Students at elite Shanghai university protest the removal of "freedom of thought" from the school charter

Fudan University, one of China's elite centers of higher learning, has had its charter altered to remove "freedom of thought" from its values. In its place, the charter now promotes "arming the minds of teachers and students with Xi Jinping's new era of socialist ideology with Chinese characteristics." In response, students have launched a protest in the form of performances of the school song, which touts "academic independence and freedom of thought." Read the rest

The student movements at the vanguard of Chile's protests are allied with former student leaders now serving in Congress

Chile's months-long uprising was led by student activists protesting neoliberal reform, galvanized around the seemingly trivial issue of public transit fare-hikes. Read the rest

After sweeping election victories, Hong Kong protesters stage massive demonstrations marking their 6-month anniversary

Today, 800,000 Hong Kongers marched through the city in a demonstration commemorating their six months of protests. Thanks to landslide victories for pro-Democracy candidates in last month's election, today's march had an official police permit -- the first such permit issued since August. Read the rest

Colombians take to the streets in the third general strike in two weeks

The far-right Duque administration in Colombia is only fifteen months old, but its polarizing policies have brought the country to its knees, with a third general strike in just two weeks shutting down the country yesterday. Read the rest

Hong Kong protests: "Might as well go down fighting"

Zeynep Tufekci (previously) has been in Hong Kong reporting on the protests for months, and she's witnessed firsthand the failure of every prediction that the uprising would end soon -- but despite the mounting numbers and militancy of protesters, she reports that the protesters are not animated by hope or optimism, but rather, a fatalistic understanding that they will lose eventually, and a determination to go down fighting. Read the rest

Protestors use laser pointers to bring down police drone

As William Gibson wrote, "The street finds its own uses for things."

More in this vein:

• Hong Kong protesters use lasers to blind security cameras

• After student arrested for carrying laser-pointers, Hong Kong protesters stage "stargazing" laser-protest

(Thanks, UPSO!) Read the rest

Catalan independence movement declares a general strike in Barcelona

The cause of Catalan independence surged in October 2017, when voters defied Madrid and voted in a banned independence referendum despite indiscriminate violence and rubber-bullet fire from police, who had earlier seized the ballot boxes (the independence movement had wisely procured a backup set of boxes just in case. The referendum led to a declaration of independence, and the central government responded by imposing direct rule and arresting the movement's leaders (the ruling coalition was trounced at the polls a few months later). Read the rest

Vans sneakers boycotted in Hong Kong after they pulled a protest-themed shoe design from public competition

In Hong Kong, a boycott has begun of skateboard lifestyle brand Vans after the company pulled the above design from their annual Vans Custom Culture competition. In the contest, the public is invited to submit their designs in competition for a cash prize and having their shoe design manufactured. This particular design is themed around the current anti-government protests in Hong Kong and it was apparently doing quite well in the competition. From CNN:

The design, attributed to a Canada-based user named Naomiso, features a red bauhinia, the flower on Hong Kong's flag, and one of the yellow umbrellas synonymous with the city's 2014 pro-democracy protests. Illustrations on the sneaker's side depict a crowd of protesters wearing gas masks, goggles and hard hats.

On Saturday, with over a week of voting still to go, the submission was removed from the competition website. In a statement posted on Facebook in Chinese and English, the brand said that "a small number of artistic submissions have been removed ... to uphold the purpose of Custom Culture."

"As a brand that is open to everyone, we have never taken a political position and therefore review designs to ensure they are in line with our company's long-held values of respect and tolerance, as well as with our clearly communicated guidelines for this competition," the statement said, without referring specifically to the protest-themed design.

The statement drew condemnation on social media from Hong Kong protest supporters, where a number of posts were accompanied by the hashtag #boycottVans.

Read the rest

Hong Kong protests level up in countermeasures, tactics, art and deadly seriousness

Hong Kong's democratic uprising has been a long masterclass in high-tech protest tactics (and the hits keep coming). Read the rest

Manhattan DA served Google with a "reverse search warrant" in a bid to prosecute antifa protesters

In October 2018, Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes was invited to speak at the Manhattan Republican club, drawing neo-Nazi supporters and antifa protesters; Proud Boy thugs waded into the protest and began indiscriminately attacking the protesters. Read the rest

Hong Kong's General Strike on Monday will include workers from Hong Kong Disneyland

From a long thread documenting which workers are prepared to walk out on Monday for the general strike in support of the pro-independence movement: the news that Hong Kong Disneyland workers organized by the Hong Kong Disneyland Trade Union will be among the strikers. Read the rest

Hong Kong protesters use lasers to blind security cameras

Freelance journalist Alessandra Bocchi posted this video of protesters in Hong Kong using some kind of laser to target security forces' cameras: it's part of the #612strike movement's stunning repertoire of improvised anti-police countermeasures, in a near-civil-war where faces have become a battleground. Read the rest

Thousands of elderly Hong Kongers march in solidarity with young human rights activists

For more than a month, Hong Kong has been rocked by an escalating series of public demonstrations that have persisted in the face of violent police suppression tactics; the demonstrations were kicked off when Hong Kong's puppet regime -- elected after China banned pro-independence candidates from standing in local government races -- proposed a new rule that would make it simple for Beijing to demand the extradition of political dissidents to mainland China, where torture and arbitrary detention of political prisoners is the norm. Read the rest

After Hong Kong's leaders delay plan to render dissidents to mainland China, 2,000,000 Hong Kongers march and demand resignations

The proposal by the tame, Beijing-dominated government of Hong Kong to extradite people to mainland China for a variety of crimes (including political crimes) sparked mass demonstrations that made savvy use of networks and tactics to mobilize a series of actions under the #612strike banner that shut down main arteries and key government buildings. Read the rest

Hong Kong's #612strike protest movement: a million strong, leaderless, wireless and smart as hell

Hong Kong's previous mass-protest uprisings -- 2014's Occupy Central, 2016's Umbrella Revolution -- were ultimately smashed by the state through a combination of violent suppression and electronic surveillance, greatly aided by the hierarchical structure of the protest movements (which made it possible to decapitate them by arresting their leaders) and their internal divisions and infighting. Read the rest

More than 100,000 Europeans march against #Article13

Today marksed the largest street protests ever in the history of internet freedom struggles, with more than 100,000 Europeans participating in mass demonstrations across the region -- more than 50 cities participated in Germany alone! From Netpolitik's early summary (English robotranslation): "In Berlin, the demonstration was about half an hour, if you waited along the way from the beginning to the end. We have experienced many network protests in Berlin. That was bigger today than any before, even counting the big data retention protests or ACTA." Read the rest

Artist Nan Goldin leads protests at the Guggenheim and the Met over their reputation-laundering of the Sacklers' opioid epidemic fortunes

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. Read the rest

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