Fragments from the streets: April 27
For reasons that may seem obvious, activists tried to keep Walmart from expanding in Mexico. Credit: Ryan
Fragments from the streets: April 27

Fragments from the Streets is our roundup of news from struggles and successes on the road to liberation. Here's some of this week's news you may have missed:


Defending the forest


The Cascadia Forest Defenders began a tree sit on Sunday in a section of Oregon forest that is scheduled to be auctioned for timber. The protesters are trying to expose the U.S. Forest Service's lack of transparency when it comes to selling land for logging projects.


So much for that board meeting


Hundreds of protesters on Tuesday disrupted Wells Fargo's annual shareholder meeting. Dozens of the protesters purchased Wells Fargo stock so that they could disrupt the meeting, which ended in 37 minutes.


Police removed two-dozen protesters from GE's annual meeting in Detroit on Wednesday. As the meeting started, protesters stood and chanted, “Pay your fair share!” GE is among the corporations who do not pay any federal taxes because of tax breaks.


Corporate bad behavior


Management at PG&E knew that a utilities worker spied on activists who opposed the company's smart meters, according to the California Public Utilities Commission probe. PG&E initially said that William Devereaux was a rouge employee who acted alone when he used a phony email address to collect information about a group that opposed the meters, because of concerns about the electromagnetic fields they generate.


The New York Times reported this week that Walmart bribed officials in Mexico early in the last decade in order to speed up the construction of stores. Company investigators uncovered more than $24 million in bribes throughout the country, which could be a boon to activist groups that oppose the mega-retailer.


Free the software


Free Software Foundation Europe sent handcuffs to more than 100 people worldwide to protest software vendor tie-ins and promote free, open source programing. Targets of the campaign included the Pope, Mitt Romney and Angela Merkel.


Marching for land rights


New Zealanders began a two-week-long march to protest privatization and overseas land sales on Tuesday. The ‘Aotearoa is Not For Sale’ march – locally known as a hikoi – is scheduled to arrive in Wellington on May 4. The group will stop in Auckland on Saturday, where a demonstration of about 10,000 people is expected to take place.



Zoo should spare elephant's life, activists say


Activists are asking officials to save the life of a zoo-bound elephant who killed the zoo's owner. The female elephant reportedly used her trunk to pick up Helen Schofield, and then squeezed the woman to death. The Auckland Zoo has taken over management of the smaller Franklin Zoo since Shoefield's death, and has not decided the elephant's fate.


Celebrating freedom?


Police held left-wing Israeli activists inside a Tel-Aviv building to prevent them from protesting during that country's independence day on Thursday. Protesters had planned to publicly read the names of Palestinian villages that had been evacuated or destroyed in 1948.


Hunger strike against nuclear power


Anti-nuclear power activists in Japan began a hunger strike on April 17, which they plan on continuing through May 5. The group is trying to bring international attention to that country's anti-nuclear movement.


Women take to Kampala streets in bras to protest officer misconduct


A police officer in Kampala, Uganda who squeezed a female opposition leader's breast during a political rally on Friday has been suspended from his duties, pending an investigation. Activists marched through the city topless on Monday, calling for a harsher punishment for the officer who assaulted politician Ingrid Turnawe.


Massive rally expected in Kuala Lumpur


Approximately 100,000 people are expected to attend a protest in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday to demand election reforms. Police earlier this month denied permission to hold the protest in Independence Square, citing safety concerns.


Shelling continues in Syria


Syrian activists say the government's shelling of opposition strongholds has continued this week, despite a U.N.-brokered cease fire.


We want to know what's inspiring or enraging you throughout the week. Let us know what you'd like to see in Fragments from the Streets by commenting below, e-mailing us at [email protected] or contacting us via Facebook or Twitter.


About author

Leslie's picture

Leslie Wilber is a journalist who has covered police misconduct, courts, high school sports and other disasterous things. She lives in Denver and is an editor at The Precarious.

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