October 2, 2019

For two days, anti-government protesters decrying corruption and a lack of jobs and services have hit the streets in cities across Iraq, clashing with security forces.

At least seven people have been killed and hundreds injured, with police firing tear gas and live ammunition in Baghdad. A curfew is in effect in several cities, with Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi saying in Baghdad, "all vehicles and individuals are totally forbidden to move" starting at 5 a.m. local time Thursday, with exceptions for people traveling to certain jobs and places.

These are the largest demonstrations to take place in Iraq since the prime minister took office in 2018, BBC News reports. Iraq's interior ministry said rioters are trying to "undermine the true meaning of the [protesters'] demands and strip them of peacefulness." Mahdi on Tuesday said he will launch an investigation in order to "learn the reasons" behind the protests, and promised to create more jobs for new graduates. The World Bank estimates that the country's youth unemployment rate is about 25 percent. Catherine Garcia

July 18, 2019

Capitol Police arrested 70 people on Thursday during protests against the Trump administration's immigration policies.

The protesters were arrested inside the Russell Senate Office Building, with Capitol Police saying they were unlawfully demonstrating in the rotunda. Thursday was the Catholic Day of Action to oppose immigration policies like detaining migrants in overcrowded facilities without adequate necessities. The Sisters of Mercy traveled from Chicago to Washington, D.C., for the protests, and one nun, 90-year-old Sister Pat Murphy, was arrested.

The situation in immigrant detention centers is "immoral," Murphy told ABC News during a phone interview. "These are our brothers and sisters and they are part of the human family," she said, adding, "I mean, any person with any human compassion would reach out. What is going on is, it's just abominable. It's a horrific situation that's happening right now." Murphy, who has been with Sisters of Mercy for 71 years, said it's not fair that people are "being punished because our immigration system is broken, it's shattered, it doesn't exist." Catherine Garcia

December 15, 2018

Thousands of "yellow vest" protesters assembled in Paris Saturday for a fifth consecutive weekend of demonstrations, though the crowd was smaller and more peaceful than it has been in weekends prior.

Additional assemblies were anticipated around France, and some 69,000 police officers — 8,000 of them in Paris alone — were deployed to respond. Paris police again used tear gas and water cannons to make protesters disperse.

The demonstrators are protesting high taxes and cost of living in France, the administration of French President Emmanuel Macron, and more. "We're here to represent all our friends and members of our family who can't come to protest, or because they're scared," a demonstrator named Pierre Lamy, 27, told The Associated Press. "Everything's coming up now. We're being bled dry."

The yellow vests are calling for a citizens' referendum. "We are protesting peacefully," said yellow vest representative Maxime Nicolle, "but, Mr. President, give us back our freedom and our sovereignty!" Bonnie Kristian

December 8, 2018

French authorities on Saturday searched and arrested about 700 people and detained around half of them for possession of makeshift weapons, like hammers, as thousands of "yellow vest" protesters assembled in Paris for the fourth consecutive weekend.

Police have blocked access to many major monuments, like the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower, after some demonstrators last weekend turned to rioting and vandalism. "We have prepared a robust response," said Interior Minister Christophe Castaner ahead of Saturday's events. "Violence is never a good way to get what you want. Now is the time for discussion."

Originally prompted by a gas tax hike, the protests take issue with France's high cost of living more generally and the administration of French President Emmanuel Macron. The new fuel tax has been canceled, but the demonstrations continue with demands for Macron's resignation, higher wages, lower taxes, and more.

"We have come here for a peaceful march, not to smash things," yellow vest demonstrator Guillaume Le Grac, who traveled from France's northwest region of Brittany, told Reuters. "We want equality. We want to live, not survive." Bonnie Kristian

December 2, 2018

More than 220 people were arrested in Paris on Saturday as "yellow vest" protesters assembled for the third straight weekend.

Authorities say around 100 people were injured when some demonstrators rioted, vandalizing the Arc de Triomphe, attacking police, and damaging and looting cars and stores. The French government may impose a state of emergency.

French President Emmanuel Macron plans to initiate a dialogue with the yellow vests, but a government representative, Benjamin-Blaise Griveaux, said policy changes are not being considered. "We won't change course. It's the right direction. We are certain of that," Griveaux affirmed in a radio interview.

The demonstrators are angry about Macron's presidency, rising taxes, and high costs of living more broadly. "Our purchasing power is severely diminishing every day. And then: taxes, taxes, and taxes," Paris resident Hedwige Lebrun told The Associated Press. "The state is asking us to tighten our belts, but they, on the contrary, live totally above all standards with our money." Bonnie Kristian

November 24, 2018

Large-scale protests continued in Paris for a second consecutive weekend Saturday, with demonstrators registering their anger over fuel tax hikes and French President Emmanuel Macron's tenure more broadly. This time, the "yellow vest" protesters were met with an aggressive police presence, including use of tear gas and water cannons.

Parisian police estimated 8,000 protesters were on site, contained by some 3,000 police officers. Officials told The Associated Press six arrests were made, though no one was injured in the demonstration.

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner claimed the demonstration was influenced by extremists from "the far right." "Their freedom of expression will be guaranteed," he said, "but it must not be exercised to the detriment of security, public order, and the right of everybody to come and go."

More than 15,000 demonstrators are estimated to have assembled elsewhere in France Saturday. Last weekend's protests were far larger, with around 250,000 people turning out around the country. Bonnie Kristian

November 18, 2018

One person was accidentally killed and more than 200 injured in large-scale protests against higher fuel taxes in France on Saturday.

An estimated 250,000 people, many wearing yellow safety vests, turned out in about 2,000 locations around the country to block roads and highways. The new tax was supported by French President Emmanuel Macron, and demonstrators called for his resignation. Macron's approval rating was at a dismal 21 percent as of October.

"We are not political people; we do not belong to a union; we are citizens," said one protester near Paris, Didier Lacombe. "The taxes are rising on everything. They put taxes on top of taxes. It is not the tax on gas; it's everything. The injustice is greater and greater."

"The price of fuel is as politically and sociologically sensitive as the price of wheat in the ancient regime," French public opinion researcher Jerome Fourquet told The New York Times. High wheat prices were among the factors leading to the French Revolution. Bonnie Kristian

November 8, 2018

Tens of thousands of protesters marched in 900 cities across the United States on Thursday night, showing their support for Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

In New York City, more than 6,000 people marched from Times Square to Union Square, holding signs that said "Nobody is above the law" and chanting "Hands off Mueller!" Organizers quickly mobilized after the forced resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday, saying on the Nobody is Above the Law website: "Donald Trump has installed a crony to oversee the special counsel's Trump-Russia investigation, crossing a red line set to protect the investigation. Our hundreds of response events are being launched to demonstrate the public demand for action to correct this injustice."

President Trump named Sessions' chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, as the acting attorney general, and he will now oversee the Mueller probe, taking over for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Whitaker has said he believes the Department of Justice should withhold funding from the special counsel and questioned its scope. Catherine Garcia

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