Putin disappeared for almost two weeks. Then he started appearing on the TV screen and said something unintelligible. For the Russian regime, this is bad news, because Putin, even when he appears on the screen, is showing weakness and behaving uncertainly. When the Russian Tsar behaves like this, it causes rejection from everyone, including the highest officialdom. The whole situation, with the unconvincing and occasionally disappearing Tsar Putin, reminded me of the situation after June 22, 1941. On this day, the Wehrmacht attacked the Soviet Union and pinned down the Red Army, having killed or captured 3 million soldiers in a few months. At that time, Stalin disappeared until July 3*.
Real assistance to the population is almost not provided. Putin said that people should stay at home, and at the same time they will receive a wage. But he has not centrally imposed any ban on going to work. And in addition, he did not introduce a system that obliges businesses to pay wages. What he said was just words. So businessmen said that they don’t care what Putin says – either you work, or we dismiss you. Millions of people continue to work in Moscow and other cities.
Putin left a number of important decisions on quarantine to the discretion of the regions. This is also a bad sign for the Kremlin. The weakening of the center is accompanied by the strengthening of regions that have received special powers for anti-crisis measures. In principle, both processes are correlated and both indicate developing cracks in the Foundation of the system and the threat of “feudalization”. However, now there is no request for the collapse of the state.
So regional governors have taken up the task. In some regions, the quarantine is almost not introduced. In the North Caucasus Republic of Ingushetia, the population have massively refused to comply with the quarantine due to the fact that people do not have money. People move freely in cities and towns, work, buy food at markets, and celebrate weddings. This has led to an increase in diseases, now in Ingushetia every day dozens of people are admitted to hospitals with a diagnosis of pneumonia. The problem is that people have no choice, they have to go to work to survive.
In Moscow, the situation is strange. Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin has introduced special electronic passwords for those who want to take the metro to work (you must get such a password at the city municipality or a from your boss at the workplace). It is being suggested that in the future people will have to enter special passwords if you want to leave the house for food, but this is still being discussed. However, the introduction of electronic passes immediately led to disaster. Since no one is paying wages to most Muscovites, millions of people have to continue to work. Cafes, restaurants and non-grocery stores are closed, but many businesses are open. Early on Wednesday (April 15th) morning, about 1 million Muscovites came to 330 metro stations. At each station police officers were waiting for them, checking their passwords. Immediately, there were traffic jams. Thousands of people were squeezed into crowds at the narrow entrances to metro stations. People stood close together for a long time in 330 crowds. There is little doubt that many were infected at this point…
As far as I can see, there is growing public anger against the regime on the one hand, and fear of illness on the other. This is also a negative scenario for the government.
Thus in Russia we can see
А) Some weakening of the Central power of the Kremlin
B) Strengthening of the power of regional governments
C) Growth of public irritation and anger.
Today (April 20th), there was a riot in the North Caucasus Republic of Ossetia (a subject of the Russian Federation inhabited by a people called Ossetians; they are mainly Christians and speak a language close to Farsi). The authorities in Ossetia kept silent about the real number of Coronavirus cases, and poorly organized the process of hospitalization and treatment. As a result, masses of people began to flock to the center of Vladikavkaz (the capital of Ossetia) and put forward demands to the government to fix the situation. https://www.facebook.com/100000508025633/videos/3605409226152643/
As expected, the month of “self-isolation”, which left thousands, if not millions of people without means of livelihood, provoked mass discontent. The day of April 20 seeems to have become a turning point. Residents of Vladikavkaz in Ossetia went to the rally, some of the police refused to disperse the protesters. Demonstrators began throwing stones at the remaining guards. However, Police in Vladikavkaz track the cars of protesters, and then arrest people on the road.
Meanwhile, in other cities protests took place on the internet. In Rostov-on-Don, a self-isolated “rally” was held in YandexMaps. People wrote demands for an emergency declaration (in this case, demanding the government be obliged to pay money for those who lost their jobs and businesses), some demanding the overthrow of the dictatorship. Individual users in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Krasnoyarsk and other cities joined the “rally”.
However, the Russian monarchy can be very stable in spite of everything, in conditions of fear and the passivity of the population. But clearly some people are starting to not be so passive.
PS Putin has given only the equivalent of $2bn to the 86 regions, with a population of about 145 million people – ie a bit over $13 per person. Officially, there’ve been 47,121 cases of coronavirus infections reported in Russia so far and 405 deaths, but some say the true figure is possibly closer to 4000 .
Article that manages to contradict itself very blatantly (usually such self-contradictory statements are made with a day’s gap; after all even a goldfish might remember something contradictory said just a moment before): https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/04/20/coronavirus-in-russia-the-latest-news-april-19-a69117 “There have been 47,121 cases of coronavirus infections reported in Russia so far and 405 deaths…. …Three hundred and sixty-one people have been killed by the virus.”
*SamFanto note: not quite clear what is meant by this comparison.
Hauts-de-Seine: 3rd night of “disturbances” of prevailing thoroughly disturbed world – school torched Toulouse:
“After 24 hours of calm, new incidents broke out this Tuesday evening in the Mirail district, in Toulouse. Around 10 p.m., around thirty people sowed trouble between the La Reynerie and Bellefontaine sectors. About ten trash fires and at least five vehicles, mainly near the rue de Kiev and the place André-Abbal, were recorded. Some have been extinguished by the fire brigade. Barricades have also been erected in Louise-Michel and Erik-Satie streets. Chemin Tintoret, among other things, projectile jets were fired and the police were clearly taken to task. Again. Mortars[heavy-duty fireworks], certainly defused by the persistent rain, were launched and everything necessary to make Molotov cocktails was discovered in a passageway of the building called Petit-d’Indy. On the opposing side, tear gas and flashballs were used. Dozens of police were deployed to restore calm. Around 11:30 p.m., it was done. Last Sunday, explosive devices were prepared to set an obvious trap for the police. … Calls for “mobilization” in the cities continue to flood social networks, sometimes with a lot of fake news….e the incidents recorded in recent days also to be put into perspective with the drug shortage, which is inevitable during periods of confinement? Chances are, indeed.However, according to the Snapchat accounts kept by the owners of certain Toulouse deal points, business is doing relatively well. Even if prices, too, soar.
“Poorer Peruvians have been trying to leave Lima since last week, the paper adds, with many saying they had to “choose between hunger or homelessness in the city or risking exposure to Covid-19 as they attempt to return home”. Maricela de la Cruz, who was trying to return to Huancayo, in Peru’s central Andes, told Associated Press: “Here in Lima there are no longer any jobs, there is no longer any way to pay for food, we do not have any more savings”….Men can leave home only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, … while women can do so on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. On Sundays, no one is allowed out.”
Argentina, Corrientes: clashes with cops after neighbours grass up neighbours for non-respect of quarantine rules
Colombia: disturbances throughout country against Capitalismavirus but especially in Fundacion, where there was looting and blockades of roads in various parts of state, including Medellin, as population demand food
Colombia, Magdalena: cops attacked with stones, supermarket looted, tires burnt, railway bridge blocked – all by group of youths
“The coronavirus quarantine has uncovered the hidden problem of hunger in Colombia where millions of people protest daily about the inability to access food, which has led to looting of aid in various parts of the country.
Harassed by the shortage, the poorest Colombians fail to comply with the mandatory isolation in force since March 25 to search the streets for the daily sustenance with which they used to feed their families before the arrival of the pandemic that so far leaves 3,977 infected and 189 dead.
This is what happened today in the Bogota neighborhood of Ciudad Bolívar, in the south of the city, where dozens of people “took over” the local mayor’s office to demand that the authorities expedite the delivery of the promised aid to the most disadvantaged. The despair of having nothing to bring to the table has triggered riots and looting of aid from the government and shops in some parts. From Aracataca, the birthplace of Literature Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez, to the agro-industrial department of Valle del Cauca, the authorities have redoubled the security of the vehicles that transport aid, while some supermarkets have closed their doors to shield themselves from the riots and assaults. On Monday, for example, in the municipality of Fundación, in the Caribbean department of Magdalena, there were looting and riots in some businesses. Disorders also occurred in Medellín, where nearly a hundred people blocked a highway in the northwest of the city to claim humanitarian aid. The national government started this month the delivery of a million markets throughout the country, but the figure will be short considering that President Iván Duque extended the mandatory isolation until next May 11. More than five million Colombians depend on the informal economy and survive without monthly fixed incomes, money that has gradually disappeared because with the compulsory quarantine, most of them cannot do their business at home anymore. “We look like skinny cows, we no longer have breath to walk. We are dying not from viruses but from hunger. We have not seen anything that they promised us, we are enduring hunger,” Sandra Patricia Hurtado, a resident of Ciudad Bolívar, told Efe . Thousands of displaced people live in this sector, fleeing their lands, dispossessed by the violent ones of the armed conflict, or expelled due to the poverty in which they lived. Meanwhile, others queue in the streets to receive markets, hygiene items or to collect a government subsidy, the delivery of which was temporarily suspended after complaints from citizens who found inconsistencies in the registration of the beneficiaries. Like Hurtado, there are Colombians in every corner of the country whose hunger has become a matter of life and death, a situation that has even forced them to order door-to-door food in the most prosperous neighborhoods.”
“More than 200 PAOK fans got together outside the club’s Toumba Stadium, defying the government ban on public gatherings due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
Riot police used tear gas to disperse the fans and at least one supporter was arrested and a number of others were fined following the clashes. Government officials announced on Monday that 2,245 cases of the coronavirus have been detected so far in Greece with 116 deaths, and a ban on sporting activities is in force until at least April 27.”
In the flu season 2018-2019 there were 150 deaths in Greece, admittedly over a longer period of time.
France, Hauts-de-Seine: riot in Parisian banlieu after cops deliberately make motorbike crash, breaking leg of rider and putting him in intensive care
“The advance of COVID-19 is being made by leaps and bounds in the Villavicencio prison. This afternoon, the Governor of Meta, Juan Guillermo Zuluaga, indicated that six new cases of contagion were confirmed, of which five correspond to people related to that prison. “More reasons to stay home, more reasons to maintain quarantine and isolation,” said the regional president. (From Villavicencio prison they ask for help on COVID-19 “before it is too late”) . Thus, in the prison in the capital of Meta, 28 people have already been infected, of whom seven are guardians of Inpec and three, all inmates and older adults, have died in the last two weeks. General Norberto Mujica, director of Inpec, held a virtual press conference last Friday to expose the measures being taken, such as isolating older adults in the women’s pavilion, which was empty.”
Israel, Jerusalem: ultra-orthodox sit-down in road, clash with cops following previous hitting by cops of 9-year-old with stun grenade
Ecuador, Ambato: prison mutiny lasting 5 hours, as prisoners try to climb walls, hoping to escape virus; 2 cops badly injured (no info about prisoners’ injuries, surprise surprise)
India, W. Bengal: about 60 prisoners demand bail due to virus fears, throw stones
“Violent incidents have opposed this Saturday many people and the police in particular in a district of the city of Hunedoara and in a village of the department of Braşov; videos of this violence circulate on social networks. In the Micro 6 North district of Hunedoara, the incidents broke out on Saturday afternoon while the police were controlling a drunk who had no certificate to justify his presence on the public highway as part of the containment and the state of emergency in force in Romania and extended until mid-May by President Iohannis. An outbreak of violence ensued in which two police vehicles were damaged while the police force retreated, as seen in the video published on the site of the local daily Hunedoara Liberă. The police had to fire warning shots. Nine of those involved in the incidents were arrested. In the second video, probably shot in a village in the municipality of Săcele (Braşov department), a visibly angry crowd speaking in Romanian, armed with sticks and shovels, violently attacks a car (possibly being a police vehicle) arriving at their speed and stopping abruptly against a fence while mowing someone. The rioters then destroy the windshield with shovels while one of the police officers present brandishes a rifle. Finally, other incidents of the same style broke out last night in a district of Ploieşti (70 km north of Bucharest) as well as in the Rahova district of Bucharest where 37 people were arrested.
These riot scenes follow several factors of tension. The establishment of a police system that contravenes the Constitution, as well as the bans on Orthodox Easter in this still religious country have generated significant dissatisfaction. But among the people most affected by the disruption of the economy due to health measures, anger is raging for another reason: hunger. Some black and precarious workers are starting to face a very difficult daily life where hunger becomes a more pressing danger than the epidemic. This had already pushed thousands of seasonal workers to defy sanitary measures to return to work in the West. Romania is one of the countries most likely to suffer economically from the coronavirus crisis in the medium term. Indeed, a large part of its population emigrates to Western Europe to work there (especially in Italy), and the country lives a lot from the economy of the mandate (that is to say, Romanians who send back home a part of their salary). The epidemic precipitated the return of many Romanians, who do not necessarily have unemployment cover in the countries where they worked, and replaced the import of western wages by an import of unemployed returnees.
To date, there have been 8,746 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Romania where 434 people have died while 1,892 people have recovered from the disease.”
France, Essonne: stones & heavy-duty fireworks thrown at cops during control
Jeunes/police : affrontements à Grigny – 17 avril 2020
Colombia, Bogota: riot following 3 days of protests about lack of food aid; man shot by cops, 2 cops hospitalised
“A violent incident occurred on the afternoon of the last Friday inside the Tulcán Center for the Deprivation of Adult Liberty. The inmates, after looting the store and part of the bakery that operate in the center, staged a mutiny that was controlled by members of the National Police who entered the site. The inmates argue that in the center there would be an alleged case of a prisoner with coronavirus, however there are no official reports from the corresponding entities that said statement is supported. The PPLs assure that they are afraid of catching the virus, since they have not received masks and protective supplies, which allow them to avoid direct contact with their cellmates. Those deprived of liberty warned the president of the republic, Lenín Moreno, through videos, that they need to take immediate action, or the prisons are going to be pronounced and it is not going to be on good terms. “If you do not contact us, we will retaliate and we will do the things we can. If you do not want to let us out, we will do it by force, if you do not want to give us protection and health, we will do it at our convenience. This is the last communication that we are going to have with you, but if you do not communicate with us, we will take actions as we can, ”said a Colombian spokesperson in a timely manner. Inmates at the site also burned some mattresses in the hallways during the protest violence, however no injuries were reported. The police members had to use progressive force to mitigate the mutiny, using tear gas to calm the spirits of those deprived of their liberty and control the incident. One of the alleged irregularities reported is that a bakery operates in the center, where prepared food is marketed to the inmates and that the donations that arrive at the center would be destined to this site. According to one of the “economato” [Establishment organized in the form of a cooperative or supported by some companies, where certain groups can purchase products at a cheaper price than in other shops] workers, from whom we will protect his identity for security reasons, the inmates were conducting a peaceful protest, hoping to echo the authorities to grant them prison releases and benefits. The “economato” attended until approximately 13:00, however they waited for the staff to leave to enter violently. The PPLs forced the securities and took most of the products. The “economato” official said that they recently supplied the place with the aim of providing the best care to the prisoners, however now the place is practically empty, which would harm those who urgently need some basic necessities or toiletries. The man who works at this site added that he is not authorized to disclose the economic damage that this incident has caused them.”
Israel, Jerusalem: Riot in Jerusalem Haredi area over virus regulations; girl hit by police grenade
Colombia, Bogota: hunger demonstration demanding food met by riot cops who clash with locals
“”they threw gas at us, here are children, older adults, some are pregnant, the children are drowning (…) no help… the riot police was the only thing that came to address the claims and complaints of Ciudad Bolívar. ” Another of the residents of the area added that, although the Police contained the few vandals, elderly people were also affected. “The grandparents here … have respiratory problems and with those gases they gave them everything, it is not fair that others pay for those of us who have nothing to do with this, we are only asking for help, nothing more,” he complained. Christian Robayo, one of the town councilors, denounced abuses of authority and excesses of force by the Police, while indicating that it is urgent to attend to the humanitarian situation of the hundreds of families who do not have food to pass the quarantine. “People have been protesting directly for food, for health care, for solidarity support to be able to live through this quarantine, and there is excessive force used against citizens,” said Robayo.”
Senegal, Kedougou: 1 dies in clashes with cops after they chase youth during virus curfew into river where he drowned, and then refused to hand over body
Nigeria, Delta State: 3 killed or possibly wounded by cops or vigilante groups (report repeatedly contradicts itself) during women-initiated protests against confinement-induced hunger; council chariman stoned; some looting
“The women, who were protesting the two weeks lockdown and the dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa decried what they regarded as insensitivity of the state government in addressing the compelling hunger induced by the lockdown and now with curfew in the state.
The protesters had defied the stay-at-home order, lamenting the economic hardship induced by the lockdown and the worsening absence of palliatives from the state government to cushion the effect of the lockdown….the women had stormed the popular Olypia Roundabout in Sapele to vent their anger over the extension, when rampaging youth protesters, mixed with hoodlums hijacked the protest, just when the Sapele Council Chairman, Hon Eugene Inoaghan, was addressing the protesting women. The hoodlums who hijacked the protest were alleged to have pelted the council chairman and other members of his entourage with stones, creating a tensed atmosphere and compelled the Police escort in the Council boss’s entourage to teargas the protesting mob. The situation turned violent and to disperse the rampaging youths, some vigilante members reportedly shot into the crowd and hit the victims. The hoodlums subsequently took advantage of the situation to invade shops where they allegedly carted away goods belonging to traders who were observing the lockdown.”
“In recent days, various areas of Bogotá have registered demonstrations and sit-ins by people in vulnerable conditions and extreme poverty due to the delay in the delivery of humanitarian aid from the Mayor’s Office and the National Government …On the night of this Tuesday, April 14, in the Arborizadora Alta neighborhood, in Ciudad Bolívar, citizens blocked the roads demanding the delivery of food for the dozens of pregnant women, mothers, children and grandparents who are starving. …The Metropolitan Police arrived at the scene to control the situation and contain these protests. However, the inhabitants of the area denounced violent repressions by the uniformed personnel. The authorities’ preliminary report indicates that the protesters vandalized a SITP public service bus and attacked the policemen with sticks and stones, leaving 10 of them with minor injuries. In contrast, the peaceful protest, in which even children and older adults participated with their saucepans, spread to towns such as Usme, Rafael Uribe Uribe and Bosa….”We ask the government not to abandon us. There are many families who are enduring hunger, even though we are serving quarantine. Aid is not coming, ”said one of the victims with a megaphone in hand and surrounded by dozens of protesters.”
“”It really is disgraceful; people when they are discovered not only get angry, but insult or threaten force personnel,” said Mayor Najar….The San Lorenzo de Las Talitas neighborhood was the scene of a pitched battle between neighbors and police officers who carried out an operation to comply with the mandatory preventive isolation. There were no injuries recorded in the incidents, but some police mobiles ended up being damaged by the stones thrown at them. “We carried out this operation on Monday at noon because we had observed many people circulating on the streets. Police officers kindly asked neighbors to enter their homes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But far from complying with the police request, they began to throw forceful elements at the uniformed officers, ”explained the head of the Las Talitas Motorized Patrol division, Rufino Medina. Before the violent reaction of the neighbors, Rufino said that the troops asked for support from their colleagues and from the 911 service. “They had to shoot with their shotguns, which were loaded with rubber bullets, while they were withdrawing from the scene to avoid breaking the glass of the police mobile phones and other damage. “There were no injuries to the police or civilians and no arrests,” said the commissioner…Lastly, Rufino clarified that this is not the first time that this type of episode has happened, since it is a conflictive neighborhood that responds in this way every time the staff makes tours…”This is becoming a serious problem. People have to understand that this is not a whim, but a measure that seeks to care for all the citizens of Las Talitas, “said Mayor Carlos Najar. “As long as everything is within the law, we will support all the procedures that the Police do. We want them to be inflexible against all those who violate the isolation measures, “he added. The official was concerned about what is happening on the streets of that municipality. “Since quarantine began, we have an average of 19 arrests per day. It is a very high figure …”
India: report on workers’ protests in different parts of country
US: sabotage of Billboard/ Hollywood Reporter website by IT workers laid off under pretext of virus
Colombia, Cartagena: clashes with cops enforcing confinement rules (includes previous incidents on 10th and 12th April)
“The respect of the mandatory isolation decree by many people in Cartagena and in neighboring municipalities generates confrontations with the national police that, in order to preserve and respect these health standards, met with resistance from certain citizens. However, on the other hand, there are those who point out that although there are people who violate the decree and that the law is necessary for them to obey it, the authorities should not hide behind this situation. hide behind an abuse of power. Two situations occurred on Good Friday, during which the community requested uniforms to bring order to places where there were riots of people who violated the national quarantine. The first reported case was that in the canton of La Boquilla, in Cartagena, where around 7 p.m., several people probably drank alcoholic beverages and played on a street and a softball field. After the community called, the quadrant police responded to this request and upon arrival at the site, they were asked to return to their homes. Witnesses said the request had caused riots among the criminals, which had led to a confrontation between members of the security forces and those present. “After ordering them to go home, several people attacked the men in uniform and threw blunt weapons at them: bottles, sticks, stones.” Similarly, the institutional motorcycle on which they arrived was stolen, damaged by the attackers and later recovered by the national police, “explained the commander of the Cartagena Metropolitan Police, General Henry Sanabria. The general explained that when several people attacked his troops and after hearing several detonations, he forced an intervention with the Special Operations Group -GOES- and Esmad [very heavy riot cops] to control the riots. From social media, Turbaco residents have been calling for more vigorous action by local authorities for days to comply with restrictive measures for the movement of people on the streets and in certain places that sell alcohol without proper authorization. Specifically, some people who obey the quarantine decree are those who inform the police of the multitude of people in certain areas of Turbaco. As also happened on Good Friday, when the policemen of the quadrant arrived in the Buenos Aires sector, in the district of Paraíso…Some residents of this area reported the situation to the police, and uniformed men immediately arrived on the scene. ..“The police came one by one and did not ask for favors or anything. But they immediately expelled the people, beat them one by one…. They also fired everywhere, there were houses where evidence of the shooting was found, ”said a witness. When the uniformed men arrived on the scene, apparently from the Command, they found the crowd and after asking them to return home, they began to be attacked by people who saw the fight. Participants also included minors, women, and even older adults. Some people were also reported to have thrown stones, sticks and other blunt objects at the police. Others reportedly shot and used sharp weapons to attack uniformed personnel handling the case. Community members, who had nothing to do with the fighting, ask the police to help them repair the damage caused by bullets to their doors, windows and roofs. In La Boquilla, two policemen were reportedly wounded with forceful weapons, one in the lower extremities and the other who was hit with a shovel to the head.”
“Prisoners mutinied in Barrancabermeja asking for assistance in the face of the Covid-19 crisis…
A riot occurred on Tuesday afternoon in police cells, in the Las Granjas neighborhood of Barrancabermeja, where 53 detainees are staying. The inmates set fire to the facilities, asking for immediate attention in view of the imminent spread of the Coronavirus, assuring that there are prisoners with health problems. … the prisoners set fire to mats as a protest against the overcrowding they suffer. Little by little the fire spread, generating a large column of smoke that alerted the inhabitants of the neighborhood. Ambulances and firefighters, as well as members of the riot police, immediately arrived after one of the inmates took a gun from a patrolling policeman’s holster and began to shoot into the air causing panic …For several hours, the detainees took control of the police station, preventing the uniformed men from entering. Finally they let the fire brigade in to put out the flames that kept spreading and scorching everything in their path. After the mediation of different organizations for the defense of human rights, the inmates reached an agreement with the authorities and allowed themselves to be transferred to the citizen coexistence center located in the Primero de Mayo neighborhood until it is defined where they will be taken…”
Colombia, Sucre: riot as protesters against hunger burn tyres, loot supermarket
Cameroon, Yaoundé: prison disturbances as 3 prisoners die of virus; built for less than 800 prisoners, this prison holds at least 5,000 –
Peru, Ancon: prison riot over lack of food and medicine
“Inmates reportedly burned mattresses, as a means of claiming the alleged lack of food and medicine. In addition, residents of the penitentiary center indicated that shots were heard.
Relatives of some of the inmates also indicated through social networks that one of the demands is also for them to be tested for coronavirus.”
“A riot in a prison in Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province where at least one guard is reportedly exhibiting COVID-19-like symptoms has highlighted the risk posed by the coronavirus the Southeast Asian nation’s 524 overcrowded jails. On Saturday afternoon, the inmates of Tuminting Prison in the city of Manado went on a rampage and set fire to buildings. Hundreds of police and soldiers later stormed the jail with live rounds being fired and at least one inmate shot in the chest… the riot began after rumours spread among the inmates that a guard was suspected to have the coronavirus. When demands for mass testing by other inmates went unanswered by prison authorities, they became incensed and demanded to be released. There has been no confirmed case of COVID-19 inside Indonesia’s correctional facilities. But a source inside Tuminting Prison, who spoke on condition of anonymity over fears of reprisal, said officials were trying to hide the start of an outbreak. “There are other prisoners with symptoms but there are no testing kits so they can’t confirm a thing. They don’t want it to come out, but the jails are probably full of it,” the source said.”
““The police minister says you could go to jail for being out here,” I said to one man, who was drinking a beer in the street. “I am staying in one room with five others, how can I stay in there all day? They must just come and arrest us,” he replied. The residents ebbed and flowed around the troops as they made their way down the township’s sodden tracks. Some took shelter in the alleyways and others perched on roofs. But when the soldiers had passed, the people retook the streets. Some members of the infantry unit began to lose their patience. A woman in uniform targeted a man in a deckchair with a well-aimed slap and a barrage of expletives. A few minutes later, a soldier walked up to a resident and aimed a punch at his head and swift kick at his legs. It looked like a show of strength but in reality, it was a telling sign of weakness. Alexandra Township, like many other impoverished communities, cannot be policed and its residents will not self-isolate.”