French extreme and ‘center’ Right racism, sexism


This video says about itself:

Is France Becoming Racist? (Part 1) – #F24Debate

8 November 2013

“It’s an attack at the very heart of the French Republic” This is how the country’s Justice Minister, Christiane Taubira, describes a recent spate of racist acts directed at herself. The politician was recently compared to a monkey on a far-right candidate’s Facebook page. Annette Young and her guests discuss the rise of racism in contemporary France.

Our guests on the show: Louis-Georges TIN, President of the French Black Coalition, Madjid MESSAOUDENNE, Councillor, Saint Denis, Paris, Nonna MAYER, Research Director at CNRS, the French Public Research Centre, Philippe MOREAU CHEVROLET, Commentator at Le Nouvel Observateur.

Syrian gunmen, called ‘moderate’ may sell prisoners like Steven Sotloff to the not so moderate gunmen of ISIS.

Some ‘center Right’ French politicians may also not be as ‘moderate’ as they call themselves

From daily The Independent in Britain:

France’s Moroccan-born education minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem fights back against slurs

Two new false rumours about Ms Vallaud-Belkacem are being pedalled this week by right-wing websites and on Facebook and Twitter

John Lichfield

Paris, Monday 08 September 2014

France’s new education minister – young, female and Moroccan-born – has become a lightning rod for all that is nasty in French politics.

Since she took over the job two weeks ago, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, 36, has been besieged by racist and sexist comments and malicious rumours on social media. Her appointment has been attacked by magazines of the far right, and the less far right, as a “provocation” and a politically-correct piece of social engineering by President François Hollande.

Two new false rumours about Ms Vallaud-Belkacem are being pedalled this week by right-wing websites and on Facebook and Twitter.

A forged letter carrying the minister’s signature calls for primary school pupils to be given lessons in Arabic each week in the name of good community relations. A fake identity card appears to “prove” that Ms Vallaud-Belkacem adopted an Arab identity to further her political career. The card suggests that her real name is “Claudine Dupont”.

Ms Vallaud-Belkacem has started criminal proceedings, but her advisers say that the volume and tenacity of the lies threatens to overwhelm them. As soon is one is shot down, another springs up.

Although the rumours seem to begin with the far right, they are often passed on by moderate right-wing individuals and websites as if they were true. A parliamentarian of the main centre-right party, Isabelle Balkany, retweeted the “Arab language classes” letter at the weekend before she realised that it was false.

The campaign against Ms Vallaud-Belkacem is reminiscent of a barrage of attacks last year against the French Guiana-born justice minister, Christiane Taubira. The two women are detested on the hard right of French politics not just because of their racial background.

Ms Taubira pushed through the law legalising gay marriage last year. Ms Valaud-Belkacem, as a junior minister for women’s rights, helped to devise an experimental programme in which some primary schools tried to combat gender stereotypes. The programme, though clumsy, was widely misrepresented on the far right and on the radical Catholic right as the spearhead of an attempt to “abolish differences in gender”.

Ms Vallaud-Belkacem’s appointment as France’s first woman education minister in a reshuffle two weeks ago was taken by many right wingers – even relatively moderate ones – as a “provocation”. This was the word used by the far-right magazine, Minute, on its front cover. A supposedly more moderate magazine, Valeurs Actuelles, carried an evil-looking image of the new minister with the front-page headline “L’Ayatollah”.

Ms Vallaud-Belkacem tried to respond with an intellectual joke. She said that buying Minute was better value than buying books by the existentialist philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre. “For the price of a newspaper you get both Nausea and Dirty Hands (two Sartre titles).”

The new minister has also been the object of sexist attacks. Franck Keller, a centre-right councillor in Neuilly-sur-Seine, where Nicolas Sarkozy was once mayor, tweeted an alluring picture of Ms Vallaud-Belkacem and the message: “I wonder what attributes persuaded Hollande to give her a big ministry.”

The education minister is a rare symbol of political success in France by someone from a poor background. Najat Vallaud-Belkacem was born in 1977, the second oldest of seven children in the impoverished village of Bni Chiker in Morocco. Her family emigrated to France to join her father, a labourer, when she was five.

After a brilliant school career in Amiens, she graduated from the Paris Institute of Political Studies in 2002.

NATO anti-peace demonstrator fence becomes Calais anti-refugee fence


This video is called LOCKDOWN! NATO’s RING OF STEEL in Wales For Annual LORDS OF WAR Meeting.

From daily The Independent in Britain, 7 September 2014:

[British] Ministers have approved giving Calais the 9ft-high “Ring of Steel” security fence that had been used at the Nato Summit, to help tackle the issue of migrants seeking to illegally board ferries and trucks bound for the UK. …

Two impenetrable steel walls were constructed to provide security at the convergence of world leaders at the two-day Nato Summit this week.

There was one around the Celtic Manor venue in Newport and another 12-mile-long one around Cardiff City Centre, which was disassembled at 4am this morning.

Dubbed the “Ring of Steel”, the imposing barrier was brought in to help mitigate the threat of a terrorist attack, with one member of the public mockingly renaming the Nato Summit “Stalag Luft 12”, reports Wales Online, in reference to the high security Nazi Germany prisoner-of-war camps. …

Tim Finch, the Director of Migration at the Institute for Public Policy Research, told The Independent that the problem of migrants in Calais is “essentially irresolvable”.

Britain has “no alternative but to keep them out”, he said, though some of them may die in the process”.

The Institute for Public Policy Research is called a “progressive thinktank” on Wikipedia. The whole Wikipedia article shows the IPPR is rather ‘Blairite‘, ‘new’ Labour, so not really progressive. If, instead of Tim Finch, an aide to Russia’s Putin, Syria’s Assad, Cuba’s Raul Castro, or some other politician whom NATO countries’ establishments hate for various reasons, would so callously dismiss the value of human lives of refugees from wars, Tony Blair’s wars, NATO’s wars, then corporate media in all NATO countries would furiously demand ‘humanitarian’ invasion right now of the country of the person who spoke this inhuman sentence.

The British government’s gift of the NATO ‘Stalag Luft 12′ fence comes after blackmail by the Rightist mayor of Calais.

By Stéphane Hugues in France:

France: Calais mayor demands crackdown on migrants, threatens to block port

6 September 2014

Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart of France’s right-wing Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) has threatened Britain that she will blockade Calais harbor unless the government in London helps fund Calais’ repression of immigrants trapped in the city trying to reach Britain. Bouchart’s threat means blocking the passage of thousands of cars and trucks that cross the English Channel to Britain every day.

Bouchart issued this threat after 100 refugees in desperation tried to outrun the police and board a P&O ferry in the port bound for Britain earlier this week. The ferry staff raised the ship’s ramps and walkways and turned their fire hoses onto the refugees.

“I could take the decision to block the port…I could bring pressure to bear. It would be illegal but today I want to make a strong gesture towards the British,” Bouchart told reporters in Paris after meeting French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

She said she did not discuss her proposal with Cazeneuve, “but I told him that I hoped he would have some strong negotiations with the British.” In blocking the port, Bouchart is trying to use the situation to squeeze money out of the British government. She claims that Calais currently pays out 10 million Euros a year in “Security charges” for policing the refugees.

Bouchart’s outburst and avowedly illegal threats are part of decades of mounting persecution by European authorities of immigrants trying to travel across Europe to Britain. There are 1,500 or more refugees in Calais and its suburbs trying to reach Britain. Most are fleeing from famine or imperialist wars in their own countries, which include Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea, and Somalia. They are forced to sleep in the open air with no covers.

Refugee support groups try to help them by distributing food, but the refugees have been reduced to conditions even more brutal than the homeless. Before, they were able to build shantytowns on unused ground. Now, these dwellings are systematically destroyed.

Until 2002, the refugees were housed in a Red Cross refugee centre in Sangatte, near Calais. The then Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, shut the camp and forced the refugees to find refuge wherever they could in the Calais area.

THE mayor of Calais reacted with scorn today to an offer from the British government of 12 miles of security fencing to help keep out illegal immigrants: here.

Algerian immigrant killed by French police


This is a French video on the death of Algerian immigrant Abdelhak Goradia.

By Athiyan Silva:

Algerian immigrant killed by French police while being deported

1 September 2014

Abdelhak Goradia, a 51-year-old Algerian undocumented immigrant and father of a 6 year old child, died on August 21 while being forcibly transferred toward Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport for deportation.

Goradia had lived in France since 1996, having arrived with a tourist visa and remained in France after its expiration date. He was unable to get a permanent visa and was arrested by police this summer.

He was imprisoned in the brutal detention center (Administrative Retention Centre, CRA) in Vincennes near Paris on August 12 and served with the expulsion order. On August 16, he resisted the first attempt by the police to expel him. He died while being forcefully transferred to the airport by the notorious UNESI (National Unit for Escort, Support and Intervention) unit.

Police falsely claimed Goradia, who was asthmatic, died of a heart attack. This claim was contradicted by the autopsy report, which concludes that the cause of death was “asphyxia due to gastric regurgitation.”

Witnesses and his family members also rejected police claims. Goradia’s cousin, who saw his body, told the media: “He had facial injuries but we could not see the rest of the body because it was hidden.”

Another witness who was in the detention center with Goradia said the killing took place “… when we were doing prayers at 18h. As soon as we finished, he came down allegedly because he had a visit. In the local reception area, the cops beat him. They put a helmet and handcuffs on him and bound his legs. The cops knew he was going to refuse, and then they used force with him.”

After Goradia’s death, police publicly discussed Goradia’s record with the media, including convictions for credit card fraud, in a cynical attempt to blacken his character and implicitly justify the police killing.

In European Union countries, including France, many thousands of immigrants and asylum seekers are treated like animals and forcibly expelled every year. A recent Amnesty International report said: “Human rights groups, magistrates associations and unions which assists refugees and asylum-seekers at frontier areas, both published reports which describe police ill-treatment (blows, beatings with batons, tight handcuffing, racial insults) at the holding area at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport.”

In France, since 2003 four immigrants and asylum seekers have died during deportation. Argentinean national Ricardo Barrientos, Ethiopian national Miriame Getu Hagos, Tunisian national Salem Souli and Algerian national Abdelhak Goradia died amid police violence. Last year, 36,822 immigrants were deported from France.

Every year, the number of deportations rises. At the same time, many immigrants continue to risk their lives to reach European shores aboard primitive boats. Over the last two decades, tens of thousands of people have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. Most are from Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. These immigrants are victims of imperialist war, misery, and repression in their home countries.

Since the Stalinist dissolution of the USSR in 1991, the escalating wars and interventions of imperialist powers have claimed millions of lives and turned millions into refugees in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. French imperialism has joined these wars to re-divide and recolonize the world, waging wars in Syria, Mali, the Central African Republic, Libya, and now in Iraq. However, Paris employs the most brutal methods to repress refugees fleeing the social catastrophes created by these wars.

In Europe, including France, many undocumented immigrants work as virtual slaves in restaurants, small shops, or cleaning and construction works in order to live. Many bosses cheat these workers, because they cannot go to the police to complain. Some workers work more than 250 hours per month to earn only 1200 euros without a pay sheet and without social benefits to pay rent.

As the political and social crisis has intensified, the issue of immigration has come to the fore. In an irrefutable sign of its bankrupt and reactionary character, the entire capitalist political establishment in Europe is denouncing and attacking immigrants, using them as scapegoats to poison the political atmosphere and divide the working class. The immigration policy of the so-called “Socialist” government of President François Hollande is even more brutal than that of the previous conservative government of President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers live under constant threat of deportation. Amnesty International reported that about 20,000 Roma families were expelled from their makeshift homes in 2013. In May 2014, police forcibly evicted nearly 700 immigrants and asylum seekers from makeshift camps in Calais.

Former Interior Minister and current Prime Minister Manuel Valls infamously denounced the Roma people in racist terms for being “incapable of assimilating” into French society” to justify his government’s policy of mass deportations of the Roma. Such comments demonstrate the reactionary character of the ruling Socialist Party (PS), which is moving towards the positions of France’s neo-fascist National Front (FN).

Young Sandwich terns with rings seen again


This video from the Netherlands is called Sandwich Tern chick preening. There are also some black-headed gulls in the video.

Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands reports today about Sandwich terns on the island.

This year, 7600 Sandwich tern couples nested in Utopia nature reserve, near the Wadden Sea.

88 chicks in these nests were ringed this year. 35 of those young terns were seen again later. Two of them in France, one in England.

Most chicks were seen again in Utopia. 11 had flown away further. Six went to the Slufter on Texel. One to the Maasvlakte near Rotterdam. Two to De Putten nature reserve in Noord-Holland province. These two De Putten youngsters continued to France (Le Havre region).

Unfortunately, one chick (the smallest one of all) was found dead.

Rare mushroom discovery in the Netherlands


This video from France is called Chamaemyces fracidus. English Text.

Translated from the Dutch Mycological Society on Wednesday, August 27th, 2014:

In the dunes of Schoorl is the very rare Chamaemyces fracidus mushroom has been found. The species still lives only at six places in the Netherlands. The mushroom was in the verge of a seashell cycle track. The dunes of Schoorl have a low lime content, but thanks to the calcareous seashell path it can grow here.

French government admits arming Syrian jihadists


This video says about itself:

Syria – Who are Jabhat al-Nusra? – Truthloader

23 May 2013

A lot of the graphic footage coming out of Syria has been associated with extremist opposition groups but the name that has cropped up the most is Jabhat al-Nusra. But who are the secretive jihadists? Where do they come from and what links to they have with al Qaeda, Iraq and what have they got to do with The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham?

By Pierre Mabut in France:

France admits it directly supplied arms to Syrian “rebels”

27 August 2014

President François Hollande confirmed in a Le Monde interview on August 19 that France has been directly supplying arms to the “rebels” of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in its proxy war to remove the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. This came ahead of the recent US decision to intervene militarily in Syria, ostensibly to crush the Islamic State (IS) opposition militia operating in Iraq and Syria.

French imperialism has been arming Syrian Islamist opposition forces since at least the spring of 2013. According to Le Monde, it provided weapons including 12.7-mm machine guns, rocket launchers, body armour and communications equipment—but “ nothing”, according to a Le Monde source, “which ‘could have been turned against us’ such as explosives”. The same weapons are also being shipped to the Peshmerga Kurdish militias in northern Iraq to stop the progress of the IS takeover, a direct product of the US war in Iraq. …

The IS and large parts of the FSA are composed of Islamist groups using terror bombings and mass killings to conduct a brutal civil war that left nearly 190,000 dead and millions of refugees. Indeed, it is precisely these crimes that Washington is now cynically exploiting to claim it has to intervene in Iraq and Syria in order to crush the IS.

Hollande turned reality on its head, claiming the growth of the IS in Syria and its sectarian wars was due to the NATO powers’ decision not to go to war with Assad.

“The international community carries a heavy responsibility in what is taking place in Syria, If two years ago there had been action to install a transition, we would not have had the Islamic State. If one year ago, there had been a proportionate reaction of the great powers to the use [by al-Assad] of chemical weapons, we would not be faced with this terrible choice between a dictator and a terrorist group,” he said.

Indeed, President Hollande and the US bear a “heavy responsibility”, but it is for fomenting the civil war, using reactionary jihadist forces such as the FSA and IS as proxies.

The lawlessness of Hollande’s PS government was witnessed in August 2013, when it clamoured for the bombing of Syria for regime change over a threatened Russian veto in the UN Security Council. War was averted at the last minute, due to deep splits in the foreign policy establishment and broad popular opposition to the war reflected in a vote against war in the British parliament—much to the chagrin of Hollande’s government, which was prepared to risk provoking a war with Russia and Iran.

The growth of the jihadist forces in Syria is the direct result of the arming and financing by the CIA, France and the Gulf monarchies as proxy forces to overthrow Assad. Substantial sections of the FSA, which Hollande cynically called “democratic,” have defected to the Al Qaeda-linked Al Nusra Front.

France has openly stoked the flames of civil war ever since 2012, when Hollande recognised the Syrian National Coalition—on which the FSA sits, together with representatives of various Islamist groups and liberal opponents of Assad—as Syria’s government. Hollande’s PS government is one of the most bellicose warmongers on the planet—launching wars in Mali and the Central African Republic in a drive to re-colonise Africa, and backing Washington and Berlin in their proxy war with Russia over Ukraine.

Harper to escalate Canadian military intervention in Iraq: here.

How the Islamic State pushed Al-Qaida to Israel’s doorstep: here.

A rebel force linked to Al Qaeda has taken control of a Syrian border post adjacent to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, and at least one Israeli soldier was wounded during fighting between the rebel group, the al-Nusra Front, and troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad: here.