Indian Egg-Pelting as a form of Laughtivism

The power of humor in nonviolent protest! In Odisha, a very unusual form of protest has kept politicians on their toes and security-forces on point! In the Eastern Indian province. egg-pelting (throwing eggs as a form of protest) has been reported over 15 times in the last two years. Targeting political figures from the ruling Biju Janata Dal state political party with the egg attacks gave the security apparatus a firm scare. “The police’s intelligence wing worked overtime to sensitise routes taken by politicians, particularly to interior regions, restricting sale of eggs by roadside stalls. Some policemen were even suspended for failing to prevent the attacks,” according to Priya Ranjan Sahu.  Biju Janata Dal’s MP from Bhubaneswar Prasanna Patasani went to the extent of equating the egg attackers with terrorists and demanded that they be charged with attempt to murder!  Read Priya Ranjan Sahu’s full article on www.scroll.in here. Photograph:...

Popular Protests at the London Arms-Fair DSEI

Back to last week, when thousands of protesters in London took action against the Defence and Security Equipment International, or DSEI. As the arms fair prepared to open its doors at the Excel centre in London’s Docklands, a diverse array of participants led to a wide range of creative and humorous actions. DESI is billed as the world’s largest arms fair, where buyers and sellers of arms to network and make preliminary deals. Although no actual trade takes place, this year’s four-day event will be attended by around 34,000 people from the world’s arms companies, militaries and government representatives,  including military delegations from countries with appalling human rights records and countries at war. Wagingnonviolence.org gives us an insight into several of the nonviolent tactics used to mobilize a diverse group of people and the end-goals of the protests organized against DESI. It also answers the question why the preparations for the arms fair were targeted, instead of the event itself. Read the full article here. Photo: Dancers block a vehicle as part of the “Festival of Resistance to Stop DSEI” on Sept. 9. (CAAT/Paige...

Anti Trump Protests at UN General Assembly – Protest Fatigue?

At what was supposed to be the first big protest against Donald Trump’s appearance in New York for the UN General Assembly, fewer than 1,000 protesters attended. “It’s kind of like battle fatigue. People are worn out.’’ Are people tired of protesting against their president? How can the popular campaign against the Trump presidency stay energized? Read the full article from Barbara Demick for Los Angeles Times here. (PhotoCredits Barbara...

ABC News: Poland: Protest held of monthly memorial for late president

Read full article here. By the Associated Press. Photo Credits: AP. Hundreds of government critics held a peaceful protest of the monthly observances Poland’s ruling party holds in memory of President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others killed in a 2010 plane crash. The critics say the observances are being used for political purposes by Kaczynski’s twin brother, Jaroslaw, who is the ruling Law and Justice party’s leader. They say that Kaczynski uses his mourning to rally supporters for his policies that threaten...

The Guardian: Arrests and injuries as Hamburg gripped by mass anti-G20 protests.
By Philip Oltermann

Read full article here. Photo credits: Steffi Loos/AFP/Getty. A day of violent clashes between police and protesters culminated on Friday evening with the bizarre spectacle of the heads of the world’s 20 leading economies listening to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy at the top of a shiny high-rise building while police used water cannon, teargas and speed boats to keep at bay an angry crowd of thousands. Germany’s second-largest city had been eager to showcase its recently opened Elbphilharmonie concert hall to the rest of the world, but it may come to rue its ivory-tower symbolism after a week of chaotic scenes on the edges of the conference hall. Rising tensions between protesters and police had escalated with clashes in Hamburg’s historic harbour area on Thursday night, and escalated further when masked anti-capitalist protesters torched cars and smashed shop windows in the Altona district on Friday morning. Masked protesters in black clothes used flares to set fire to at least 20 cars and pelted rocks at the windows of banks and smaller shops as they made their way through Altona and along the Elbchaussee road along the river at about 7.30 am on Friday morning. Many shops and cafes in the area, including a local Ikea, boarded up their windows in anticipation of further rioting.  ...

El Chigüire Bipolar: Mockery as the way of making sense of Venezuela’s chaotic politics

“J.R.R. Martin hard- pressed to envision what the end of Venezuela would be” “Recently discovered Mayan calendar establishes that the end of Venezuela will occur on July the 30th” “Elderly woman nervously goes shopping, returns with 2 bottles of vinegar” These ludicrous titles were not taken from a conspiracy theory or a work of magical realism, but from El Chigüire Bipolar– Venezuela’s  subversive, highly idiosyncratic (and once you get the “joke” – simply hilarious) news website. Through absurdity, a genuine, uncensored representation of the highly chaotic and volatile political environment in Venezuela emerges. The reference to “Game of Thrones” underscores the unprecedented levels of police violence and oppression the country is experiencing, July the 30th, 2017, is the date of the next elections, while the shopping story alludes to the shortage of basic goods which has been plaguing Venezuelans. This spring, the Human Rights Foundation recognized the publication for its “raw and rigorous reporting” and awarded founders Elio Casale, Oswaldo Graziani, and Juan Andrés Ravell the Vaclav Havel Award for Creative Dissent at the Oslo Freedom Forum. #HumorAtWork...