Fragments from the streets: April 6
Land Day protests in Israel. Credit:
Fragments from the streets: April 6

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:


Exiled print maker and sculptor dies


Elizabeth Catlett, a sculptor and print maker who was forced to leave the United States during the McCarthy era, died on Wednesday, at the age of 96 in Mexico. Her work was known for its positive portrayal of black and Mexican women and she had ties to labor, feminist and civil rights movements.


'Clean zone' is a dirty proposal


The Tampa City Council has begun discussions of a “clean zone” that would restrict protests in a large swath of the downtown area during the Republican National Convention this year. The National Lawyers Guild and protest groups object to the clean zone and the chilling effect it would have on free speech.


Coke kicks ALEC membership


The advocacy group Color of Change won its campaign to get Coca-Cola to withdraw support from the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC comprises conservative law-makers and companies that gather for low-profile meetings in which they draft pro-business and other conservative legislation. Color of Change's protest was prompted by ALEC's push for voter ID laws. ALEC also has been behind laws similar to Florida's “stand your ground” law, which has been linked to disputes around the killing of Trayvon Martin.


Government must relinquish files, court says


A judge has ruled that the FBI must reveal evidence in a 1990 car-bombing case that injured two Earth First! Activists. Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney accused the FBI and Oakland Police Department of withholding evidence that could have uncovered suspects in the attack that injured them. The two accuse the FBI of trying to frame them for the bombing. The pair was traveling to college campuses talking about the destruction of redwood forests. Bari died of cancer in 1997.


Smoking out over-zealous law enforcement


Hundreds of medicinal marijuana activists rallied at San Francisco's City Hall on Tuesday, in opposition to the federal crackdown on marijuana dispensaries throughout the state. Although medical marijuana is legal and regulated under California law, those who grow, sell and use it are still subject to federal statutes.


Co-workers, activists demand release of woman from psychiatric facility


Protesters in Trinidad are calling for the release of a woman who was taken to an in-patient psychiatric hospital two weeks ago by force. The woman, whom co-workers describe as quiet, was seized from the office where she worked by three men and was injected with an unknown substance. Co-workers say that new managers may have been put off by the woman's odd demeanor, but that she was never violent or threatening.


World Cup 2014 could cost homes, according to protesters


The Homeless Workers Movement in Brazil announced Wednesday that it is planning massive protests ahead of the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament. The group already forced a work stoppage on the stadium being built for the game. The Homeless Workers Movement claims the World Cup will displace thousands of working families in the 12 Brazilian cities where the event is scheduled to take place.


Maybe a bike would be safer?


The Ugandan government has banned a group that organized “Walk to Work” protests against government corruption and the high cost of living. The government claims Activists for Change organize disruptive protests without police permission. Police have attacked protesters and doused them with teargas during recent Walk to Work marches. Activists for Change plans to continue its protests.


Marching to Israel for Land Day


Mass protests against the Israeli government last week commemorated the killing of six Arab Israeli activists in 1976. To mark Land Day, protesters will march to the Israeli border from surrounding countries.


Activist on hunger strike in declining health


A Bahraini activist who has been on hunger strike for 55 days is now in a hospital. Abdulhadi Khawaja is serving a life in prison for his part in last year's uprising against Bahrain's leadership. His supporters say his health is deteriorating and he is at risk of going into a coma.


Group seeks more electoral reform for Malaysia


Malaysian activists who lead a strike for electoral reform last year announced they are planning another rally this month. The Coalition for Free and Fair Elections says the limited reforms made to election laws are unlikely to stop voter fraud. The protest will be on April 28, in Kuala Lumpur's Independence Square.


Loggers shoot, kill protesters


A confrontation between indigenous activists and loggers in Panama left at least two people dead and three others with injuries on March 30. A group of Wounaan people were trying to burn logging equipment that was being used to harvest endangered rosewood when a logger began shooting at the group.


Land-rights activists killed


Activists fighting for sugar mills for land rights in rural Brazil say three people were executed at a landless workers' camp on Sunday. The group had just arrived at the camp by car when they were shot. Among the victims was a five-year-old girl, who survived. Her grandparents and one other person were shot and killed. One advocacy group, the Catholic Land Pastoral, says 1,150 land rights activists have been killed in Brazil over the past 20 years.


Greek retiree suicide sparks protests


A Greek pensioner shot and killed himself in Athens' main square, prompting more anti-austerity protests on Thursday. The 77-year-old retired pharmacist wrote in his suicide note that although he paid into the system for 35 years, it was impossible for him to survive on his pension check.


Damascus suburb under attack


The Syrian military attacked the Damascus suburb of Douma on Thursday, activists in that country say. Snipers are perched atop 20 buildings, shooting at people moving in the town below. The area was shelled for eight hours.



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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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