this weekend when a man set himself on fire in central Tokyo in protest at a proposed law which could allow Japan to deploy its military overseas. With stocks falling, JPY strengthening, an economy collapsing, and a surging disapproval rating, it seems Abe needs a 4th arrow – war?
First, the newly-installed interior minister declared that the police were now behind the protesters they had fought for days, giving central Kiev the look of a war zone with 77 people killed, while central authority crumbled in western Ukraine. Then despite yesterday’s latest anti-crisis “agreement” which we said would last at best hours, the protesters continued their pressure against embattled president Yanukovich, demanding his outright and unconditional resignation, leading to his fleeing Kiev by airplane overnight to the far more pro-Russian city of Kharkiv located in the Eastern Ukraine, even as his arch rival, Yulia Tymoshenko, who is held in prison in the same city, was rumored to have been released on her way to the far more anti-Russian city of Kiev – it turns out those rumors have so far been incorrect.
Kiev, Ukraine (CNN) — They’ve given up their ground before — voluntarily, as a political concession. But that seems to be over.
After the deaths of 25 people in clashes a day earlier, Ukrainian protesters are prepared to stand and fight again Wednesday.
Police want to clear them out of central Kiev. Some of them died trying to stay put Tuesday — using projectiles and burning barricades to keep security forces at bay at Kiev’s Maidan, or Independence Square.
Watch as sparks fly between a Ukrainian military APC, possibly the same one we revealed earlier, as it gets into some blazingly close encounters with the Kiev protesters. It is unclear who won however it is quite clear that at this point the proxy war in Ukraine between Russia/Gazprom and the European Union/US State Dept/Saudi/Qatar can be upgraded to “hot.”
And the death and injury toll, which is rising by the hour:
Things have gotten a bit feisty in the Spanish city of Burgos, where violent protests have emerged in recent days over the decision to reduce the size of a road by half. It seems the protestors made a special point to vent their anger at a branch of Spanish bank Santander.
Don’t worry though, everything’s just fine. Nothing to see here serfs, move along. Recovery is proceeding as planned.
Thailand’s Finance Ministry has been taken over by more than 1,000 anti-government rioters, Reuters reported witnesses as saying. The leader of the protest movement has urged the demonstrators to seize other government buildings.
Across the city, around 30,000 protesters chanted “Get out!” and spread out across Bangkok to besiege government offices, military and naval bases and state TV channels.
Protest leaders estimated that at least 1 million anti-government protesters would gather near Democracy Monument for an organized march through the city. Latest police estimates showed that some 200,000 people have gathered on the streets, the biggest rally in three years.
Anti-government protesters wave national flags during a demonstration in Bangkok, Monday.
About 1,000 anti-government demonstrators forced their way into Thailand’s Finance Ministry on Monday and protest leaders called for the occupation of other government buildings in an escalating bid to topple Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
The swiftly rising political tension came as more than 30,000 demonstrators marched to 13 areas across the city, raising the risk of a clash with police, a day after about 100,000 gathered in the city’s historic quarter.
The protesters, led by the opposition Democrat Party, say Yingluck has become a puppet for her brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 military coup and convicted of graft two years later — charges that he says were politically motivated.
PHUKET: The hundreds of thousands of protesters in Bangkok’s streets will target television channels, the military and police today as concerns grow about Thailand’s future.
The decision to march on the media outlets turns the massive but peaceful street revolt in an unpredictable and potentially dangerous direction.
Thailand’s major free to air television channels effectively ignored the largest street demonstration Thailand has seen in years on Sunday, despite its obvious news value.
Many countries have issued travel advisories telling tourists to avoid the crowds in Bangkok. Today, with hundreds of thousands of people surging through the capital, those warnings are likely to become stronger.
Splintering the anti-government disturbance – by most estimates the protest brought between 500,000 and one million onto Bangkok’s streets on Sunday – leaves police in Bangkok being forced to deal with incidents on-the-run.
The protesters aim to topple the ”Thaksin Shinawatra regime” and end the corruption and nepotism now widely acknowledged under his government and subsequent ”Red” governments.
However, many previous ”Red” supporters have gone over to the traditionally ”Yellow” opposition, blurring color lines and leaving the government of Thaksin’s sister Yingluck, the present Prime Minister, increasingly exposed and liable to collapse at any moment.
Thirteen organisations and businesses have been nominated as the protesters’ targets today.
They are the offices of Channel 3, Channel 5, Channel 7, Channel 9 and Channel 11, along with Thai Armed Forces Headquarters, the Royal Thai Air Force, the Royal Thai Army, the Royal Thai Navy, the Royal Thai Police, the Royal Thai Metro Police, the Ministry of the Interior and the Bureau of Budget.
The media is being targetted for showing allegiance to the government. Protesters say figures revealing the true large scale of the demonstration have been suppressed and footage has been screened sparingly, if at all.
Anti-government protesters forced their way into Thailand’s Finance Ministry on Monday, laying out sleeping mats in its rooms and hallways in an escalating bid to overthrow Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
They also broke into the compound of the Foreign Ministry, a Reuters witness said.
The seizing of government buildings by protesters led by the opposition Democrat Party thrusts Thailand into a new chapter of political volatility three years after it was convulsed by its bloodiest political unrest in a generation.
The protesters say Yingluck is a puppet of her brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 military coup and convicted two years later of graft – charges that he denies. Thaksin lives in self-imposed exile but exerts enormous influence over his sister’s government.
I first read about the Million Mask March about a month ago and thought it was something to keep an eye on, but not yet interesting enough to post on. With a month and a half left to go, it has been gaining enough momentum for me to highlight this event.
While the main focus of the march centers around a gathering at the National Mall in the District of Criminals in Washington D.C., the plan is for hundreds of marches all over the world on November 5, which is Guy Fawkes Day. A video explaining the event and encouraging people to unite wants it to be…
The Largest Peaceful March in the History of Mankind.
I’ll be monitoring this event closely as the date approaches.
Protests were held across the globe on Saturday to speak out against a US-led strike on Syria, as world leaders ask Washington to wait for the results of a UN report before taking military action.
Around 200 people gathered outside the White House on Saturday to voice their opposition against a military strike on Syria and demand that Congress votes “no” on the issue.
Demonstrators chanted, “They say more war; we say no war” and carried signs stating that war on Syria would be “Built on a Lie.”
“There is a grass-roots uprising against the Democrats and the Republicans,” founder of the anti-war group Code Pink, Medea Benjamin, told AP. “We do not want another war,” she said, pointing to a broad anti-war feeling in the US.
Saudi Arabia, a major supporter of opposition forces in Syria, has increased crackdown on its own dissenters, with 30,000 activists reportedly in jail. In an exclusive interview to RT a Saudi prince defector explained what the monarchy fears most.
“Saudi Arabia has stepped up arrests and trials of peaceful dissidents, and responded with force to demonstrations by citizens,” Human Rights Watch begins the country’s profile on its website.
Political parties are banned in Saudi Arabia and human rights groups willing to function legally have to go no further than investigating things like corruption or inadequate services. Campaigning for political freedoms is outlawed.
One of such groups, which failed to get its license from the government, the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA), was cited by AFP as saying the kingdom was holding around 30,000 political prisoners.
When a reporter asked a paid protester in the above image what this protest was for- he told the reporter, “It’s a day to ban guns, I think.” -The Event was actually for a new movement called “Purge Day” dealing with mental illness.
So, no one supports your cause? No problem. You can hire supporters- even protesters. A company started last October by 22-year-old Adam Swart provides just this service. In a telephone interview I spoke with Swart about his new found success. “I came up with the idea on a visit to Estonia,” says Swart. At the airport, Swart says he saw a man who was being swarmed by a crowd of excited onlookers. He tells me, “I thought- Why can’t I have that kind of attention?” And so, Swart’s company, Crowds on Demand, was born.
Swart says that business is doing extremely well. According to their website, their office is located in a swanky downtown LA office suite. He says his biggest client so far was a $10k contract, but he would not disclose the client. Not bad for a 22-year-old kid. “We do most of our business through word of mouth. We are able to provide our customers with top-notch service, so they spread the word to other potential clients,” says Swart.
Egypt’s military announced it is ousting Islamist president President Mohammed Morsi, suspending the constitution and calling for early elections—a move the presidential palace quickly branded a “complete military coup.” Egypt will be ruled temporarily by the president of the Supreme Constitutional Court, the head of Egypt’s military, Gen. Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, said in an address on state television Wednesday evening in Egypt. Mr. Morsi rejected the declaration that he was out of office and called on Egyptians to avoid bloodshed and honor the constitution.
Of course, how the Muslim Brotherhood will accept their overthrow remains unclear but after the initial shock expect “reprisals”…
Persecution of Islamists in Egypt begins. Police arresting personnel at Islamist media channel. Leaders in hiding. MB revolt inevitable.
— Ed Husain (@Ed_H
Persecution of Islamists in Egypt begins. Police arresting personnel at Islamist media channel. Leaders in hiding. MB revolt inevitable.
The new interim head of Egypt will be revealed tomorrow:
Head of Egypt constitutional court to be sworn in as interim head of state on Thursday
He will most likely be succeeded by Mohamed ElBaradei.
While earlier the State Department spokesperson was careful not to take sides, it seems – given Cantor’s recent comments of the US long-standing support of the Egyptian military – that they have come out in support of the new framework; for fear, we suspect, of the growing anti-American sentiment we first exposed here.
00:06 GMT: At least 28 people have been injured in clashes with police in Rio de Janeiro. Most of the wounded were hit by rubber bullets, pepper spray and stones, officials at the Souza Aguiar hospital said.
Friday, June 21
23:47 GMT: In the city of Porto Alegre military police used a helicopter and tear gas to disperse protesters that approached the headquarters of RBS Group, a media conglomerate that publishes numerous newspapers along with radio and television stations.
23:13 GMT: Riot police in the capital Brasilia have prevented a group of protesters from breaking through the police cordon towards the Congress.
More than 20,000 are rallying in front of the Congress in the capital, Brasilia. Some 3,500 police officers were deployed to the area to respond, with clashes erupting after a group of protesters reportedly started throwing Molotov cocktails and attempted to break through the police cordon. Officers responded with tear gas.
22:45 GMT: Police fired large rounds of tear gas against protesters in the city of Campinas in Sao Paulo state in a confrontation adjacent to government buildings.
22:03 GMT: Police in Rio de Janeiro have already resorted to tear gas early Thursday evening to disperse a crowd making its way to city hall. Plumes of smoke could be seen on video broadcast by local TV.
Authorities in Brazil’s cultural capital expect as many as a million protesters to converge on the city, despite recent announcements by state governments to scrap plans to increase public transportation costs. Protesters intended to march on Maracana Stadium just as a Confederations cup football game was to kick off.
21:32 GMT: A huge demonstration is currently taking place in the Candelaria neighborhood of downtown Rio de Janeiro. At least 300,000 people have marched towards town hall, according to estimates by the police, who expect as many as a million protesters to gather later in the day.
Brazil’s biggest protests in two decades intensified on Thursday despite government concessions meant to quell the demonstrations, as 300,000 people took to the streets of Rio de Janeiro and hundreds of thousands more flooded other cities.
Undeterred by the reversal of transport fare hikes that sparked the protests, and promises of better public services, marchers demonstrated around two international soccer matches and in locales as diverse as the Amazon capital of Manaus and the prosperous southern city of Florianopolis.
“Twenty cents was just the start,” read signs held by many converging along the Avenida Paulista, the broad avenue in central Sao Paulo, referring to the bus fare reductions.
In the capital, Brasilia, tens of thousands of protesters by early evening marched around the landmark modernist buildings that house Congress, the Supreme Court and presidential offices.
The swelling tide of protests prompted President Dilma Rousseff to cancel a trip next week to Japan, her office said.
The targets of the protests, now in their second week, have broadened to include high taxes, inflation, corruption and poor public services ranging from hospitals and schools to roads and police forces.
With an international soccer tournament as a backdrop, demonstrators are also denouncing the more than $26 billion of public money that will be spent on the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, two events meant to showcase a modern, developed Brazil.
“Then again, at least the Brazilians are protesting for change: in the US, one only has to consider the epic indignation that the recent NSA spying scandal has unleashed and the mass throngs of people demanding a return of their constitutional rights. Oh wait…”
The Brazilian protests, which swept through the country with the raging bear market (and the pulled mega-IPO) over the past week, and which had the goal of reducing a recent bus-fare increase among other assorted protest goals, appear to have succeeded. At least when it comes to the fare increase. As for the other protester demands, listed below, it may take a little longer.
Brazilian leaders in Sao Paulo say they are reversing a 10-cent hike in bus and subway fares that has sparked widespread protests across the nation.
It started off a simple protest in Sao Paulo as a demonstration by students against an increase in bus fares from R$3 to R$3.20, and then quickly morphed into general demonstration of discontent with the nation’s political classes on both sides of the spectrum involving over 200,000 across the country, with those marching on Monday holding placards decrying everything from the enormous sums spent on the World Cup to the treatment by police of protesters last week. It got to the point where protesters invaded and occupied, peacefully, the roof of the national Congress complex in Brasilia. Then things turned less peaceful when a breakaway group from the main rally in Rio de Janeiro attacked the state legislative assembly building and attempted to set it on fire.
As many as 200,000 demonstrators marched through the streets of Brazil’s biggest cities on Monday in a swelling wave of protest tapping into widespread anger at poor public services, police violence and government corruption.
The marches, organized mostly through snowballing social media campaigns, blocked streets and halted traffic in more than a half-dozen cities, including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Brasilia, where demonstrators climbed onto the roof of Brazil’s Congress building and then stormed it.
Monday’s demonstrations were the latest in a flurry of protests in the past two weeks that have added to growing unease over Brazil’s sluggish economy, high inflation and a spurt in violent crime.
Turkey is entering its third day of violent protests as police have withdrawn from Taksim Square and allowed the mass protests to continue.
Over 900 people have been arrested across Turkey for what the authorities called a security measure.
The first photo below was taken froma CNN IReport that CNN themselves have not vetted.
Blood in streets near Taksim Turkey
A shocking video report from RT shows violent clashes between police and protesters:
An RT article covered various aspects of the protests including how they started and what they stand for:
Police in Istanbul have withdrawn from Taksim Square, allowing the mass protest to continue unabated, Turkish media report. Istanbul and Ankara are entering the third day of violent protests, with tear gas and water cannon deployed and over 900 arrested.
Some protesters hurled objects at officers and police vehicles, prompting police to fire several rounds of tear gas.
In Ankara, a police vehicle hit two demonstrators who were crouched in the middle of the street, barricading themselves behind rubbish bins.
One of the men who was hit was seen being rescued by other demonstrators and loaded into an ambulance while flashing a “V” for victory sign.
The other man was thrown in the air but appeared to not have been seriously injured.
A demonstration that started in Istanbul on Friday as a peaceful sit-in to save an inner-city green space has turned into nationwide anti-government protests in Turkey, revealing the depth of public anger against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Many Turks view him as increasingly authoritarian and dismissive of opposing views.
Protesters who had camped out at Taksim were angry over the planned removal of trees in the square, one of the few bits of green in sprawling Istanbul. Continue reading »
Eton, the elite boarding school just west of London, attended by Prince William, Prince Harry and current UK Prime Minister David Cameron asked a very interesting question on a recent scholarship questionnaire. Specifically, 13 year old boys were asked to justify the army killing 25 protestors in oil-price related civil unrest.
It’s all hypothetical to be sure. Just as hypothetical as the DHS buying billions of rounds of ammunition and assault weapons. For hypothetical use, against hypothetical protestors when the hypothetical ponzi financial system collapses due to hypothetical theft by hypothetical oligarchs. Got that?
Protesters from the group Camover in Germany destroy CCTV cameras. The vigilante group wants to see all surveillance cameras removed from public spaces, and are taking matters into their own hands, by taking down as many cameras as possible ahead of February’s European Police Congress
As a youth in a ski mask marches down a Berlin U-Bahn train, dressed head-to-toe in black, commuters may feel their only protection is the ceiling-mounted CCTV camera nearby. But he is not interested in stealing wallets or iPhones – he is after the camera itself. This is Camover, a new game being played across Berlin, which sees participants trashing cameras in protest against the rise in close-circuit television across Germany.
The game is real-life Grand Theft Auto for those tired of being watched by the authorities in Berlin; points are awarded for the number of cameras destroyed and bonus scores are given for particularly imaginative modes of destruction. Axes, ropes and pitchforks are all encouraged.
Thousands of dairy farmers on Monday protested low prices for their product, choking traffic in the Belgian capital with their tractors and spraying European Union headquarters and police with milk. One group started a fire in the street, but despite some pushing and shoving with police, there was no major violence. Farmers from several EU nations are demanding higher prices for milk, which currently is often being sold at below production costs, threatening the survival of their farms.
MOSCOW – The Moscow authorities have refused to grant permission for an opposition rally against “political repression” that was to be held later this week on that grounds that there is no such thing in Russia.
Yesterday, in what is an appetizer to the great 2013 convergence trade (that, between the now thoroughly dead Greek and the Spanish economy, which is rapidly getting there, of course), several thousand Spanish policemen took the streets of Madrid protesting the latest round of austerity, which included frozen pensions and the elimination of the Christmas bonus (they will have many more opportunities to protest not only the loss of any future upside, but the eventual cut of existing wages and entitlements). As RT reports, protesters blew whistles, shouted slogans, and carried anti-austerity banners as they marched through the city centre to the interior ministry. But perhaps the most telling message read on one of the slogans, was the following: “Citizens! Forgive us for not arresting those truly responsible for this crisis: bankers and politicians.”
And there you have the entire current clusterfuck summarized in one simple sentence: because as long as those responsible for the ongoing economic collapse, which will inevitably end in war as many have observed, Kyle Bass most recently, are not only not arrested but preserve their positions of power, any and all change will merely be cosmetic and any real change will only affect the bank accounts of the global middle class which are slowly but surely drained to zero. Continue reading »
As if we needed more proof that the course implemented by the eurocracy becomes increasingly untenable politically, millions decided to strike in several European countries this week. The demonstrations have, as they are wont to do these days, turned violent in a number places. The protests were most intense in Spain, where unemployment is at over 25% and desperation over the collapse of the bubble economy is growing by the day.
“Millions of Europeans joined together in general strikes and demonstrations on Wednesday to protest the strict austerity measures undertaken by their countries. In Portugal and Spain, hard hit by the debt crisis, locals conducted a 24-hour general strike that largely paralyzed public infrastructure, suspending train service and grounding hundreds of flights, in addition to shutting down factories.
Hundreds of thousands of Europe’s beleaguered citizens went on strike or snarled the streets of capitals of Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal, at times clashing with riot police, as they demanded that governments stop cutting benefits and create more jobs.
While the opposition is denouncing the recent changes to the election law and calling to protest, Kuwait has put a ban on gatherings of more than 20 people without a permit from the authorities and gave police more powers to disperse protests, local media have reported today.
The changes to the election law undermine their chances in the vote which will take place on December 1, the opposition says.
Spanish police officers take part in a demonstration against the Spanish government’s latest austerity measures in Madrid on October 27. Hundreds of police officer gathered in front of the interior ministry to express their anger against the austerity measures and benefit cuts.
Hundreds of Spanish police officers protested outside the interior ministry in Madrid on Saturday to denounce budget cuts and the elimination of benefits, as firecrackers burst into the air.
Like all Spanish civil service employees, police officers are taking the full blow of the austerity measures brought in by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s right-wing government in a bid to tackle the debt crisis. Continue reading »
First, it was Greece who failed to stick with the “do not rock the boat until the US election” script so meticulously crafted by Tim Geithner, and now it is Italy’s turn as Europe threatens to come unhinged precisely in the week when complete peace and quiet is needed to avoid deflecting attention from the peak season of the US presidential theater. As Reuters reports, “Tens of thousands of people marched through Rome in a “No Monti Day” on Saturday, some throwing eggs and spraying graffiti to protest against austerity measures introduced by Prime Minister Mario Monti’s government. Appointed in November when Italy risked being sucked into the euro zone debt crisis, Monti has pushed through painful austerity measures to cut the country’s massive debt, including tax hikes, spending cuts and a pension overhaul. “We are here against Monti and his politics, the same politics as all over Europe, that brought Greece to its knees and that are destroying half of Europe, public schools, health care,” said demonstrator Giorgio Cremaschi… In another demonstration in northern Italy, a small group of protesters scuffled with police near where Monti was addressing a rally on the theme of family values.” Continue reading »
Vanna Mendaleni is a middle aged Greek woman who until now has not had vehement feelings about the crisis that has engulfed her country. But that changed when the softly spoken undertaker, closing her family-run funeral parlour, joined thousands of protesters on Thursday in a mass outpouring of fury over austerity policies that have plunged ever growing numbers of Greeks into poverty and fear.
“After three years of non-stop taxes and wage cuts it’s got to the point where nothing has been left standing,” she said drawing on a cigarette. “It’s so bad families can no longer afford to even bury their dead. Bodies lie unclaimed at public hospitals so that the local municipality can bury them.”
As Greece was brought to a grinding halt by its second general strike in less than a month, Mendaleni wanted to send a message to the Greek prime minister, Antonis Samaras, and other EU leaders meeting in Brussels.
“We once had a life that was dignified. Now the country has gone back 50 years and these politicians have to be made aware that enough is enough.”
While we have grown ‘used’ to hearing of protests in several European peripheral nations, South Africa has turned the anti-austerity protest amplifier to 11 in recent days. From the Lonmin massacre and subsequent wage increase to the truck-drivers’ strike and Amplats firing of 12,000 workers , Reuters is reporting that South Africa’s local government worker’s union has now said it will join a nationwide strike amid the labor unrest in the mining sector. Demanding ‘market-related salaries’ this strike would bring the South African economy to its knees – at a time of rising deficit concerns. Critically, this has dramatic repercussions. Since firing people is no longer an option as “Those who are dismissed will make sure that there will be no operations operating and that will cause a massacre just like at Marikana,” some companies will be forced out of business (reducing supply) or suffer significant margin compression on cost increases leaving commodity producers struggling – which will inevitably mean prices for end-users will rise (slowing end-user demand or crushing their margins). It seems the South African labor unions found the M.A.D. card.
Via Reuters South Africa:
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s local government workers’ union said on Monday it would launch a strike over pay in the next few days, the first sign of a wave of labour unrest in Africa’s biggest economy spreading from the mines into the public sector.
Since August, close to 100,000 workers, including 75,000 in the mining sector, have downed tools in often illegal and violent protests that look likely to hit growth this year and undermine the government’s efforts to cut its budget deficit.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has promised to reduce the deficit from the 4.6 percent of GDP forecast for this financial year. Any public sector wage increase would make that more difficult. Continue reading »