Category Archives: Demonstrations & Protests

At Rallies Nationwide, Low-Wage Workers Tell Political Leaders: ‘Our Votes Are Demands’

“Our government’s refusal to fully address poverty and low wages even after the worst days of Covid is not only killing our brothers and sisters,” said Rev. Dr. William Barber. “It’s killing our public conscience.”

By Jake Johnson. Published 3-2-2024 by Common Dreams

Rev. Dr. William Barber speaks during a demonstration in Raleigh, North Carolina on March 2, 2024. (Photo: NC Poor People’s Campaign/Facebook)

Low-wage workers, faith leaders, and allies rallied in state capitals across the United States on Saturday as part of a mass mobilization of poor voters ahead of the pivotal 2024 election.

The nationwide demonstrations were organized by the Poor People’s Campaign, a multiracial movement calling on state legislators and members of the U.S. Congress to act immediately to end the “crisis of death by poverty” in the richest country in the world. Research published last year found that poverty is the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States.

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Report Shows How Governments Reach Beyond Their Borders to Crush Dissent

Human Rights Watch examines how repressive governments use harassment, surveillance, and assassination to target dissidents.

By Jake Johnson. Published 2-22-2024 by Common Dreams

Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Kremlin/Wikimedia Commons

report published Thursday by Human Rights Watch details how governments around the world relentlessly target dissidents, journalists, and others beyond their borders, resorting to threats, harassment, and even abduction and assassination to silence those perceived as threats.

“Transnational repression looks different depending on the context,” notes the new report. “Recent cases include a Rwandan refugee who was killed in Uganda following threats from the Rwandan government; a Cambodian refugee in Thailand only to be extradited to Cambodia and summarily detained; and a Belarusian activist who was abducted while aboard a commercial airline flight. Transnational repression may mean that a person’s family members who remain at home become targets of collective punishment, such as the Tajik activist whose family in Tajikistan, including his 10-year-old daughter, was detained, interrogated, and threatened.”

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‘Dangerous’: Pelosi Calls for FBI to Investigate Cease-Fire Supporters

“She is calling for effectively more surveillance and potential criminalization of protestors by suggesting (falsely) that they have foreign links,” said one critic.

By Julia Conley Published 128-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

As The New York Times reported Sunday that more than 1,000 Black American pastors have joined the widespread call for a cease-fire in Gaza, U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi suggested the demand was “Putin’s message” and said the FBI should investigate groups that are speaking out about Biden’s pro-Israel policies.

On CNN, the former House speaker, a California Democrat, told Dana Bash that the “call for a cease-fire is [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s message” and said she thinks some of the protests that have erupted across the U.S. since October to demand the U.S. push for an end to Israel’s killing of civilians in Gaza “are connected to Russia.”

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‘India Lurches Toward Full-Fledged Fascism’ as Modi Opens Contentious Hindu Temple

“The people of India have struggled for decades to secure a democracy that is secular, just, and equal. Modi must not be permitted to rob them of it now,” admonished Progressive International’s cabinet.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 1-22-2024 by Common Dreams

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the center of attention during the January 22, 2024 concescration of the Ram Mandir temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. (Photo: Narendra Modi/X)

The executive body of Progressive International warned Monday of the accelerating erosion of Indian democracy as right-wing Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially consecrated a highly controversial Hindu temple on the former site of a 16th-century Muslim mosque destroyed a generation ago by a Hindu nationalist mob.

Modi heralded the “advent of a new era” as he spoke outside Ram Mandir, a temple to the Hindu deity figure Ram—who epitomizes the triumph of good over evil—in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. The small city of approximately 55,000 inhabitants is known for its religious diversity and long history of peaceful coexistence between Hindus and Muslims.

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Millions Set to March for Gaza Cease-Fire as Threat of Regional War Surges

“It will send a powerful message not just to the Israelis but to the Western powers who are backing them that the public say, ‘Not in our name.'”

By Jake Johnson. Published 1-12-2024 by Common Dreams

Rally For Palestine, Dunedin, NZ, Sat. 11-4-2023. Photo: Mark McGuire/CC

Millions of people are expected to take to the streets worldwide on Saturday to demand a permanent cease-fire in the Gaza Strip and denounce the U.S.-led bombing of Yemen, which pushed the Middle East even closer to a full-scale regional war.

Organizers said people in over 120 cities across 45 countries are planning to join the Gaza Global Day of Action, a mass demonstration that will begin days after South Africa presented evidence before the International Court of Justice that Israel is committing genocide in the Palestinian enclave.

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Democracy is at risk in Guatemala, but there is still hope

The political elites are trying to prevent the inauguration of the president-elect in January 2024 at all costs

By Sanne Weber and Marlies Stappers. Published 12-20-2023 by openDemocracy

Bernardo Arévalo de León, President Elect of Guatemala, and Luis Almagro, OAS Secretary General. Photo: OEA – OAS/flickr/CC

Guatemala’s political future is uncertain since the elections in August, when opposition candidate Bernardo Arévalo won in a surprising landslide. Tensions are rising as 14 January, the date that Arévalo is meant to take office, is fast approaching.

Corrupt political elites are trying hard to prevent his presidency. Yet there has also been unprecedented support for Arévalo from the international community, Guatemala’s economic elite and the majority of the Guatemalan people.

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Minimum Wage Hikes Will Boost Pay of Nearly 10 Million US Workers in 2024

“These raises are the outcome of over a decade of workers organizing with Fight for $15,” said the National Employment Law Project.

By Julia Conley. Published 12-27-2023 by Common Dreams

Workers and activists march in support of a higher minimum wage. ) (Photo: Steve Rhodes/Flickr/cc)

Tireless campaigning by economic justice advocates helped to secure minimum wage hikes for nearly 10 million U.S. workers starting in 2024, and one think tank noted on Wednesday that further successes at the state and local levels are expected in the coming year—but experts said the federal government must catch up with state legislators to deliver fair wages to all workers.

January 1 will see 22 states increase their minimum wages, providing affected workers with an additional $6.95 billion.

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‘Great Joy’ as Indigenous Q’eqchi’ Win Case Against Guatemalan Nickel Mine

“This is a transcendent moment, for the Indigenous peoples of Guatemala and for a global public that is demanding an end to investments… that harm the planet and violate human rights,” said one plaintiffs’ attorney.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 12-15-2023 by Common Dreams

The Fenix mountain-top removal nickel mine in the Mayan Q’eqchi’ territories, eastern Guatemala. Photo: Rights Action

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled Friday that Guatemala violated Indigenous rights by allowing the construction of a massive nickel mine on land belonging to Q’eqchi’ Mayans—a decision hailed as a major victory in the decadeslong fight against state repression on behalf of the multiple multinational companies that have operated the site.

The IACHR found that Guatemala’s government violated the Q’eqchi’s rights to property and consultation when it permitted the Canadian company Hudbay to develop the long-dormant Fenix mine, also known as El Estor, on a mountaintop in the Izabal Department of eastern Guatemala in the 2000s. The mine—now owned by the Switzerland-based firm Solway—is located near Lake Izabal, a critical source of fish and other sustenance for the Q’eqchi’ and a protected habitat for species including the endangered Yucatan black howler monkey.

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Milei Couples ‘Total Crackdown’ on Protest With Economic Shocks in Argentina

“Protest is elemental to Argentine social and political life, so it’s not difficult to imagine how this ends,” said one journalist.

By Julia Conley. Published 12-15-2023 by Common Dreams

Argentinian President Javier Milei. Photo by  Mídia NINJA

As the human impact of Argentinian President Javier Milei’s “shock treatment” to the South American country’s economy became increasingly clear with rising prices on Thursday, Security Minister Patricia Bullrich announced what one journalist said were doubtlessly “preemptive” new controls on protests to discourage a struggling population from speaking out.

Bullrich said four security forces—the Federal Police, the Gendarmerie, the Naval Prefecture, and the Airport Security Police—will work together to stop protests that block streets and suggested the protocol is aimed only at ensuring “that people can live in peace” without demonstrators blocking traffic.

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‘Horrifying Precedent’: Penn President Resigns Amid Right-Wing Campus Speech Uproar

“She was coerced into resigning for defending her students’ right to political free speech,” said one critic.

By Julia Conley. Published 12-10-2023 by Common Dreams

Liz Magill, president of University of Pennsylvania, testifies before the House Education and Workforce Committee on December 5, 2023 in Washington, DC. Screenshot: CBS News

Professors at the University of Pennsylvania on Saturday were joined by rights advocates in condemning the attacks that forced university president Liz Magill to resign days after she testified before the U.S. Congress.

Magill had angered lawmakers from both parties by refusing to say students should be punished for hypothetically “calling for the genocide of Jews.”

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