This is our 10th instalment of watching the world continuously and without fail fuck itself up the ass. This week, the world's downtrodden citizens decided to fight back and give the man a taste of his own medicine. Well, at least that's what the Chinese, the Colombians, and the ever-reliable Syrians did.
The Chinese have a long and unfortunate history of staging protests that are put down extremely brutally by the trigger-happy people who rule over them, but that doesn't seem to have stopped them from getting really fucking angry at their government and its plans to build a 70-mile sewage pipeline through a residential neighborhood in Qidong City.
This past weekend, tens of thousands of local residents gathered in the area's main square to register their discontent against the 150,000 tons of sewage that are about to be pumped into the sea nearby. The group then marched towards the home of local government, where protesters clashed with police and ransacked buildings, destroying documents and overturning police vehicles. As you can see in the above photo, some of the protesters managed to corner some police and give them a good beating. As you can see in the photo below, the police later got their revenge :(
All in all, the protest was deemed a success, as it actually forced the local government to do a U-turn and they scrapped the project.
Famous for its cocaine, Shakira, and donkey lovers, Colombia isn't exactly the most reputable South American country. But last week, its reputation was further tarnished when some irate tribespeople armed with nothing but sticks and their fists assaulted an army base and managed to evict all the soldiers. Which, I hope you will agree, is FUCKING BAD ASS. The large group of Paez tribespeople attacked the Colombian army outpost after growing tired of the clashes between the army and FARC guerrillas fighting over the Cauca reserve that the base sits on. Although successful in clearing the soldiers from the base, the move somewhat backfired when the army accused the Paez of collaborating with FARC. The army then returned to regain control of the area, which resulted in further clashes with the locals and the death of one of them. Hey, here's a thought: Maybe the army should spend less time killing innocent, fed-up civilians and concentrate on ridding the region of its narco-traffickers and its guerrillas? Jus' sayin'.
In case you are wondering, Tajikistan is one of the 'stans of central Asia, sitting uncomfortably above Afghanistan. Once part of the Soviet Union, it gained independence in 1991 and immediately fell into a widely ignored and forgotten civil war between the government and Islamist opposition forces that claimed the lives of around 100,000 people. Last week, clashes reopened again in the restive Gorno Badakshan region that is considered to be a hub of drug smuggling and, not uncoincidentally, a stronghold for opposition strongman Tolib Ayombekov. The fighting between government forces and Ayombekov's rebels occurred after a top security official was stabbed to death and Ayombekov, blamed for his demise, refused to surrender. The violence has engulfed the regional capital of Khorog and so far over a hundred people have died and scores more have been wounded. Nato will be looking on anxiously as they have key air bases in the capital, Dushanbe, and will be worried about a resurgent Islamic militancy. Are we seeing Tajikistan fall back into civil war? And if so, who's gonna care about it?
The West's favored authoritarian Arab regime makes its first entrance into this column by engaging in its favorite pastime: oppressing its Shia minority.
On Friday, Shia protesters marched in the city of Qatif, protesting the detention of Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr and other protesters at demos that happened earlier this month. The protesters took to the streets early on Friday morning, setting fire to tire road blockades, while police opened fire with live rounds, wounding several. The protesters fought back with stones and Molotov cocktails, but then withdrew from the onslaught. The Saudi regime has been combating the restful Shia minority for decades, but with the advent of the Arab Spring, they've been forced to crack down harder, in an attempt to avoid the fates of Bahrain, whose Shia majority is still fighting against its government.
The attention on the conflict in Syria has shifted to Aleppo, Syria's biggest city and largest trade hub, where one of the fiercest battles of the revolution is playing out. For a week, the regime has been besieging the areas controlled by the rebel Free Syrian Army with artillery and fighter jets, forcing 20,000 residents to flee the city in fear.
So far, the FSA have managed to hold the regime at bay even though they're outnumbered and outgunned, but only time will tell whether they'll be able to hold out much longer. This has prompted an appeal by the Abdelbasset Seida, leader of opposition group the SNC, who said: "The rebels are fighting with primitive weapons. We want weapons that we can stop tanks and planes with. This is what we want. Our friends and allies will bear responsibility for what is happening in Aleppo if they do not move soon." An appeal that seems to have been heard, as yesterday NBC reported the rebels had taken delivery of 20 shoulder-mounted, anti-air missile launchers. Assad's air superiority is looking less firm now.
In other news, another worrying development is taking place within the opposition, as foreign Jihadis are moving into the country to fight the regime. There has been speculation of a Jihadist involvement in the uprising for months now, but as the FSA began to use more and more IEDs, a well-practiced Jihadi tactic learned by the insurgency in Iraq, suspicions grew. However, it seems that last week's kidnapping of British photojournalist John Cantlie and his Dutch colleague Jeroen Oerlemansan by foreign Jihadis for ransom, and their subsequent release prompted by the FSA's intervention, is proof of the presence of these fighters. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Oerlemans said: "They all claimed they came from countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh and Chechnya, and they said there was some vague `emir' at the head of the group." This poses a problem for the FSA, who are desperate for people to stop calling them "terrorist gangs" because it might complicate any future possibility of international intervention. Not that there seems to be much chance of that anyway at this point.
Finally, Sky got hold of some footage of the FSA killing some captive Shabiha, the much feared and hated and muscled pro-Assad militia. This has been going on for months, but it's one of the first times it's been captured on film, and shows the hatred felt for the Shabiha but also the desperate depths this war is heading into.
Check back next week to see whether any sort of global revolution has been achieved. If so, I'll be throwing the bourgeoisie into a pit of sarlacc. If not, I guess I'll still be writing this column.
Follow Henry on Twitter: @Henry_Langston