The Sackler family (previously) is one of the richest in the world, and if you've heard of them, it's probably because their family name adorns so many art galleries, museums, and academic institutions around the world: but they way they got that money is less-well-known.
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Mass protests have wracked Serbia after critics of nationalist strongman president Aleksandar Vučić were attacked in a series of failed assassination attempts, compounding Vučić's own human rights abuses and indifference to popular will.
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Last week, Viktor Orban's authoritarian government rammed through a pair of massively unpopular laws: the "slave labor" law (employers can require up to 400 hours/year of overtime, and take up to three years to pay for it); and a law creating a parallel system of "administrative courts" dealing with "government issues" like voter fraud, overseen by political appointees from within Orban's regime.
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Hungary's far-right, xenophobic government rose to power by exploiting racism and economic anxiety, just like Trump -- and just like Trump, they've pursued an agenda that uses performative racist cruelty to distract people while they enact policies that make the rich much richer, at everyone else's expense.
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The Facebook-fueled anti-government protests in Paris, which began three weeks ago, starting off with a protest against high fuel taxes, look like something out of an intense apocalyptic movie. I'd only read about the "yellow jacket" protests and riots – the worst in 50 years – but did not realize the extent of violence that has taken over the Champs Élysées and surrounding neighborhoods. According to the BBC, "Tourist sites in Paris are to close on Saturday amid fears of further street violence."
Across France, 89,000 police officers will be on duty and armoured vehicles will be deployed in the capital, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced.
Paris police have urged shops and restaurants on the Champs-Elysees to shut and some museums will also be closed.
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8 years after Scott Walker and his Koch-backed GOP used voter suppression and gerrymandering to steal control over Wisconsin, Wisconsites finally pried his crooked ass out of the governor's chair, but Walker and Co want to blow up the state on their way out.
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China's increasing inequality and rocky transition to market capitalism has created a rising tide of wildcat strikes from independent trade unions, who have found powerful allies in national student communist movements whose members were made to study Marxism in an effort to purge the country's intelligentsia of "bourgeois" ideologies of liberalism and democracy.
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Take it to the streets, America. The investigation into Trump's corruption and likely criminality must not be stopped. Read the rest
Hundreds of #ProtectMueller protests and other events are planned for Thursday, November, 8, at 5pm local time. Read the rest
On August 4th, during a major gun rights demonstration in Portland, OR, a right-wing group with a stockpile of weapons was stationed on the rooftop of a garage, overlooking the rally. The individuals, whose arsenal included long guns, were affiliated with the far right group Patriot Prayer.
The Portland police discovered the armed group and took their weapons, but did not arrest them. They later gave the guns back to the group.
The officers withheld this information from everyone outside the police department, including the mayor. It was only on Monday, over two months later, that this news finally came out.
According to The Oregonian:
That shocking revelation came Monday as Portland officials scrambled to find a way to end the repeated violent clashes between dueling political factions downtown...
Asked why the public was not told of the incident sooner, Chief Danielle Outlaw said, "Hindsight is always perfect." Outlaw said the Police Bureau warns the public that protesters may be armed. Both right- and left-wing demonstrators have come to Portland protests armed, she said.
Image: by U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Karol/Public Domain Read the rest
We haven't talked about Nicaragua for a while. But things still aren't going well down there, so let's get back on that shit.
According to the Financial Times, Nicaragua's national police released a statement on Friday that declared demonstrations--of which, in Nicaragua, there are many--to be illegal. The day after making this declaration, riot police were employed to break up a gaggle of protesters prepping for a march. It's just another step down the country's short, bloody road into becoming a fascist, autocratic state.
Nicaragua's been in turmoil since last April, as protesters took to the streets to first sound off about some pretty shitty reforms to their pension system and other important issues such as a lack of government response to imminent threats from forest fires and the nation's eroding infrastructure. As the protests fell on deaf ears, the protesters started to demand the resignation of the nation's oh-so-corrupt president, Daniel Ortega. Once this happened, it didn't take long for the peaceful protests to turn violent, thanks to the actions of the police and masked paramilitary types loyal to the Ortega government. Defenseless students were fired on whilst taking refuge from the police in a Catholic church. Academics and other individuals deemed to be a "terrorist threat" to Ortega's rule have been carted away by paramilitary units. Hundreds have died in the months since these clashes began. The Nicaraguan economy, which was never all that strong to begin with, is circling the drain as investment in the country has been scaled back in the face of its uncertain future. Read the rest
Internal emails show that the Berkeley, California Police Department (BPD) talked of building a “counter-narrative” on social media against anti-fascist protesters as BPD tweeted out their names and mugshots, then boasted of retweets and “engagement” metrics when mugshots went viral. This amounts to cops doxxing protesters and high-fiving each other over it. That's creepy, and seems like an obvious abuse of power, if not also an abuse of the law. Read the rest
Last week, Nicaraguan president and dictator-in-training Daniel Ortega had the gall to declare that the violence and protests that have plagued his nation since April had come to an end. His nation's doing just fine! At the time that this bullshit dribbled out of his cakehole, protests against government corruption, cronyism and the government’s slow role into fascism were still ongoing. To date, approximately 300 people have died as elements of Nicaragua’s police and paramilitaries loyal to Ortega have attempted to put a bloody end to the growing voice of dissent and disgust for his administration.
Not everyone in the South American country wants a piece of this action.
According to Al Jazeera, upwards of 23,000 Nicaraguan citizens have fled to neighboring Costa Rica, seeking refugee status, due to the escalating violence surrounding the demand that Ortega step down from power and his refusal to do so.
From Al Jazeera:
William Spindler, UNHCR spokesman, told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday that an average of 200 asylum applications are being lodged every day in Costa Rica.
"Besides the 8,000 who have filed asylum claims, and the 15,000 who are waiting to do so, thousands more have arrived in Costa Rica but have not yet contacted authorities there," added Splinter.
Panama, Mexico and the United States also saw a rise in claims by Nicaraguans in the first half of this year, but the numbers in these countries are still in the low hundreds, according to the UNHCR.
Costa Rica and Nicaragua, which share a border, have bickered over land rights and environmental issues for years. Read the rest
Are you sitting down? After months of anti-government protests, over 300 civilian deaths and, more recently, the rounding up of protesters and intellectuals who were designated as terrorists or linked to risks to Nicaragua’s sovereignty, the country’s president-cum-dictator Daniel Ortega announced today that he refuses to step down from his post. On the bright side, Ortega told Fox News (the preferred network of dictators and kleptocrats, apparently) that he has fabulous news: the violence that's plagued his nation for months is over! Just like that!
Except, it isn’t.
From CBS News:
Thousands of people marched yesterday in Nicaragua to demand that President Daniel Ortega step down. The demonstrations over proposed benefit cuts, which began three months ago, are expected to continue today.
CBS News correspondent Manuel Bojorquez reports an eerie quiet during much of the day in the capital city of Managua, as people stay home and business owners close up shop for their own safety.
But after the calm, the sounds of protest pierce the air, and the fear of bloody confrontations returns.
Within minutes of arriving in the capital, Bojorquez encountered an anti-government protest and the sound of mortar fire.
It didn’t take long for Bojorquez to find the source of the mortar fire. He spoke with a group of young men who’d DIY’d their mortars, firing them off as a warning that government forces and para-militaries were drawing near. The mortar crews provide the warning with good reason: over the past few weeks, violent attacks against protestors by loyalist paramilitaries and Nicaraguan police have intensified. Read the rest
Protestors in San Franciscos Mission District don't like instant-rent electric scooters, and they also don't like tech workers who have moved into the neighborhood. So they decided to toss the scooters in front of the buses used to transport tech workers to their offices in Silicon Valley this morning. SF Gate has a photo gallery.
The activists, blocking buses at the intersection of 24th and Valencia streets, set off smoke bombs and carried signs that read “Techsploitation Is Toxic,” and “Sweep Tech Not Tents,” in reference to the city’s recent efforts to clear homeless encampments.
Image: Vimeo/Abraham Rodriguez Read the rest
As posted to YouTube by Nate Gowdy, this gentleman appropriates a counter-protestor's sign and makes strenuous efforts to rip it up. But it's a fancy thick one and he lacks the strength or technique to do the job. Watching him wither under the sarcastic commentary and recording cameras of nearby libs will never not be funny.
You've worked so hard, you're so close," a woman filming the painful failure is heard saying. "You've been doing a lot of arm work at the gym, right? You know, this is a very educated city, there are a lot of engineers in this city… you can get a lot of help."
He's definely not mad online about his experience, too.
And to think he'd spent so much time building up the strength that failed him! [via emotional support turtle]
Antifa was indeed watching. Read the rest
When Massachusetts GOP Senator Scott Brown was elected in a 2010 special election, Senate Democrats agreed to delay a key vote on health care reform until he could be seated, so that the vote would be held by elected officials, not the appointed lame duck who was sitting in the seat that Brown was about to occupy.
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