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TOPIC: riots

This Happened

This Happened—November 30: WTO Seattle Give Birth To "No Global"

Updated Nov. 30, 2023 at 12:10 p.m.

The sometimes violent protests against the 1999 World Trade Organization summit in Seattle is considered the birth of the No Global movement, which sought to bring attention to the harmful effects of globalization, especially on the most vulnerable.

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Why The Riots In France May Push Macron Further To The Right

The riots and looting continue after the police shooting death of a 17-year-old in the outskirts of Paris. Already embattled over labor reforms, French President Emmanuel Macron's hopes to make peace with center-left allies are getting pushed aside by demands for law and order.

– Analysis –

PARIS – After surviving multiple strikes and street protests this spring against his reform to raise France's retirement age from 62 to 64, Emmanuel Macron was counting on something of a truce. The French President, who was reelected last year on a centrist platform, told aides to plan on a period of 100 days, leading up to the July 14th Bastille Day national holiday, to bring calm to the country and kick-start the projects of his second term that had been slow to take off.

Any such plans have been shattered by urban riots and a sudden surge of violence following the death of young Nahel M last Tuesday, killed by a police officer at a traffic stop.

For the past five days, the riots have continued, accompanied by looting, fires and attacks on public buildings. According to the Association of French Mayors, 150 mayors’ offices or other municipal buildings have been attacked since Tuesday, an unprecedented number.

The riots and looting have affected not only low-income neighborhoods on the outskirts but also the upscale centers of major cities, such as Marseille. With 45,000 police officers deployed every night, the government is implementing an unprecedented mobilization that even surpasses the measures taken during the 2005 riots.

This firmness seems to be paying off. A slight and fragile calm was observed the past two nights. However, the situation is far from being under control. A new threshold of violence was crossed Saturday night with the attack on the residence of Vincent Jeanbrun, the mayor of L’Haÿ-Les-Roses, near Paris, with the intention of setting his house on fire while his wife and two young children were inside.

Macron’s schedule has been disrupted with one urgent priority: restoring calm. After returning earlier than planned from the European summit in Brussels, he then had to cancel his state visit to Berlin. Last March, social tensions related to the pension reform had already led to the cancellation of the visit to France by King Charles III of England.

The government is doing everything possible to avoid giving the impression that the situation is slipping out of control despite the shocking images circulating on social media.

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French City Outskirts Ablaze, Again: What's Different From 2005

Small, mobile and organized groups of young people full of violence and hatred for the police: an emerging movement a far cry from the "banlieues" riots in 2005.


PARIS — In recent years, social unrest in France has taken on new forms, and colors, almost relegating violence in the urban outskirts to the background. "Red caps", "yellow jackets" and "black blocs" made the headlines, while the banlieues have seemed almost quiet since the 2005 riots sparked by the deaths of two teenagers who were hiding from the police. Sure, since then there have been plenty of clashes, but no riots, even during the strict lockdown in 2020.

But the powder keg was still there, and an all-too-familiar spark lit the fuse: police violence against a young man from the urban periphery. On Tuesday, an officer shot dead Nahel M., an unarmed 17-year-old of North African descent at a traffic stop north of Paris. Unrest erupted, with no signs of abating: According to the French interior ministry, 667 arrests have been made across France so far, as violence continues in Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Pau, Toulouse and Lille. Rioters faced off with police, as buildings and vehicles were torched and stores looted.

But some things have changed since 2005. Images posted on social networks, for instance, acted as an accelerant. "It all took off very quickly and very powerfully", noted a ministerial adviser. A single video of the incident — showing officers shooting Nahel M., in his car at point blank — has been seen and shared millions of times, spreading anger and fanning fury.

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Hard Lessons From Brazil’s Attack On Democracy

What do we make of the echos from the U.S. Capitol assault on Jan. 6? Will Lula be able to heal Brazil's democratic institutions?

Brazil’s democracy has survived. But just like the U.S. after the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, two years ago almost to this day, Brazil will have to overcome a political crisis that targets the foundations of its democratic system.

This dark Sunday for Brazilian democracy looks like the chronicle of a political catastrophe foretold. All of the elements that we saw during the wake of Donald Trump's presidency in the U.S. can be found in Brazil. And just like in Washington, a state that is finally more resilient than the insurgents thought — and above all, a military that did not respond to their calls.

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Hye-kwan Lee and Stanley Leung

A Bitter Road Back For Hong Kong Students Arrested During 2019 Protests

Thousands of students and young people were detained during Hong Kong's democracy protests in 2019. Now with criminal records, many are struggling to re-integrating into a changed society

HONG KONG — Shortly after his release from the Detention Center, Ah Tao received a phone call from his secondary school headmaster. The headmaster told the Hong Kong teenager that it might not be a good idea for him to continue his studies, and that there were some barista courses outside school he might as well try.

Tao did not respond to the suggestion, and hung up after a few pleasantries.

Back when he was arrested on the street in 2019, Tao had completed his third year, and the school promised to hold his place. However, they stated that if he committed any offenses again, he could be expelled. Tao was already prepared for such a phone call. At that moment, he felt strongly that he was just a young person who had broken the law, and even his school did not want him anymore.

In 2019, the Hong Kong government proposed an amendment bill on extradition that would allow the transfer of fugitives from between Mainland China and Hong Kong. The bill received widespread criticism, with fears it would hamper political dissent in Hong Kong and led to large-scale protests.

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Emeraude Monnier

Spain To Senegal To Brazil, 'Other' 1968 Movements To Remember

PARIS — Political conflict and social movements around the world in 1968 made it a year for the history books. The 50th anniversary of several signature episodes are being marked throughout this year, from the Prague Spring and monthlong French student uprising of May "68, to the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy in the U.S. and black power salutes at the Mexico City Olympics.

But the upheaval that year spread beyond just a handful of internationally iconic events. Among the other notable moments and movements of 1968 are four chapters that may not have made it into your high school history textbook:

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Watch: OneShot, May '68 — The Police

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the May "68 uprising in France, a political and cultural touchstone in the West and one of the most memorable confrontations of the Sixties. OneShot has produced a series of videos with the French public audiovisual institute INA from their photographic archives of the "May "68" events. This episode shows some of the 3,000 riot police officers called in to tackle the student riots in the Latin Quarter on May 6, 1968.

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Paris-to-Cairo Crash, Trudeau's Elbow, Godspots


An EgyptAir passenger jet has disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea during an overnight flight from Paris to Cairo. Greek aviation authorities believe the plane crashed off the Greek island of Karpathos in Egyptian airspace. Search and rescue operations are ongoing to try and find the wreckage and potential survivors. There are no immediate clues as to the cause of the crash, and authorities are not excluding terrorism as a possible culprit.

  • Flight MS804 was traveling with 56 passengers, as well as seven crew members and three security personnel. Among those on board were 30 Egyptians and 15 French, including one child and two babies. Egyptians and French officials exchanged condolences.
  • The Airbus A320 aircraft took off from Charles de Gaulle airport yesterday, shortly after 11 pm, local time in Paris. It went missing at around 2:30 am, 45 minutes before it was due to land in Cairo, and shortly after entering Egyptian airspace.
  • There was some confusion as to whether a distress signal was sent from the place. According to the BBC, the Egyptian army denied EgyptAir's early claims that a distress call was sent. Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail later explained there had been no "distress call" but that a "signal" was received from the plane.
  • It is too early at this time to say what caused the crash, but French Prime Minister insisted that "no theory could be ruled out." If experts suggest a technical fault is "improbable," some believe it might have been caused by a bomb, pointing to a terrorist attack as the "most likely scenario," AFP reports.
  • France's interior intelligence agency DGSI had warned only yesterday that France was "clearly the country the most under threat" by ISIS, six months after the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris and weeks before the country hosts the UEFA European championship. His comments came ahead of a planned vote in the lower house of Parliament today on whether to extend for a third time a state of emergency first introduced after the November attacks, Le Figaro reports.
  • In the days that followed the Paris attacks in November, investigators had uncovered the presence of potential Islamic extremists known to security services among employees of the Charles de Gaulle airport. Some of them even had access to planes and runways.
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Giacomo Galeazzi

Tor Sapienza, The Dumping Ground Of Rome Catches Fire

This neighborhood on the Italian capital's outskirts has erupted in clashes between longtime residents and undocumented migrants. It is part of a long and toxic history.

ROME — For decades now, Tor Sapienza has been the place in the Italian capital to hide what wasn't meant to be seen. After World War II, it was confiscated German munitions; today, it's undocumented immigrants, squatters in abandoned buildings and illegally dumped waste. It is a neglected and toxic neighborhood, in more ways than one.

This little-known enclave on the eastern outskirts of Rome made national headlines last week after violent demonstrations erupted. Stones and flares were thrown by longtime residents at the local migrant center, and garbage cans set on fire at a nearby Roma camp. It was quickly dubbed a "land of fire" at the gates of Rome, though few asked how it came to be.

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Jacek Żakowski

How Ukranian-EU Dreaming Looks From Poland

For one prominent Polish columnist, all the European Union's panting for expansion to the East may lead it to choke on its own ambitions.


WARSAW — “There can be no independent Poland without an independent Ukraine,” Polish activist and journalist Jerzy Giedroyc used to say. Though I fully agree, I must reject attempts to give this idea a broader meaning — in other words, that Polish national security depends on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union, or at least its sphere of influence.

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Viktor Khamraev and Natalya Gorodetskaya

Migrants Or Money? What's Really Driving Riots In Moscow

MOSCOW — In the wake of last weekend’s anti-immigrant riots in Moscow and the burning of a produce warehouse, the Russian government still seems to be holding on stubbornly to the idea that the problem is simply uncontrolled migration from the post-Soviet states.

The government has made frequent tweaks to the immigration laws in the hopes that it will resolve the problem, but experts say that focusing on immigration ignores the core issue: a true demand for labor, preferably cheap labor.

Even under the planned Soviet economy, there was always a demand for plentiful cheap labor. In Moscow, for example, “During the harvest season there weren't enough hands to harvest vegetables,” recalls Viktor Nechiporenko, a professor at the Russian Academy of Agriculture and Social Service.

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