Posts Tagged ‘protests’

Latest News Brazil – protests

juni 19, 2013


Brazil: Sao Paulo transport fare protest turns violent

14 June 2013

The protesters clashed with police, who fired tear gas to try to disperse the crowd.

The demonstrators were mostly university students, but the authorities said there were also groups of anarchists looking for a fight.

Protests against bus and underground fare rises in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo have turned violent.

Police fired rubber-coated bullets and tear gas, and detained more than 200 people. Police say they seized petrol bombs, knives and drugs.

Violence has also been reported at protests in Rio de Janeiro.

Prices for a single ticket in Sao Paulo were raised on 2 June from 3 reals ($1.40, £0.90) to 3.20 reals ($1.50, £0.96).

The authorities say that the rise is well below inflation, which since the last price rise in January 2011 has been at 15.5%, according to official figures.


An estimated 5,000 protesters converged on the streets of Sao Paulo’s central area on Thursday – the fourth day of the protests.

Some are reported to have set fire to rubbish in the streets, while others smashed shop windows.

At least 55 people have been injured, according to the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper. It added that six of its journalists had been wounded, two of them shot in the face.

State Governor Geraldo Alckmin branded the rioters “vandals” and promised to act to avoid a repeat of the violence.

“The police acted with professionalism,” Mr Alckmin said, rejecting claims that they had used excessive force.

Brazil’s Minister of Justice, Jose Eduardo Cardozo, said the demonstrations were legitimate but resorting to violence and vandalism was unacceptable.

More than 2,000 people also took part in protests against fare increases in Rio, one of the host cities for the Confederations Cup which starts on Saturday.

Latest News Syria: Protests in Kashmir

mei 19, 2013


Kashmiri protesters condemn Israeli attacks on Syria

Hundreds of angry protesters in Indian-administered Kashmir have held rallies to condemn Israel’s recent aggression against Syria…

May 10, 2013

On Friday, Kashmiri protesters torched effigies of US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Srinagar, the summer capital of Kashmir. 

The demonstrators condemned what they called the US and Israeli interference in Syria. 

The protesters also chanted slogans against the US-led Western imperialism and said the US and Israeli intelligence services – CIA and Mossad – were fuelling the flames of sectarian strife among Muslims in Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan. 

Protests were also held in several other towns of the Muslim-majority valley. 

On Sunday, Syria said the Israeli regime had carried out an airstrike targeting a research center in a suburb of Damascus, after al-Qaeda-affiliated groups fighting against the Syrian government suffered heavy losses. 

According to Syrian media reports, Israeli rockets struck the Jamraya Research Center. The Jamraya facility was also targeted in an Israeli airstrike in January.

A Thatcher state funeral would be bound to lead to protests

april 8, 2013


Thatcher Dead At 87

4 January 2012

The Tory prime minister wasn’t a great leader. She was the most socially destructive British politician of our times…

It might seem an odd time to be trying it on, but a drive to rehabilitate Margaret Thatcher is now in full flow. A couple of years back, true believers were beside themselves at the collapse of their heroine’s reputation. The Tory London mayor, Boris Johnson, complained that Thatcher’s name had become a “boo-word”, a “shorthand for selfishness and me-firstism”. Her former PR guru Maurice Saatchi fretted that “her principles of capitalism are under question”.

In opposition, David Cameron tried to distance himself from her poisonous “nasty party” legacy. But just as he and George Osborne embark on even deeper cuts and more far-reaching privatisation of public services than Thatcher herself managed, Meryl Streep’s The Iron Lady is about to come to the rescue of the 1980s prime minister’s reputation.

As the Hollywood actor’s startling Thatcher recreation looks down from every other bus, commentators have insisted that the film is “not political”. True, it doesn’t explicitly take sides in the most conflagrationary decade in postwar British politics. It is made clear that Thatcher’s policies were controversial and strongly opposed. But as director Phyllida Lloyd points out: “The whole story is told from her point of view.”

People are shown to be out to get her – but not quite why. We see the angry faces of protesters and striking miners from inside her car, not the devastated communities they come from. By focusing on her dementia, it invites sympathy for a human being struggling with the trials of old age. Remarkably, a woman who vehemently rejected feminism is celebrated as a feminist icon, and a politician who waged naked class war is portrayed battling against class prejudice.

Lloyd herself is unashamed about the film’s thrust: this is “the story of a great leader who is both tremendous and flawed”. Naturally, some of Thatcher’s supporters and family members have balked at the depiction of her illness.

But her authorised biographer, the high Tory Charles Moore, has no doubts about the The Iron Lady’s effective political message. The Oscar-bound movie is, he declares, a “most powerful piece of propaganda for conservatism”. And for many people under 40, their view of Thatcher and what she represents will be formed by this film.

Meanwhile, last week’s release of 1981 cabinet papers has given another impetus to Thatcher revisionism. The revelation that she authorised a secret back-channel to the IRA during the hunger strikes and opposed Treasury attempts to deny Liverpool a paltry cash injection after the Toxteth riots has been hailed as evidence of the pragmatism of a leader known for unswerving implacability.

But most shocking are the secret preparations now being made to give Thatcher a state funeral. In the 20th century only one former prime minister, Winston Churchill, was given such a ceremonial send-off. Churchill had his own share of political enemies, of course, from the south Wales valleys to India. But his role as war leader when Britain was threatened with Nazi invasion meant he was accepted as a national figure at his death. Thatcher, who cloaked herself in the political spoils of a vicious colonial war in the South Atlantic, has no such status, and is the most divisive British politician of our time.

Gordon Brown absurdly floated a state funeral in a fruitless attempt to appease the Daily Mail. But the coalition would be even more foolish if it were to press ahead with what is currently planned. A state funeral for Thatcher would not be regarded as any kind of national occasion by millions of people, but as a partisan Conservative event and an affront to large parts of the country.

Not only in former mining communities and industrial areas laid waste by her government, but across Britain Thatcher is still hated for the damage she inflicted – and for her political legacy of rampant inequality and greed, privatisation and social breakdown. Now protests are taking the form of satirical e-petitions for the funeral to be privatised: if it goes ahead, there are likely to be protests and demonstrations.

This is a politician, after all, who never won the votes of more than a third of the electorate; destroyed communities; created mass unemployment; deindustrialised Britain; redistributed from poor to rich; and, by her deregulation of the City, laid the basis for the crisis that has engulfed us 25 years later.

Thatcher was a prime minister who denounced Nelson Mandela as a terrorist, defended the Chilean fascist dictator Augusto Pinochet, ratcheted up the cold war, and unleashed militarised police on trade unionists and black communities alike. She was Britain’s first woman prime minister, but her policies hit women hardest, like Cameron’s today.

A common British establishment view – and the implicit position of The Iron Lady – is that while Thatcher took harsh measures and “went too far”, it was necessary medicine to restore the sick economy of the 1970s to healthy growth.

It did nothing of the sort. Average growth in the Thatcherite 80s, at 2.4%, was exactly the same as in the sick 70s – and considerably lower than during the corporatist 60s. Her government’s savage deflation destroyed a fifth of Britain’s industrial base in two years, hollowed out manufacturing, and delivered a “productivity miracle” that never was, and we’re living with the consequences today.

What she did succeed in doing was to restore class privilege, boosting profitability while slashing employees’ share of national income from 65% to 53% through her assault on unions. Britain faced a structural crisis in the 1970s, but there were multiple routes out of it. Thatcher imposed a neoliberal model now seen to have failed across the world.

It’s hardly surprising that some might want to put a benign gloss on Thatcher’s record when another Tory-led government is forcing through Thatcher-like policies – and riots, mounting unemployment and swingeing benefits cuts echo her years in power. The rehabilitation isn’t so much about then as now, which is one reason it can’t go unchallenged. Thatcher wasn’t a “great leader”. She was the most socially destructive prime minister of modern times.

Twitter: @SeumasMilne