The Swedish media flagship Dagens Nyheter gives us daily illustrations of some of the main thesis in Herman & Chomskyâ€™s Manufacturing Consent. DNâ€™s selection of news to publish is thoroughly conscious and consistently carried through. The purpose is apparently to keep people focused on the â€œrightâ€ issues (in both senses).
A demonstration against the government by a few hundred people in Moscow makes a front page headline, as does riots in eastern China and other popular manifestations directed at the correct targets. For nearly two months now DN has almost daily covered the demonstrations for democracy in Hong Kong (quite well motivated in my opinion), but during that time â€œforgottenâ€ about mostÂ other instances of unrest not fitting the proper political agenda.
It could be a hazardous tactic to consciously conceal important events in that manner. Today we have access to media of all kinds on the Internet, and it may be apparent for a growing number of people that our â€œfree mediaâ€ is just as biased as state monopoly media in a non-democratic country might be.
Some recent riots havenâ€™t appeared at all on DNâ€™s web edition as far as I have observed (some may have been awarded half a dozen lines in the paper edition, I donâ€™t know). US readers may think that no newspaper can be more mainstream than New York Times, but that paper is an enlightened wonder compared to DN. So instead of paying a fortune to get a provincial and biased paper in the mailbox each morning, one has access to international papers on the InternetÂ free or almost free.
Here are some important protests and manifestations that I had to go to rt.com to read about:
Kiev October 14
A mass nationalist protest near the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev has turned violent, with 15 policemen wounded and at least 50 rioters arrested. Radicals are demanding â€œwar veteranâ€ status for armed nationalist rebels who fought for the Nazis in WWII.
On Tuesday afternoon, an estimated 8,000 far-right activists gathered at the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) as MPs considered a bill that would recognize members of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) as war veterans. Frustrated by parliament’s decision, protesters then attacked police with rocks, firecrackers, and chains.
Violent clashes outside parliament forced Speaker Aleksandr Turchinov to cancel the Rada session halfway through. Because of the â€œprovocative actions by young people,â€ parliamentarians failed to consider a number of bills.
Recognition of the UPA â€“ which has been accused of war crimes including the killings of Jews and Poles in Ukraine â€“ and its leaders, Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevich, remains a controversial issue in modern Ukraine. The country is divided between those who consider them national heroes and others who strongly oppose their cause â€“ including WWII veterans. Tuesday marked the anniversary of the UPA, which also triggered rallies in several of Ukraineâ€™s major cities â€“ including Lvov, Kharkov, and Odessa.
France November 1
Riot police clashed with protesters rallying against police brutality in several French cities after the death of an ecology activist, apparently caused by a police stun grenade. At least 100 protesters were arrested and 9 people injured over the weekend.
Following the death of 21-year-old ecology protester RÃ©mi Fraisse, rallies took place in Nantes, Toulouse, Lille, Bordeaux and Avignon on Saturday, as well as in Paris on Sunday.
In eastern Paris, 66 protesters were arrested as local media reported attacks on police and possession of unauthorized weapons. A crowd of protesters also staged a peaceful sit-in front of the Eiffel Tower.
The Nantes and Toulouse demos turned particularly violent, with masked and hooded protesters throwing projectiles and tearing down street signs. Security forces retaliated by firing tear gas and rubber bullets at the crowds.
At least nine people – including four police officers – were injured in the confrontations, and 34 arrested, according to the interior ministry. Demonstrators hurled acid-filled bottles and stones at security forces, wounding an officer, Henri-Michel Comet, the regional governor, told Reuters.
Brussels November 6
Violent clashes broke out in Belgium as more than 100,000 protesters marched in Brussels against the governmentâ€™s austerity measures. Police deployed water cannon as dockworkers, metalworkers and students took to the streets.
The violence flared up at the end of an otherwise peaceful protest, with tear gas deployed as some radical demonstrators hurled objects at riot police and launched attacks with the barriers against the officials. Some set off colored smoke flares.Â At least 14 people were taken to hospital following the violence, according to national daily HLN.be.
The Belgian government which assumed power just a month ago has caused unrest with promises to raise the retirement age, cancel a wage rise in line with inflation and cut health and social security benefits – moves that undermine the country’s welfare state.
â€œThe signal is clear. People are angry, livid. This government’s policies are totally unbalanced,â€ ACV union chief Marc Leemans told Reuters.
More protests are planned, including weekly regional strikes from November 24 and a national strike for December 15.Â The mass-action is also seeing a work slowdown which is having a detrimental effect on public institutions such as schools and post offices, as well as the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge.
Berlin November 9
Clashes and arrests marred the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, as several hundred left-wing activists met far-rights in the city center. The latter were rallying in commemoration of the 1938 Kristallnacht Nazi attacks against Jews.
On Sunday, left-wing activists held a non-sanctioned demonstration near the capitalâ€™s Alexanderplatz train station against the fall of the Berlin Wall, while most Berliners were commemorating the 25th anniversary of the event.
Meanwhile, nationalist activists gathered for a demonstration to commemorate the attacks of the Kristallnacht – or the â€œNight of Broken Glassâ€ – when in 1938 the Nazi authorities launched a series of coordinated attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and Austria. Police made several arrests in attempts to disperse the crowd. Following the clashes police switched to riot gear.
Mexico November 10
Protesters in the Mexican state of Guerrero have torched the ruling party’s regional headquarters as part of their demonstrations to achieve justice for the 43 missing students who disappeared in September.
The attack on the regional headquarters of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) building in Chilpancingo is the latest violent protest to explode in Mexico over the incident. In a separate incident, protesters also blocked the airport in the city of Acapulco. The protests at the airport began on Monday with thousands of demonstrators blocking its entrance for three hours.
Tuesday’s protests come just three days after demonstrators attempted to storm the National Palace in Mexico City, setting the doors on fire after failing to get inside. They were eventually driven away by police, though there were a number of arrests and injuries.
Warsaw November 11
At least 276 people were arrested and just under 50 injured after clashes broke out in Warsaw. Polish nationalists took to the streets to mark the nation’s National Independence Day, throwing flares and stones at officers, who responded with water cannon.
Tens of thousands marched through the Polish capital Tuesday with many carrying the national flag, while flares and firecrackers were also let off. The march was attended by extremist nationalist groups, such as the Radical Camp and the All-Polish Youth.
For the fourth consecutive year the procession turned violent, with a group breaking away as they crossed a bridge over the Vistula river and reached the eastern bank, near the Polish national football stadium. According to Reuters, they tore up paving slabs and benches from a nearby bus station and started to throw them at police, who were dressed in riot gear.
Law enforcement officers responded by approaching the rioters and using a water cannon truck to push the marches back onto the bridge in the direction they had come. Some outlets report rubber bullets and tear gas was deployed.Â Up to 23 police officers and 24 protesters were wounded in the clashes, while at least 276 people were detained, according to TASS.
Italy November 14
Egg-throwing, red paint and police batons marked a fresh heating-up of countrywide protests over impending social reforms in Italy, as the striking political left was joined by other members of society in major cities.
Transportation chaos and injuries occurred in some of the countryâ€™s major commercial and cultural hubs â€“ from Rome and Milan, through to Naples, Padua, Turin, Bergamo, Genoa, Pisa and Palermo.
The rallies are the latest in a series of protests over Prime Minister Matteo Renziâ€™s reforms â€“ most notably the Jobs Act, which gives employers much more freedom to hire and fire employees. They are infuriating an increasingly large number of people amid an atmosphere of joblessness. There is also spillover into other complaints, including those directed at immigrants.
The largest gatherings took place in Milan, where riot police were attacked with flares, before charging the crowds with batons.
The proposed government reforms have been drawing hundreds of thousands of Italians onto the streets since October. They are taking place amid a decline in large industrial firms and dwindling public services. The reforms are expected to pass parliament by the end of the year.
Athens November 17
About a dozen people have reportedly been injured in clashes with riot police outside the US embassy in Athens following mass protests marking the 1973 revolt against the US-backed military junta, in which 40,000 people took part.
Over 70 arrests from various parts of Athens were made after clashes broke out following the mass march, according to social media sources. Police fired tear gas at groups of youths who hurled stones and plastic bottles while burning US and EU flags.
The clashes came just after 40,000 students, workers, and pensioners marched from parliament to the US embassy. The protesters â€“ who accuse the US of backing the 1967-74 military dictatorship â€“ shouted â€œEU, IMF out!â€ while marching. The demonstration takes place every year, with activists marching to denounce the alleged role that US intelligence agents played in the military dictatorshipâ€™s rise to power.
London November 19
Thousands of students are marching on the UK parliament on Wednesday in the biggest student action in four years. The protest, called by the National Campaign Against Fees & Cuts, is demanding an end to budget cuts and to restore free education.
Contingents of students have arrived in the capital from at least 40 UK towns and cities. Further nationwide days of action have been announced throughout December