Tag Archives: Student Riots

I protest UC students self interest

UC students are occupying campus buildings, in scenes gloriously reminiscent of the 60s. Debbie Downers have foretold that an antiwar movement would not catch the interest of youth until there was a military draft to affect them. They are right. We’ve seen marches and rallies for peace, but it took a tuition hike to light a fire under these selfish tight asses. The students are right to be enraged by a 30% tuition rise, but have they a case to justify civil disobedience? They’re rebelling against the result of an economy going bust, of the middle class losing the privilege to educated its kids. Rise up, protest, but make it look like more than about your entitlement to a post-highschool social life.

Moldova’s riots

What in the world is going on in Moldova, where the losers of the election just tore up some major government buildings? Might a small Trotskyist group, Popular Resistance offer some insight into the situation? They say that the ‘communist’ winners of the election are just another group of neo-liberals wanting to privatize the entire country on behalf of Western corporations.

And another commentary, this time from Moscow Times says that the riots in Moldova Underscores Failed Russian Policy as the US stages another Color Revolution.

This how the article begins…

Anti-government protests in Moldova this week unfolded in a similar manner to Western-backed uprisings that toppled governments in Georgia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Serbia in recent years.

But what should worry the Kremlin is not the threat of a similar uprising at home but the fact that both Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin and the opposition groups turned to the West instead of Russia to mediate the conflict, analysts said Wednesday.

Because of the shortsightedness of Russian diplomacy and its failure to project its own “soft” power, the Kremlin faces the possibility of being sidelined once again in a former Soviet state that it considers to be within its realm of influence…

How to resist someone else’s arrest

A SPPD officer was dragging an arrestee along the street at an RNC protest when he was body-blocked for a fumble and INTERCEPTION!
RNC arrest rescue
A feat of great courage, with a plain-clothed cameraman opposite. Officer unfriendly reacted by spraying mace as he exited the jeering crowd.

Video from THE UPTAKE:

The UpTake captured video of a St. Paul police officer dragging a “black bloc” protester away from a bus, only to get tackled from behind. The officer sprayed a chemical agent all around him but ultimately lost the suspect and called for backup. Video by Corey Becker.

Tiananmen Square before Olympic spirit

Beijing 2008 boycott
Human rights activists are crying foul about China’s role in Tibet and Burma. Here’s a illustrated time-line of the events which led to the totalitarian repression of the Tiananmen protests of 1989. Reprinted from Christus Rex.

Beijing Spring -A look back at the 1989 Spring that impacted a nation. Visit original website to see archival video footage from the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather.

April 15
Hu YaobangFormer Communist Party chief Hu Yaobang, a leading reformist, dies of a heart attack at the age of 73. Students at Beijing University put up posters praising Hu that indirectly criticize the opponents who forced his resignation following student demonstrations in 1986-87.
 

Students marchApril 17
Thousands of students march in Beijing and Shanghai shouting “long live Hu Yaobang, long live democracy, long live freedom, long live the rule of law.”
 

 

April 18
2,000 students from Beijing bicycle into Tiananmen Square and protest before the Great Hall of the People. Student leaders, including Wang DanIncluded in their demands for democratic reforms is the repudiation of official campaigns against freedom of the press.

April 21
Crowds of up to 100,000 demonstators gather in Tiananmen Square to mourn Hu.
Policeman supporting students

April 22
Students defy police orders to leave the square, while riots break out in the provincial capitals of Xian and Changsha. Official memorial ceremonies are held for Hu at the Great Hall of the People.

Student strike at Beijing University
 
 
 
April 23
Beijing students announce a boycott of university classes.
 

April 24
Tens of thousands of students at Beijing universities go on strike, demanding a dialog with the government.

Student rally in the squareApril 27
Bolstered by broad-based support, more than 150,000 students surge past police lines and fill Tiananmen Square, chanting slogans for democracy and freedom.

April 29
Government officials meet with student leaders, but independent student groups say they will continue a class boycott at 41 university campuses in Beijing.

May 2
6,000 students march in Shanghai.

May 4
100,000 students and supporters march on Tiananmen square to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Student hunger strike China’s first student movement, while similar demonstrations are held in Shanghai, Nanjing and other cities. 300 journalists protest outside the official Xinhua News Agency.

May 9
Journalists petition the government for freedom of the press.

May 13
2,000 students begin a hunger strike in Tiananmen Square.

Rally on the eve of GorbachevMay 15
Government deadline for students to leave the square comes and goes. A welcoming ceremony for Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s state visit is moved to the airport.

tienanmen-12-rally.jpgMay 16
Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators occupy the square.

May 18
One million people march in support of the hunger strikers. Li PengLi Peng, Premier of the State Council, issues a stern warning to student leaders and refuses to discuss their demands.

May 19
Zhoa ZiyangA tearful Zhao Ziyang, China’s General Secretary, makes a pre-dawn visit to weakened hunger strikers. Li also visits the students briefly. In the evening the students decide to end the hunger strike, but quickly change their mind when Li and President Yang Shangkun announce martial law. Zhao reportedly resigns or is ousted from power after failing to convince Li and others to compromise.

Yang ShangkunMay 20, 1989
Chinese authorities ‘pull the plug’ on Dan Rather who is reporting live from Beijing.

May 28
About 80,000 people (mostly students from outside the capital) demonstrate but, unlike past rallies, few workers participate.
Goddess of Democracy
May 30
Students unveil their “Goddess of Democracy,” a replica of the Statue of Liberty, on the square. The government calls it an insult to the nation.

May 31
Farmers and workers stage the first of several pro-government rallies in Beijing’s suburbs.

June 1
The Beijing Municipal Government bans all foreign press coverage of the demonstrations.

June 3
Tens of thousands of troops advance on the city shortly after midnight, but are repulsed by residents who put up barricades. PLA troops stopped by civilians By the afternoon 5,000 troops appear outside the Great Hall of the People, but are again surrounded and stopped. In the final assault that evening, troops shoot and beat their way to the square.

Taping the beginnings of the massacre, correspondent Richard Roth is arrested.

June 4
Troops occupy the square and smash the “Goddess of Democracy” with tanks. The shooting continues with soldiers periodically firing on crowds gathered on the outskirts of the square. Residents set fire to more than 100 military trucks and armored personnel carriers. The government claims the “counterrevolutionary riots” have been suppressed. Meanwhile, riots break out in southwestern Chengdu.

Richard Roth is released and reports further on the night’s violence.
PLA troops confront civilians
June 5
There are reports of clashes between rival military groups around Beijing. President Bush condemns the “bloody and violent” crackdown and orders a suspension of U.S. military sales and contacts with the Chinese government.

June 5, 1989
Richard Roth reports: one anonymous man stops a column of 18 tanks.
Wounded civilian
June 6
Foreign embassies advise their nationals to leave China. The government says 300 people were killed and 7,000 injured in the crackdown, but claims most of the dead were soldiers. There are more reports of clashes between military units. Six people are killed in Shanghai when a train runs through a barricade. The U.S. State Department announces that dissident Fang Lizhi and his wife have sought refuge in the U.S. Embassy.
An advancing tank
June 7
Troops, responding to what they say is sniper fire, shoot into a foreign diplomatic compound. The United States and other governments order the mandatory evacuation of dependents of diplomatic personnel.

June 8
Premier Li Peng appears in public for the first time since the crackdown to congratulate troops.
Deng Xiaoping
June 9
China’s leader Deng Xiaoping appears for the first time since May 16. In a speech to military officers he blames the turmoil on counterrevolutionaries attempting to overthrow communism.

Motorcycle crushed by a tankJune 10
Beijing authorities announce the arrest of more than 400 people, including student and labor leaders.

June 11
The government issues a warrant for the arrest of Fang Lizhi and his wife, saying they committed crimes of “counterrevolutionary propaganda and instigation.” Fang Lizhi

June 12
The government bans all independent student and labor organizations and says police and soldiers should shoot all “rioters and counterrevolutionaries.”PLA tank on patrol

June 13
The government issues a wanted list for 21 student activists who led the democracy movement.
Student leader Wang Dan

June 14
China orders the expulsion of Associated Press reporter John Pomfret and Voice of America Bureau Chief Alan Pessin.

June 15
Three Shanghai men are sentenced to death for burning a train that ran over protesters. The nationwide arrest total reaches above 1,000.
Soldiers seen through window of burned vehicle
June 17
A Beijing court sentences eight people to death for attacking soldiers and burning vehicles during the June 3-4 assault.

June 18
Politburo member Qiao Shi appears prominently in the official media, adding to speculation the party security man will replace Zhao.

A burned tank
June 20
The government nullifies all exit permits in an apparent attempt to stop fugitives from leaving the country.

Provocative provocation at the DNC

Everything for Everybody
This lingo is undeniably inviting… “a small demand.” I’m guessing something of non-violence training involves not only refraining from violence against persons, but also against material disparity. Threatening redistribution of wealth will certainly provoke a violent defense of corporation-as-person personal property. Why can’t the non-violent crowd preach the non-violent forfeiture of capital loot?

That’s never been the purview of religion has it? They can’t ask the miscreants at the top to get religion, they are just after the low man on the totem pole to accept his fate.

Unconventional Action DNC flier

Kids make an offer Denver must refuse

DNC Disruption 2008Recreate 68’s anarchist faction, the younger protest participants represented by Unconventional Denver, got their unviolent say in a RMN article today: Anarchists promise to sit out DNC. They offered to halt their DNC disruption efforts if the City of Denver would spend its 50 million dollar security grant on social problems instead. It’s an offer Denver cannot accept, but in making it, the anarchist activists were able to spell out why they object to the Democratic Party’s business as usual, and what social change they would like to see. Nothing extreme about it.

Here is the UNCONVENTIONAL DENVER Call to Action:

The Queen City is heating up as anarchists, witches, clowns, Iraq vets, artists, SDSers, radical queers, immigrants, Earth First!ers, rebel Democrats, parents, precarious workers and others are making it known that, come August, the Democrats’ attempt at co-opting our energies and power will fall short as we make it clear that change will come from below not above, in the streets and not in their stadiums.

Here’s the latest call to action from Unconventional Denver to help maximize our impact this August.

sunday the 24th { RECLAIM THE STREETS. RESIST MILITARIZATION}
Late Afternoon: After the 10:00am Recreate 68 anti-war march and the early afternoon Alliance for Real Democracy Funk the War celebration, a raging party in resistance to the militarized occupation of Denver and the world will reclaim public space and spread the festivities onto the streets. Be ready to take the rowdy celebration to the doorsteps of delegate hotels etc.

monday the 25th { NO BUSINESS AS USUAL}
Evening: Meet at the Civic Center at 6pm to join the anticapitalist march or participate in organized and decentralized actions that will actively disrupt the capitalist corruption and cronyism of the two party system by targeting specific fundraisers, delegate parties and corporations backing the DNC. come ready for quick decentralized actions spanning the downtown area at a variety of risk levels.

tuesday the 26th { CONFRONT THE SPECTACLE}
Afternoon: As delegates are arriving at the Pepsi Center, snake marches will converge on the entrances through the fence of the no-protest zone in order to create spaces for different levels of delegate movement disruption. Flying squads will assist the disruption and create distractions as we bring their party to a halt.

wednesday the 27th { ECO ACTIONS AND ALTERNATIVES}
All day: direct action against ecological destruction. We will create solutions to global warming without the politicians by shutting down sources of greenhouse gas emissions and corporations who destroy the earth (and fund the Democrats). we will also engage in creative resistance outlining solutions and alternatives; bike bloc! car free zones! guerrilla gardening!

thursday the 28th { NO BORDERS. NO ONE IS ILLEGAL}
Morning: Join this national mobilization for immigrants rights and help us draw connections between the struggles of immigrant communities and the struggle against global capitalism. Meet at Rude Park at 10:30am. This will be a low-risk event safe for all people regardless of immigration status. so play nice.
E X A C T T I M E S A N D L O C AT I O N S T B A .
S TAY T U N E D F O R M O R E I N F O

Where will Tent State be without tents?

Tent State UniversityA couple weeks ago, the students behind Tent State University were hoping to lobby Denver’s mayor for permission to camp overnight in a city park for the DNC. They had been given until August to show they could meet seven conditional requirements, but now the mayor has decided to tell them no. So where will Tent State be without tents? TSU was one of the ARD groups which splintered from Recreate-68, hoping to curry favorable treatment from the city. TSU leader Adam Jung even suggested the Denver City Park encampment would enable authorities to “retain control over the entire event.”

The Democratic convention protesters of 1968, who wound up on the truncheon end of the Chicago police riots, had been camped overnight by the simple result of their continuous protestation of having no representation at the DNC. Tent State University 2008No one asked permission. In 2008, by breaking off from the R-68 organizers and asking to be sanctioned by the city, TSU has allowed the Denver Police to preempt spontaneous demonstrations. Certainly in the eyes of the public and the residents of Denver. Now anyone who sticks around after curfew has been forewarned of the consequence.

Kent State remembers the 4th of May

Alan Canfora waves the anarchist flag before he was shot in the wristDid you think lone hooligans waving the Anarchist flag under the noses of police was a new thing?
 
On May 4, 1970, after several days of student protests at Kent State University, the Ohio National guard opened fire on the students, killing four and wounding nine others. Sparking a wave of campus revolts proclaiming “They can’t kill us all.” The Kent State students weren’t protesting the Vietnam War, but the just begun US invasion into Cambodia. Is this going to sound familiar? MAY 4 is commemorated every year.

To Recreate 68 at the Denver DNC is not a call to incite a Rumble in the Jungle

Free the Conspiracy EightContrary to the hype it is encouraging, RECREATE-68 does not want to recreate the violent clashes of the 1968 Democratic National Convention. That would have to be up to the police. While we know the Chicago Seven (+1) and their cohorts did not go quietly, it is now also well admitted that the violence in 1968 was perpetrated by the Chicago police without provocation.

I don’t think anyone wants to relive that brutality again, especially as riot police today have much more debilitating and potentially lethal weaponry. Recent demonstrations, as in Seattle against the WTO and in Miami against the FTAA, have seen militarized police force used against a well intended, if obviously outraged, outcry.

Last week at a public debate against Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown, Recreate-68 event coordinator Glen Spagnuolo made clear that they are not interested in receiving a beating or permanent injury at the hands of overzealous police. Of course the catch-phrase “recreate 68” does titillate with accompanying slogans like “Do It in Denver,” but this is done to pique people’s interest, and it has accomplished that.

Recreate-68 is determined to get people engaged with the DNC, in the streets, instead of in front of their televisions as passive spectators to the usurping of their power. The Democrats are party to continued funding of the war, raiding the US treasury for the rich, denying Americans universal health care, taking away our civil liberties with the Patriot Act, and colluding with murder, torture and profiteering. If the American people go along with these crimes, they are accomplices. Too bad they are also the victims. Official channels do not permit people to raise their voices above a silent consent. The DNC in August, in Denver, is opportunity knocking in the streets.

When party organizations admonish you to work through the system, they perpetuate their power to deny progressive reforms. The will of the people has only ever expressed itself through protest. Democracy, Human Rights, Abolition, Suffrage, Child Labor, Civil Rights, Pacifism. We have only made these gains by collective action. A redress of grievances is what it’s called in the constitution. I can just hear Democratic representatives saying, “oh we can’t go that that far, we could never get elected if we advocated for such extremist reforms.” They are undoubtedly right, because real reform is always up to you. But as much as Obama can urge you to feel hopeful, “you” doesn’t mean you voting for a representative who is promising you in actuality nothing.

Recreate 68 is about recreating the sense of connectivity Americans held in 1968, when young and old put their bodies into the line of fire desperate to bring an end to the disastrous Vietnam War. The people’s movement of the sixties had been growing, led by men soon assassinated. Students were rioting in London and Paris, and Cassius Clay was suspended from boxing for having declared himself a conscientious objector. By 1968 people understood that nothing would change unless they did it themselves.

Today we are into the sixth year of the Iraq War and there is no American antiwar momentum to speak of. There are diverse projects on the internet and in sporadic protests, but the US effort is a pitiable movement compared to the public outcry overseas.

Particularly lacking are young people. You may say it is because there is no draft, but enough are still volunteering to fight. I rather think that the youthful opposition is absent because of No Child Left Behind. Our children are being educated to be uncritical thinkers, in particular, narcissists and apolitical bubble babies with no immunity to corporate misinformation. They may be cynical, and clever by half, to the extent that they lack a social conscience. As a result, their forever adolescent thinking that nothing can touch them keeps them civically disengaged until it is too late and they are indebted to the machine.

The youthful cynicism which the slick corporate media celebrates as hip irreverence keeps kids from caring for their fellow people, and certainly holds them from believing that anything they do can make a difference. Look at the average age of the typical social activists. They’re past middle age. Is this a coincidence?

Young Americans, even up to age thirty something, are so jaded to have become tragically ineffectual. Electoral politics might be the extreme of their participation, and look where it will get them, against fraudulent pollsters and rigged voting systems.

I’m curious about what will happen in Denver if Recreate-68 is able to mobilize the youth. Perhaps kids will only be able to express themselves as Grand-Theft-Auto and Half-Life have taught them, as our soldiers are doing, cast adrift in Iraq. In that case, the disembodied violence to which we carelessly expose them will have come home to roost. If Denver becomes a riot, it is a development I think we will need to face.

For my part, I hope we can recreate 68. Let’s break through the media moratorium on the social issues important to us. Let’s remind the TV populace that we want to hold at least our Democratic Party politicians accountable to listen to our needs. If the candidates will not, and we’ve already learned that someone like Dennis Kucinich cannot get the nomination, perhaps the party system is too phony to matter.

What if the Democrats are only shills for the Republicans in charge? I believe the Democratic convention might only be setting up a candidate to lose to John McCain. For example, do you think Americans are ready to elect a woman or a black man to the presidency? I’d like to think so too, but I have a feeling the media is prepared to inform us in November, “oh, so close but no cigar!” Who is suggesting that Americans are past the gender or race card? Is it the corporate media, tool of the rich white man? Since when did the average American TV viewer wise up? George W. Bush’s approval rating was already at a dismal low when Americans reelected him in 2004. This, even after televised debates showed unequivocally that Bush was the dunce everyone remembered from the back of their classroom. Even if Bush didn’t really win in 2004, as in 2000, at least there were enough dumb white voters to make it look legitimate. Are those constituents going to vote for an unexperienced, non-veteran non-white Obama? Those errant voters are still out there, you see them, they still have W-04 stickers on their cars. And the the black box vote counting, voter registration and poll both gate-keeping are still in the hands of Republicans.

If the Democratic Party really hopes to represent the people, it has to do much better. If the Democratic Party is not prepared to offer Americans a real alternative to the corrupt misrepresentation in Washington, we can find better entertainment with the charades of the WWWF. Should the Dems hear this from you? Is your representative listening or still asking you to show patience? Take him or her to the mat, in Denver, in August.

The Beatles were counter-revolutionary

It sounds sexy, like “counter-culture.” But counter-revolutionaries were the Tsarist forces, or Loyalists in our hemisphere, who countered the revolutionary surges of the masses. The Beatles expressed themselves as being against the war, and Lennon ultimately gave the peace movement its anthem. But in 1968, when the Beatles were preaching peace and non-violence, Mick Jaggar was marching at the front of the student riots in London. Which actions ultimately closed down the Vietnam War? Was it Haight-Ashbury or the Left Bank? Was it Woodstock or American GIs finally fragging their officers? If you wonder why today’s pop icons say only what’s approved . . .
FLIP YOUR WIG game pieces George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr