Government of Denmark proposes bill further limiting residential concentration of “non-Western” people
Reducing the allowable concentration of residents of “non-Western” descent in neighborhoods to 30% and the availability of public housing in designated neighborhoods to 40%, Interior Minister Kaare Dybvad Bek claims the measure is intended to avoid the emergence of “religious and cultural parallel societies.”
The current version of the bill removes the controversial term “ghetto,” the legal classification for a neighborhood of more than 1,000 residents in which more than half were of “non-Western” origin and exhibiting other indicators of disadvantage (such as high unemployment or crime rates).
Fifteen neighborhoods currently fall into that classification, where crimes carry stiffer punishments and parents are required to enroll children over the age of one in day care or face loss of public financial support.
LGBTQ+ center in Accra closes after police raid, public outrage
A community center opened by LGBT+ Rights Ghana was temporarily shut down following a police raid and outcry and harassment from religious leaders, government officials, and anti-LGBTQ+ organizations.
Opened in January, the center provided paralegal services, counseling, and education to the queer community in Ghana, despite homosexuality still being criminalized in the country.
The attendance of Danish and Australian ambassadors at a fundraising event led authorities to accuse the center of being a front for European intervention and an imposition of non-Ghanaian values and beliefs.
Azerbaijan capital hosts virtual festivals showcasing LGBTQ+ artists and filmmakers
The two-week Queer Art Festival brought together local artists over the theme “Queer x Azerbaijan – My Body, My Identity, My Heritage,” exploring queer and feminist issues in a landscape historically inhospitable to both.
In-Visible presents international queer films and educational workshops organized by Salaam Cinema, an independent cultural space in Baku and community for Azerbaijani artists and filmmakers.
Locked out of the government-funded arts system, queer artists in Azerbaijan depend on a network of activist organizations as well as the support of international organizations and foreign embassies.
Canadian government assigns terrorist designation to far-right groups
The Proud Boys and the Atomwaffen Group join a list of dozens of organizations—primarily Islamist groups—that the Canadian government has classified as “terrorist entities” in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in the United States.
The designation enables seizure of the assets of the group and its members, movement restrictions, and the criminalization of material support, which civil liberties groups criticize as governmental overreach and, ironically, facilitating harm against religious and racial minorities.
In the wake of the January 6th events, Canadian Proud Boys chapters have seen their online presence evaporate, with webpages and social media platforms where they were active—such as Parler—shuttered.
Demands for government to deal with far-right extremism grow in Australia
Groups such as the now-defunct United Patriot Front and the Lads Society and the current National Socialist Network have created space for White nationalists in Australia to organize both online and offline.
All 27 currently listed terrorist organizations are extremist Islamist groups, despite the fact that the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (AISO) reported that far-right terror accounted for 40% of its caseload; in the two decades since membership in a terrorist organization was criminalized in response to the 9/11 attacks in the U.S., no far-right group in Australia has been classified as a proscribed organization.
The increasingly transnational dimensions of far-right organizing have posed a particularly difficult challenge, including the influence of the mainstreaming of far-right politics in the U.S. and fallout from the 2019 Christchurch massacre in which an Australian national killed 51 in an attack on the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre.
Recent anti-Asian violence in U.S. extends pandemic trend
Metro areas from coast to coast have seen an explosion in anti-Asian hate incidents since the beginning of the pandemic, including cities such as Oakland, San Jose, and New York.
Between 1,800 and 2,500 incidents of anti-Asian harassment, discrimination, and violence were reported through August 2020, ranging from vandalism and verbal abuse to physical attacks and homicide.
President Joe Biden recently signed a memorandum condemning anti-Asian bias and discrimination, pledging support from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice, and other executive agencies.
Revelations of surveillance regimes in China detail wide range of repressive projects
An investigation of a database used by the Ürümqi City Public Security Bureau and the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau reveals elements of the internment regime, the use of informants, and the monitoring of phone, financial, medical, and online records of Uyghur residents.
The investigation follows recent revelations of the development of facial recognition technologies designed to identify ethnicity and flag individuals for authorities.
Officials routinely detain Uyghur individuals as “preventative” security measures, often using trumped up accusations of religious extremism that effectively criminalize religious activities and other cultural practices.
Sex workers protest social restrictions and police violence in Malawi capital
The Female Sex Worker Association (FSWA) took to the streets of Lilongwe, petitioning the government to address police brutality and the economic effects of new COVID prevention measures.
Protesters claim police have targeted sex workers in the wake of new restrictions on nightlife and socializing, showing up at their homes and physically assaulting them.
As COVID cases and deaths in the country have spiked in the new year, the FSWA has argued that the unequal treatment of social activities has endangered their already fragile livelihoods and access to critical health resources.
Internet blockages and hunger strike mark continuing conflict between Indian farmers and government
Tensions between farmers and the government have continued as encampments of tens of thousands, tractor parades, clashes with police, and a recently organized hunger strike have unfolded across the country, from New Delhi to Ghazipur.
The interior ministry announced that internet services on the outskirts of New Delhi had been temporarily suspended as protesting farmers continued to flock to the capital from around the country.
After a Sikh protester unfurled a religious flag during Republic Day clashes, pro-government media seized on the spectacle to deride the protests, and anti-Sikh sentiment has begun to disrupt—at least in part—popular support for the protesters.
Since November, the farmers’ movement has been protesting economic reforms that they argue benefit large agribusiness firms and private buyers over smaller producers, endangering their already precarious livelihoods.
Israel’s hailed COVID–19 vaccination campaign continues to exclude Palestinians
While the Israeli government has received significant praise for having vaccinated nearly a quarter of citizens, millions of Palestinians have been excluded from its vaccination campaign.
Israeli and Palestinian officials have pointed to different international agreements that render one or the other responsible for public health, but regardless of responsibility, the starkly unequal global distribution of vaccines has significantly inhibited Palestinian authorities’ access to vaccine doses (as Israel is significantly richer and more influential).
The Palestinian Authority is expected to receive vaccines in the coming months through COVAX, a WHO-coordinated humanitarian program.
Bolsonaro referred to Hague tribunal for ecocide and crimes against humanity
A Paris-based lawyer submitted a request for a preliminary tribunal on behalf of two prominent Indigenous leaders in Brazil, alleging environmental crimes and anti-Indigenous actions.
Under Bolsonaro, the Indigenous affairs agency has been stripped of land-oversight powers, incursions and raids on reserved land have more than doubled in the last two years, and poor COVID–19 response has left Indigenous people, already disproportionately affected by the disease, especially vulnerable.
On the environmental front, deforestation has accelerated to levels not seen in more than a decade, key environmental protections have been rolled back, and fines for environmental crimes have decreased by nearly 50%.
Ethnic Armenians targeted by violence flee Istanbul
As conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan has proliferated in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, anti-Armenia sentiment and demonstrations have targeted the small community of citizens and immigrants of Armenian descent in Istanbul.
Some in the community have begun relying on underground transportation networks to flee the country, with memories of the early-20th-century genocide of Armenian people in Turkey fueling fears of escalating conflict.
A close ally of Azerbaijan, Turkey closed its border to Armenia in 1993 in response to Armenia’s administrative incursion into the disputed territory, currently recognized internationally as a part of Azerbaijan.
Global Protests: #BlackLivesMatter / Anti–Police Violence
Nearly four years ago, Outlas published a catalog of media coverage focused on global protests connected to the burgeoning #BlackLivesMatter movement. Today, the murder of Black American George Floyd by the police has re-galvanized demonstrations across the world’s continents, promoting diverse forms of solidarity across movements focused on affirming Black lives, eliminating racism, and ending police violence.
Floyd’s death is one among many that have pushed people into the streets of cities from Honolulu to East Jerusalem, drawing together accounts of the criminalization of people of color and other minority groups around the world. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, protesters around the world have gathered to interconnect their causes, demonstrating the resilience of a global anti-racism and anti–police brutality movement despite the lull in media coverage in recent years. This collection has gathered more than 150 articles, statements, and multimedia stories documenting the recent surge in protests and their interconnection.
A number of media outlets have mapped the development of demonstrations around the world and compiled media and accounts from protests, summarizing the connections between the diverse sites and expressions of solidarity journalists have uncovered.
The U.S. has experienced more than a week of protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. His death was the latest in a series of events that had drawn attention to ongoing violence and threats of violence faced by Black people in public space across the U.S., from racist vigilantism in Georgia to a dead-of-night police break-in and murder in New York. Protesters across all 50 states mobilized to contest police violence, prompting spectacular forms of police repression—including tear-gassing, beatings, tasing, and shootings—captured on video and circulated across social media platforms.
Canada has experienced its own widespread condemnation of police violence in the U.S., organizing massive demonstrations from Vancouver to Halifax in honor of the memory of George Floyd. Participants have also drawn attention to recent fatal incidents involving police—including the recent death of Afro-Indigenous woman Regis Korchinski-Paquet—and the disproportionate effects of police violence experienced by Black and Indigenous Canadians and other Canadians of color.
Afro-Latinx, Afro-Caribbean, and allied Latin American communities have also expressed solidarity with Black Americans, highlighting both the ongoing forms of marginalization experienced by Afro-descendant people in Central American countries and the complex relationships to racism across the Caribbean. Brazil, in particular, has been grappling with an entrenched police brutality problem that overwhelmingly threatens Afro-Brazilians—particularly those living in poor communities. The recent killing of 14-year-old João Pedro has reignited protests, with demonstrators drawing explicit connections to anti-Black police violence in the U.S.
Massive protests across Europe have centered not only the injustice of George Floyd’s death, but also ongoing forms of racism across the continent. In France, George’s death scratched at the wound of the 2016 murder of Adama Traoré in a suburb of Paris. In the UK, protest participants were quick to shut down any attempt to distance the UK from U.S.-style racism, highlighting ongoing discrimination experienced by Black communities in the country. Whether in the commemoration of colonial leaders responsible for the death of millions of Africans or stubborn denials of institutional racism, contemporary manifestations of racism drew the ire of demonstrators of all backgrounds.
Solidarity with protesters in the U.S. found diverse expression across Africa and the Middle East, from a mural in the rubble of an obliterated Syrian building to an open letter signed by dozens of African writers demanding accountability and pressuring African governments to do more. African political leaders, for their part, took the rare step of condemning the situation in the U.S.. But activists across the region also worked to draw attention to local police brutality problems as well, including the killing of autistic Palestinian Iyad Halak by Israeli border security and high levels of violence against women (both by police and by others not held to account by police) in Nigeria.
In the Asia-Pacific region, a range of responses to unrest in the U.S. has emerged. In a tit-for-tat with the U.S. government, Chinese officials have used the situation to draw attention to human rights violations in the U.S. as the U.S. has condemned China for its crackdown on protesters in Hong Kong. Elsewhere, police brutality has been a longstanding issue with respect to the treatment of indigenous communities. Thousands of protesters across Australia and New Zealand expressed solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement while also integrating the long history of anti-Indigenous violence into their calls for change. Similarly, the outbreak of protests in U.S. and the resurgence of global anti-racism consciousness provided an opportunity for activists and members of the Papuan diaspora to highlight the ongoing discrimination and violence experienced by indigenous Papuans at the hands of the Indonesian government.