Naked cyclists in Mexico protest environmental destruction from cars & socially conservative attitudes toward dress
June 9, 2013

Naked and minimally dressed cyclists in Mexico braved saddle sores to protest against a number of bugbears – including aggressive drivers, C02 emissions from cars and conservative attitudes to dressing. An estimated 3,000 demonstrators, some of whom were fully naked, cycled 12 miles in a protest that ended in Guadalajara, the largest city in the state of Jalisco, as part of World Naked Bike Ride.

A further 2,000 streamed through Mexico City. Some slapped “fragile” stickers on their bodies or painted messages on their skin: “More bicycles, less pollution,” and “the city is for everyone, let bikes pass.”

By stripping bare, the cyclists aimed to highlight the fragility of riders, and the risks they face, on busy roads. But for the protesters in Guadalajara, it was also a chance to take a swipe at the conservative climate in that state.

“It’s a very conservative city, and I believe that daring to [cycle with ] pushes beyond the limits of the Catholic sense of morality,” said Lucia Escalante, 27,  who was dressed in a bathing suit. “That’s why it’s more important to show here that we are free.”

The World Naked Bike Ride movement began on June 12, 2004, in Vancouver, Canada, and has been held every year in 29 cities around the world since then.

Source

Todd Chrieten: Why I’m still not voting for Obama
October 29, 2012
FOUR YEARS ago, I wrote an article for Socialist Worker titled "Why I’m Not Voting For Obama." The atmosphere in which President Barack Obama is running for reelection could not be more different from the high hopes and expectations that surrounded his 2008 campaign. But I believe socialists and the left must take the same attitude to this election.
I started my article four years ago by pointing out the disgusting racist attacks on Obama. Unfortunately, these attacks have only gotten worse in the past four years—Romney supporters have even added the slogan "Put the white back in the White House". This racist backlash is one of the reasons the election is so close.
Romney himself has joined in. For instance, while campaigning in Michigan with his wife last August, Romney stated, “I love being home in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born…No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate.”
A Romney victory will embolden the most vile elements in American society, which explains why opinion polls suggest he will get close to 0 percent of the Black vote.
There can be no doubt that Mitt Romney in office will do his damnedest to makes things worse for all workers and poor people, but especially for people of color. The question, though, is this: Does casting a vote for President Obama and the Democratic Party help make things better?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Sometimes Lesser, But Still an Evil
Socialist Worker's Lance Selfa makes it crystal clear in his book The Democrats: A Critical History that placing faith in the Democratic Party has led to a series of disasters for social movements over the course of the 20th century.
Here are just two examples. Students for a Democratic Society backed President Lyndon Johnson’s reelection campaign in 1964 with the slogan “Half the way with LBJ.” Antiwar activists hoped they would avoid war in Vietnam with Johnson back in the White House. But they ended up with an “ALL the Way” bloodbath when Johnston sent in 600,000 troops. The result was over 50,000 American soldiers killed and 2 million dead in Vietnam and the surrounding region.
In the 1990s, voting for Bill Clinton was presented as the only “realistic” for stopping the Republicans, who in the post-Reagan era clearly stood for an anti-poor, racist, law-and-order, anti-gay, pro-business agenda. As president, Bill Clinton proudly “ended welfare as we know it,” presided over an unprecedented growth in the U.S. prison population, deregulated Wall Street, signed the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act and implemented “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the military.
Of course, Republican presidents also have a long list of crimes. But these examples ought to make it clear that Democratic presidents and politicians are, at best, a lesser evil.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -But Isn’t This Election Different?
I want to address the rest of this article to readers who may already be highly critical of the Democrats, but who believe there is no choice but to support them as a defensive measure.
For instance, few Chicago teachers believe that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is anything other than an anti-union bully, bent on destroying public education. At the same time, a very large majority of them will vote for President Barack Obama simply because they see no alternative on the national level to Romney.
As noted previously, close to 100 percent of African American voters will support Obama for many of the same reasons—as well as a logical desire to express pride in the first Black president and to defend him from racist attack. And my guess is that a very large majority of the people who took part in an Occupy Wall Street protest over the past year will vote for Obama as well, however reluctantly.
These groups will vote for Obama’s reelection despite his dismal policies that have made their lives worse: from bank bailouts, to the failure to provide help to homeowners facing foreclosure, to the surge in Afghanistan and more.
Radicals who dismiss these pro-Obama people as simply “ignorant” or “brainwashed” are missing the point. Millions of people who want strong unions, real solutions to stop global warming, increased taxes on the rich, etc., will support Obama because they can’t see an alternative.
The reality at this point is that those of us who want to build powerful social movements of workers, students and the oppressed have very limited options on November 6. Casting a protest vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein or some other left-wing party is a worthwhile option. But those campaigns have almost no social weight behind them.
In 2000, Ralph Nader and the Green Party received almost 3 million votes and were closely connected to the rising global justice movement. But then, Bush stole the election, the Democrats blamed the Greens and Nader—and the global justice struggle collapsed after September 11.
Several Green Party and independent campaigns managed to put forward an antiwar message in the years that followed, but the unfortunate reality is that some key Green Party leaders abandoned an all-out fight against the Democrats by adopting a “safe state” strategy or other means by which they effectively threw their support to the Democrats. In other cases, Greens simply quit the party and returned to the Democrats, leaving a severely weakened organization in their wake.
I think this only goes to show that if we want to build a radical political alternative to the Democrats, we have to be better prepared.
Many people believe that building an alternative to the Democrats is a waste of time. Former Obama staffer Van Jones typifies this thinking. One particularly infantile version of this argument was put forward recently by writer Rebecca Solnit. She accused a “rancid sector of the far left” of “left-wing voter suppression” because we criticize Obama and other Democrats.
If I were Rahm Emanuel, I would read Solnit’s piece and think, “With enemies like this, who needs friends?”
There are more thoughtful cases being made along the same lines. For example, veteran activists Bill Fletcher Jr. and Carl Davidson stress the danger in a rising racist wave of attacks and argue that, despite Obama’s miserable record as a “corporate liberal,” “we think the matter of a lesser of two evils is a tactical question of simply voting for one candidate to defeat another, rather than a matter of principle. Politics is frequently about the lesser of two evils.”
If Fletcher and Davidson’s formulations are primarily defensive in nature, Bob Wing asserts that an alliance of progressives has a positive opportunity to gain influence within the Democratic Party:

In recent years, progressives have grown more united, more organized, more aggressive and strategically smarter. We are occasionally able to gain initiative (opposition to the war in Iraq, Wisconsin, Occupy), but we have not yet become a consistent and undeniably powerful force in national politics or even within the Democratic Party, two crucial and mutually interconnected tasks…though some on the far left still harbor abstentionist or third party dreams.

While they pitch their arguments in terms of 2012, it’s worth recognizing that this strategy of orienting social movements to work within the Democratic Party is a decades-old approach whose results must be judged in that light.
In that regard, I disagree that our goal should be to become, as Wing puts it, a “powerful force…within the Democratic Party.” In my judgment, history has shown that it is not revolutionaries who qualitatively change the Democratic Party, but the Democratic Party that qualitatively changes revolutionaries. One small example is Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. She used to be a communist. Now she directs the police to bludgeon protesters.
Consider the Democrats today, and remember that this is after the challenge of the 1960s and ’70s social movements and Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition. Yet it’s hard to imagine how the Democratic Party as an institution could be more neoliberal, anti-democratic and hostile to grassroots struggle.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -But What Do We Do Now?
First, we must look reality in the face. The economic crisis will continue after November 6, and conditions for the majority of the population will continue to deteriorate. We face years of austerity, an increasingly violent state, attacks on civil liberties and civil rights, and a growth of sexist and especially racist ideas and attacks.
Second, at the same time, we are finally seeing a response from our side: the uprising in Wisconsin and the Occupy Wall Street movement last year; the Chicago Teachers Union strike in September; and smaller fights against police brutality, anti-immigrant policies and so on. Our side remains weak, but a new layer of radicals is emerging, and they are asking big questions.
Third, we have a long way to go before we can successfully challenge the two-party system on a national scale. But it remains the case that if the bosses have two parties, we need (at least) one of our own. We need a party that won’t trade principles for votes or bargain away the demands of movements on the streets and on the picket line for a few seats in Congress. We need a party one that sees elections as simply one aspect of a larger strategy for social transformation.
Some people will say that voting for Obama will only take a few minutes—and then we can get on with the job of building a genuine left-wing alternative.
But the Democrats don’t let social movements and unions off the hook so easily. They demand that unions hand over tens of millions of dollars to help Democrats get elected, and that movements demobilize so they don’t embarrass the party.
Mitt Romney is disgusting. But Obama and the Democrats want us to play by the rules of the game determined by the intensity of the capitalist crisis: austerity, poverty, war, repression. Those are rules we have to break, and the sooner we start learning how, the better.
That’s why I’m still not voting for Obama in 2012.
Source

Todd Chrieten: Why I’m still not voting for Obama

October 29, 2012

FOUR YEARS ago, I wrote an article for Socialist Worker titled "Why I’m Not Voting For Obama." The atmosphere in which President Barack Obama is running for reelection could not be more different from the high hopes and expectations that surrounded his 2008 campaign. But I believe socialists and the left must take the same attitude to this election.

I started my article four years ago by pointing out the disgusting racist attacks on Obama. Unfortunately, these attacks have only gotten worse in the past four years—Romney supporters have even added the slogan "Put the white back in the White House". This racist backlash is one of the reasons the election is so close.

Romney himself has joined in. For instance, while campaigning in Michigan with his wife last August, Romney stated, “I love being home in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born…No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate.”

A Romney victory will embolden the most vile elements in American society, which explains why opinion polls suggest he will get close to 0 percent of the Black vote.

There can be no doubt that Mitt Romney in office will do his damnedest to makes things worse for all workers and poor people, but especially for people of color. The question, though, is this: Does casting a vote for President Obama and the Democratic Party help make things better?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Sometimes Lesser, But Still an Evil

Socialist Worker's Lance Selfa makes it crystal clear in his book The Democrats: A Critical History that placing faith in the Democratic Party has led to a series of disasters for social movements over the course of the 20th century.

Here are just two examples. Students for a Democratic Society backed President Lyndon Johnson’s reelection campaign in 1964 with the slogan “Half the way with LBJ.” Antiwar activists hoped they would avoid war in Vietnam with Johnson back in the White House. But they ended up with an “ALL the Way” bloodbath when Johnston sent in 600,000 troops. The result was over 50,000 American soldiers killed and 2 million dead in Vietnam and the surrounding region.

In the 1990s, voting for Bill Clinton was presented as the only “realistic” for stopping the Republicans, who in the post-Reagan era clearly stood for an anti-poor, racist, law-and-order, anti-gay, pro-business agenda. As president, Bill Clinton proudly “ended welfare as we know it,” presided over an unprecedented growth in the U.S. prison population, deregulated Wall Street, signed the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act and implemented “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the military.

Of course, Republican presidents also have a long list of crimes. But these examples ought to make it clear that Democratic presidents and politicians are, at best, a lesser evil.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
But Isn’t This Election Different?

I want to address the rest of this article to readers who may already be highly critical of the Democrats, but who believe there is no choice but to support them as a defensive measure.

For instance, few Chicago teachers believe that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is anything other than an anti-union bully, bent on destroying public education. At the same time, a very large majority of them will vote for President Barack Obama simply because they see no alternative on the national level to Romney.

As noted previously, close to 100 percent of African American voters will support Obama for many of the same reasons—as well as a logical desire to express pride in the first Black president and to defend him from racist attack. And my guess is that a very large majority of the people who took part in an Occupy Wall Street protest over the past year will vote for Obama as well, however reluctantly.

These groups will vote for Obama’s reelection despite his dismal policies that have made their lives worse: from bank bailouts, to the failure to provide help to homeowners facing foreclosure, to the surge in Afghanistan and more.

Radicals who dismiss these pro-Obama people as simply “ignorant” or “brainwashed” are missing the point. Millions of people who want strong unions, real solutions to stop global warming, increased taxes on the rich, etc., will support Obama because they can’t see an alternative.

The reality at this point is that those of us who want to build powerful social movements of workers, students and the oppressed have very limited options on November 6. Casting a protest vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein or some other left-wing party is a worthwhile option. But those campaigns have almost no social weight behind them.

In 2000, Ralph Nader and the Green Party received almost 3 million votes and were closely connected to the rising global justice movement. But then, Bush stole the election, the Democrats blamed the Greens and Nader—and the global justice struggle collapsed after September 11.

Several Green Party and independent campaigns managed to put forward an antiwar message in the years that followed, but the unfortunate reality is that some key Green Party leaders abandoned an all-out fight against the Democrats by adopting a “safe state” strategy or other means by which they effectively threw their support to the Democrats. In other cases, Greens simply quit the party and returned to the Democrats, leaving a severely weakened organization in their wake.

I think this only goes to show that if we want to build a radical political alternative to the Democrats, we have to be better prepared.

Many people believe that building an alternative to the Democrats is a waste of time. Former Obama staffer Van Jones typifies this thinking. One particularly infantile version of this argument was put forward recently by writer Rebecca Solnit. She accused a “rancid sector of the far left” of “left-wing voter suppression” because we criticize Obama and other Democrats.

If I were Rahm Emanuel, I would read Solnit’s piece and think, “With enemies like this, who needs friends?”

There are more thoughtful cases being made along the same lines. For example, veteran activists Bill Fletcher Jr. and Carl Davidson stress the danger in a rising racist wave of attacks and argue that, despite Obama’s miserable record as a “corporate liberal,” “we think the matter of a lesser of two evils is a tactical question of simply voting for one candidate to defeat another, rather than a matter of principle. Politics is frequently about the lesser of two evils.”

If Fletcher and Davidson’s formulations are primarily defensive in nature, Bob Wing asserts that an alliance of progressives has a positive opportunity to gain influence within the Democratic Party:

In recent years, progressives have grown more united, more organized, more aggressive and strategically smarter. We are occasionally able to gain initiative (opposition to the war in Iraq, Wisconsin, Occupy), but we have not yet become a consistent and undeniably powerful force in national politics or even within the Democratic Party, two crucial and mutually interconnected tasks…though some on the far left still harbor abstentionist or third party dreams.

While they pitch their arguments in terms of 2012, it’s worth recognizing that this strategy of orienting social movements to work within the Democratic Party is a decades-old approach whose results must be judged in that light.

In that regard, I disagree that our goal should be to become, as Wing puts it, a “powerful force…within the Democratic Party.” In my judgment, history has shown that it is not revolutionaries who qualitatively change the Democratic Party, but the Democratic Party that qualitatively changes revolutionaries. One small example is Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. She used to be a communist. Now she directs the police to bludgeon protesters.

Consider the Democrats today, and remember that this is after the challenge of the 1960s and ’70s social movements and Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition. Yet it’s hard to imagine how the Democratic Party as an institution could be more neoliberal, anti-democratic and hostile to grassroots struggle.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
But What Do We Do Now?

First, we must look reality in the face. The economic crisis will continue after November 6, and conditions for the majority of the population will continue to deteriorate. We face years of austerity, an increasingly violent state, attacks on civil liberties and civil rights, and a growth of sexist and especially racist ideas and attacks.

Second, at the same time, we are finally seeing a response from our side: the uprising in Wisconsin and the Occupy Wall Street movement last year; the Chicago Teachers Union strike in September; and smaller fights against police brutality, anti-immigrant policies and so on. Our side remains weak, but a new layer of radicals is emerging, and they are asking big questions.

Third, we have a long way to go before we can successfully challenge the two-party system on a national scale. But it remains the case that if the bosses have two parties, we need (at least) one of our own. We need a party that won’t trade principles for votes or bargain away the demands of movements on the streets and on the picket line for a few seats in Congress. We need a party one that sees elections as simply one aspect of a larger strategy for social transformation.

Some people will say that voting for Obama will only take a few minutes—and then we can get on with the job of building a genuine left-wing alternative.

But the Democrats don’t let social movements and unions off the hook so easily. They demand that unions hand over tens of millions of dollars to help Democrats get elected, and that movements demobilize so they don’t embarrass the party.

Mitt Romney is disgusting. But Obama and the Democrats want us to play by the rules of the game determined by the intensity of the capitalist crisis: austerity, poverty, war, repression. Those are rules we have to break, and the sooner we start learning how, the better.

That’s why I’m still not voting for Obama in 2012.

Source

Democracy @ Work - A Viable Alternative to Capitalism
Link to Audio
What would a world with more democracy look like - a society where we didn’t have a whole sector labeled “private” that was completely void of democracy? What if workers owned and operated everything themselves and workers were the ones who made the decisions? What would the large-scale implications be in society? In the above audio, Richard Wolff addresses some of these questions and talks about Mondragon, which is the fifth largest company in Spain and completely owned and democratically directed by workers. It’s what he calls a “Workers Self Directed Enterprise” and it’s a model that provides a serious, legitimate threat to capitalism as it stands. Listen to the audio (from WeAreMany.org - a great source for amazing audio and video) and see if you agree. I suspect you will. If you do, I strongly suggest supporting this indiegogo campaign (if you can’t donate, reblog, maybe one of your followers can), dedicated to raising funds to turn Workers Self Directed Enterprises into a full-fledged social movement.I’ll be posting more throughout the week about Workers’ Self Directed Enterprises, Richard Wolff, Mondragon, and the very young Democracy at Work Movement. Tumblr can be involved in developing this movement; I have long-term plans to begin a WSDE and I’d really like to help add momentum to this campaign. Please reblog to raise awareness about this incredibly new movement. Message me if you’re interested in helping raise awareness about this campaign. I’m getting some blogs involved on tumblr this week and have a list of ideas for posts and would love some help getting the word out. Get at me.
-Robert

Democracy @ Work - A Viable Alternative to Capitalism

Link to Audio

What would a world with more democracy look like - a society where we didn’t have a whole sector labeled “private” that was completely void of democracy? What if workers owned and operated everything themselves and workers were the ones who made the decisions? What would the large-scale implications be in society? 

In the above audio, Richard Wolff addresses some of these questions and talks about Mondragon, which is the fifth largest company in Spain and completely owned and democratically directed by workers. It’s what he calls a “Workers Self Directed Enterprise” and it’s a model that provides a serious, legitimate threat to capitalism as it stands. Listen to the audio (from WeAreMany.org - a great source for amazing audio and video) and see if you agree. I suspect you will. 

If you do, I strongly suggest supporting this indiegogo campaign (if you can’t donate, reblog, maybe one of your followers can), dedicated to raising funds to turn Workers Self Directed Enterprises into a full-fledged social movement.

I’ll be posting more throughout the week about Workers’ Self Directed Enterprises, Richard Wolff, Mondragon, and the very young Democracy at Work Movement. Tumblr can be involved in developing this movement; I have long-term plans to begin a WSDE and I’d really like to help add momentum to this campaign. 

Please reblog to raise awareness about this incredibly new movement. Message me if you’re interested in helping raise awareness about this campaign. I’m getting some blogs involved on tumblr this week and have a list of ideas for posts and would love some help getting the word out. Get at me.

-Robert

Thousands of Israelis demonstrate at anti-government rallyAugust 04, 2012 
“The time has come for an all out war,” say Israeli students, social activists and the country’s movement for equality in military service laws. The groups are joining forces for a major anti-govt protest in Tel Aviv on Saturday night.
RT’s Paula Slier tweets from the demonstration that there’s been a “clash between activists from two separate protests.”
Earlier, she reported that at least five thousand demonstrators had gathered in front of the Tel Aviv Museum.
“Tonight’s protests could be a make-or-break moment for the social movement depending on how many Israelis they can draw to the streets,” Slier reports.
Leaders of the disparate movements are hoping that thousands of demonstrators will flood the capital for the protest.
One of the main causes behind the planned demonstration is the recent approval of austerity measures and tax hikes, which have plunged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s popularity to record lows. 
Over 60 percent of Israelis are unhappy with Netanyahu’s job performance, according to a survey published by Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz. 
“This isn’t only a young people’s campaign,” news website The Times of Israel quoted Chairman of the National Student Union Itzik Shmuli as saying. “It’s the campaign of everyone who bears the economic, social and defense burden – everyone who cares how this country will look in a few years.”
“The time has come for an all out war,” said Stav Shaffir, one of the unofficial leaders of the social justice movement.“We must stand up and show that we know how to join hands when necessary… to continue to fight in order to save this place, which we love so much.”
Source 

Thousands of Israelis demonstrate at anti-government rally
August 04, 2012 

“The time has come for an all out war,” say Israeli students, social activists and the country’s movement for equality in military service laws. The groups are joining forces for a major anti-govt protest in Tel Aviv on Saturday night.

RT’s Paula Slier tweets from the demonstration that there’s been a “clash between activists from two separate protests.”

Earlier, she reported that at least five thousand demonstrators had gathered in front of the Tel Aviv Museum.

“Tonight’s protests could be a make-or-break moment for the social movement depending on how many Israelis they can draw to the streets,” Slier reports.

Leaders of the disparate movements are hoping that thousands of demonstrators will flood the capital for the protest.

One of the main causes behind the planned demonstration is the recent approval of austerity measures and tax hikes, which have plunged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s popularity to record lows. 

Over 60 percent of Israelis are unhappy with Netanyahu’s job performance, according to a survey published by Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz. 

“This isn’t only a young people’s campaign,” news website The Times of Israel quoted Chairman of the National Student Union Itzik Shmuli as saying. “It’s the campaign of everyone who bears the economic, social and defense burden – everyone who cares how this country will look in a few years.”

“The time has come for an all out war,” said Stav Shaffir, one of the unofficial leaders of the social justice movement.“We must stand up and show that we know how to join hands when necessary… to continue to fight in order to save this place, which we love so much.”

Source 

Anaheim braces for a weekend of protests over police shootings

July 28, 2012

Residents in Anaheim braced for more street protests Saturday, following a week of unrest linked to several high-profile police-involved shootings in the Southern California city.

The FBI said Friday it would “consider” investigating police tactics in Anaheim, and Mayor Tom Tait announced he had asked for a federal review of the fatal shooting of an unarmed man July 21. Police described the victim as a known member of the city’s notorious street gangs.

That shooting touched off a wave of demonstrations in the Orange County city, famous as the home of Disneyland.

Amid the scrutiny, the Anaheim Police Department has stood behind its officers.

"As the war against street-gang terrorism continues in cities across America, including Anaheim, the fine men and women of the Anaheim Police Department will continue to serve and protect all the residents of Anaheim who live in fear of gang violence," Police Association President Kerry Condon said in an open letter to the Register.

Uganada’s protest movement shifts away from urban centers
July 17, 2012
Uganda’s anti-government protesters are shifting their rallies to villages with asmaller police presence. The protesters have been combated with heavy police brutality in the capital city in their campaign against the misrule of the country’s long-serving leader.
Instead of tear gas and batons encountered in Kampala in the past, protesters are met with apparent indifference in the countryside. Rallies in rural areas went ahead undeterred in recent days, but protest leaders caution that it might also be because it is more difficult there for the government to quickly mobilize resources such as anti-riot police or tear gas.
The village rallies come at a time when the party of President Yoweri Museveni — who has been in power for more than 25 years — is suffering defeats in by-elections in places where it was once hugely popular. Museveni’s party, already distracted by a power struggle over who might succeed the leader when he leaves office, has lost five of six electoral contests this year.
Museveni’s opponents are eager to try him even harder in his own backyard, western Uganda, the scene of boisterous rallies that the police failed to block this and last week.
“We are fighting for change,” Ingrid Turinawe, an opposition activist who has become one of Museveni’s most vocal critics, said in an interview Monday.
“We have achieved a lot since we started,” raising awareness and encouraging Ugandans to stand up for what they want, Turinawe said. In villages now, people “are more alert and ready for the struggle. The ones in Kampala are intimidated,” she added.
Opposition activists with the group Activists for Change, or A4C, started a protest movement in April 2011 against Museveni, who had just won re-election but whose government the activists accuse of massive corruption and economic mismanagement.
The activists called their campaign Walk to Work and staged a series of popular protests in which they walked the streets of Kampala, gathering supporters along the way. One such protest is depicted in the photograph above.
Photo source
Source

Uganada’s protest movement shifts away from urban centers

July 17, 2012

Uganda’s anti-government protesters are shifting their rallies to villages with asmaller police presence. The protesters have been combated with heavy police brutality in the capital city in their campaign against the misrule of the country’s long-serving leader.

Instead of tear gas and batons encountered in Kampala in the past, protesters are met with apparent indifference in the countryside. Rallies in rural areas went ahead undeterred in recent days, but protest leaders caution that it might also be because it is more difficult there for the government to quickly mobilize resources such as anti-riot police or tear gas.

The village rallies come at a time when the party of President Yoweri Museveni — who has been in power for more than 25 years — is suffering defeats in by-elections in places where it was once hugely popular. Museveni’s party, already distracted by a power struggle over who might succeed the leader when he leaves office, has lost five of six electoral contests this year.

Museveni’s opponents are eager to try him even harder in his own backyard, western Uganda, the scene of boisterous rallies that the police failed to block this and last week.

“We are fighting for change,” Ingrid Turinawe, an opposition activist who has become one of Museveni’s most vocal critics, said in an interview Monday.

“We have achieved a lot since we started,” raising awareness and encouraging Ugandans to stand up for what they want, Turinawe said. In villages now, people “are more alert and ready for the struggle. The ones in Kampala are intimidated,” she added.

Opposition activists with the group Activists for Change, or A4C, started a protest movement in April 2011 against Museveni, who had just won re-election but whose government the activists accuse of massive corruption and economic mismanagement.

The activists called their campaign Walk to Work and staged a series of popular protests in which they walked the streets of Kampala, gathering supporters along the way. One such protest is depicted in the photograph above.

Photo source

Source

Police attack mosque full of people in Sudan
July 13, 2012
More than 30 people were arrested on Friday when police fired tear gas at a mosque which has become a focus of Arab Spring-style protests in Sudan, a senior opposition figure said.
About 200 people were left inside the besieged Wad Nubawi mosque after many others fled from the tear gas, said Mariam al-Mahdi, a politbureau member of the Umma party linked to the mosque in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman.
"They hit them massively with the nerve gas," said Mahdi, daughter of former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi who leads the party. There were "many casualties" because people were suffocating from the fumes.
The remaining group of 200 were later “beaten out” of the mosque, she said.
Security forces have responded with increasingly aggressive tactics, using gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition mostly fired into the air, since June 22 when small demonstrations began at the mosque after Friday prayers, she told AFP in an interview this week.
Source

Police attack mosque full of people in Sudan

July 13, 2012

More than 30 people were arrested on Friday when police fired tear gas at a mosque which has become a focus of Arab Spring-style protests in Sudan, a senior opposition figure said.

About 200 people were left inside the besieged Wad Nubawi mosque after many others fled from the tear gas, said Mariam al-Mahdi, a politbureau member of the Umma party linked to the mosque in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman.

"They hit them massively with the nerve gas," said Mahdi, daughter of former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi who leads the party. There were "many casualties" because people were suffocating from the fumes.

The remaining group of 200 were later “beaten out” of the mosque, she said.

Security forces have responded with increasingly aggressive tactics, using gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition mostly fired into the air, since June 22 when small demonstrations began at the mosque after Friday prayers, she told AFP in an interview this week.

Source

Spanish civil servants take to the streets on Friday the 13th!

July 13, 2012

Spanish civil servants, many dressed in mourning black, took to the streets in angry protest as the government approved new sweeping austerity measures that include further wage cuts and tax increases for a country reeling under the weight of a near 25 percent unemployment rate.

Spain is under pressure to get its public finances on track amid concerns in the markets over the state of the country’s banks and the wider economy, which is back in recession.

Source

While The People’s Record was in Chicago for Socialism2012, a “No more Fukushimas” rally in Tokyo drew 200,000+ into the streets.
July 04, 2012
On Friday, June 29, more than two hundred thousand people inundated the streets around the Prime Minister’s office and residence, the Parliament building and other facilities.
Around 5:40 PM, the “protest on the sidewalk” spilled into the streets. Around 6:50 PM, all the six traffic lanes of the street from the crossing in front of the Prime Minister’s Office through the Ministry of Finance were completely occupied by workers and people, young and old, who held makeshift placards. Other streets nearby were also full of protesters. It was a Tahrir Squar in Tokyo.
The huge crowd of people began to move toward the PM’s Office, chanting “Saikado hantai” (“Stop Restart”). The panic-stricken police moved dozens of armored police vehicles and built a wall with them and stopped the march of protesters at the last minute.
Prior to this action the women from Fukushima and the rest of Japan held a rally inside the Upper House Building and in front of the main gate of the Parliament. Around 5:45 PM, they joined the protest in front of the PM’s Office and led chants and speeches. NAZEN contingents also led chants.
The delegation of Ethecon from Germany emphasized, “We have to strengthen solidarity and unity in Europe, America, Asia, Africa and Australia in order to abolish nuclear plants.” The protesters cheered and chanted loud with them.
A historical upsurge of tens of millions of workers and people has begun.
We have to organize an anti-nuke movement in labor unions and workplaces, passing resolutions and begin mobilizing as many workers as possible to get to the Yoyogi Park rally on July 16.
Source

While The People’s Record was in Chicago for Socialism2012, a “No more Fukushimas” rally in Tokyo drew 200,000+ into the streets.

July 04, 2012

On Friday, June 29, more than two hundred thousand people inundated the streets around the Prime Minister’s office and residence, the Parliament building and other facilities.

Around 5:40 PM, the “protest on the sidewalk” spilled into the streets. Around 6:50 PM, all the six traffic lanes of the street from the crossing in front of the Prime Minister’s Office through the Ministry of Finance were completely occupied by workers and people, young and old, who held makeshift placards. Other streets nearby were also full of protesters. It was a Tahrir Squar in Tokyo.

The huge crowd of people began to move toward the PM’s Office, chanting “Saikado hantai” (“Stop Restart”). The panic-stricken police moved dozens of armored police vehicles and built a wall with them and stopped the march of protesters at the last minute.

Prior to this action the women from Fukushima and the rest of Japan held a rally inside the Upper House Building and in front of the main gate of the Parliament. Around 5:45 PM, they joined the protest in front of the PM’s Office and led chants and speeches. NAZEN contingents also led chants.

The delegation of Ethecon from Germany emphasized, “We have to strengthen solidarity and unity in Europe, America, Asia, Africa and Australia in order to abolish nuclear plants.” The protesters cheered and chanted loud with them.

A historical upsurge of tens of millions of workers and people has begun.

We have to organize an anti-nuke movement in labor unions and workplaces, passing resolutions and begin mobilizing as many workers as possible to get to the Yoyogi Park rally on July 16.

Source