By lambert strether of Corrente.
Here’s another quote dump of protests* by country; and yes, there are still rather a lot of them. I’ve got more blogs on my list now, but most of this material comes from official media, and I’m not making any representations as to accuracy of the report of the justification of the protest. There’s no method behind the selection, beyond crowd size, interesting tactics, concrete revealing detail, and thoughtfulness. As always, more sources and protests welcome in comments.
Shia leader’s death stirs Bahrain protest Gulf Times
A radical Shia group in Bahrain said yesterday its supporters blocked roads with burning tyres after police alleged one of its leaders died in an explosion while making a bomb. … Bahrain was shaken in February 2011 by a protest movement led by Shias. The security forces crushed the month of protests, but demonstrations still continue to take place regularly in Shia villages around the capital.
During the wave of protests continuing to sweep Brazil, two slogans have stood out for having made their way from TV and social networking sites onto the streets. … “Vem pra rua” (Come to the streets) and “O gigante acordou” (The giant has awoken) were part of advertising campaigns by Fiat and Johnnie Walker respectively, but have been usurped by demonstrators all over the country.
In Rio de Janiero, police are beefing up security outside the Maracana stadium for the final match tomorrow between Brazil and world champion Spain in the Confederations Cup, a dry run for next year’s World Cup in Brazil. A march that at least 18,000 people signed up to attend on Facebook will be joined by a group taking aim at billionaire Eike Batista, who holds a minority stake in a group that was awarded last month a 35-year contract to operate Rio de Janiero’s Maracana stadium. … Protests have taken place ahead of almost every match, sometimes turning violent. …. 300 people demanding deeper cuts in public transportation tariffs today occupied the government building in Belo Horizonte, the capital city of Minas Gerais state with 2.4 million residents, according to images on Globo TV. … Eight out of 10 Brazilians said they support the protests, according to the Datafolha survey of 4,717 people in 196 cities on June 27 and June 28. Brazilians who say Rousseff’s management of the economy is good fell to 27 percent, from 49 percent.
Carnival mask makers in Rio de Janeiro are scrambling to meet demand for the Guy Fawkes masks that have become so popular with protesters, in the wave of demonstrations that have swept Brazil in recent weeks. What is being called the ‘Anonymous’ mask, and Brazilian flags worn like capes, have been the ubiquitous emblems of the movement initially sparked by a small protest against higher public transportation fares in Sao Paulo.
In what is absolutely the biggest win for protestors yet [!!] in Brazil, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has pledged to give at least $100 million in World Cup profits back to the host country as part of a social fund.
Bulgaria, protest for the future, Open Democracy
Tens of thousands of people have been marching for eleven days now on the streets of the capital Sofia and in some of Bulgaria’s major cities. The mass protests were sparked by the decision of the Bulgarian parliament to make Delyan Peevski – a media mogul and politician – chief of the State Agency for National Security. After his resignation on the second day of the protest, its main demand became the resignation of the [Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms] government of Plamen Oresharsk. This is the second wave of demonstrations in Bulgaria in the first half of 2013. The mass protests in February against the electricity monopolies brought down the centre-right government of Boyko Borissov.
Bulgarian protesters pelted lawmakers with tomatoes and eggs and chanted “Mafia!” and “Resign!” on Wednesday in a sign of mounting frustration over the new Socialist-led government’s refusal to quit over a security scandal.
Profile of Chile’s school occupations: one night in ‘toma’ Santiago Times
While other schools have been under student occupation for weeks, petitioning education reform, students occupied Manuel de Salas for the first time this year Wednesday night. In this case, education reform —the theme of many “tomas”— was a secondary issue in comparison to concerns about the presidential primaries that will be held across the country this weekend. “Sunday, they have authorized primary elections and the high school is one of these (voting) places,” student Gabriela Zunida told The Santiago Times. “We do not support these elections.” At the school, 118 protesters were detained for disrupting the public order in a future polling location, All protesters were released the day they were detained, said Carabineros Director of Communications Jose Mora.
Protesters around Cairo build up sit-ins for 30 June Al Ahram (official); explainer.
Protesters have put up 18 tents so far at the Ittihadeya presidential palace in Cairo’s Heliopolis district, in preparation for mass demonstrations planned for Sunday aimed at forcing President Mohamed Morsi to step down. They also set up a stage near the main entrance to Heliopolis Sporting Club, opposite Gate 4 of the palace. Meanwhile, the security presence in the area is increasing as five Central Security Forces (CSF) trucks and a fire-extinguishing vehicle stand at Ittihadeya. Similarly, the number of tents in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square has increased to 150 after thousands staged an anti-Morsi demonstration Friday afternoon. Meanwhile, Morsi’s supporters, mainly of Islamist groups, continue their sit-in at Rabaa El-Adawiya Mosque in Cairo’s Nasr City district.
In Cairo, tens of thousands of Islamists flocked Friday to Rabaa al-Adawweya Square in Nasr City for a rally in support of the legitimacy of President Morsi. The rally was staged by over 30 Islamist parties ahead of the opposition’s planned anti-Morsi protests on Sunday, the first anniversary of the Islamist-oriented president’s rule. … Meantime, more than 10,000 liberal protesters headed by Tamarrud Campaign, which announced that it has collected more than 15 million anti-president signatures, as well as Popular Current, April 6 Movement and others, flocked to the Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, urging Morsi to leave office. Hundreds of protesters blocked the traffic near the iconic square while a number of protesters set up tents, saying they will start a sit-in until June 30.
Egypt’s Gas Shortage Fuels June 30 Protests Al Monitor
Long lines, high temperatures and edginess about what the next few days will bring are exacerbating Egyptians’ frustrations. Ahram Gate reported that a student waiting at a gas station in Cairo was killed by a stray bullet fired during a dispute between two drivers over whose turn it was at the pump. … The latest gas crisis falls prior to the highly anticipated June 30 protests called by the Tamarrud movement demanding that Morsi step down for his failure to achieve any of the revolution’s goals. The demonstrators plan to march to the presidential palace to present their demands to Morsi on the one-year anniversary of his inauguration. … While some believe that the gas shortage may encourage more people to go into the streets, others fear that people will instead blame the shortage on the protests. According to [Amira Erfan, who works at an educational non-profit], the gas crisis is “effective in making people angry.”
Confrontation Builds Up in Cairo Independent European Daily Express
Earlier in the week, defence minister Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi issued similar calls for reconciliation, warning that Egypt’s armed forces would not allow the country to “fall into a dark tunnel of civil unrest and killing, sectarianism and the collapse of state institutions.” … “There is a president ruling the country democratically, through democratic elections,” [A presidential spokesman] said. “There is no political role for the army.” He added: “President Morsi represents the commander-in-chief of the military; anything that happens within the army is coordinated through him.” Since Tuesday (Jun. 25), military forces have been deploying nationwide in anticipation of the upcoming wave of demonstrations. Anti-Morsi protesters themselves appear divided on what role the military should play. On Wednesday, one group of anti-Morsi demonstrators in Tahrir Square waved banners bearing pro-army slogans while another chanted in unison, “No to military rule.”
July 1 protest is Hong Kong’s taste of democracy South China Morning Post
Tomorrow is a significant day for Hongkongers – marking 16 years since the handover of sovereignty from Britain to China, and the protest march that’s been held every year since. … “The July 1 march has become an icon,” said transport and housing secretary Anthony Cheung Bing-leung yesterday in a radio interview. “It’s one day every year where every citizen can take to the streets to make a point about political or social issues,” he said.
About 200 anti-government protesters – many wearing white masks – converged on Tesco-Lotus’ North Pattaya branch, mirroring a larger rally in Bangkok that opened a new chapter in the kingdom’s long-running saga of political unrest. The demonstration by the “V for Thailand” movement – an enigmatic protest group spawned over social media whose supporters wear the “Guy Fawkes” mask of comic book hero “V” – was the first in Pattaya and fourth this month in Bangkok.
Erdogan’s plan for the park was to build a replica of an Ottoman barracks that once stood there, and that was the base for a rebellion by Islamist officers in 1909 – before being razed by the secular republic, established by Kemal Atatürk.
The fight for the square – Tahrir, Sol, Wall Street, Taksim Open Democracy. Interesting interview:
AB: You say we are still in Europe here. One of the striking aspects of both the Plaza del Sol in Madrid and Occupy Wall Street in New York’s Zuccotti Park was, if in different ways, a tremendous commitment to process. In Madrid there was a daily general assembly, it was very big. And millions were involved across Spain. Every day in the general assembly there was a team providing sign language with people on either side of the speaker translating what he said into sign language, a symbol of access – and there was a collective discussion about whether they should leave Plaza del Sol and when.
AG: The big difference is that here they have it for the groups and forums for non-affiliated people: it’s not completely or visibly centralized. I think this is good because if you have a general assembly with most people doing politics for the first time, they will not be able to come up and say their own opinion. If you have smaller groups that’s how you really have an interaction. The smaller groups report, so we all know what’s happening, we all send reports to each other, everybody can ask information from everybody.
More at Stake Than Gezi’s Sycamores Kamil Pasha
Carnegie Europe published an analysis of all the various environmental issues that have collectively caused the anxiety and outrage behind the Gezi protests. There are millions more trees involved than the sycamores in Gezi Park. [Projects are] being carried out in frenzied haste without oversight, without consultation, and without scientific impact assessments, most in Istanbul.
Stuffing the genie back into the bottle Jim Meyer’s Borderlands
And then came the standing man (duran adam), the dude who stood on Taksim Square, staring at the Ataturk banner covering the Ataturk Cultural Center for several hours before being detained by police and setting off a new protesting trend in the process. … It became a feel-good story, with dozens of people joining him the first night and thousands more on subsequent days, standing silently in Taksim and elsewhere with their hands in their pockets. So yes, the standing protests have helped to reduce tensions considerably. … But, I can’t help thinking: what a state to have fallen into, when standing silently with your hands in your pockets constitutes your only avenue for protest without fear of getting tear gas shot in your face. … After all, once protesters have accepted standing silently as their new form of protest, how are they supposed to go back to making noise?
My uncle didn’t go to see the protesters’ camp in Gezi Park, even though it’s less than 15 kilometers (9 miles) from his apartment. But he did hear what Erdogan had to say about the tent city, and it was enough for him: that it stank of urine, that condoms were being kept there, and that the protesters were all terrorists. Sahmi believes that dark forces, from both Turkey and abroad, were behind the protests. … Is he talking about a different place? I spent a lot of time with the people in Gezi Park in recent weeks, talking to them for days on end. We were attacked, I inhaled tear gas, I fled from the police and I was almost arrested. And now my uncle is saying that these people are all terrorists?
NOTE * I know “protest” isn’t prefigurative, and is in any case not the right category for Occupations which, I would argue, are more about parallel sovereignty (non-violent tactic of protest and persuasion #198) than “marches,” but “protest” is the word that Google seems to understand, and so for the purpose of this post that’s what I’ll use.
NOTE When I first published the first of this series a couple of weeks ago, there didn’t seem to be an official view on worldwide protest.* Now a view seems to be congealing:
The march of protest Economist (June 27)
This ready supply of broad, fair-weather activism may vanish as fast as it appeared. That was the fate of the Occupy protesters, who pitched camp in Western cities in 2011. …. This time, however, the protests are fed by deep discontent.
Takin’ It to the Streets Thomas Friedman, Times (June 30)
In America, the Tea Party began as a protest against Republicans for being soft on deficits, and Occupy Wall Street as a protest against Democrats for being soft on bankers.
Around the globe, this is the summer of middle-class discontent, particularly in the developing world. From Istanbul to Rio de Janeiro, from Bulgaria to Bosnia, the pent-up frustrations of an engaged citizenry are being triggered by a series of seemingly disparate events.
Well, I’m a little iffy on the power of “middle class” anything as an analytical too, but perhaps that’s just me.