Tag Archives: riot

Riots Over Baroness Thatcher’s Dead Body

12 Apr

An old rally flyer from 1989 calling for protests against Thatcher for her support of the apartheid South African regime, support of ant-gay and anti-abortion policies and for her continued policies of colonialism in Ireland.

Anarchists and Police Warn of Full Scale Street Battles Tomorrow and at Margaret Thatchers Funeral Procession

by Russ McSpadden / Earth First! News

[The text of this work is free to share and distribute under the following Creative Commons License CC-BY-ND 3.0]

Back in March of 1990, during the poll tax riots in London, more than 200,000 people engaged in protest, direct action and  full scale rioting over the hugely unpopular new tax system introduced by then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the conservative government. Amidst the wild chaos of the night  an anarchist collective by the name Class War proposed a grand celebration in Trafalgar Square for the first Saturday after the future event of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s death.

It was a farsighted call-to-party over the passing of a right-wing  politician who was a full 23 years from her death bed.

Tomorrow, April 13th happens to be that first Saturday. Continue reading

Rural Rebels and Useless Airports: La ZAD – Europe’s Largest Postcapitalist Land Occupation

17 Nov


October 2012, Notre dames des Landes, France.

Chris leans forward, her long fingers play with the dial of the car radio “I’m trying to find 107.7 FM“ … a burst of Classical music, a fragment of cheesy pop. “ Ah! Here we go! I think I’ve got it?”  The plastic pitch of a corporate jingle pierces the speakers: “Radio Vinci Autoroute: This is the weather forecast for the west central region…happy driving to you all. Traffic info next.” Chris smiles.

The narrow winding road is lined with thick hedgerows. Out of the darkness the ghostly outline of an owl cuts across our headlights. We dip down into a wooded valley, the radio signal starts to splinter. The well-spoken female voice fractures into static, words tune in and out and then another kind of sound weaves itself into the airwaves. We rise out of the wood onto a plateau, the rogue signal gets clearer, for a while two disturbingly different voices scramble together – the slick manicured predictable sounds of Radio Vinci wrestles with something much more alive, something rawer – a fleshier frequency.

 “ The cops have left the Zone for the night…good riddance… Yeah! Keep it up everyone! ……” There is a moment of silence, we hear breathing, then a scream into the microphone “This is Radio Klaxon…Klac Klac Klac! ”We feel her emotion radiate through the radio waves “ It’s nine thirty five.” she laughs and puts a record on, passionate Flamenco guitar pumps into the car. Continue reading

Riots erupt in China over disputed island’s gas reserves

17 Sep

A demonstrator throws back a tear gas canister at riot policemen in Shenzhen on Sunday.

Chinese protesters took to city streets for a second day on Sunday to denounce Japan in a row over disputed islands, prompting the Japanese prime minister to call on Beijing to ensure protection of his country’s people and property.

The Nikkei business newspaper said on Sunday that demonstrators had earlier attacked two Panasonic electronic parts plants in the eastern cities of Qingdao and Suzhou.

Toyota vehicle dealerships were also set on fire and many vehicles were damaged, it said, citing Toyota’s China unit.

In the biggest flare-up, police fired tear gas and used water cannon to repel thousands of protesters occupying a street in the southern city of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong.

The protests erupted in Beijing and many other cities on Saturday, when demonstrators besieged the Japanese embassy, hurling rocks, eggs and bottles, and testing cordons of police.

Demonstrators have looted shops and attacked Japanese cars and restaurants in at least five Chinese cities. Protesters also broke into a dozen Japanese-run factories in the eastern city of Qingdao on Saturday, according to the Japanese broadcaster NHK.

[EF!J Editor’s note: While an absurd nationalism seemed undeniably present in these riots, it can also not be denied that there is a militant environmental movement growing in China, which we have also reported on throughout this year. We can only hope that people are taking the opportunity to prioritize attacking corporate and industrial targets.]

G20 rioter sentenced to prison… Send her a letter!

26 Jul

Kelly Rose Pflug-Back

Kelly Pflug-Back, Food Not Bombs activist, author, poet and new member of the Fifth Estate editorial collective, has been sentenced to 11 months in jail for her role during the G20 summit’s protests in 2010. You can write her a letter at:

Kelly Pflug-Back 
Vanier Centre for Women
655 Martin Street
Milton, Ontario L9T-5E6

Kelly was convicted of wearing a disguise, intimidation, obstructing police and seven counts of mischief exceeding $5,000. She was also accused of  “instructing” black bloc rioters to torch three police cruisers and break the glass of five downtown stores.

Well.. That doesn’t look much like Kelly, but it might be one of the cops cars that “The Crown” is all worked up about

Actions were reported to have caused $160,000 to property and the loss of business that resulted from the damages.

Justice John McMahon said that Pflug-Back showed zero remorse for her victim [sic]. As a result,  The Crown had asked for a sentence of 18 months. “It is important to send a message with a stiff sentence,” according to Crown Elizabeth Nadeau. [source]

In a recent interview with Kelly, “Behind the Black Mask and Shattered Glass” she had this to say about the G20:

“These meetings exclude anyone from the exploited nations which the G20 derive much of their wealth and resources from. They also exclude any input from Indigenous groups that many G20 countries, like Canada, have robbed of their traditional lands in order to establish their nationhood… Continue reading

Cars, Cops and Corporations feel the heat of British riots

9 Aug

A police officer in riot gear stands near a burning car in Hackney on August 8

By Panagioti, co-editor, Earth First! Journal

There is plenty of news covering the riots in Britain. So we won’t go much into the details, except to say that racist cops shot and killed someone, and lied about it, again.

It can be easy to romanticize riots from afar. The experience closer up is obviously a different experience. Liberating for some, terrifying for others. But they happen for a reason, regardless of individual experiences. Perhaps the best metaphor for most urban riots, especially in the so-called first world, is a forest fire. 

Wildfire has always been a necessary part of most forest ecology. For millenia, human societies lived with fires, learning to work with them, and even light them on occasion, to improve hunting and local agricultural endeavors. But with the fear of fire, and the capitalist desire of a planet under industrial control, natural wildfires burn hotter and more destructive. And the newly planted tree farms after a clearcut are the worst.

A burned out police van sits on Tottenham High Road on August 7, 2011, a the day after riots where two police cars and a large number of buildings were set ablaze.

There is much to burn off in the modern urban setting. Like in a native forest, it may be the only way for biodiversity and any semblance of real harmony to return. And like a forest fire, its worth the carbon footprint.

On a side note, the New Orleans police who killed two people and wounded more on the Danziger bridge after Hurricane Katrina were found guilty this week. Guilty of “civil rights violations,” not murder, even though one of the officers “stomped and kicked” Ronald Madison before he died. Five officers are scheduled to be sentenced on the charges December 14, 2011.

In 1992, the Chicago Surrealists, several of whom were also Earth First!ers, released an essay on the LA riots, “Three Days that Shook the New World Order,” which closes with these lines:

Fire destroys a Sony warehouse in Enfield in north London

“…As eco-activists, radical feminists, point-of-production rebel workers and ghetto/barrio street-fighters begin to understand each other, to find their common ground and to pool their resources in united struggle and mutual aid, we shall begin to see a movement that might just be capable of toppling the inhuman structures that are killing us all…

The struggle for wilderness is inseparable from the struggle for a free society, which is inseparable from the struggle against racism, whiteness and imperialism, which is inseparable from the struggle for the liberation of women, which is inseparable from the struggle for sexual freedom, which is inseparable from the struggle to emancipate labor and abolish work, which is inseparable from the struggle against war, which is inseparable from the struggle to live poetic lives and, more generally, to do as we please.

The enemies, today, are those who try to separate these struggles.

In April-May ‘92 the world witnessed one of the traumatic first flights of this revolution which must go farther than any revolution has ever gone.

Outsiders of the world, unite! Freedom Now! Earth First! These three watchwords are for us but one.”

—Chicago Surrealist Group, 1992