Cruise ships, Graffiti and Rioting !!

The three last cruise ships still sailing with passengers will dock today – the Costa Deliziosa,  the Pacific Princess and the MSC Magnifica,  –  making the whole of the World’s fleet of 1,400 cruise ships out of action at huge economic cost.

The MSC Magnifica left Europe on January 5th, and was in the other corner of the world when ports began to close. With nowhere to go, the Swiss-owned ship started the long journey home. Its passengers, used to a new port every few days, last felt land six weeks ago in Wellington New Zealand.

Our South America cruise on the Queen Victoria ended in Santiago, Chile on 29th February, and we had a further 2 days in the Chilean Capital Santiago before flying home to UK.

Whilst in Santiago, we visited the City Centre and old quarter several times. There were major street  demonstrations some of then violent with severe rioting. Many of these have been brutally repressed by the Police, using rubber bullets, and hundreds of protesters have lost eyes. The main demonstrations we saw were peaceful.

Whole neighbourhoods are covered in street art and graffiti, which has long been used as a means of mass protest. People have painted eyes red in a reference to the hundreds of protesters who have been blinded by projectiles shot by police.

The protests were originally triggered by a rise in the metro fare in the capital, Santiago, but soon became a much wider movement denouncing inequality in Chile, the high costs of healthcare and poor funding of education. The slogans daubed on the walls, such as “Piñera must quit”, reflect some of the anger at the government and the President, Sebastián Piñera.

Closer to Home

Since the Lockdown, we have been walking to our allotment, which includes open parkland and a wide tunnel under the M4 motorway in Newport, South Wales. We have noticed a significant amount of new graffiti, obviously not on the scale of Santiago, but clearly in response to the Coronavirus crisis. I wonder if this trend will continue ?

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Global Lockdown Riots and Protests

Rioting broke out in housing estates around Paris as tensions escalated over the coronavirus lockdown.

Footage posted on social media showed protesters hurling projectiles including fireworks, and police responding with tear gas and baton charges. Other videos showed several police cars and bins being set alight.

source Sky News

It isn’t just America that is seeing an anti-lockdown protest movement, as this weekend civilised Germany saw protests erupt against the government’s quarantine policies. Radical protestors from groups on the left and right took to the streets of Berlin to oppose the lockdown. Berlin’s protest movement even has its own newspaper, “Democratic Resistance” that claims to have a circulation of over 20,000…

Elsewhere in the world, tensions are rising:

  • Rallies across the 50 states of America, with the tacit support of President Trump, label lockdown measures as ‘tyrannical’.
  • Cities across Brazil saw hundreds of people take to the streets in protest of economic shut down.
  • Vancouver, Canada a protest slammed the quarantine as “martial law”.
  • Mumbai, India saw a significant protest of migrant workers against an extension of the lockdown.
  • Jaffa, Israel saw protestors erupt into the streets in opposition to a lockdown arrest.
  • Derry, Northern Ireland is to see a protest today against the closure of graveyards.
  • Beirut and Tripoli in Lebanon continue to see anti-Government protests swarming onto the streets, defying lockdown measures.

The lockdowns can’t last forever. Clearly communicated lockdown wind down strategies will prevent unrest growing in countries that are yet to see any…

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