Idle No More protesters make good on threats to shut down Canadian infrastructure
Making good on threats to shut down infrastructure across Canada, flag-waving, drum-beating protesters marched Wednesday under the banner of the Idle No More movement as they set up blockades snarling traffic and halting trains across the country.
In Windsor, Ont., about 600 marchers — one of the largest of the protests — took to one of the city’s links to Detroit, the Ambassador Bridge, backing up commercial traffic beyond city limits.
The so-called national day of action created tension outside Edmonton where protesters blocked the main artery between the Alberta capital and Calgary. One driver in a large blue pickup truck slowly edged their way through the blockade as protesters jumped on the truck’s hood before finally letting the driver pass. No one was injured during the confrontation.
With minor exceptions, the protests were peaceful and went off without incident.
More than one chief who spoke out in Windsor, however, put the federal government on notice that, should it not heed the call to meet and discuss treaty rights with Canada’s indigenous leaders, protesters would return with much larger numbers. (Photo: John Woods; Robin Rowland/The Canadian Press)
First Nation leaders to meet as Idle No More movement ‘becoming more volatile’
First Nations leaders are meeting today to clarify the demands of hunger-striker Chief Theresa Spence, in the hopes of getting closer to a resolution of recent unrest.
National Chief Shawn Atleo is meeting several key regional chiefs from the area surrounding Spence’s Attawapiskat reserve in northern Ontario.
Spence’s spokespeople said Wednesday in a written statement that the situation “is becoming more volatile” with each passing day that Prime Minister Stephen Harper doesn’t meet with Spence.
At the same time, Atleo has issued what he calls an urgent invitation to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Gov. Gen. David Johnston to meet chiefs on Jan. 24 _ the one-year anniversary of Harper’s summit with First Nations. (The Canadian Press)
‘Help! ‘Enough Europe!’ Man takes austerity protest direct to God by climbing Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica
VATICAN CITY – An Italian man clambered onto a ledge on the huge dome of St Peter’s Basilica on Tuesday to stage a precarious protest against Prime Minister Mario Monti and the European Union.
Video footage showed the man, identified as Marcello Di Finizio, jumping over railings near the top of the 137-m- (450- ft-) high dome on Tuesday afternoon, shocking visitors taking a tour. He then tied a cord to the railings and abseiled to a ledge over a window in the cupola. (Reuters)
Tens of thousands of Greeks take to the streets in largest anti-austerity protest in a year
Greek police clashed with hooded rioters hurling petrol bombs as tens of thousands took to the streets of Athens on Wednesday in Greece’s biggest anti-austerity protest in more than a year.
Violence erupted after nearly 70,000 people marched to parliament chanting “We won’t submit to the troika (of lenders)” and “EU, IMF Out!” on the day of a general strike against a new round of cuts demanded by foreign lenders. (Photos: AP Photo; AFP/GettyImages)
Nearly nude students take to Montreal’s streets to protest tuition hike
Striking students stripped down to their birthday suits and an astonishing array of red underwear to protest, yet again, against Quebec’s proposed tuition hikes.
The symbolism of the nearly nude event was featured in the chants the students shouted out as they marched through Montreal’s Plateau neighbourhoold: “Tout nu dehors, jusqu’a la victoire,” which translates to naked outside until victory, but doesn’t rhyme in English. (Photos: Vincenzo D’Alto/Postmedia News; Christinne Muschi/Reuters)
Colorful May Day parades worldwide
The First of May was celebrated around the world as Labour Day. And although this year’s celebrations had a sour note due to ever-deepening economic crisis and cross-breeding with the Occupy movement, they were mostly colorful and cheerful affairs. In some parts the parade was an opportunity to voice a dissent with the government’s labour policies. In other, it was just a celebration. (Photos: Reuters; AFP/GettyImages)
A protester sprays anti-government graffiti during clashes in Bahrain, on April 26, 2012. Protesters attacked a police station with fire bombs and riot police responded with teargas and stun grenades after thousands of mourners visited the grave of Salah Abbas Habib, 36, who was found dead on Saturday after disappearing during fighting between protesters and police. (Photos: Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters)
Montreal police and protesters rage through the night as tuition march turns violent
Montreal is waking up to a morning of smashed windows, vandalized cars and questions about how a protest degenerated into yet another violent clash between police and demonstrators.
Anger over a short lived effort to put an end to the tuition crisis through negotiations bubbled over Wednesday night when a hastily-organized demonstration turned ugly and police used batons, pepper spray and percussion bombs to disperse the crowd.
After two hours of peaceful protest, police declared the march illegal and the situation unravelled quickly. A car was set on fire at a major downtown intersection and chaos ensued as the police started to push the crowd back using whatever tools they had in their arsenal. (Photos: Dario Ayala, Allen McInnis/Postmedia News)
Graeme Hamilton: Striking Quebec students fail the test of democracy
As the strike by Quebec university students, now into the 10th week of protests against government plans to raise tuition fees drags on, the likelihood that some students will lose their entire semester grows. If they’re going to learn anything from the experience, let’s hope it’s that intimidation tactics and disregard for the rights of others have no place in a true democracy. (Photos: Dave Sidaway, John Kenney/Montreal Gazette; Mathieu Belanger/Reuters)
Peter Goodspeed: Dying as a political act: Centuries-old Buddhist tradition of self-immolation continues in China
“This was not the random act of a disturbed individual, but rather a single manifestation of a deeply rooted set of ideas and ideals in Chinese Buddhism that blossomed again and again in the history of pre-modern China.”
Photo: Tibetan exile Janphel Yeshi, 27, runs as he is engulfed in flames after he set himself on fire to protest an upcoming visit to India by Chinese President Hu Jintao, March 26, 2012, in New Delhi. Yeshi suffered life-threatening burns. (AFP/Getty Images)
Photos of Greece in turmoil: Protesters riot over EU austerity measures
While Greece’s politicians battled it out in parliament on Sunday to decide whether to accept deeply unpopular austerity measures that are required to secure an EU/IMF bailout, in Athens, crowds of protesters fought a much more violent battle for hours against the police over the same thing. (Photos: Reuters)
Greeks fight back against austerity
Greek workers went on strike against austerity measures on Friday, docking ships and halting public transport, hours after eurozone finance ministers said Athens needed to make more cuts to convince them to release a financial bailout.
Before they release more aid, Greece’s financial backers have demanded parliamentary ratification of the new austerity package this weekend, the identification of a further 325 million euros of spending reductions by next Wednesday and a strong commitment from all parties to implement the reforms.
But it may be a demand too far. Many Greeks, already suffering from five consecutive years of recession, are increasingly angry about the measures, which are unlikely to help an economy, where one in five is unemployed, shops close one after another and households are tightening their budget.
The central Athens Syntagma square, in front of parliament, echoed with loudspeaker calls to rally against the measures: “No to layoffs! No to salary cuts! No to pension cuts! Do not bow your heads! Resist!” (Photos: Reuters)