Off With Their Heads!
Movement Against Monarchy March
London – In October over 700 protestors (including a hooded executioner complete with noose, 20ft portable guillotine, and multiple Prince Charles’s ripe for beheading) marched around Central London and through the West End calling for the immediate end of the ludricrous Monarchy system. Backed by a dozen carnivalesque drummers the crowd chanted “The Ritz, The Ritz, We’re Gonna Get Rid of the Ritz” as confused tourists looked on.
Fuck the Cars, Let’s Play Volleyball! National French Car-Free Day
France – 35 cities banned cars from their central districts for one day in October, a move well appreciated by pedestrians. French Activists extended the official plan though a number of well-timed actions. In Paris the Champs Elysee was blocked by a tripod during the morning rush hour. Some in Lyon “borrowed” barriacades and “street closed” signs from the city council, blocked off a street and covered it with sand for boules and volleyball. Everyone brought apple tarts and cakes to enjoy while the police slowly circled round the festivities in patrol cars. There also was a Critical Mass in Dijon and a “Lorry-Free Day” in Chambery – the tunnel was blocked to trucks.
Eugene to NIKE – “Just Don’t Do It!” Impending NIKEtown Sparks Protest
Eugene, Oregon – On October 17 scores of anti-corporate activists and black-clad young anarchists took to the streets of the birthplace of NIKE to protest its highly problematic business practices. After speeches, leafleting and the destruction of a 12 foot long “Swoosh” symbol carried in by children (symbolizing NIKE’s child labor practices), the protesters became more demonstrative by tearing down a fence surrounding the yet-to-be-opened store. The police countered with riot-geared, pepperspray wielding cops, yet several people still entered the store, trashing displays and “product”, igniting fireworks, and dumping over-priced clothes off a balcony. A few days later, police raided the home of a teenage male that left fingerprints on a protest sign near the scene, holding his family at gunpoint on the floor in handcuffs, seizing computers and documents and searching the place for 7 hours. He wasn’t home at the time, and no arrests have been made yet, although ample police video tape exists of the protest.
Giuliani Must Really Hate Jaywalkers New York’s Finest Trample Memorial March
New York City – Over 4000 people marched down Fifth Avenue of October19th to protest and mourn the death of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student brutally murdered in Wyoming. As usual, the Major Giuliani police state quickly pounced into action, harrasing and assaulting those who strayed off the sidewalks. This turned the vigil and protest into a combative event – after people were randomly grabbed by police and thrown against cars or to the ground (as one pregnant woman was), or trampled underfoot by horses, some fought back by throwing their memorial candles. After 96 senseless arrests and innumerable police assults the march finally made it to Madison Square Park where shrines for Shepard were set up. The police justified their actions by stating that the marchers in the streets were endangering motorists and had to be dealt with.
Amnesty International Targets US Abuses
London – In October Amnesty International took the unprecedented yet entirely justified step of launching a year long campaign against the US for systematic and blatant human rights abuses. This is the first time in its 37-year history that AI has started a major campain against a Western country. Some of charges against the US outlined in its150-page report are “widespread and persistent” police brutality, “endemic” physical and sexual violence against prisoners, “racist” application of the death penalty, and the use of “high-tech repression tools” such as electroshock devices and incapacitating chemical sprays. In short, Amnesty International charges the US with a “double standard” of criticizing the rest of the world for abuse while not doing enough to stop the abuse it is overlooking, and causing, at home.
No Justice, No Oil Nigerians Take Arms Against Shell
Nigeria – Nigerians repeatedly attacked Shell Oil in October, seizing at gunpoint more than 10 stations, two helicopters and a drilling rig. Youth groups, fed up with their exclusion from the Nigerian political process and the general economic inequality of their nation, have recently taken matters in their own hands by hitting where it hurts – oil, the lifeblood of the region. Nigeria is one of the world’s biggest producers of oil, and Shell has a stranglehold on this production. Activists vow to keep attacking Shell and Agip Oil sites until they get a new local government, and at least 500,000 barrels of oil a day is now being lost due to their actions. Protestors also demand that a more equal share of the oil wealth that accounts for more than 90% of Nigeria’s export income should go to the people – many who live in makeshift homes where there is often no electricity or public water supply.