International Uprising Pushes Onward - May Global Round-up
June 2, 2012 

The global working class is continuing to feed off of one another’s momentum to strengthen the wave of international protest. Momentous protests have propelled international social movements to continue the plight for human rights, educational opportunities and for an end to all wars.

The historical significance of the surge of political protests throughout the world is immense. In times of upheaval, we have seen great social and political changes in the aftermath. This progress is not because of any given political party in office at that time, but because of the people in the streets demanding a better life. From toppling oppressive regimes to reclaiming basic human rights, massive demonstrations generate a Domino effect that triggers other uprisings to carry on the flood of global resistance.

The international working class is no longer putting up with corrupt capitalist agendas, environmental degradation, crashing economies or skyrocketing poverty. But as the mainstream media remains nearly silent on these waves of protest, these activist communities must not be ignored, and their causes must be recognized as one world struggle.

The May Day protests on May 1 breathed a revolutionary life into the spring offensive across the world. These are the events that marked the international surge of resistance in the month of May:

May 1

  • More than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners participated in a mass hunger strike in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza to oppose the wrongful imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians, horrific prison conditions and inhumane treatment during their incarceration without formal charges. Ten hunger-strikers were hospitalized by the end of the strike. Israeli officials compromised a deal to allow solitary confinement prisoners to be returned to the other areas of the prison as well as to allow family visits.
  • Cities all over the world, from Paris, Oslo, Madrid, New York City, Montreal and Palestine, celebrated May Day in solidarity with all working class groups everywhere.

May 2

  • South Koreans held a candlelit rally to demand the government stop food imports from the United States because of high rates of food poisoning and mad cow disease.

May 3

  • Syrian security forces kill four in a student protest at Aleppo University when administrators announced it would suspend classes. Protesters also marched opposing President Bashar al-Assad.

May 4

  • Thousands occupied Tahrir Square in Egypt to oppose the country’s brutal military rule as police violence left at least nine dead in the streets of Cairo.

May 5

  • 106 activists were arrested outside of Quebec’s liberal party headquarters demanding an end to tuition hikes. Three were hospitalized, and one protester lost the use of an eye as police shot rubber bullets and fired tear gas at protesters.

May 6

  • A dozen California State University students announced they would go on a hunger strike to call for a five-year moratorium on tuition fee increases and a cut on executive pay.

May 8

  • About 20 protesters were arrested in Nepal after the government forcefully evicted residents in Katmandu. Dozens were injured as riot police demolished homes and forced families to relocate.

May 9

  • Hundreds marched outside of the Bank of America shareholders meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina to protest foreclosures across the country. Four people were arrested.

May 10

May 11

  • Yemeni protesters sat in the streets in protest calling for a trial of former president Ali Abdullah Seleh and for the removal of his relatives from military positions.

May 12

  • Los Indignados of Spain celebrated their one-year anniversary with tens of thousands filling the streets to stand up against poverty and unemployment rates throughout the country in the anti-austerity movement.
  • Hundreds mobilized in Addison, Texas to fight against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which some say is a revised version of the NATO treaty.

May 13

  • dozen Russian writers led a protest of more than 10,000 people to oppose the Putin regime. The march stopped traffic for miles, and no arrests were made.

May 14

  • Eight anti-NATO protesters were arrested outside of the Barack Obama headquarters after rallying for an end to all wars across the world.

May 15

  • Thousands of Palestinians commemorated Nakba Day, which marks the day in 1948 when the state of Israel was established and began the displacement, murder and imprisonment of thousands of Palestinian families.

May 16

  • Hundreds of protesters took the streets of Chile as a part of the Chilean Student Movement to demand free education.
  • More than 30 activists were arrested after police evicted Occupy Moscow. About 10,000 people joined in the march as a part of the anti-austerity movement throughout Europe.

May 17

  • Houston activists gathered at the county court house to demand justice for black 15-year-old teenager Chad Holley, who was beaten to death by a white former police officer who was acquitted of all charges.
  • Countless protests erupted as NATO negotiations took place in Chicago. Thousands of activists descended upon the city to protest against global wars.

May 18

  • The Nurses rally invades Chicago over the NATO Summit weekend to march for a Robin Hood tax that would impose higher taxes on the rich.

May 19

  • Frankfurt hosted massive demonstrations continuing to fuel the opposition to harsh austerity measures throughout Germany. More than 30,000 protesters demonstrated at the largest rally.

May 20

  • Protests at the NATO Summit in Chicago turn violent when police officers club demonstrators and journalists  bloody and arrest 60.

May 21

May 22

  • Canada saw its largest act of civil disobedience when nearly 250,000 marched in defiance of Bill 78, which limits protesters’ rights to demonstrate.

May 24

  • A Mexican student movement, “Yo Soy 132,” begins with thousands marching in Mexico City fighting for fair media coverage of upcoming presidential elections, an end to political corruption and more access to education.
  • Protesters gather outside of the Amazon Shareholders meeting to demand the company drop its membership to the American Legislative Exchange Council. Amazon later on announced it would drop its ALEC membership.

May 26

  • Striking workers shut down the Golden Gate ferry to demand fair compensation as workers, especially during holiday weekends.
  • Thousands of activists rally across the world after the Houla massacre in Syria on May 25.

May 27

  • About 1,000 people protested in North Carolina against Pastor Charles Worley, who told his congregation the Bible opposed homosexuality and that the LGBTQ community should be kept within an electric fence.

May 28

  • Anti-government protests have sparked in Georgia with up to 100,000 demonstrators demanding an end to corruption and military rule.
  • 50,000 people descended upon Casablanca to protest a growing unemployment rate and human rights violations by the Moroccan government.
  • Two Tibetan monks self-immolated in protest against Chinese occupation of Tibet.
  • A protester burst into a courtroom where ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair was speaking and yelled that Blair was a “war criminal” for his role in the Iraq War.
  • 500 lawyers and legal professionals march through Montreal to protest Bill 78, which requires all protests be approved by authorities beforehand.

May 29

  • Egyptian protesters set the home of presidential candidate and ex-Gadafi official Amhad Shafik ablaze to protest the first round of the country’s presidential election. Thousands gathered in Tahrir Square later that night.

May 30

  • Spanish miners blocked a highway in opposition to budget cuts for the mining sector, threatening jobs, healthcare and pensions for workers.
  • International marches of support for Wikileaks founder and journalist Julian Assange sprung up the day the whistleblower’s extradition to Sweden was ordered.
  • Nepalese protesters take the streets of Kathmandu demanding Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s resignation.

May 31

  • Fourteen Occupiers were arrested while trying to protect a family’s home from foreclosure in Minneapolis.
  • Six Occupy Albany protesters were arrested during a rally to demand a minimum wage increase outside of the office of Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.
  • About 40 students and administrators occupied the Office of Admissions at the University of California at Los Angeles to protest the university’s admissions procedures, which they say discriminate against minorities.


- G. Razo

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