Displaying items by tag: protesters
While governments look for solutions to their countries' economic crises, the people in 90 countries protest. Some pay a heavy cost. In nine months, over eighty people have died in protests over the cost of fuel, in at least nine different countries. Antarctica is the only continent free of fuel protests. Indonesia has seen 600+ protests over petrol this year: in 2021 there were 19. Italy had 200+ in eight months - 2 last year. Ecuador experienced 1,000+ protests over fuel in June alone. Most surprising is that protests are occurring in places not prone to protests. High costs of living are driving people to protest against crippling prices. Fuel costs affect much of daily life - personal travel, transportation of goods, energy for electricity and heating. People are demanding that petrol be made more affordable and available. They are sitting in peaceful protests or attacking governments.
We prayed for Sri Lanka in April.l Please continue praying as protesters across the country are torching houses and businesses belonging to various ministers and MPs belonging to the ruling Rajapaksa family. During this week’s violence and looting PM Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned, and a luxury holiday resort owned by his son was torched by a mob. Over 200 people were injured and eight murdered in three days. The protesters want President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Mahinda’s brother, to leave office. He has grossly mismanaged the economy, and they insist he must stand aside. In his first national address since protests began last month, he offered to cede some of the president's power to parliament but ignored calls to resign. Security forces are shooting law-breakers and looters on sight, and thousands of police and riot squads are patrolling the streets with tear gas and water cannons.
‘Sovereign citizen defence’ uses obsolete ancient law to challenge Covid regulations. They distribute fake legal documents to teachers, parents, and health workers outside schools and hospitals, accusing the Government of ‘vaccine genocide’. ‘Sovereign citizens' and ‘freemen on the land’ wrongly believe they possess legal power to bring politicians, civil servants and scientists before ‘common law courts’, claiming Covid restrictions and vaccinations are illegal. Now a newly-formed group, ‘Alpha Men Assemble’ (AMA), combines anti-vaccine and sovereign citizen beliefs. It trains members in ‘direct action’ in breaking through police lines, marching formations and sparring. They post training sessions online for UK members. Believing they are immune from government rules, they have violently confronted police in Australia and the US. UK’s AMA only started in December, but numbers swelled to 7,000 after a recent training session for recruits.
Pro-Palestinian demonstrations across Europe have descended into orgies of anti-Semitism by anarchists, hard-left anti-Israel activists, and immigrants from Muslim countries, chanting 'Allahu Akbar'. All are opposed to Israeli action in Gaza and call for the destruction of Israel and death to Jews. This anti-Semitism is a testament to the failure of European multiculturalism which is making Jewish life in Europe increasingly unviable. On 13 May 3,500+ protesters marched across Berlin with anti-Semitic banners calling for total elimination of Israel and many similar sentiments while chanting ‘Bomb Tel Aviv!’ 1,000 police broke up the demonstrations. 93 officers were injured. Bild newspaper stated, ‘Open, disgusting hatred of Jews and Israel is also hatred of our free, tolerant democracy’. 200 highly aggressive people brandishing Palestinian and Turkish flags and shouting anti-Semitic slurs were removed from outside a synagogue in Gelsenkirchen.
On 27 March security forces killed over fifty protesters who defied a warning that they could be shot ‘in the head and back’ if they came out while the country's generals celebrated Armed Forces Day. ‘Today is a day of shame for the armed forces,’ said Dr Sasa, a spokesman for the anti-junta group of deposed lawmakers. Local media reported that around 3,000 people from Karen state have left the country and crossed the border into Thailand to escape the violence. Airstrikes that sent villagers fleeing into the jungle show the Myanmar situation is ‘much worse’, a humanitarian worker said. At least 114 people were killed by security forces on 29 March, including a five-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl. Despite the bloodshed, protesters returned to the streets. Citizens are living amid increasing violence. People are being beaten and shot; now they face multiple airstrikes. Myanmar has not had airstrikes there for over twenty years.
Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad have rejected Donald Trump’s peace plan which was unveiled on 28 January. Many Palestinians protested in the West Bank, and the US embassy warned of potential terror attacks. The plan calls for a two-state solution with detailed maps of territory showing territory currently under Palestinian control more than doubled, while recognising Israeli sovereignty over major West Bank settlement blocs. Palestine’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, had a rare phone call with Hamas head Ismail Haniyeh in which they agreed to work together against the plan, even though Abbas’s Fatah faction has been at loggerheads with Hamas for over a decade. Palestinian demonstrators at the entrance to Ramallah City burnt tyres, chanting, ‘We will resist the occupier and we announce our rejection of the deal of the century. We won’t accept any substitute for Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.’ Trump’s plan enshrines Jerusalem as Israel’s ‘undivided’ capital.
Two protesters are in a critical condition after being shot in violent demonstrations and a pro-Beijing supporter was doused in flammable liquid and set alight after arguing with protesters, who are demanding greater democracy and police accountability. The pedestrian crossing where the first young protester was shot has become a site of considerable tension. He remains in a critical condition. The protester we prayed for last week after falling from a car park has since died. The police also drew firearms from their holsters in two other places but denied reports that they were ordered to ‘recklessly use their firearms’. An independent expert said that Hong Kong’s police watchdog does not have the powers or resources to cope with the scale of protests, and ‘light touch’ body probing by the police at demonstrations has a capabilities ‘shortfall’. Powers to summon witnesses need to meet the task of examining allegations against police. See also
Protesters were met with tear gas and flares on the streets of Tirana, after Albania’s president Ilir Meta cancelled the 30 June elections. He cited political tensions in the country, stating that circumstances do not provide the necessary conditions for true, democratic, representative and all-inclusive elections. The opposing centre-right Democratic Party, led by Lulzim Basha, have held weeks of protests aimed at forcing the prime minister to stand down. They accuse him of links to organised crime and vote-rigging. The United States and the EU are urging protesters to disavow violence and take part in dialogue with government representatives to resolve the political crisis. The EU has criticised some violent tactics used by protesters. Smoke bombs and firecrackers outside parliament were met with tear gas. Mr Basha has urged continuing protests until Mr Rama steps down.
16-year-old climate change warrior Greta Thunberg has spoken to the Pope, parliaments and MEPs about species extinction, deforestation and ocean pollution. She is not alone in her action against global warming. For two decades David Attenborough has warned of the dangers. He now says that scientific evidence proves that if we do not take dramatic action within the next decade, we face irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies. Since 15 April, Extinction Rebellion protesters have been disrupting cities globally in 18 countries, calling on governments to introduce stricter climate change measures. They said, ‘Prosecution for criminal damage allows us to take this strategy into the courts, providing an opportunity to tell them that, without an urgent and radical change, the consequences for humanity and life on earth are likely to be catastrophic.’ See
The fall of President Bashir has intensified a competition for influence in Sudan, one of Africa’s biggest countries. Talks between the new military rulers, who have now arrested two of his brothers, and protesters demanding a civilian government continue, as thousands remain camped outside Khartoum army headquarters. Omar al-Bashir is under tight guard in a maximum-security prison. Uganda said it would consider offering asylum if he applied, despite an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The generals now running Sudan said Bashir will not be transferred to the ICC but will be tried in Sudan. Meanwhile demonstrators have vowed to stay on the streets, pressing for women's rights and the handover of power to the people. Hundreds of doctors marched in Khartoum on 18 April to get rid of the regime.