Displaying items by tag: violent protests

Thursday, 28 January 2021 20:41

Netherlands: Covid lockdown riots

On 23 January, riots began in many Dutch towns and cities against a night-time curfew to slow the spread of Covid. Protesters burned down a Covid testing station, burned vehicles, threw knives at police, looted businesses, threw fireworks, dynamite, gasoline, and bricks. The police detained hundreds. By 27 January conspiracy theorists and far-right sympathisers were sending invitations to join the protests, using every type of social media. The invitations were alarming and very aggressive. The country had begun tough lockdown measures in October, and by December schools and non-essential shops were shut down. The decision to restrict people further came in the middle of a political crisis after prime minister Mark Rutte resigned over a corruption scandal involving child tax benefits. His cabinet will continue to govern until the 17 March elections, which have now taken on a greater significance.

Published in Europe
Thursday, 28 January 2021 20:29

Tunisia: youth protests sweeping country

A growing groundswell of youth unrest, tapping into a well of economic frustration, is sweeping Tunisia, the country which triggered the 2011 ‘Arab Spring’. A third of the nation’s young people are unemployed. Many are angry about their poverty. Since 14 January they have taken to the streets in violent marches. There have been 1,000 arrests, and the army has been deployed in four hot spots. Protest groups are growing in size and are out in force every night staging simultaneous, often-violent demonstrations: pelting municipal buildings with stones, throwing Molotov cocktails, looting, vandalising, and clashing with police in poor, densely populated districts. By 24 January hundreds more were protesting against police repression, chanting, ‘No more fear, the streets belong to the people’ and ‘The people want the fall of the regime’ - popularised during the Arab Spring. They also called for the release of hundreds of protesters detained recently. See

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 07 June 2018 23:13

Nicaragua: Pope Francis calls for dialogue

Demonstrations against President Ortega’s corruption, his autocratic style, and his control over congress, the courts, the military, and the electoral board started on 19 April and are being met with violence. The church tried to intervene, but called off peace talks after police killed 16+ people on a peaceful march led by victims' mothers. There are now 113 dead. The Pope said, ‘I am united with my brother bishops in Nicaragua and their grief over violence committed by armed groups. The Church is always in favour of dialogue, but for that it requires an active commitment to respect freedom and, above all, life.’ On 2 June residents hid indoors as pro-government snipers shot people in the street. A local church later opened its doors to offer refuge and medical care to 21 individuals who had been detained and reportedly abused by police. Ortega accuses ‘right-wing groups’ of terrorising the country. Seven weeks of violence have made daily life dangerous for a population increasingly in open rebellion against the government. See

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 11 May 2018 10:24

Russia/Greece/France: protests

Two days before President Putin’s fourth inauguration, over a thousand people were detained after protests against his extended rule turned violent. Riot police barricaded protesters who then ran into adjoining streets, chanting, ‘Putin is a thief!’ and ‘He’s not my Tsar’. After lighting smoke bombs and throwing bricks, many were beaten bloody with batons in scenes reminiscent of 2012’s opposition movement. Many protesters held yellow duck symbols of ‘anti-corruption’. Pray for honest politics. See Over 2,500 Greeks protested against 2016’s EU/Turkey deal that left thousands of asylum-seekers stranded on Lesbos. When prime minister Alexis Tsipras arrived at Lesbos, protesters used loudspeakers to promote dissent and violence, and riot police fired teargas. See France’s May Day turned nasty when 1000+ ‘Black Bloc’ anarchists burnt cars and vandalised businesses, chanted anti-fascist slogans, threw firecrackers, and built barricades against police water cannons.

Published in Europe