The Andes
bogota riots

Colombia: anti-police protests rock Bogot√°

Colombia’s capital Bogot√° has seen nightly protests since the¬†slaying of a law student at the hands of police. Video footage showed Javier Ordo√Īez, an attorney and father of two, being repeatedly shocked with a stun-gun before being taken to a police station, after he was stopped for public drinking in violation of COVID-19 containment measures. He died in a hospital later that night. Protests erupted after his death, with hundreds gathering outside the station where he had been held, and police responded with tear-gas and flash-bang grenades. At least seven have been killed and 80 arrested since then, as protests have spread throughout the city. The Defense Ministry says 53 police stations and posts have been attacked, with 17 incinerated. The military as well as elite National Police anti-riot force ESMAD have been mobilized to put down the protests. (Photo via¬†Colombia Reports)

Central Asia
mongolian

China: resistance to curbs on Mongolian language

Thousands of ethnic Mongolians in the remote north of the People’s Republic of China have gathered outside schools to protest a new policy that would restrict the use of their language in the public education system‚ÄĒa rare display of mass discontent. The policy change in Inner Mongolia means all schools in the region will now be required to teach core subjects in Mandarin, mirroring similar moves in Tibet and Xinjiang to assimilate local indigenous peoples. Students have walked out of classes and assembled outside school buildings¬†shouting, “Mongolian is our mother language!” The protests have seen hundreds of students and parents face¬†off against police.¬†(Photo: Student holds banner reading “Foreign language is a tool, own language is soul,”¬†via SMHIRC)

Southeast Asia
Bangkok protest

Thailand authorities arrest pro-democracy activists

Thai authorities¬†arrested six activists involved in ths month’s pro-democracy demonstrations in Bangkok. Anti-government rallies by students have been occurring on a daily basis for over a month, demanding constitutional reform, curbing the power of the king, and an end to the intimidation of dissidents. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said the protests have gone “too far”¬†and urged demonstrators “not to create chaos.” Speaking against the monarchy carries a 15-year prison term in Thailand. Demonstrators have been asserting that democracy is “impossible” without limiting the monarchy’s constitutional role. (Photo of student protest at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument¬†via Wikipedia)

East Asia
Tony Chung

Hong Kong elections postponed amid repression

Hong Kong authorities announced they will postpone Legislative Council elections originally scheduled for September by one year, citing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. The postponement comes after several opposition candidates had been barred from running, and several democracy activists were detained under the new National Security Law. Tony Chung, 19, of the pro-independence group StudentLocalism, became the first political figure to be arrested under the controversial law. (Photo of Tony Chung: HKFP)

The Andes
sutesal

Peru next for regional protest wave?

Weeks after a nationwide uprising in Chile was sparked by protests over transit fare hikes in the capital, politicians in neighboring Peru are¬†issuing nervous warnings in the wake of days of street demonstrations in Lima. This week, students occupied Central Station on Lima’s Metro to demand subsidized transit fares,¬†workers marched to¬†oppose the privatization of the city’s water system, and hundreds protested the pending release of imprisoned right-wing political leader Keiko Fujimori.¬†President Martin Vizcarra took note of the threat of widespread unrest when he told the Annual Conference of Executives that Peru “is not free of protests” and must work to fight corruption and close the wealth gap.¬†But his prescription was for an “authentic” free market‚ÄĒprecisely the policies now being protested.¬†(Photo:¬†Diario Uno)

The Andes
Bogota protest

Duque starts dialogue after Colombia strike

Colombia’s President Ivan Duque has convened his National Labor Concord Commission to begin the “National Conversation” he pledged this week in a bid to quell a fast-mounting anti-government protest wave. Social leaders, mayors and departmental governors from across the country are to participate in the talks. The protests escalated when trade unions, including the giant Unitary Workers Central (CUT), called a nationwide general strike, and repressive measures by the National Police only fueled the mass mobilization. (Photo:¬†Hollman Morris via Colombia Reports)

Africa
Uganda protests

Uganda: military crackdown on student protests

Ugandan police and military troops have responded harshly to students protesting fee increases at Makerere University in Kampala. Human Rights Watch reports that troops have “fired tear-gas into student residences, raided dormitories, and beaten and arrested students.” Security forces have also been arresting journalists and detaining students for days without charge. The military says a board of inquiry has been set up to look into the campus violence, but¬†HRW demanded a full and transparent investigation. (Photo: Nile Post, Kampala)

Southeast Asia
Indonesia anarchists

Indonesia: inauguration amid revolt, repression

Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo was sworn in for a second term amid an official ban on protests, and Jakarta’s streets flooded with military troops. The inauguration was preceded by a wave of mass protests, led by students but joined by labor unions and radicalized anarchist youth. The demonstrations were sparked by a new law that weakens Indonesia’s anti-corruption agency, and another instating¬†such moralistic measures as a ban on extramarital sex. But anger was also directed at plans for a tough new criminal code, at troops mobilized to put down unrest in Papua region, and failure to stem forest fires in Sumatra and Borneo now causing toxic haze across Southeast Asia. (Photo: Anarchist Communist Group)

Central America
Costa Rica protest

Student strikes shake Costa Rica

A mass student protest filled the streets of San Jos√©, opposing new budgetary terms being imposed on Costa Rica’s public universities. The demonstration, which was also attended by staff and even rectors of the universities, was called after the Ministry of Finance ordered an increase in the percentage of the Special Fund for Higher Education (FEES) that goes to capital expenditures‚ÄĒwhich effectively means a cut in salaries for teachers and staff. Banners read “The education of our children is not up for negotiation‚ÄĚ and “Hands off the UCR,” a reference to the University of Costa Rica. University authorities and students did meet for several hours with government officials after the march in search of an agreement, while thousands of supporters maintained a vigil outside the presidential palace. President Carlos Alvarado, elected as leftist last year but now accused of imposing a neoliberal program, was among those who met with the protest leaders. (Photo: Poder Popular)

Southern Cone

Chile: Mapuche join protest mobilization

Leaders of Chile’s Mapuche indigenous people announced their support for the massive protests that are sweeping the country, saying they will press their demands for local autonomy in their traditional territories. Auc√°n Huilcam√°nn of the Consejo de Todas las Tierras (Council of All Lands) made the declaration in the city of Temuco, Araucan√≠a region, standing beside Marcelo Catrillanca‚ÄĒfather of a young Mapuche man killed by the paramilitary Carabineros last year, an outrage that sparked local protests. Camilo Catrillanca was shot in the back last November while working his lands in the community of Temucuicui. He had been driving his tractor away from an outpost of the Carabineros’ Special Police Operations Group (GOPE)‚ÄĒthe same elite force that now being unleashed on protesters in Chile’s cities. Four ex-Carabineros have been arrested in the case.¬†(Photo:¬†Soy Chile)

The Andes
Quito protest

Ecuador: celebration as protesters score victory

Celebrations broke out across Ecuador after President Lenin Moreno agreed to overturn Decree 883, which would have eliminated fuel subsidies. Moreno’s capitulation followed 10 days of nationwide protests that left at least eight dead, hundreds injured and more than 1,000 detained. Moreno and protest leaders are to open a dialogue to find other means to cut Ecuador’s public spending. (Photo: CONAIE via Twitter)

South Asia
Bangladesh protest

Death of water activist sparks Bangladesh protests

Thousands of university students have held protests in Bangladesh since the killing of an undergraduate student, Abrar Fahad, who was beaten to death at the prestigious Bangladesh University of Engineering Technology. Several campus militants of the youth wing of the ruling Awami League have been arrested in the slaying. Protesters say Fahad was slain over his Facebook post critical of a water-sharing agreement just signed between Bangladesh and India. Under the agreement, signed one day before the murder, India is granted the right to withdraw 1.82 cusec (185,532 liters per hour) of water from Feni River. Apportioning the waters of Feni, Ganges, and other rivers shared by the two nations has long been a point of contention. Despite recent moves to protect these rivers, flow is now gravely threatened by the receding of the Himalayan glaciers due to climate change. (Photo: AJ+ via Twitter)