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Please begin with an informative title:

Yesterday was a day of protests, small and large.

In Los Angeles they came out to protest a proposed law making it illegal to feed the homeless.

 photo homelessness-not-a-crime_zps7dc947a6.jpg

Hundreds gathered Saturday to speak out against what they called an attempt by the Los Angeles City Council to ban people from publicly feeding the homeless...

"I believe that food is a right and everyone should be entitled to it regardless of their housing situation," said Andy MacKenzie, a protester...

While many residents in Los Angeles want the homeless out of their neighborhoods, many charity groups want to retain the right to feed homeless people outside.

All over the country proposals to make it illegal to feed the hungry are being proposed and some are making it into law. Not in My DownTown (NIMDT) laws are so repugnant that it is impossible for me to even write about them without seething.

 photo renisha-oakland-2_zps2eae9824.jpg

One hundred people gathered in East Oakland, California, protesting the death of Renisha McBride, a young black woman from Detroit, Michigan blown away by a shotgun-wielding white man after knocking on his door for help.

Shanikka would be proud, as speaker after speaker demanded the end to the murders of black and brown youth precipitated by racial fears and militarized police.

 photo renisha-oakland-1_zpsb2f87c5f.jpg

In Mexico, many defied the government's recent hike in transit fares of 67%

 photo mexico-city-turnstiles_zpsa404643f.jpeg

Fares on the Mexico City subway jumped 66.7 percent after remaining unchanged for years, sparking protests in a least a dozen stations, authorities said...

In several subway stations, young people have taken control of the entrances so passengers can go through without paying and, waving their banners, they distribute leaflets explaining why they consider the fare increase unjust...

I've never really understood why public transportation isn't free.  You'd think there'd be some place of significance in the world where it was free, but no place of note wants to give it a try (forgive me, Emeryville, CA) - although I believe it's been proposed in San Francisco.

In Spain, the government is considering an anti-protest law, an Orwellian statute making it illegal to protest without the permission of those being protested. Large crowds came out to protest against laws prohibiting protesting.

Spain anti-protest protest D14, 2013 photo spain-anti-protest-protest_zpsb1c30a65.jpg
Madrid, December 14th.

Thousands took to the streets of Madrid Saturday to protest against a proposed law that would, among other things, impose stiff fines on illegal demonstrations...

"The voice of the people is not illegal," protesters shouted as they were met by 1,250 riot police, TVE reported...

Under the proposed law, unauthorized demonstrations in front of the Parliament building carry a fine of up to 30,000 euros.

A similar law is being contemplated in Mexico.
The Human Rights Committee in Mexico's Congress has approved a proposal restricting protests in Mexico City, the scene of continuing demonstrations against President Enrique Peña Nieto's energy and education reform packages.
Draconian restrictions on protest were passed in Montreal in 2012, and of course the United States does not allow protests "without a permit" despite the 1st amendment's plain meaning that peaceful assembly is allowed without restriction. More and more countries seem to be moving in the direction of "allowing" protests only "if approved." Let's face it - if you have to petition the government you are protesting for a permit you do not have real freedom to protest.

Finally in Kiev, Ukraine, hundreds of thousands are protesting the government's decision - in opposition to the majority will of the people - to halt negotiations with the European Union and join a Russian Customs Union instead.

From the Daily Kos front page:

Polls of Ukrainians taken throughout recent months show solid pluralities or majorities in favor of the EU Association Agreement, and a strong preference for joining the EU over joining the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.
Over and over we see the failure of alleged representational democracies to represent the majority-by-a-large-margin will of the people. In Australia on marriage equality. In Spain, the United Kingdom, Greece and other countries we see the overreach of austerity. In the United States the list is effectively endless: background checks, minimum wage, banksters, employment discrimination, alternative energy, military spending vs other government outlays.

What would the world look like if its human affairs were really driven by the people's wishes?


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Originally posted to jpmassar on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 05:14 PM PST.

Also republished by Kossacks for the Homeless Person, Occupy Wall Street, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, SFKossacks, and Progressive Policy Zone.

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