French students demonstrate against racism


This video from the Netherlands says about itself:

Netherlands: Anti-racism protest ahead of Le Pen’s visit to The Hague

12 November 2013

Around 100 demonstrators took to the streets of The Hague Monday with the motto “The problem is called Racism” to protest against racial violence. Protesters marched from Hobbemaplein towards the city center with banners reading “The Hague against racism” and sang slogans against racism and against the police.

The demonstration took place a day ahead of the French National Front leader Marine Le Pen’s visit to the country to meet with the Party for Freedom’s (PVV) leader Geert Wilders. Both leaders will hold talks to discuss their cooperation in the European Parliament.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

French students rise against racist Front National

Saturday 31st May 2014

Thousand of students have launched rallies across France in staunch protests against the racist policies of the neofascist Front National.

Waving banners that read “No to the Front National” and “Wake up, France,” youthful demonstrators rallied on Thursday in Lyon in the east of the country, as well as in Paris, Toulouse, Rouen, Amiens, Nantes, Marseille and Bordeaux.

“We respect the result of the European elections — of democracy — but we do not accept the values of the FN,” said Silvio Philippe, one of the organisers of the Lyon rally.

“French democracy is in danger.”

The FN took top spot in a nationwide election for the first time on Sunday, beating mainstream political parties to take 24 of France’s 74 seats in the new European Parliament.

The Front National, led by Marine Le Pen, said that it wanted France to quit the euro, reinstate national border controls and repatriate the bulk of Brussels’s powers to national parliaments.

After the vote, Ms Le Pen claimed that voters had demanded “only one type of politics — a politics of the French, for the French and with the French.”

But the underlying theme of all its campaigning was racism and a reactionary nationalism which appalled the youth of the country.

Young people met in cities across the country to demonstrate their rejection of racism and bigotry.

In Paris, thousands of students assembled at the Bastille.

Police said the crowds topped 4,000, although organisers insisted that was a gross underestimate and the real total was double that figure.

Another group of students numbering around 3,000 rallied outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg carrying banners reading “We will not let fascism happen.”

While in Lyon about a thousand students met to protest against the neofascists, carrying posters that read “Lyon, capital of the resistance.”

Demonstrators shouted: “We are all the children of immigrants” as they marched in Toulouse, where another 2,000 young people gathered, displaying banners proclaiming that they were “fed up with the FN.”

The rallies were organised by student unions and Socialist, Communist and Green youth groups.

Enhanced by Zemanta

French Prime Minister Valls gives in to National Front anti-refugee racism


This video says about itself:

France: Mass student protest after Roma girl gets deported

18 October 2013

Hundreds of pupils in Paris took the day off school to protest on Thursday in retaliation for the deportation of foreign students. Showing solidarity with their peers, the pupils argue everyone has a right to education.

The protest follows the deportation of 15-year-old Roma student Leonarda Dibrani, who was expelled from France to Kosovo October 9.

The demonstration marks a backlash to Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls‘ comments in September, when he said most of the 20,000 Romas in France had no motivation for integrating into society and should be sent back to their countries of origin.

By Pierre Mabut in France:

Police attack immigrant camp in Calais, France

29 May 2014

Stepped-up attacks on immigrants are the Socialist Party government’s response to the rising vote for the neo-fascists in this week’s European elections.

On Wednesday morning at 8am, hundreds of French riot police broke up makeshift immigrant camps in the port city of Calais on the English Channel. Three camps with 800 undocumented immigrants, of all nationalities, but most of whom were Syrians, Afghans and Africans, were torn down by police and the occupants forced to scatter to avoid detention. Most of the immigrants had got wind of the police operation and fled the area before their arrival.

This stepped up attack on immigrants by French authorities is the response of the Socialist Party (PS) government of Prime Minister Manuel Valls to the neo-fascist victory in France of the National Front (FN) in the European elections three days ago. The government, along with traditional opposition parties like the UMP in the National Assembly, are responding by persecuting the immigrants, promoting the FN’s program.

The pretext for the raid on immigrant camps was the need to treat a widespread case of scabies among immigrants. However, none of the promised shower units and clean clothing was made available to those forced to flee the police operation. Cécile Bossy of the Doctors of the World charity organisation said, “They didn’t offer the showers which were supposed to be in place for the evacuation”.

Buses were lined up for the evacuation to an unknown destination, but very few immigrants went aboard, believing this was a ploy to move them away from Calais. Immigrants aided by support groups clashed with police.

The port of Calais has become the last stop for thousands of refugees from war and hunger in their attempt to reach England across the Channel. The camps in Calais have been destroyed several times, the last being in 2009 by the right wing conservative president Sarkozy, when it was referred to as the “jungle”.

At least eight immigrants have died in Calais this year, crushed to death in the attempt to board trucks and buses to cross the channel to England. Three weeks ago, a 23-year-old Afghan, Asif Hussainkhil, was picked up just before hypothermia set in, drifting in the Channel on a makeshift raft. The raft was composed of wood planks, a floater, a tarpaulin and a table leg for a mast with a bed sheet. He remained undeterred and said he would go again.

The PS is moving along the same reactionary path as the FN and the UMP. The latest move against immigrants comes after the FN leader Marine Le Pen won the North West constituency of France in last Sunday’s EU elections with 33.6 percent of the vote—the biggest gain for the FN and well above the 25 percent for the FN throughout France.

… These parties’ record in running down traditional industries and creating mass unemployment has allowed the neo-fascist FN to demagogically pose as the only opposition.

The treatment meted out to the Calais immigrants by the PS government, which got less than 14 percent in the EU election, is a sharp expression of the rising attacks on immigrant workers taking place throughout France.

The PS government has carried out mass deportations of the Roma and, through its nomination in March of former Interior Minister Manuel Valls as prime minister, is making a law-and-order appeal to far-right sentiment.

FRENCH police used bulldozers to chase over 650 Syrian, Afghan and African migrants from their camps in port city Calais today — destroying homes as they went: here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Let Africans die from Ebola, racist politician Le Pen says


This video says about itself:

3 April 2014

There is an ongoing outbreak of the Ebola virus in Guinea in west Africa. Medical experts are concerned about it appearing in a densely populated area – the capital city of Conakry – and into neighbouring countries. Ebola is one of the most virulent diseases known to man and can kill up to 90% of the people it infects in a very short time period. But what causes it? How does it spread from human to human?

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Le Pen: ebola will solve immigration issue

Update: Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 13:35

“Mr. Ebola may solve the immigration problem in three months.” Jean-Marie Le Pen said this yesterday at a meeting of his party, the right-wing populist National Front.

The deadly Ebola virus, according to Le Pen, will stop the “flood of immigrants” to Europe. The virus ​​in recent months made many victims in West Africa.

Le Pen, the founder of the National Front, now sits in the European Parliament and is a candidate for a new term. He is controversial because of his numerous discriminatory statements. The National Front is led by his daughter Marine.

See also here.

In an interview in March, Le Pen said he does not rule out cooperation with the Greek Golden Dawn nazis after the European elections.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Japanese government party honours war criminals again


This video says about itself:

European right-wing politicians worship Japanese war criminals in Yasukuni Shrine

AFP – European right-wing politicians, including French National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, visited a controversial war shrine in Tokyo on Saturday ahead of the anniversary of Japan’s surrender.

The shrine, which honours 2.5 million Japanese war dead, including 14 top war criminals from World War II, has often been regarded as a symbol of Japan’s wartime aggression.

“It doesn’t bother me to honour veteran soldiers of a former enemy,” 82-year old Le Pen, who will retire in January 2011 after the party elects his successor, said Thursday. …

The ‘election’ turned out to be that Jean-Marie appointed his daughter Marine Le Pen as his successor.

The European politicians arrived in Tokyo earlier this week at the invitation of Japan’s Issui-kai movement, which organised a two-day conference to discuss the future of nationalist groups.

Among other participants were Adam Walker, the British National Party‘s number two, and other representatives from far-right parties of Austria, Portugal, Spain, Hungary, Romania and Belgium.

From AFP news agency:

Japanese lawmakers visit Yasukuni war shrine on eve of Obama trip

By Agence France-Presse

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 9:04 EDT

Nearly 150 Japanese lawmakers on Tuesday paid homage at the Yasukuni shrine which honours the nation’s war dead, raising the stakes in an already tense region on the eve of US President Barack Obama’s visit.

A cross-section of parliamentarians — including at least one cabinet minister — paid their respects at the shrine, which honours those who have fought for Japan including a number of senior military and political figures convicted of war crimes.

China and South Korea see the shrine as a symbol of what they say is Japan’s unwillingness to repent for its aggressive warring last century. The United States tries to discourage visits, which it views as unnecessary provocation.

The South Korean Foreign Ministry said it “deplored” the mass visit as the shrine is a “place that enshrined war crimes that caused a war and destroyed peace.”

“I think it is such an empty gesture to talk about the future with neighbouring countries while paying respects to such a place,” ministry spokesman Cho Tai-Young said.

Japan’s conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stayed away from Yasukuni, having offered a symbolic gift on Monday at the start of the three-day spring festival.

However, the right-leaning minister for internal affairs and communications, Yoshitaka Shindo, was among the worshippers early Tuesday, paying his second visit in 10 days.

Shindo’s grandfather was General Tadamichi Kuribayashi, the figure sympathetically depicted by actor Ken Watanabe in Clint Eastwood’s “Letters from Iwo Jima”.

The mass visit will inevitably further aggravate strained ties in East Asia, and could irritate the White House, coming the day before Obama arrives on the first leg of a four-nation trip which also includes South Korea.

Washington would desperately like Japan and South Korea — its two chief allies in the region — to bury the diplomatic hatchet and stand together against Beijing’s increasingly confident regional swagger and against unpredictable Pyongyang.

‘Like Arlington’

Abe’s own visit to the shrine on December 26 soon after a trip to Tokyo by US Vice President Joe Biden immediately sparked fury in Asia and earned him a slap on the wrist from Washington, which said it was “disappointed”.

The Japanese premier’s gift on Monday provoked a Chinese charge that he was offering “a slap in the face” to Obama.

Conservative lawmakers make regular trips to the shrine during spring and autumn festivals, and on the August 15 anniversary of Japan’s World War II defeat.

They compare the site with Arlington National Cemetery in the US, where America’s war dead are honoured.

“Speaking personally, my father is enshrined here,” said Hidehisa Otsuji, an upper-house lawmaker who was at Yasukuni.

“The souls revered here are the people who lost their lives purely for the sake of the country.”

About 160 lawmakers visited the shrine during the spring and autumn festivals last year.

Sanae Takaichi, the policy chief of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, who went to the shrine as a member of the group, said politicians’ display of reverence should not provoke diplomatic difficulties.

“It happens to be the time for the spring festival,” she told reporters. “We welcome the US president’s visit to Japan from the heart.”

Others paying their respects at the shrine were some vice ministers and a special adviser for Abe, Seiichi Eto.

Chief Cabinet Secretary and Abe’s righthand man Yoshihide Suga said the administration would not interfere with shrine visits by members of the government.

“When a minister visits the shrine personally, it is a matter of an individual’s freedom of faith. The government should not step into it,” he said.

Justin Bieber apologises for visiting Yasukuni Shrine in Japan: Site at centre of international row honours convicted WWII war criminals: here.

Just days before US President Obama’s arrival today in Tokyo, the Japanese government provocatively announced the establishment of a new radar base on the southwestern island of Yonaguni—a move calculated to further raise tensions with China: here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Northern lapwing inspires music composer


This video is about a northern lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) at its nest.

Today on Dutch radio, for the first time a new piece of music by composer Henk Doeke Odinga was played.

This composition, for piano and clarinet, is about northern lapwings.

Both the sound and the movements of these birds inspired Odinga.

The music starts with part of the French national anthem, the Marseillaise. That is because, if there is a harsh winter in the Netherlands, lapwings migrate south to France.

You can listen to the music here.

You can download the music here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

French racists target mosque


This French video shows footage about Marine Le Pen, leader of the French National Front, and her contacts with Franz Schönhuber, German neo-nazi and ex-officer in Hitler’s SS.

From AFP news agency in France:

French mosque files complaint over pork pate in letterbox

Accompanied a threatening letter

Published: 18:13 April 18, 2014

Versailles, France: A mosque in the Paris suburbs said Friday it had filed a complaint with police after slices of pork pate and a threatening letter were stuffed into its letterbox.

Authorities at the mosque in Mantes-la-Ville, a town of 19,000 in the western suburbs of Paris, said the incidents reflected a “worrying climate” after the town last month elected a mayor from the far-right National Front.

The head of the association that runs the mosque, Abdul Aziz Al Jaouhari, said about a dozen mouldy slices of pork pate were discovered in the letter box on Wednesday.

The next day, an anonymous letter arrived calling Muslims “cockroaches” and wishing “good luck” to the new mayor “because he has a lot of work to do for a good cleansing, in particular of the Muslim race”.

“There is no question this was a racist and provocative act. It is the first time in the 12 years of the mosque’s existence that it has been the target of this kind of racist attack,” the association said in a statement.

It said it had filed a criminal complaint for “provoking racial hatred or religious discrimination” with police.

The association said the incidents were “especially worrying” given the “worsening social and political context” in the town after the election of FN [National Front] candidate Cyril Nauth in last month’s municipal elections.

Nauth won the town with 30 per cent of the vote, becoming the only elected mayor from the FN in the Ile-de-France region that encompasses the French capital and its suburbs.

USA: Outrageous Tea Party Bigot Allen West Attacks Muslim-Americans On Fox News (Video): here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Snowden’s spying revelations win Pulitzer Prize


This video from the USA is called Journalists Awarded Pulitzer for Snowden Reports.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Pulitzer Prize awarded for Snowden exposures of NSA spying

15 April 2014

Columbia University has given the most prestigious award in journalism, the Pulitzer Prize gold medal for public service, to the newspapers that published articles based on documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

The Washington Post won for articles written by Barton Gellman and filmmaker Laura Poitras, while the British Guardian won for articles written by Glenn Greenwald, Ewan MacAskill and Poitras. All four journalists made extensive use of the material provided by Snowden, and Greenwald, Poitras and MacAskill met with Snowden in Hong Kong to begin the process of exposing illegal and unconstitutional spying by the NSA.

The citation from Columbia is a political slap in the face to the Obama administration and the US and British intelligence apparatuses. The US government is seeking to extradite Snowden for trial, imprisonment and possible execution as a traitor. Both it and the British government have harassed and sought to intimidate the journalists honored by the awards.

The public service medal is awarded “for a distinguished example of meritorious public service by a newspaper or news site.” It went to the Washington Post “for its revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, marked by authoritative and insightful reports that helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security,” and to the Guardian US “for its revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, helping through aggressive reporting to spark a debate about the relationship between the government and the public over issues of security and privacy.”

A similar gold medal was awarded to the New York Times in 1972 for its publication of the Pentagon Papers, leaked by another whistleblower from within the national security apparatus, former Pentagon official Daniel Ellsberg.

Edward Snowden issued a statement Monday, through the Freedom of the Press Foundation, congratulating the two newspapers and calling the award a “vindication for everyone who believes that the public has a role in government.”

He continued: “We owe it to the efforts of the brave reporters and their colleagues who kept working in the face of extraordinary intimidation, including the forced destruction of journalistic materials, the inappropriate use of terrorism laws, and so many other means of pressure to get them to stop what the world now recognizes was work of vital public importance.

“This decision reminds us that what no individual conscience can change, a free press can. My efforts would have been meaningless without the dedication, passion, and skill of these newspapers, and they have my gratitude and respect for their extraordinary service to our society. Their work has given us a better future and a more accountable democracy.”

The same four journalists received the George Polk Award for national security reporting, awarded last Friday at a Manhattan hotel. Greenwald and Poitras, both US citizens, returned to the United States to receive the Polk Award, their first visit home since they co-authored the reports on NSA spying and surveillance. Greenwald now lives in Brazil and Poitras in Berlin, to avoid US government interference in their journalistic work.

Both said they had not been stopped entering the country, and both spoke at the Polk Award ceremonies paying tribute to Snowden. “This award is really for Edward Snowden,” said Poitras. Greenwald added that “what he did, coming forward, was absolutely the right thing to do and merits gratitude and not indictments and decades of imprisonment.”

In his Polk acceptance speech, MacAskill pointed out that the Guardian has faced much harsher government attack in Britain than the Guardian US or Post have yet faced in the United States. At one point, British intelligence agents visited the Guardian offices to supervise the destruction of computer hard drives in a heavy-handed effort at intimidation.

Greenwald has not yet made a public comment on the Pulitzer prize, but Poitras said of the award, “I think this is amazing news. It’s a testament to Snowden’s courage, a vindication of his courage and his desire to let the public know what the government is doing.”

Poitras and Snowden also received the Ridenhour prize, named after the Vietnam veteran who worked with Seymour Hersh to expose the My Lai massacre.

Editors of the two newspapers issued statements praising both the journalists and Edward Snowden.

Alan Rusbridger, the editor-in-chief of the Guardian, said, “We are particularly grateful for our colleagues across the world who supported the Guardian in circumstances which threatened to stifle our reporting. And we share this honor, not only with our colleagues at the Washington Post, but also with Edward Snowden, who risked so much in the cause of the public service which has today been acknowledged by the award of this prestigious prize.”

Janine Gibson, the editor of Guardian US, said winning in the public service category was important. Referring to the Columbia citation, she added, “I think those words say something about what Edward Snowden did, and what the reporters and editors did, in the face of a lot of rhetoric and opposition.”

Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron said the reporting exposed a national policy “with profound implications for American citizens’ constitutional rights” and the rights of individuals around the world. “Disclosing the massive expansion of the NSA’s surveillance network absolutely was a public service,” he said. “In constructing a surveillance system of breathtaking scope and intrusiveness, our government also sharply eroded individual privacy. All of this was done in secret, without public debate, and with clear weaknesses in oversight.”

He added that without Snowden’s disclosures, “we never would have known how far this country had shifted away from the rights of the individual in favor of state power.”

See also here.

The parties in the German coalition government, the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD), are attempting to prevent a German parliamentary committee from looking into NSA spying by questioning US whistleblower Edward Snowden: here.

Documents revealed by Edward Snowden and analyzed by the daily Le Monde reveal the role of French Telecom/Orange in the collection of data by the French intelligence services over a period of decades. France’s General Directorate of the External Security (DGSE) freely obtains the data of all Orange’s customers, apparently in a totally illegal manner: here.

Enhanced by Zemanta