Posts tagged Riots
Riots in the streets
State troopers have been deployed at all gas stations along the NJ Turnpike and Garden State Parkway, where dwindling gasoline supplies are causing frayed nerves as the region endures its third full day with massive power outages.
Frustration with gas supplies topped the list of issues causing tensions to boil over in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, the states hardest hit by power outages in the wake of superstorm Sandy. Residents jockeyed for fuel at the few stations still pumping, searched store shelves in vain for batteries, struggled with sporadic cell phone service and found themselves unable to buy necessities at supermarkets.
Gasoline, in heavy demand for both cars and home generators, had customers waiting in line for hours and losing patience throughout the Garden State, as well as in New York, and Connecticut. In Wayne, N.J, police reported breaking up angry confrontations at gas stations throughout the day on Wednesday. In Brooklyn, tempers flared outside a Getty station, with drivers getting out of their cars and exchanging angry words.
“I don’t have any lights and need this gasoline for my generator,” Abdul Rahim Anwar told Reuters as he waited at a Getty service station in Gowanus, Brooklyn.
Officials said more than half of all gasoline service stations in the New York City area and New Jersey have been shut down because they are either out of fuel or don’t have power to operate pumps. In addition, pipelines and refineries have been shut down due to storm damage. More than 80 percent of stations in New Jersey were unable to sell gasoline as of Wednesday, according to the New Jersey Gasoline, Convenience, Automotive Association.
“Troopers have been deployed to monitor the operational gas stations at the rest areas along the turnpike,” New Jersey State Police Sgt. Adam Grossman told FoxNews.com.
Residents of southeastern Connecticut were driving more than an hour north to find stations with power to run their pumps. One attendant there said tension becomes especially raw when people wait in line to fill gas cans, as opposed to vehicle tanks.
“You’re waiting in line for five friggin’ gallons of gas!” he said.
At an Exxon station in Northvale, N.J., where a line of cars stretched for a third of a mile late into Wednesday night, and another line of men waiting to fill red jerry gas cans inched along,
“I’ll wait here all night,” said Barry Levin, 42, of Cliffside Park. “I need this for my family.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie moved to increase supplies of gasoline and diesel by waiving requirements that make it harder for stations to buy from out-of-state suppliers. The waiver will be in place until Nov. 7.
“When shortages threaten after natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy, fuel buyers need to venture farther from state borders to ensure that their customers get the gasoline and diesel they need,” Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff said. “Temporarily suspending licensing is a prudent way of empowering merchants to buy fuel farther from the state line, boosting supplies for New Jersey motorists who need fuel to get to work and do their jobs.”
Kevin Beyer, president of the Long Island Gasoline Retailers Association in Smithtown, N.Y., said customers would be even more frustrated if they considered that the gas they need is underground – it just can’t be pumped.
“I have gas in the ground but no power,” Beyer said. “For many others they’re facing the opposite problem, with power but no gasoline. For the few stations that are lucky enough to have both they’ve got huge lines out front.”
Beyer estimated it could take until the end of next week to get all fuel stations operating again.
For now, the flow of precious fuel has slowed to a trickle and that has customers nerves frayed. Patch of Mendham-Chester, N.J., reported that a scuffle broke out Wednesday between two men bearing empty gas cans when one of the men filled his pick-up truck with gas after topping off his gas can. Shortly after he finished, the computer controlling the pump went dead, and a long line of hopeful customers was turned away.
Rivaling the demand for gas was the scarcity of D batteries, the kind most flashlights use. Virtually every store in New Jersey, New York City and Long Island was cleaned out, and there are reports of them selling for as much as $5 apiece.
At Lowe’s in Orange, N.Y., a manager said he and other employees – many without power in their own homes – have stayed in nearby hotels just to keep the store open and running.
“You see the worst in people at a time like this,” he said. “We’re trying to be there for them, but they get angry when they can’t get batteries or flashlights. I tell the staff not to take it personally – people are hurting.”
Supermarkets with their own generators managed to stay open and offer even perishable items. But other grocery stores went dark, or offered their customers an even more frustrating proposition: For instance, at the ShopRite supermarket in Neptune, N.J., food and supplies could be had – but customers were required to provide exact change.
Other targets of frustration are the utility crews working to restore power. With the daunting task of repairing nearly half of all service in New Jersey and as much as 80 percent on Long Island, local power companies are getting help from out of state. But that doesn’t stop angry calls to company offices and even occasional confrontations on streets – when utility workers can even be spotted. The Long Island Power Authority advised customers angry at a lack of visible LIPA crews that many working to restore electricity to Long Island have come from out of state and are using personal vehicles. source – Fox News
BEIRUT — Deadly clashes erupted in Syria on Friday as activists estimated that 500,000 protesters filled the streets to demonstrate against the government of President Bashar Assad. Activists said 32 people were shot dead as Arab League officials continued monitoring the situation on the ground.
One Arab League monitor told an angry crowd that his team’s job was only to observe, not to help them remove Assad, live video on Al Jazeera showed on Friday.
“Our goal is to observe … it is not to remove the president, our aim is to return Syria to peace and security,” he said, speaking over a loudspeaker from a podium at a mosque filled with protesters in the Damascus suburb of Douma, where Friday also saw troops fire tear gas at protesters who threw rocks at them.
But the observer, who did not give his name, said he promised to convey the protesters’ sufferings.
“From what I have heard there is blood being shed,” he said. “That is for sure.”
A team of around 60 monitors has already arrived from a delegation that should ultimately number 150 and is expected to inspect Syria for about one month. They will check whether Assad’s forces are implementing a peace plan that calls for an end to a crackdown on anti-government revolt.
Activists say they believe many monitors are pro-government or that they feel it is too difficult to communicate with the team away from government escorts. Inside the Douma mosque, the restless crowd seemed suspicious of the monitors. source – MSNBC
Russia’s ‘Arab Spring’? Clashes break out in Moscow
Police clashed Tuesday on a central Moscow square as demonstrators tried to hold a second day of protests against alleged vote fraud in Russia’s parliamentary elections.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party saw a significant drop in support in Sunday’s election, but it will still have a majority in parliament. Opponents say even that watered-down victory was due to massive vote fraud.
Russia’s beleaguered opposition has been energized by the vote, staging its biggest protests in Moscow for years.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated U.S. suggestions that Sunday’s election was neither free nor fair. Russia’s Foreign Ministry later branded U.S. criticism “unacceptable.” Meanwhile, Republican Senator John McCain offered Putin a warning on Twitter: “Dear Vlad, The Arab Spring is coming to a neighborhood near you.”
Egypt Islamists threaten demos if poll fraud found
The Muslim Brotherhood, the biggest winner in the first round of Egypt’s elections, has threatened to take to the streets if there is any attempt to manipulate results.
The group, a moderate Islamist movement banned for decades under the rule of deposed autocrat Hosni Mubarak, gained 36.6 percent of votes cast on November 28-29 for parties in a new lower house of parliament.
“We will take to the streets if there is any cheating in the elections or manipulation of the constitution,” its leader Mohammed Badei told Egyptian television in comments reported by the press on Tuesday.
A new constitution is to be drawn up next year once a lower and upper house of parliament have been elected by March.
The new civilian powers are set to face a fierce struggle with the army, which has already indicated it wants to retain many of the privileges of the Mubarak era, including oversight over military-related legislation.
Badei stressed “the Muslim Brotherhood does not want a monopoly on power,” repeating its stated position that it favours participation of other parties in a coalition.
The first round of voting in the multi-stage election wraps up on Tuesday, with Islamist parties including the Brotherhood and hardline Salafist groups winning about two-thirds of votes.
There have been various problems with the election, the first since Mubarak was toppled in February.
On Monday, the election commission dramatically revised down the turnout level from 62 percent to 52 percent and said results from several polling stations would be withheld because of violations. source – Yahoo News
Defiant Egyptians converge for ‘million-man march’
CAIRO — Egyptians converged on Cairo’s central Tahrir Square on Tuesday in response to a call for a so-called “million-man march” as protests against the country’s military rulers entered a fourth day.
Thousands of Egyptian protesters have been camping out on the square and clashing with police trying to force them to leave.
They hoisted a giant Egyptian flag and chanted slogans on Tuesday, evidence that an offer of resignation by the civilian Cabinet the day before has failed to quell the spreading unrest. Egypt’s state TV reported that three people were killed overnight in the eastern city of Ismailia, raising the overall death toll from the protests to at least 29.
Some 5,000 people surrounded a security headquarters in the northern coastal city of Alexandria and police responded by firing live ammunition, witnesses said. The state news agency MENA said 40 security officers were injured in the clashes.
Some 20,000 defiantly demonstrated in Tahrir Square overnight. However, the protests have yet to attract the hundreds of thousands who toppled President Hosni Mubarak in February.
“The people want the fall of the marshal,” protesters chanted, referring to Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, Mubarak’s defense minister for two decades and head of the army council.
Egyptian activists called for a huge turnout in protests on Tuesday to put an end to rule by the military. source – MSNBC
Dozens arrested in Wall Street as police clash with thousands of protesters trying to paralyse Manhattan in ‘day of action’
New York is today facing major disruption as tens of thousands of protesters are expected to flood into Manhattan to support Occupy Wall Street as the movement celebrates its two-month anniversary.
Protesters began amassing in lower Manhattan this morning to begin a ‘day of action’ in which they are expected to try to paralyse New York’s subway system. Sixty of them have already been arrested.
Riot police arrested protesters who sat on the ground and blocked traffic into the financial district on Thursday, hauling several protesters to their feet and handcuffing them one block from Wall Street.
‘All day, all week, shut down Wall Street!’ the crowd chanted. After several arrests, most of the protesters retreated down the street. A line of riot police followed them. ‘You do not have a parade permit! You are blocking the street!’ a police officer told protesters through a loudspeaker. The congestion brought taxis and delivery trucks to a halt. source – Daily Mail UK
Occupy Oakland in flames: Cops use tear gas and protesters are run over on violent night as they shut-down busy shipping port
Occupy Oakland protesters claimed victory after they shut down one of the nation’s busiest shipping ports – escalating a movement whose tactics had largely been limited to marches, rallies and camps.
In a five-hour stand-off protesters vandalised businesses and smashed bank windows, as they tried to shut down the city – and police appeared to respond using tear gas and flash bang grenades.
The California demonstrators blocked operations at the city’s port and stopped traffic on Wednesday in protests against economic inequality and police brutality, marred by scattered vandalism.
Police in riot gear arrested dozens of protesters who had marched through downtown to break into a vacant building, shattering windows, spraying graffiti and setting fires along the way.
‘We go from having a peaceful movement to now just chaos,’ protester Monique Agnew, 40, said.
Around 3,000 people converged on the Port of Oakland, the nation’s fifth-busiest harbour, swarming the area and blocking exits and streets with illegally parked vehicles and chain-link fences.
Port officials said they had to cease maritime operations, citing concerns for workers’ safety – but hope to resume operations on Thursday and that their workers can get to their jobs safely. source – Daily Mail UK