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By Robert A. Vella

Democracy is dying.  Virtually everywhere we look around the world, authoritarians are on the rise.  Even worse, the centrist neoliberal establishment – which was ironically born from democracy – is both unprepared and unwilling to stop it.  What remains is the last few embers of resistance flaring up in hotspots such as Hong Kong, Russia, and the U.K.  In the U.S., even the last wisps of smoke have dissipated as the once proud and principled American people have accepted their fate and are joyfully singing “don’t worry, be happy” on the aft deck of their sinking country.  Here’s today’s news:

From:  Hong Kong Protesters Clash With Police After Defying Ban

HONG KONG — Crowds of masked protesters in Hong Kong defied official warnings, set fires in the streets and battled the police on Saturday in the most intense clashes since prodemocracy demonstrations here began in June.

As government helicopters hovered above the city, the riot police fired tear gas, pepper spray and water cannons at protesters outside government offices and the Chinese military’s local headquarters. Some in the crowd threw firebombs at police barricades.

The police pumped blue-dyed water into knots of protesters, starkly marking them to make it easier for officers to make arrests. And by nightfall, a makeshift barricade that protesters had erected across a road had been set on fire, sending a plume of black smoke through canyons of skyscrapers and blinking neon signs.

From:  Russians demand free elections in Moscow, defying protest ban

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A few thousand Russians took to the streets of central Moscow on Saturday to demand free elections to the capital’s city legislature on Sept. 8, defying a ban which has been enforced with violent detentions during previous protests.

Weeks of demonstrations over elections for the city legislature have turned into the biggest sustained protest movement in Russia since 2011-2013, when protesters took to the streets against perceived electoral fraud.

From:  Thousands protest British PM Johnson’s move to suspend parliament

LONDON/BELFAST (Reuters) – Thousands of people across Britain and Northern Ireland protested on Saturday against Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament for about a month before the deadline for the country to leave the European Union.

From:  Two million face statelessness as India publishes citizenship list

Almost two million people in northeast India were left facing statelessness on Saturday after the state of Assam published a citizenship list aimed at weeding out “foreign infiltrators”, in a process the central government wants to replicate nationwide.

A total of 31.1 million people were included in a National Register of Citizens (NRC), but 1.9 million were deemed ineligible, according to the Assam government. A large chunk of those excluded were expected to be Muslims.

From:  Trump stresses legal actions over confidentiality in wake of Westerhout firing

President Donald Trump on Saturday stressed his ongoing legal battles to keep details of his administration’s inner workings from emerging in books and press reports following the firing of his personal assistant.

[…]

Trump’s attack on his former White House adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman followed the firing of his personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, who was let go Thursday for revealing to reporters details of her relationship with Trump and his daughters.

Trump also appeared to rebut a report by the New York Times stating that Westerhout did not sign a non-disclosure agreement.

[…]

NDAs are not typically signed by federal workers as they’re thought to be public servants who are not beholden to any individual, which would include White House staff. Any agreement is therefore not easily enforceable.

From:  FBI uses ‘red flag’ law to seize weapons from former Marine who threatened to ‘slaughter’ antifa

The FBI exercised Oregon’s new “red flag” law to confiscate firearms from a former Marine who allegedly said he would “slaughter” antifa protesters at a demonstration in Portland earlier this month, according to the Oregonian.

In July, Shane Kohfield threatened to kill antifa members who he feared would take up arms against right-wing activists. He made the threats on a loudspeaker while donning a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap with a knife and a copy of his concealed carry permit strapped to both shoulders.

Robert F. Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan stabbed in prison

Detective who was handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald dies [i.e. James Leavelle]

Kentucky newborn becomes 38th U.S. child to die in hot car this year

Illinois Rep. Shimkus won’t run for reelection (i.e. John)

Newsom and top California lawmakers strike a deal to cap rent increases

19 thoughts on “As democracy dies, the last embers of resistance flare up in Hong Kong, Russia, and U.K. – but not in U.S.

  1. “In the U.S., even the last wisps of smoke have dissipated as the once proud and principled American people have accepted their fate and are joyfully singing “don’t worry, be happy” on the aft deck of their sinking country.”
    ~ Well expressed, Robert. One young mother of a four-year-old recently confided that she’s scared for her daughter’s future, but don’t know what to do about it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Our western spectator democracy, which reduces politics to a never ending soap opera – will the POTUS be impeached? Will Bercow outsmart Boris? Will Merkel survive her next meeting with a foreign leader? – is the very antithesis of active citizenship. Unfortunately as long politics is void of all substance (e.g. how should we deal with climate change? How do we address child obesity?), few people will see the need to be actively involved in politics.

    Liked by 4 people

    • That’s very true, but it isn’t the whole story. If the problem was just due to the way the news media covers politics, I’d be encouraged because that would be simpler to fix. The more complex and difficult problem is the worsening distrust of government and declining civic engagement particularly among young people which is a cultural rather than institutional phenomenon. Changing the hearts and minds of an entire generation (or two, or three) is no easy task.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. It’s one giant reality TV soap opera. We all play very minor parts and are made up of those who really care and do a little, even if it’s just voting. And those who are totally oblivious and apathetic. And finally, those who willfully deny what is going on (the trump cult) and are proud of their obstinance and hate everything liberal progressive and reasoning and logical, not to mention the end timers and their own brand of derangement.

    Liked by 3 people

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