April 2020 — CANVAS

Weekly Report 24 April 2020

Coronavirus More and more protests are spreading globally against the government-mandated lockdowns. Demonstrators have marched against alleged government overreactions, violations of civil liberties, damages to local economies and consequent unemployment, and police violence used to enforce lockdowns. In light of anti-quarantine demonstrations in the United States, Facebook is banning events and propaganda that defy the government’s social distancing policies. Interestingly enough, more “physically distant” protests are taking place on a global scale after last week’s protest in Warsaw; thousands of Israeli citizens demonstrated their dissent against the Netanyahu-Gantz coalition in Tel Aviv. Hong Kong Hong Kong police arrested 15 of the city’s highest-profile political, legal, and media opposition figures related to the pro-democracy protests in 2019. Among the detained was Martin Lee (81) the founder of the Democratic party. The 15 were accused of joining three unapproved protests on August 18th, October 1st, and October 20th last year. The arrests came just after China’s top representative office declared that it was “not bound by Hong Kong’s constitutional restrictions that bar Chinese government from interfering in local affairs.”  This is the biggest crackdown on pro-democracy protests since June last year. China Li Zehua, a Chinese journalist who disappeared almost 2 months ago after posting videos from Wuhan during the pandemic, has reappeared. He claims that he was imprisoned by the police and forcibly quarantined. Li Zehua was one of three reporters who had been reporting from the front lines in Wuhan during some of the worst weeks of the pandemic. He was last seen on the 26th of February after posting a video in which he was chased by a...

Weekly Report 17 April 2020

Coronavirus An American hospital in Chicago has been issuing Gilead Sciences’ antiviral medicine remdesivir to coronavirus patients, and the results are promising. Patients who were issued the drug saw “rapid recoveries in fever and respiratory symptoms” and “nearly all patients were discharged in less than a week.” Doctors and researchers are going to run more clinical trials in hopes that the drug will become the most efficient way to treat covid patients.   Iran Coronavirus: Iran’s Parliament has stated that the reported death toll is “actually at least double that, as officials have not been counting community deaths.” The virus has reportedly claimed the lives of more than 4,700 Iranians. The number of cases is supposedly “eight to 10 times” higher than what has been reported, meaning that there are approximately 700,000 cases in Iran as opposed to 76,389. Disinformation: The pro-Iranian group dubbed the International Union of Virtual Media (IUVM) has been spreading conspiracy theories on social media regarding the origins of the coronavirus. IUVM has openly blamed the United States for not only creating the virus but also for spreading it to “enemies” like Iran and China. The group has only reached about 5,000 people on social media thus far. China New reports are claiming that “China’s leaders allegedly failed to notify the public about the looming crisis during a critical six-day period.” Leaked documents have confirmed that government officials downplayed the severity of covid-19 and ignored warnings from a “top Chinese health adviser” who stated that this novel virus was “the most severe challenge since SARS in 2003.” Chile Chile’s Health Minister Jaime Mañalich said that patients...

Weekly Report 10 April 2020

Coronavirus As the novel virus continues to viciously rampage through the international community, governments are using lockdowns and curfews as a means to violently disband activist groups. Venezuelan volunteer medic Antonio Cueto told journalists that “the virus is just what the government needed” for it to enforce draconian policies that will affect demonstrators. Chile, Hong Kong, and Lebanon, global hot spots of civil unrest, “are zapping the momentum from pro-democracy movements.” In lieu of the governmental crackdowns, activists are “adopting creative tactics” to disseminate their messages throughout their communities. Activist organizations are donating thousands of masks and other protective medical gear to people in need. These groups are expanding their networks while solidifying the roles they play within their respective communities, gaining both respect and legitimacy.   Lebanon Assassination: Hezbollah commander Ali Mohammed Younis, a “close associate” of Qasem Soleimani, was assassinated over the weekend. No group has claimed to be responsible for Younis’s death, the “Massad ‘and its mercenaries” [are] suspects in the assassination.” Prison Protests: After prisoners tried to escape over fears of contracting COVID-19, a “fiery” riot broke out on Tuesday. Security forces fired rubber bullets into the crowd, injuring at least four inmates.   Iran Prison Protests: Detainees in Iranian prisons have been protesting against their facilities over “fears of contracting the coronavirus, sparking deadly responses from prison officers and security forces.” Approximately 36 inmates have been killed so far. The prisoners’ demands are simple – they are requesting that they be protected from the novel virus while serving their sentences.   Nicaragua The public has not seen President Daniel Ortega in 25 days, leaving citizens to wonder...

Weekly Report 3 April 2020

Coronavirus The Numbers: The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has surpassed one million. The United States currently has the most cases in the world with a total of 265,506. A Global Effort: Companies around the world are coming together to produce ventilators, hand sanitizer, and masks for health care professionals. Doctors are also traveling to different countries to help battle COVID-19; more than 29,000 Cuban doctors are currently working in 59 countries. Cancellations: Countless tournaments and major sporting events have been canceled and postponed as an effect of the coronavirus. Wimbledon and the Olympics have been postponed for the first time since World War II. Zimbabwe Coronavirus: The government has implemented a three-week-long nationwide lockdown, causing people to flock to grocery stores. Zimbabwe is still experiencing the effects of a drought that occurred two years ago; there is a shortage of “maize meal, or mealie meal, a Zimbabwean staple.” Citizens are more worried about dying of hunger than the coronavirus. The ongoing economic crisis also poses a problem for the government; “Zimbabwe’s annual inflation soared to more than 500 percent in February.” Economic Crisis: According to Zimbabwe’s Energy Minister, the nation “has paid the $33 million debt it owed to South Africa’s Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd.” Zimbabwe is now creating its plan to pay the debt it owes Mozambique. Lebanon Protests: Despite the lockdown, Lebanese citizens of Tripoli broke the curfew to protest against the lack of governmental compensation for businesses that have closed due to the coronavirus. Protesters are also demanding financial aid to cover rent and utility payments. Human Rights: Sans-papiers in Lebanon have been denied the possibility to...