Czech protesters inflamed by police role for Communist MP

Thousands of demonstrators brought the centre of Prague to a standstill on Monday night in a display of anger over the appointment of a communist-era riot squad officer to head the Czech parliament’s police watchdog.

Chanting “communists are murderers” and “we have had enough”, protesters held sheets of paper rolled up to resemble police batons in an expression of indignation over the installation of Zdeněk Ondráček, a Czech Communist party MP, as chair of the parliament’s general inspection of security forces commission.

The choice of Ondráček to head a sensitive committee overseeing police wrongdoing was confirmed in a parliamentary vote last week despite objections that he had served in a unit that beat up pro-democracy demonstrators in the 1989 Velvet Revolution before the fall of communism in what was then Czechoslovakia.

Monday’s protest coincided with simultaneous demonstrations in 10 other Czech cities and towns, including the second largest city, Brno.

Macedonians protest against name change deal with Greece

Thousands of flag-waving protesters chanted “We are Macedonians” at a rally in the Macedonian capital against a possible change to the name of the former Yugoslav republic to comply with a demand by Greece.

The protesters organised by the “We are Macedonia” movement gathered under a statue of the Hellenic ruler Alexander the Great in Skopje’s main square on Sunday.

Congo refugees in Rwanda say soldiers shoot and wound at least two during food protest

Congolese refugees in Rwanda said soldiers shot at them and wounded at least two people on Tuesday as the refugees tried to march out of their camp in protest at a cut in food rations.

A government minister denied the account.

Refugees said around 2,000 people from the 17,000-strong Karongi camp in western Rwanda marched out of the camp to protest a 25 percent cut that began last month in the rations provided by the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR).

The agency made the cuts saying it faced funding problems.

Corsica’s nationalists stage protest ahead of Macron visit

Thousands of Corsicans marched in Ajaccio, the French Mediterranean island’s capital, on Saturday to demand more autonomy, ahead of a visit by President Emmanuel Macron next week.

An alliance of Corsica’s two main nationalist parties, helped by disillusion with mainstream parties tarnished by corruption, swept to victory in a local election on Dec. 10 and has been pressing for talks with Paris.

Its leaders want more autonomy on fiscal issues, equal status for the French and Corsican languages, and the limiting of the right to buy property in some areas to people who have been resident on the island for at least five years.

Congolese security forces kill six while dispersing anti-Kabila protest.

Congolese security forces shot dead at least six people and wounded dozens more as they fired tear gas to disperse a protest against President Joseph Kabila organised by the Catholic Church on Sunday, a U.N.

Peacekeeping mission in the country said. As well as Kinshasa, protests erupted in the central Congolese diamond-mining town of Mbuji-Mayi, in the eastern cities of Goma, Lubumbashi and several other places.

Ethiopia Waldiya: Five killed by police at religious festival

At least five people have been killed in the country.

They were reportedly shouting anti-government slogans. Many were injured in the town of Waldiya.

Angry protesters have blocked roads and businesses are closed.

Ethiopia there have been nearly three years of exhibition demonstrations in Ethiopia.

Hundreds of activists were released from jail.

The deaths happened during the second day of Epiphany celebrations commemorating the baptism of Jesus

Anarchists, farmers and environmental activists on Nantes

Police are deploying extra forces to western France as the government prepares to decide whether to build an airport that has mobilized nearly a decade of sometimes violent protests.

Anarchists, farmers and environmental activists have occupied a vast area around Notre-Dame-des-Landes, outside the city of Nantes, to resist the proposed airport.

Protesters from other regions have reportedly arrived in recent days.

A police official said Wednesday that extra gendarmes and riot police are being sent this week to the area, because police plan to try to clear out the protesters once the government makes a decision.

Strikes and protests hit Greece

Over 6,000 people demonstrated in the capital in protests against the reforms, as parliament adopted controversial reforms demanded by the country’s creditors, including curbs on industrial action.

Some protesters threw paint and pieces of masonry at riot police guarding parliament.

The police fired back with tear gas.


Photo: Reuters

Italian police violently disperse anti-fascist protesters

A group of anti-fascists and anarchists consisting of between 250 and 300 people attempted to reach the area where the far-right demonstrators were holding their rally, but police blocked their way.

The anarchists then threw thunder-flashes at the officers, prompting them to respond, the local Gazetta di Modena said.


Violent protests in Buenos Aires

A trade union-organized march in Buenos Aires descended into violence Thursday, with thousands of protesters clashing with police as they demanded lawmakers reject a controversial pension reform plan.

Riot police used water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets against demonstrators, who threw stones and burned barricades made of rubbish outside the doors of Argentina’s congress.


Photo: Pic Clarin