Colston’s toppled statue links the anti-racist and anti-imperialist causes

A Morning Star editorial| June 08, 2020

The empty plinth where the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol once stood after it was taken down during a Black Lives Matter protest on Sunday

KEIR STARMER’S description of the toppling of slave trader Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol as “completely wrong,” like Priti Patel’s claim that it was “utterly disgraceful,” show their distance from what has become an international movement against racism.

Despite Patel’s nod to “the cause people are actually protesting about” (which she says is undermined by “acts of public disorder”) the position of her government is clear. Internationally it is aligned with Donald Trump and domestically it seeks to intensify the “hostile environment” for immigrants built up by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition from 2010-15. It is opposed to anti-racist movements.

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Public sculpture expert: why I welcome the decision to throw Bristol’s Edward Colston statue in the river

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For years now, Bristol Council in south-west England had been failing to find a resolution for the question of what to do with a prominent public statue of Edward Colston, a Bristolian who had given much to the city but whose wealth was built upon the slave trade. A resolution was, ultimately, forced on June 7 when a crowd of protesters tore down Colston’s statue and threw it into the harbour.

Priti Patel, the home secretary, has called for a police investigation in response to what she has termed the “utterly disgraceful” toppling of Colston’s statue, seeing it as an act of “sheer vandalism and disorder”. But Patel is no expert in the history of public sculpture. She doesn’t understand what has actually taken place.Read More »

UK: Tenants’ unions demand government strengthen protections for renters

by Ceren Sagir

Morning Star | May 12, 2020

Posters referencing Covid-19 and a rent strike in Bristol

BRITAIN’S biggest tenants’ unions penned an open letter to the government today to demand strengthened protections for renters from the coronavirus crisis.

Acorn, Living Rent and the London Renters Union (LRU) wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick to demand that the government suspends all rents immediately, cancels all rent debts and puts in place more robust measures against evictions.

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Protesting Afghans demand food aid, gunfire kills 6

Countercurrents | May 11, 2020

A shootout erupted on Saturday at a protest in western Afghanistan by residents demanding economic assistance, leading to the deaths of at least six people including a local reporter and two police officers, officials said.

The reporter has been identified as local volunteer radio presenter Ahmadkhan Nawid, according to the Afghanistan Journalists’ Centre.

The protesters were demanding relief after weeks of restrictions aimed at containing the coronavirus pandemic. The protesters angry at the distribution of food aid clashed with security forces.Read More »

The Lancet publishes letter from doctors: “End torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange”

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Countercurrents | February 18, 2020

This week’s edition of the Lancet—the world’s pre-eminent peer reviewed medical journal—carries a letter from 117 medical doctors in 18 countries, renewing their call for urgent action to save the life of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. Their letter appears less than one week before the start of the US extradition hearing in London that may decide Assange’s fate.

The doctors’ two-page letter appears in the correspondence section of the Lancet under the heading “End torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange.” It was written by Dr Stephen Frost (UK), Dr Lissa Johnson, clinical psychologist (Australia), Dr Jill Stein (former leader of the US Green Party) and William Frost (UK).Read More »

Thousands march in Germany against warmongers at Munich Security Conference 2020

People’s Dispatch | February 17, 2020

Protest against Munich security conference
Over 5,000 people marched in Munich on Saturday against the security conference. (902.gr)

On February 15, thousands marched in Munich, Germany, protesting against the Munich-Security Conference 2020 hosted in the city from February 14 to 16 Sunday. More than 5,000 people joined the protest called by anti-war, anti-NATO organizations against the meeting of the war hawks of the European Union (EU) and NATO. North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance between North American and European countries and is often criticized for its imperialistic and warmongering manuverous. Activists from the German Communist Party (DKP), Socialist German Workers Youth (SDAJ), Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and Turkish Communist Party (TKP)  have also joined the protest. Read More »

Protesters return to streets in rudderless Lebanon

Countercurrents | January 15, 2020

Anti-government protesters chant slogans as they hold cardboard cutouts of clenched fists, with Arabic that reads, “Lebanon,” as they block a main highway during a protest in the town of Jal el-Dib, north of Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. Protesters blocked several roads around the capital of Beirut and in other areas of the country on Tuesday in renewed rallies against the ruling elite they say has failed to address the economy’s downward spiral. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Amidst obstacles to the creation of a new administration in Lebanon angry protesters have begun returning to streets. Protesters are returning with the slogan, “The revolution is coming back.”

There were clashes between the protesters and army and security forces. Protesters burned tires, blocked roads and brought traffic in Beirut to a standstill on Tuesday in renewed demonstrations against economic hardship and government corruption.Read More »

Iraq Witnesses Largest Protests Since the Fall of Saddam

teleSUR | November 01, 2019

Demonstrators try to put out a tear gas canister during an anti-government protests in Baghdad, Iraq November 1, 2019.
Demonstrators try to put out a tear gas canister during an anti-government protests in Baghdad, Iraq November 1, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

“We are peaceful yet they fire on us. What are we, Islamic State militants? I saw a man die. I took a tear gas canister to the face.”

A massive demonstration took place in central Baghdad on Friday as tens of thousands of Iraqis thronged the capital city demanding the root-and-branch downfall of the political elite in the biggest day of mass anti-government demonstrations since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

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Hariri resigns, protesters celebrate, and uncertainty persists in Lebanon

 | October 30, 2019

Following an unprecedented popular revolt for 13 days over decades of political corruption and economic turmoil in Lebanon, Prime Minister Saad Hariri has resigned on Tuesday.

After the announcement, the main protest square in central Beirut erupted into applause, less than an hour after counter-demonstrators ravaged the site and attacked protesters.

Cries of celebration and joy went up across Lebanon, one of the world’s most highly indebted nations with public debt at more than 150 percent of GDP, on Tuesday although most of the protesters said this was merely an initial victory in a long-term battle.Read More »