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Daily News Flash with Rahul Mahajan on Hong Kong Protests, Modi Visit to US, and Oakland Blockade of Israeli Ship

Uprising’s guest expert Rahul Mahajan, sociologist and news analyst, and author of Full Spectrum Dominance: US Power in Iraq and Beyond, analyzes today’s news headlines:

Demonstrations in Hong Kong flared up again over the weekend and this morning with tens of thousands of people taking to the streets demanding free elections of the Chinese leadership. Police attacks on major protests that took place yesterday in Hong Kong’s downtown area backfired after tear gas was deployed. That angered people so much that new protests, apparently spontaneously, sprung up. Like anti-police brutality activists in Ferguson, Missouri, protesters in Hong Kong took to raising their hands in the air symbolically as they approached police. The escalation in actions comes two days before a major encampment by a group called Occupy Central is set to take place. Click here for a Guardian newspaper article about the story.

India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a visit to New York over the weekend, addressing a crowd of 18,000 Indian Americans at Madison Square Garden. It was Mr. Modi’s first trip to the US as Prime Minister, nearly ten years after being denied a US visa over his role in the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat where he was the Chief Minister. Modi has promised bold new economic reforms among other things. Writing in the Guardian newspaper, academic Vijay Prashad said, “For wealthy sections of Indian America, Modi represents a strong man who evokes pride in India.” Click here for a Time.com article, and here for a Guardian newspaper op-ed by Vijay Prashad, about the story.

And finally protesters in Oakland, California have once again blocked the Israeli ship Zim Piraeus, from unloading its goods at the port. As part of a growing movement to boycott Israeli goods over the occupation of Palestinian territories, a group called Block the Boat rallied at the Port of Oakland on Sunday. It was the second time in the past few months that the boat was blocked. Israel’s recent 50-day attack on Gaza has lent the movement new urgency. The dockworkers union, the ILWU, has not joined the protests, despite its history of participating in such actions historically. Click here for an Al Jazeera America article about the story.