Riots break out in Papua New Guinea

24 March 2017 – The head of the Salvation Army in Papua New Guinea says riots that swept through the main streets of capital city Port Moresby on Friday caused “great devastation” to people who already had so little.

Territorial Commander Colonel Kelvin Alley said he watched on helplessly as vital community services like the supermarket, medical centre, dentist and chemist burnt to the ground.

“These places where people had jobs, jobs that were probably the only income to a large extended family. Gone,” he said in a statement on Friday.

“The street rumour is that the fire was started deliberately.

“If so, it is a crime against people who every day face the injustices of poverty and deprivation, who often seek out a living on the streets and markets, but who depend on these vital services.”

Col Alley said although the situation had eased, the city’s Boroko region had experienced “great devastation”.

“Now that calm has been restored, we are left with this terribly empty feeling due to the totally unnecessary loss and destruction of not just buildings, but buildings that represent vital services to people who desperately need them,” he said.

Col Alley described looting during the riots as “astounding”, with hundreds of people taking part in order to get their hands on free goods.

It’s unclear what prompted the riots.

Kathy Testh, who works at the Mapang Missionary Home a few blocks away from the riots, told AAP she woke up to the sound of gunshots.

Ms Testh said she drove to a meeting only to return to find the main roads cordoned off and being manned by armed guards, to stop more people entering the area.

Col Alley said several Salvation Army staff had taken ill after smoke inundated the buildings, located on the same street as the riots.

“Almost the entire business block across the road has been destroyed, unnecessarily by raging fires, rampant looting and out of control crowds,” he said.

He said the Salvation Army was committed to supporting the community to rebuild.

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Sydney: Four arrested as protesters clash with police outside Villawood detention centre

25 March 2017 – Protesters have camped outside Villawood detention centre overnight despite the arrest of four people yesterday.

The riot squad was called in at 3.30pm after an initial group of 30 protesters grew to around 70 and began blocking traffic on Birmingham Road.

Police said the group, who were gathered at the detention centre to protest the deportation of a 60-year-old Iraqi man identified only as Saeed, began to impede traffic in and out of the facility.

“This is kind the kind of horrible rise of racism we’re trying to fight here,” Josh Lees, a protester from the Refugee Action Coalition, said.

“We want to see a world of equality and justice not a world of division and hatred and racism.”

Protesters allegedly ignored several move-on directions from police and tried to break a police line, which was formed to allow traffic flow into the facility, just before 7.30pm.

Two men and two women were subsequently arrested.


 

The protesters allegedly tried to break the police line.

The two women, aged 25 and 29, were later released for breaching the peace.

An 18-year-old man, who was chased down a storm drain before being arrested, was charged with assaulting police and resisting arrest. He was granted bail and is expected to front court on April 12.

A 25-year-old man was issued with  a Field Court Attendance Notice for assaulting police.

A police officer suffered minor injuries during the protest.

A small group of demonstrators camped out overnight at the detention centre to continue the protest.

One protester said they were “physically” trying to stop the deportation of the man.

“We’re trying to physically prevent a deportation of man who, if he is deported, his life is at risk,” she said.

“We’re not protesting, we’re actually trying to stop our government from violating international law.”

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection today confirmed Saeed will be deported.

Sydney: Seven arrested after riot against cops

19 March 2017 – Four men and two women have been charged with various offences after allegedly rioting against police who were trying to break up a fight in Sydney’s inner west.

The group of men and women ignored police orders to move on when officers arrived at the Leichhardt street early Sunday.

A riot soon broke out after some of the members tried to stop police attempting to arrest a man who allegedly tried to grab an officer’s gun.

The group was pepper-sprayed but started throwing beer bottles towards police and their cars.

Seven of them were arrested after the riot squad was called in.

Four men were charged with affray and various other offences including resisting police and malicious damage.

One woman was charged with affray and another was charged with assaulting police.

A 25-year-old man was released pending further inquiries.

Perth: Anti-Hanson protesters clash with police

9 Mar 2017 – Protesters have crashed a Pauline Hanson campaign event in Perth, clashing with the far-right senator’s supporters and police.

At least one person was arrested in the protest outside the Paddington Ale House, where Senator Hanson held a campaign event on Thursday evening.

Dozens of police lined the entrance to the Mt Hawthorn pub to allow Hanson’s supporters to enter the One Nation event to cries of “shame” from the protesters.

There were several scuffles as Ms Hanson’s supporters tried to wade their way through the vocal crowd.

Among the crowd of One Nation supporters was 18-year-old Tyler Walsh, who said he thought the protesters were hypocrites.

“I just think the protesters are a bit hypocritical because they have all the signs out saying ‘fascism’, ‘racism’, but really they’re the ones being the fascists and stopping us from having a good time here.”

Outside the pub, Zoe Zarzycki told journalists that she attended the protest to show the rest of Australia that Senator Hanson’s policies were not welcome in the West.

“I think her policies are fundamentally racist, sexist and and anti-queer and they’re not coming from any place of reasoning, it’s just hatred,” Ms Zarzycki said.

“We’re here to let people know that its not OK and most Australians are not OK with Pauline Hanson, that even while One Nation has gained support, there’s so much push back.”

Senator Hanson told journalists that she expects WA Nationals leader Brendan Grylls will lose his Pilbara seat to One Nation, which also expects to pick up the Nationals-held Kalgoorlie.

Indonesia: Prison riot erupts in Jambi

2 March, 2017 An uprising broke out at Jambi Class II A Penitentiary on Wednesday evening. Several inmates became violent, burning down the prison’s canteen and meeting hall. The riot erupted at around 9 p.m. local time and lasted until midnight.

The riot began when inmates in drug and general crime blocks rejected anti-narcotics operations that would be conducted by Jambi-chapter National Narcotics Agency (BNN) personnel and attacked the officers.

The inmates later poured out of their cells and began to burn the canteen and meeting hall. Police and military personnel were dispatched to suppress the riot.

Six male inmates got shot by security officers. One of the police officers deployed was wounded by stones thrown by the inmates. Those injured were taken to a nearby hospital. Meanwhile, female inmates were moved to other rooms deemed safer.

“No injuries or fatality were reported in the riot,” Jambi Police chief Brig.Gen. Yazid Fanani said on Thursday. Police and military personnel are still on guard at the location.

Yazid said mediation between representatives of the government and the prison’s inmates had been conducted following the incident. During the mediation, representatives of the inmates urged the government to replace Jambi Prison warden Djarot Sugiarto.

Citing complaints of inmates in the prison, they said many of his policies, such as poor access to health care services for those who were ill, had inflicted losses upon the inmates. This was one factor that triggered a riot in January.

Jakarta, Indonesia: Report from the Anti-Trump Protest Action at the US Embassy

A report about the protest action against Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban on 04.02.17  that was organized by Anarkonesia, Persaudaraan Pekerja Anarko-Sindikalis (Anarcho-Syndicalist Workers Association) and Antifa Jakarta (Jakarta Anti Fascist).After being organized and announced in only a week, the solidarity and protest action against the USA’s elected president’s Muslim Ban policies, spontaneously proceeded quite well according to plan.

Around 25-30 participants from the three groups were involved in direct action by marching from the assembly point at Galeri Nasional to the main action point in front of the USA Embassy building. Besides the three groups –which were the main organizers and initiators —there were also other individuals who were also involved in the action. They came from many groups with different backgrounds, such as the women movements, LGBTQ , PLHIV, progressive Muslim groups, advocate organizations for West Papua, War on Drugs victims, Shia Muslims, students, foreign citizens (including several citizens of the USA), and also Indonesian citizens themselves.

Anarkonesia itself is a local anarchist collective (the members come from Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi), its members come from many variants of anarchism, while the PPAS is a local syndicalist association, which means the organization has more focus in the anarcho-syndicalism. And of course, we absolutely understand the Antifa as a strategic confrontation group against fascism.

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At 10AM that day, these groups met each other in front of the Galeri Nasional bus station, then marched to a city park near the Embassy. Media persons and a group of police officers were already there. Using many attributes and also direct verbal messages, the anarchists explained the characteristics and the revival dangers of fascism movements in the wider scale, and in specific situational context in Indonesia: about how massive the growing of civil intolerant organizations based on religion, ethnicity and nationalism in Indonesia which are known to have a close relationship with the Government –such as Front Pembela Islam (Islam Defense Front).

There were many comments about the number of the participants which was considered too little if compared to other mass actions several times before, which held to protest and to block a strong candidate of Jakarta Governor who comes from a minority ethnic and religious background. We need to explain simply, that the situation regarding the Governor election (and also the president election two years ago) are big events which significantly affect the spread of intolerant political activities. This electoral practice of political contestation –which will meet its highest level in the middle of February– is considered so rotten and not a good reflection of a healthy democracy in Indonesia. It also will become a bad precedent for political education in Indonesia.

Although in local scale, this Jakarta Governor Election itself actually has made polarized a division among the people on a national scale. It is because Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia. And the other reason is obviously because the issues that have been ‘played’ in this contestation: ethnicity, racism, and religion issues. There are two big groups who attend this competition. They are the Bhineka group (people who fight for so-called unity in diversity –including the liberals) versus intolerant groups based on ethnic, racial and religious background. The movement scale of these two groups is quite massive. The increased use of internet technology and social media have given rise to a significant impact and massive growth of mass illusions in this proxy war. The state’s interest of hegemony –also with the capitalists, obviously—seems shrouded in this war. There is a big gap between the movements of each groups. The intolerant religious groups have already started their movement for at least 20 years. On the other hand, the democrats and liberals movement –which the leftists always feel sorry about—are very weak at the grassroots level. While the right wing is expanding and taking over the spaces which are not touched by the opposition, instead of fighting back, the opposition got weaker and even drowned in scepticism, pacifism and alienation as a result of the production and consumption pattern of capitalist-economy society, which has made them end up as a silent majority.

This low understanding of class consciousness has been predicted and understood by the anarchists, so we, the anarchists, are not trapped in mass-supporting illusion as shown in the process of planning and organizing. Illusion, which looks so on fire in their fight to get public participation through their supports, slogan and existence which wanted to be seen as mass representation. Instead, the anarchists see this phenomenon as a part of collective work in increasing and growing the class consciousness. Not by becoming a vanguard, but through taking the initiative and working together with autonomous-individuals who are developing their class consciousness via class struggle.

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As a part of propaganda process in public space, in the end, this action has finally triggered many responses , comments, debates, discourses about fascism, capitalism and of course anarchism at a national level, which used to be thought of as a taboo thing to talk about. The anarchism movement itself can be counted as a new thing in Indonesia. The anarchist movement had its highest level of introduction in the middle of the 1990s, with the massive growth the of punk music scene, with its ups and downs, and also the betrayal history of the authoritarian left wing party (Partai Rakyat Demokratik). This can be a thing to being studied in history that always taken place within the anarchism movement on an international level. Moreover, we also have to consider the dark history (or propaganda) of the left movement in Indonesia many years ago, which makes almost all Indonesian people have a bad impression of everything that is connected to socialism/communism.

Anarkonesia and the PPAS are completely new groups in the left movement in Indonesia, having been around for just over one year. But, several individuals who are involved in both groups have been involved for many years in the Indonesian left movement. The Antifa Jakarta also started recently after we rebuilt the organizing activities from bottom to top. Considering these facts and situations, these groups together design a movement step-by-step and consolidations which are accountable and responsible. Direct actions in the field are concrete application of theory which always being educated.

The people see and asked to get involved concretely and consciously in organizing activities of protest against fascism and capitalism. From the beginning, the struggle is absolutely based on decentralized and autonomous distribution of power and freedom to the individuals collectively; a free association that connected one another. Direct democracy through meetings and discussions is the soul of this movement. Any fight against repression, no matter how small it is, is a must. Revolution must be picked up and we must do it in daily steps and daily scale. The proletariat workers unite in consciousness to fight and to destroy the exploiting capitalism order and their fascist alliances.

For any question and responses or networking here’s our contacts on Twitter: @anarkonesia @JktPpas @antifaJKT

Long live the movements.
Long live anarchism.

Jakarta, in front of the USA Embassy,
February 4th, 2017.

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