crisis of capitalism
Violence broke out in Mozambique's capital Maputo on Oct. 28 between security forces and demonstrators protesting the results of nationwide local elections. Confrontations were also reported in the cities of Nampula and Nacala. Police are accused of using disproportionate force, including tear-gas and live bullets, and at least three people have been reported dead, including a 10-year old boy. There have also been reports of injuries and detentions.
Hundreds held a three-day protest campaign ending Sept. 24 in Ghana's capital, Accra, to denounce harsh economic conditions and the "moral decay" of the country's leadership. With placards reading "Ghana deserves better," protesters attempted to march on the seat of government, Golden Jubilee House, but riot police and armored vehicles barred their way. In response, demonstrators sat down in the road, effectively shutting down the area for hours. Over 50 were arrested when police finally cleared the intersection.
The Free Syria flag again flew high in villages, towns and cities across the country Aug 25, as thousands filled the streets, reviving the chants of the revolution. Protests had days earlier erupted in the regime-held south of the country, first in the Druze-majority city of Sweida (Suwayda) and Dera'a—the town that saw the initial anti-regime protests of the 2011 uprising. They were triggered by the cost-of-living crisis, especially the recent increase in fuel prices as the regime has yet again cut subsidies. But protests sparked by economic demands soon escalated to renewed calls for the downfall of the Bashar Assad dictatorship.
Bangladesh opposition supporters protested July 29 to demand the resignation of prime minister and the leader of Awami League, Sheikh Hasina. The protests followed a call to action from the Bangladesh National Party (BNP). Protestors blocked several entry points to the capital Dhaka, and some threw rocks at police. The police responded with tear-gas, rubber bullets and batons. The Dhaka metropolitan police admitted to these tactics, saying that officers were injured. BNP leader Abdul Moyeen Khan said that 1,000 supporters have been arrested, two times higher than the 500 figure provided by the police.
A Kenyan police official told the Associated Press on July 20 that police received a warning against reporting deaths that have occurred during protests over the high cost of living under the government of Kenyan President William Ruto. Although it was unclear who issued the direct order, it came after opposition leader Raila Odinga called for three days of protests. Since Ruto's election last year, Kenya has witnessed tax increases and a steep rise in petrol prices. The demonstrations, and the brutal response from the state, have seen at least 30 people killed since March, according to Amnesty International. The UN says 5.4 million people need urgent food aid in Kenya following five consecutive seasons of drought. (Jurist, TNH)
With the return of El Niño, rising temperatures are leading to a surge of life-threatening weather patterns across the globe. While Europe experiences new record temperatures, in Latin America drought is affecting countries in unprecedented ways. In Uruguay, the lack of rain has emptied one of the capital's main reservoirs, forcing the government to declare a state of emergency in Montevideo and to add salty water to public drinking water supplies—provoking protests from citizens angry over the significant decline of water quality. While the country faces its worst drought in the past 74 years, critics accuse the government of prioritizing water use by transnationals and agribusinesses over human consumption. News of a plan to build a Google data center that would require 3.8 million liters of water a day further infuriated Uruguayans. On July 13, UN experts called on the Uruguayan authorities to take action to protect citizens' access to clean drinking water.
Amid nationwide protests over the government's pension reform in France, clashes between demonstrators and police are reported from the rural commune of Saite-Soline, in the western department of Deux-Sèvres. Thousands defied an official ban March 25 to mobilize against the construction of new water storage "basins" for crop irrigation. In the ensuing fracas, security forces deployed helicopters and tear-gas, and several protesters were wounded, some seriously. Authorities said that gendarmes were injured as well, and patrol cars set ablaze. Some protesters reportedly dug up and dismantled a section of pipe that had been laid to feed the reservoir, and marched with the severed segments held aloft. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin described the scene as "eco-terrorism."
Following angry street protests in Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian government has agreed to open an investigation into the so-called "coal mafia," a group of state officials and executives accused pilfering the country's subsurface wealth for personal profit to the tune of some $12 billion. Demonstrators attempted to storm the Government Palace on Dec. 4, and blocked the capital's main boulevard, Peace Avenue. At issue are the vast Tavan Tolgoi coalfields in the Gobi Desert, under exploitation by the Mongolian Mining Corporation, a pillar of the national economy. (BNE Intellinews, BNE Intellinews, EuroWeekly News)