Several injured and 77 detained as police attack protest rally in Sudan

Source: People’s Dispatch

Augist 19 2020

A rally on the anniversary of the ratification of the Constitutional Declaration in Sudan was attacked by the police on Monday. Protesters asked the govt. to set up the legislative council and and solve the economic crisis.

Sudan protests

Several protesters were injured and at least 77 protesters were detained in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on August 17, Monday, after police fired tear gas and attacked a protest rally. The protesters had reached the offices of cabinet ministers to submit a memorandum of demands to prime minister Abdalla Hamdok.

Called the ‘march of millions’, the rally had been organized on the first anniversary of the ratification of the Constitutional Declaration which paved the way for the formation of the transitional government in Sudan. The rally started at different assembly points in Khartoum, Khartoum North and Omdurman, and converged near the cabinet ministers’ offices.

The aim of the protest was to hand over a memorandum to the prime minister, calling on the transitional government to fulfill its mandate, as presented to it by the protest movement which had brought it to power last year after ousting long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir. Key demands included the formation of the legislative council and a solution to the financial crisis. However, the protesters were met with violence

Related: The Coup in Mali and how NATO destabilized the Sahel

The coordinating body of the resistance committees said in a statement that it was “shameful and unacceptable” that Hamdok “chose to hide behind the curtain” and “sent a representative to meet the masses”. When the protesters rejected this offer and demanded to see the prime minister, the police fired tear gas and used “excessive force to confront them”.

Many of the injured had to be carried to hospitals in ambulances. Lawyers affiliated to the protest movement who rushed to police stations to secure the release of protesters were also allegedly attacked by the police.

The coordinating body of the resistance committee called “on the revolutionaries.. to close streets and burn tires in response to the government’s shameful and humiliating treatment, and we also announce to the Sudanese people that the open mobilization and escalation will continue in the coming days in various forms and methods.”

It is reported that numerous clashes between the security forces and protesters occurred until late in the evening. Police continued to attack the protesters even after they had been dispersed from around the cabinet offices and were staging road blockades.

The organization of ‘Families of the martyrs of the glorious Sudanese revolution 2018’ also condemned the police action. It said in a statement that the “blood of martyrs and wounded”, who had sacrificed in the struggle against the dictatorship, was still fresh in the memory of the Sudanese people.

Key demands

One of the key demands articulated in the memorandum is the immediate formation of the legislative council. This body was to be formed by November 2019. This body will be crucial to counter the influence of the military in the other two bodies already set up as part of the transitional government – the Sovereignty Council and the cabinet. The Sudanese military was deeply entrenched in the former regime, and has been accused of gross human rights violations and crimes.

The Sovereignty Council, the highest body within the transitional government, has equal representation from the military and the civil society, but is headed by military generals. The other body, the cabinet or the council of ministers, has the ministers of defense and internal security appointed by the military.

Another crucial demand of the protesters is to bring the finances of the armed forces under the control of the finance ministry. Currently, the ministry has no control over the massive annual budgets allotted to the armed forces.

Protesters have also called for holding a conference to chart a way forward to resolve the severe economic crisis, which the transitional government has failed to solve. They are also demanding concrete measures to speed up the peace process with the armed rebel groups in the country, including the dissolution of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

The RSF is a militia cultivated by the army under Bashir’s rule, which was allegedly instrumental in committing the genocide in Sudan. It is headed by the current vice-president of the Sovereignty Council, General Homamad Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemeti, and continues to sow terror in the largely non-Arab communities in the civil-war affected regions.

Monday’s protest rally was organized by the resistance committees which were the backbone of the coordinated uprising that led to Bashir’s removal in December 2018. The committees had organized at the neighborhood level to build a mass protest movement which continued even after his ouster, holding out against the military junta which had assumed power. The junta was finally forced to make way for the formation of a civilian-majority government after a massacre at the hands of the RSF.

The government that was eventually formed was the result of a compromise between the junta and the Declaration of Freedom and Change forces (DFCF) – a coalition of political parties which came to represent the protest movement.

Abdalla Hamdok was chosen for the position of prime minister by the DFCF. As the protest movement had installed him in power, protesters on Monday demanded that he personally receive their memorandum of demands.

Defense Team Challenged Trump Prosecutors’ Attempts to Fix Outcome of Trial: Judge Delays Key Decisions

Source: defendembassyprotectors.org

February 1 2020

By Ajamu Baraka and Bahman Azad
Co-Chairs of the Embassy Protectors Defense Committee

A pretrial hearing of the four Embassy Protectors facing federal prosecution took place before Judge Beryl A. Howell on January 29 in Washington, DC. The hearing, which was to define the parameters of the upcoming trial, became complicated as the judge learned more about the facts of the case.

When the hearing started, Judge Howell stated that she expected to rule on all the issues requiring decisions that day. She added that her previous ruling on discovery, where she denied all of the defendants’ discovery requests, ought to tell the defendants what to expect. However, after four hours, the judge decided to delay some of her decisions on critical elements such as what the jury will be allowed to hear and whether the Embassy Protectors will be able to present a meaningful defense.

Trying to manipulate the upcoming trial

During the course of the morning, it was also evident that the prosecutors were trying to manipulate the upcoming trial in a way that would guarantee a conviction. The first area of contention was whether the word “trespassing” or its equivalent should be included in the trial statement that would be read to the jurors. The Embassy Protectors were not charged with trespassing, yet the prosecution wanted to describe them as trespassing without allowing the four defendants to explain they were in the Venezuelan Embassy with the full permission of the Venezuelan government. This was left unresolved at the end of the day.

Related:  Venezuelan Embassy Protesters Need Support!  Black Agenda Report

The next hurdle for the defendants was whether photos and videos of people who are not on trial or of signs with political messages ought to be included in the exhibits. The defendants’ lawyers argued that people who are not being tried are not relevant to the case and that political messages should not be included, especially if the defendants will not be allowed to explain what they mean to the jury. This was also left unresolved at the end of the day.

Trying to limit what the jury should hear

The most important part of the hearing was the motion by the Trump prosecutors to prevent the four Embassy Protectors or their lawyers from being allowed to tell the jury anything that would explain the context of the case. The prosecutors sought to limit what the jury would hear to three things:  The Embassy Protectors were in the Venezuelan Embassy, they were ordered to leave, and they didn’t.

The judge was initially inclined to agree with the prosecutors, questioning the defense about why it mattered that the jury know about things such as who is the president of Venezuela, international law that governs the treatment of embassies and what happened during the time the four protectors were in the embassy.

As the hearing proceeded, it seemed the judge was hearing information that was new to her. She was not familiar with the Vienna Convention or with Protecting Power Agreements, which have been used in diplomatic relations for hundreds of years and are incorporated in the Vienna Convention. The US already has 20 such agreements with other nations. She did not seem to know that the four protectors were given permission to be in the Venezuelan Embassy by the elected government and were given the keys to the Embassy.

Judge seemed unaware of violent acts of the pro-coup mob

When one of the defense lawyers described the pro-coup mob as ‘hoodlums,’ she was perplexed. When he explained that the pro-coup mob outside the Embassy broke doors and windows, broke into the Embassy and damaged it, and cut off access to food, she seemed unaware of their violent actions and attacks on the embassy. The prosecutors failed to inform the court about the fact that the US Secret Service did nothing to stop the mob from physically attacking the embassy as it was their responsibility to protect the embassy. Nor did they mention that the power and water had been illegally shut off.

The judge said granting the prosecutor’s motion would be the equivalent of a directed verdict, i.e. the judge directing a guilty verdict. She asked what defense the protectors would have if she granted their motion. The prosecutors struggled to answer and then posited that the four protectors could say they didn’t understand the order. The judge quickly retorted that this was unlikely given the education levels of the defendants, a medical doctor, a nurse with a Master’s degree, a lawyer and a college professor with a Ph.D.

Will the court respect international law or will the four protectors become political prisoners of US Empire?

The prosecutors, who had entered the courtroom in the morning fully confident that their requests would be granted, squirmed uncomfortably and worked ineffectively to justify their requests as the day progressed. In the end, the judge decided to delay her decisions on these key issues saying she would take the motions under advisement. The hearing was adjourned at approximately 1:30 pm.

Now, the defendants will have to wait for the judge’s rulings on whether the process will be rigged against them or they will be allowed to present a defense. It likely helped that over two dozen supporters attended the hearing.

Attend the trial

The trial begins on February 11. We encourage supporters to attend the trial as the defendants face the full force of the Trump administration. The outcome of this trial impacts all who take bold actions to resist imperialism and respect the self-determination and sovereignty of people around the world.

If you choose to attend the trial, please heed the guidelines described here so your actions do not jeopardize the outcome for the defendants. Of particular importance is that supporters do not attempt to influence the jurors in any way such as approaching them, communicating with them or giving them information.

Ecuador’s Assembly Rejects President Moreno’s Economic Reforms

Source:  TeleSUR
November 17 2019

The reforms were suggested by Moreno after a banking agreement with International Monetary Fund.The reforms were suggested by Moreno after a banking agreement with International Monetary Fund. | Photo: Reuters

Several of these reforms were questioned by the indigenous movement, other social organizations, and by the business sector.

Ecuador’s Assembly rejected Sunday a package of tax and monetary reforms presented by President Lenín Moreno, in a new blow to his attempts of obtaining fresh resources and reduce the bulky fiscal deficit.

RELATED:Ecuador: ‘Russia Today’ Taken Off The Air by State Company

“With 70 affirmative votes, the National Assembly has decided to deny and file the economic growth bill,” the legislature said on its Twitter account.

“They shelved this looting law. Congratulations to la Revolucion Ciudadana’s bloc that led opposition to this nefarious law; to so many citizen initiatives; and to anonymous patriots, such as the Dollarization Observatory. As long as this nefarious government continues, we still have not won anything,” said former president Rafael Correa.

The reforms were suggested by Moreno after a banking agreement that the government sealed in February with the International Monetary Fund for US$4.2 billion dollars.

The government bill aimed to improve tax collection by increasing some taxes and establishing a special contribution for companies with annual revenues of more than one million dollars.

In addition, it proposed some legal changes to give autonomy to the country’s Central Bank and prevent it from becoming a source of direct government financing.

Several of these proposals were questioned by the indigenous movement, other social organizations, and by the business sector. With these reforms, the government hoped to raise more than 700 million dollars next year.

Moreno yields to two weeks of violent protests

Moreno had desisted in mid-October from eliminating the fuel subsidy after nearly two weeks of violent protests that shook the country.

Image result for ecuador protestsAfter annulling the decree that raised the price of extra gasoline and diesel, Moreno opened a dialogue table with the indigenous movement to seek mechanisms focused on the subsidy, without obtaining results so far.

“Social pressure first achieved the repeal of decree 883, and today, we denied another imposition by the IMF that violated the rights of the people and was harmful to the country,” said the indigenous group CONAIE, in its Twitter account after the decision of the Assembly.

RELATED: Ecuador: Gov’t To Drop IMF-Decree, Deal Reached Strike Over

With 70 votes we filed and denied the misnamed #Law Economic Growth.
Social pressure first achieved the repeal of decree 883 and today another imposition of the #FMI that violated the rights of the people and was harmful to the country, is denied.  Long live the victory of the united people!

Ecuador estimates a fiscal deficit of around 3.6 billion dollars this year and thought new reforms could bring it down by about 237 million dollars by 2020.

Fascist Bolivian Coup Leader Fails in DC Charm Offensive

Source:  Popular Resistance.org

 

On Red Lines, Anya Parampil covers the obliteration of Bolivian coup leader Luis Fernando Camacho’s big event in Washington, where he was auditioning for US support at the Inter-American Dialogue think tank on December 12. The presidential candidate had hoped to present himself as a unifying figure, but was instead met with ferocious resistance by Bolivians and US anti-war protesters denouncing his fascist past. ||| The Grayzone ||| Find more reporting at https://thegrayzone.com

Haitians Reject Visit of US Representative as US Interference

Source:  TeleSUR

November 21 2019

Image result for haitians protest visit of kelly craftSocial and political organizations in Haiti reject the visit of the United States
ambassador to the United  Nations, Kelly Craft

Dozens of people were brutalized by security forces as they were protesting Kelly Craft’s visit.

Social and political organizations in Haiti rejected the visit of the United States ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, who arrived in the country on Wednesday.

RELATED:  UN Peacekeeping 15-year Mission Ends With Mixed Legacy in Haiti

Videos on social media showed protesters expressing anger over what they call the U.S.’s interference in Haitian politics, signaling Craft’s visit as its latest instance.

Social organizations have been calling out the U.S. for backing up the widely unpopular President Jovenel Moise and demanding an immediate end to the meddlings in the nation’s internal affairs.

A spokesman for the Consensual Alternative for the Refoundation of Haiti, Andre Michel, categorically rejected Craft’s visit and her country’s repeated calls for dialogue.

‘We will not negotiate with corrupt people, with those who perpetrated the La Saline massacre. Resignation and nothing else,” Michel said in a reference to the president.

Craft is visiting Haiti “to highlight the support of the U.S. for a more peaceful, secure, prosperous and democratic future for the Haitian people,” U.S. diplomatic mission in Port-au-Prince said.

The representative of Washington met with  Moise and some of the island’s political and economic leaders, with the alleged purpose of encouraging the adoption of urgent measures and form a government “in the service of the people”.

“A fully functioning government must fight corruption; investigate and prosecute human rights abusers, including those responsible for the La Saline and Bel Air killings; and combat narcotics and human trafficking,” the representative said following the meeting, apparently ignoring that the president himself is accused by his own people of these abuses.

“President Moise and other democratically elected leaders have an obligation to come together, put aside differences, and find an inclusive solution for the benefit of the people of Haiti,” she added.

How many more diplomats will President Trump send to #Haiti to prevent Haitians from draining the #shithole?
What in the neocolonial hell is this? He sends Kelly Craft – a rich white woman to convince poor black people that fighting against misery and oppression is undemocratic.

On the other hand, dozens of people were brutalized by security forces as they were protesting Craft’s visit near the Toussaint Louverture International Airport.

Police officers, who have been accused by some to be funded and trained by the U.S. and to take their orders directly from the U.S. embassy, fired shots in the air forcing protesters to the ground before beating and kicking them, demonstrators said.

As the crisis faced by Haiti is deepening, this visit is the fourth time a U.S. official goes to the island so far this year.

In June, the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs deputy assistant secretary Julie Chung met with Moise, as well as a mission led by Carlos Trujillo, former U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS).

In March, just after strong anti-government protests paralyzed the capital, deputy secretary of State for Political Affairs, David Hale, met with government and opposition officials; shortly after followed by Republican Senator Marco Rubio.

The U.S. has been constantly supporting the Haitian president who is accused of financial crimes, including fraud, money laundering, and embezzlement of hundreds of million of dollars meant for the country’s development.

After pulling Nike brand, store sales dropped 15%

Source:  TeleSUR
February 17 2019

believe in something colin kaepernick.jpg

The store’s sales reportedly dropped 15 percent over the last three years.

A U.S. sporting goods store has been forced out of business after pulling the Nike brand in protest of the company’s association with former National Football League (NFL) quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

RELATED:  Rihanna Rejects Super Bowl Halftime in Support of Kaepernick

“Being a sports store without Nike is kind of like being a milk store without milk or a gas station without gas. How do you do it? They have a monopoly on jerseys,” the store owner, Stephen Martin, told a local NBC station, explaining that he “just can’t keep the doors open anymore” because the absence of players’ jerseys delivered a significant, and final, blow to the business.

Martin’s sales reportedly dropped 15 percent over the last three years.

In the NFL’s 2016 season, Kaepernick sparked controversy, and major demonstrations – by fellow players – across the league, after the former quarterback began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality.

Last year, Nike effected Martin’s boycott when the company put out a 30th-anniversary “Just Do It” advertisement, which featured an image of the ex-ball player, signaling an endorsement deal had been forged.

The Colorado-based Prime Time Sports – which has been in business for almost 21 years – decided to remove all Nike merchandise from its shelves in protest of the endorsement.

The Nike-Kaepernick ads prompted some customers to boycott the brand, but did not sufficiently adversely affect the sporting magnate’s revenue, which grew despite the backlash.

“As much as I hate to admit this, perhaps there are more Brandon Marshall and Colin Kaepernick supporters out there than I realized,” the store owner admitted, stating “ That part of the military respect that’s in me just cannot be sacrificed or compromised.”

Ironically, Kaepernick initially chose to sit during the national anthem before switching to kneeling after consulting an Army veteran.

Martin also canceled a scheduled appearance by Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall in 2016, after the player took a knee, during the national anthem, in solidarity with Kaepernick.

“I don’t like losing a business over it, but I rather be able to live with myself,” the soon-to-be-former-business-owner Martin said.

United States President Donald Trump had also spoken against the NFL protests multiple times, as well as slammed the Nike advertisement.

National March on Washington, Saturday, March 16: HANDS OFF VENEZUELA!

Source:  PopularResistance.org
February 1 2019

hands off venezuela 3.png

NOTE:   Sign the petition HERE to tell your elected officials NO US-ENGINEERED COUP In Venezuela!

“People Of The U.S., I Ask For Your Support To Reject The Interference Of Donald Trump’s Government In Making My Homeland A Vietnam In Latin America. Don’t Allow It!”  President Nicolas Maduro, January 31, 2017.

Saturday, March 16, 12pm
White House, Washington, D.C.

Sign On As An Endorser Here!

On Saturday, March 16, thousands of people will march in Washington, D.C. against the Trump administration’s effort to engineer a coup in Venezuela and a new devastating war there. The aggressive policy against Venezuela repeats the ugly pattern of wars for regime change in the oil-rich countries of Iraq and Libya. National Security Advisor John Bolton is reading from the same script, declaring a “troika of tyranny” in Latin America (like the “axis of evil”) as a precursor for regime change first in Venezuela, and then Cuba and Nicaragua. Trump has always said that the “mistake” of the Middle East wars was that the U.S. didn’t “take the oil.”

It is time to stand up and with a clear voice say NO to the newest example of the “Monroe Doctrine,” which the U.S. government has used for over two centuries to repeatedly invade Latin America and Caribbean, control its politics and extract its resources.

The White House aims to overthrow the government of President Nicolás Maduro and replace him with Juan Guaidó. Guaidó is a U.S.-trained operative who was unknown to the vast majority of Venezuelans before he proclaimed himself president — at Vice President Mike Pence’s urging. Although Guaidó has the backing of Trump, the CIA, and the Republican and Democratic Party leaderships alike, huge numbers of Venezuelans have marched to reject this coup and defend their independence.

On March 16, the people of the United States will come together to say:

  • U.S. hands off Venezuela!
  • NO to the coup — the U.S. does not have the right to select other country’s leaders!
  • NO to the sanctions, oil embargo and economic war on Venezuela that aims to cause suffering for ordinary people in the country.
  • NO to intervention and war from the U.S. and their proxies in the region.

Initial signers:

  • ANSWER Coalition
  • CodePink
  • Black Alliance for Peace
  • Alliance for Global Justice
  • Popular Resistance
  • Cuba and Venezuela Solidarity Committee
  • Haïti Liberté
  • International Support Haiti Network
  • Popular Education Project
  • Abby Martin, journalist, The Empire Files
  • Dr. Jill Stein, 2016 Green Party presidential candidate
  • Dr. Jared Ball, Prof. of Communication Studies, Morgan State Univ., imixwhatilike
  • Medea Benjamin, activist and author, CodePink
  • Cindy Sheehan, activist and author, Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox
  • Berthony Dupont, Director, Haïti Liberté
  • Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, constitutional rights attorney
  • Max Blumenthal, journalist
  • Ajamu Baraka, National Organizer, Black Alliance for Peace
  • Mike Prysner, Iraq War veteran, producer, The Empire files
  • Dr. George Ciccariello-Maher, author
  • Dr. Anthony Monteiro, Saturday Free School
  • Dr. Jodi Dean, author, Prof. of Political Science, Hobart & William Smith Colleges
  • Gloria La Riva, National Coordinator, Cuba and Venezuela Solidarity Committee
  • Kim Ives, journalist
  • Anoa Changa, host, The Way With Anoa
  • Dan Cohen, journalist and filmmaker
  • Chuck Kaufman, National Co-Coordinator, Alliance for Global Justice
  • Eugene Puryear, Stop Police Terror Project
  • Jeanette Charles, International Solidarity Liaison, Venezuela Analysis
  • Lucas Koerner, Editor and Analyst, Venezuela Analysis
  • Margaret Flowers, Co-Coordinator, Popular Resistance
  • Kevin Zeese, Co-Coordinator, Popular Resistance
  • Dan Kovalik, author and human rights lawyer
  • Mahdi Bray, National Director, American Muslim Alliance (AMA)
  • Brian Becker, National Director, ANSWER Coalition

    Sign On As An Endorser Here!

Ecuador: Social Movements Mobilize Against Economic Measures

Source:  TeleSUR
December 21 2018

ecuador social orgs mobilizeThe price of fuel in Ecuador is expected to rise by $0.37 per gallon with the
government’s new economic measures. | Photo: Reuters

Teachers, health professionals, and transport workers who make up the National Citizens’ Assembly, announced protests against the government’s new policies.

Social movements and unions such as the Ecuador’s Workers Unity Front (FUT) and the National Citizens’ Assembly have announced plans to protest against new measures announced by the government of Lenin Moreno, including a reduction in gasoline subsidies. One such demonstration is expected to take place next Thursday in Quito, the country’s capital.

RELATED: Ecuador: Government Announces More Neo-Liberal Policies

“We announce to the country the progressive start of mobilizations until the government of businessmen repeals the increase in the price of gasoline and eliminate all neoliberal economic policies that affect Ecuador, ” said Wilmer Santacruz, a representative of a teachers’ network.

On Tuesday, Moreno’s government announced new budgetary adjustment measures, such as a hike in gasoline prices for lesser octane fuels (Extra and Ecopais), the elimination of 25,000 public vacancies and a reduction in the salary of senior officials. This is the second hike in the prices of gasoline from the government of Lenin Moreno during 2018.

The decision came after the super gasoline subsidy was suspended. The price of gasoline was at US$1.48 per gallon. However, with the new economic measures, the new price will be US$1.85.

“By mandate of President Lenin Moreno we have decided to put an end to these types of absurdities, such as subsidies… that prevent us from continuing with social projects,” said the minister of finances Richard Martinez.

According to Martinez, the measure is part of an “optimization of the state” process led by Ecuadorean President Moreno.

In August, when the first hike in prices happened, the government said that in order to maintain subsidies the state would have to seek outside loans. Since that first increase in gasoline prices, Moreno’s government reached an agreement of US$900 million in credit loans from China. Despite the development, the government is still proceeding to scraped the subsidies.

French Policemen Forced to Run Away from Yellow Vests in Paris

Source:  TeleSUR
December 24 2-18

french police run awayA police motorcycle officer pulls a gun during a demonstration of
the “yellow vests” movement on Champs Elysees in Paris | Photo: Reuters

The government has been actively using the violence of a few dozens of the protesters in a bid to discredit the entire movement.

French President Emmanuel Macron called for “order” on Sunday after the sixth weekend of “yellow vest” anti-government protests that saw a violent confrontation between protesters and the police in Paris.

RELATED:  Portugal’s Yellow Vests to Protest Against Social Inequity

Speaking during a visit to the Saharan state of Chad where he was visiting French troops serving in a counter-terrorism force, Macron said: “There must be order now, calm and harmony. Our country needs it.”

The 41-year-old former bank executive has struggled to tamp down the anger of the working poor in small-town and rural France over falling spending power and policies seen as tilted towards the rich.

Nearly 40,000 people took part in a sixth round of nationwide protests on Saturday, according to the interior ministry — around half the number who demonstrated a week earlier. Many people took to social media complaining about the police cordon impeding them to reach the demonstration.

In Paris, the protests were mainly peaceful, but as evening fell, violence broke out again on the iconic Champs Elysees avenue when policemen started violently evicting peaceful protesters with tear gas and grenades.

In one incident that was widely used by the government to discredit the whole movement, three police officers on motorbikes were forced to make a hasty escape after coming under attack near the Champs Elysees from demonstrators who threw paving stones and other objects at them.

A video of the incident, which was widely shared on social media, showed one officer pulling his gun and pointing it at the advancing protesters. He and his two colleagues — one of whom had his motorbike knocked to the ground — then made their getaway.

The video showed that, seconds before the attack, the police had lobbed stun grenades at a group of protesters, who were some distance away.

Speaking to the BFMTV channel, Macron said those responsible for the violence would face “the most severe” legal punishment.

From there the protests quickly morphed into a full-scale revolt against Macron’s policies, his aloof, top-down governing style, and the political class as a whole.

A total of 142 people were detained and 19 taken into police custody in the capital, including one of leaders of the movement, Eric Drouet.

Drouet was released on parole on Sunday and will face trial on June 5 for “carrying a prohibited category D weapon,” a judicial source told AFP.

At least ten people have died in incidents linked to the demonstrations, mostly in accidents at roadblocks set up by the protesters.

French Workers Go on General Strike in Support of Yellow Vests

Source:TeleSUR
December 14 2018

workers in france strike.jpgFrance has been overcome by demonstrations for roughly a month as
people protest living conditions, fuel tax, social inequality, and workers’ rights.
| Photo: Reuters

The leadership of the CGT said the call to strike is in support of the social and wage demands driven by the popular movement of the yellow vests.

In solidarity with the popular ‘yellow vests’ movement, France’s workers have gone on national strike Friday, a move called by the General Confederation of Labor (CGT).

RELATED:  Despite Police Repression, France’s ‘Yellow Vests’ Continues as Leftist Parties, Student Movements Join Forces

“The best way to protest is to go on strike,” the CGT’s Philippe Martinez told BFM TV Friday. “We must multiply actions at companies. We must strike everywhere.”

The French trade union announced the day of action Tuesday after negotiations with the government over unemployment benefits failed.

“The CGT, like the yellow vests, is fighting for claims on salaries, what (French president Emmanuel) Macron announced is not enough because there isn’t any general raise in salaries,” Union representative for health workers Francoise Doriate told Reuters.

“The minimum wage isn’t a minimum wage… the increase of an income tax on only a part of pensioners is a scam and there is a freeze on pensions which means we are losing buying power.”

On Monday, President Macron announced wage rises for the poorest workers and tax cuts for pensioners in further concessions meant to quell weeks of often violent protests that have challenged his authority. However, the government’s decision has been seen by some as a sham.

“Emmanuel Macron thought he could hand out some cash to calm the citizen’s insurrection that has erupted,” Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the far-left La France Insoumise, said. “I believe that Act V (of the protests) will play out on Saturday,” he said referring to a new round of protests planned this weekend.

lawyers burn codes france.jpgFrench lawyers burn legal codes as part of a nation-wide
strike against planned justice reform law. | Reuters

The move to strike puts pressure on companies as labor unions use their collective power to create disruption just as demonstrators prepare for a fifth-weekend wave of protests across the country since the movement began Nov. 17.

“Of course it is not a question of shouting victory but of amplifying the mobilization: that is why all the general assemblies are maintained!” CGT leadership said in a statement.

The administration of Macron also declared a state of economic and social emergency Monday, and requested the cancellation of the ‘yellow vest’ protests this weekend, citing Tuesdays shooting in Strasburg in which three people were killed and 13 others wounded. Police killed the shooter late on Thursday.

Police have been cracking down on the protests using tear gas and water cannon and many fear that the government is preparing a major repression as the movement announces a fifth round of demonstrations.