Robert-Jan Asselbergs in the Netherlands made this video.
This Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty video says about itself:
24 May 2017
Crowds gathered in Brussels to protest against U.S. President Donald Trump, as he arrived to attend meetings with NATO and European Union leaders. Last year Trump referred to the city as a “hellhole,” citing a lack of “assimilation” by Muslims living there.
See also report and photos here.
Before I continue with my blog posts on the big 24 March 2017 demonstration in Brussels, Belgium against Donald Trump and NATO militarism, first now to a day later, 25 May.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV:
Hundreds of protesters blocked a crossroads in Brussels near the NATO headquarters. With a human chain, they demonstrated against NATO, which has a summit today, with US American President Trump also present.
The protesters of the pacifist movement Agir pour la paix had been near the NATO building since the beginning of the afternoon. According to a spokesperson, NATO is an “unnecessary war machine”.
The movement also demonstrated against the storage of nuclear weapons on Belgian territory.
This morning, Greenpeace activists raised a banner on a construction crane opposite the US embassy, where Trump spent the night.
On the banner was ‘#Resist’.
Trump … believes that the European member states [oF NATO] must increase their financial contribution to NATO significantly.
This 24 May 2017 video says about itself:
From Science News:
Petite parrots provide insight into early flight
by Helen Thompson
9:00am, May 24, 2017
When it comes to hopping between branches, tiny parrots try only as hard as they need to. The finding comes from high-speed video taken to measure how Pacific parrotlets (Forpus coelestis) shift momentum from takeoff to landing.
Bird flight is though to have started with jumping and gliding. When traveling short distances, parrotlets get most of their oomph from their legs, probably because it’s a more efficient way to accelerate than pushing against air with their wings. Still, small wingbeats do help support some of the birds‘ bodyweight. The farther the trip, the more that wings contribute to keeping the birds in the air. The birds also optimize their takeoff angles to apply as little mechanical energy as possible, Diana Chin and David Lentink of Stanford University report May 17 in Science Advances.
The researchers also found that one partial wingbeat can support 15 to 30 percent of a parrotlet’s weight — on par with feathered, flightless dinosaurs like Archaeopteryx. With a bit of mathematical modeling, they determined that one such flap in flight could have extended Archaeopteryx’s jumping range by 20 percent, perhaps giving the dinos an edge in foraging for food.
Chin says the simulation provides a potential explanation for how feathered dinosaurs and early birds refined their tree hopping skills, ultimately giving rise to foraging flights of modern parrotlets and other birds.
This video says about itself:
24 May 2017
Thousands of demonstrators holding marches in Brussels, Belgium under the slogan ‘Trump not Welcome‘ held anti-NATO and antiwar signs to protest the US president attending a NATO summit on Thursday. RT’s Anastasia Churkina reports from the protest.
That video is one of various videos on that big demonstration in Brussels. There will be more videos, and photos in my blog posts to come on the Brussels demonstration.
However, before arriving there, we had to travel by bus on that 24 May.
In the bus to the anti-Trump demonstration were people from various parts of the Netherlands, from, eg, the peace movement Oorlog is geen Oplossing (war is not a solution), who have a report and photos on their blog, and the Socialist Party. There was Socialist Party MP Ms Sadet Karabulut, the daughter of Kurdish Turkish immigrant workers. There was a refugee from Somalia, now chairman of the Deventer branch of the Socialist Party. He said this demonstration was important, as wars don’t bring solutions. Eg, in his native Somalia, where the United States armed forces invaded in 1993, proclaiming good intentions; but the results were a chain reaction of bloodbaths in Somalia. He said Bernie Sanders should have won the presidential elections in the USA.
There was a member of the Socialist Party’s young people’s organisation from Zeist town. There was a Socialist Party man from Oldeberkoop village in Friesland province. And two women from Sneek town, also in Friesland. There was someone with a T shirt, saying ‘Stop arming Saudi Arabia‘.
We picked up some fellow demonstrators in Den Bosch city. We passed a fountain with dragon sculptures in the city center; and a <a href=”https://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/2016/06/10/giraffes-on-video/”>giraffe statue, modeled on the way famous local painter Hieronymus Bosch depicted that animal, in a city park.
Then, we arrived at the gate of United States nuclear weapons are there; many times there have been protests against them.
Our protest that day involved wool (a bit like similar anti-nuclear weapons protests in Britain).
We made a a woolly colourful ‘spider’s web‘ across the access road to the base, blocking the gate.
This photo shows the woolly spider’s web, with a sign saying ‘Make peace! No war!’, and banners saying ‘Take these nuclear weapons away’ and ‘War is no solution’.
Police was present, but did not arrest anyone.
We also hung the banner saying ‘Take these nuclear weapons away’ and other pro-peace banners on the base’s fences.
A women with a Trump face mask on held a spoof ‘Trump‘ speech.
Our bus rode on. Near Eindhoven city there was graffiti about local football club PSV on viaducts. Near Antwerp in Belgium was graffiti depicting ladybugs on viaducts. And also a big traffic jam.
Finally south of Antwerp, we passed Breendonk, during World War II a nazi concentration camp.
We arrived at Brussel Noord railway station, where the demonstration would start. Stay tuned!
This is a turtle dove video from France.
24 May 2017
Flying Start – new hope for the Turtle-dove
In ancient Greek mythology, the European Turtle-dove Streptopelia turtur was purported to be sacred to Demeter, goddess of the harvest and agriculture. As a species of cultivated areas and woodland, the Turtle-dove would have been a familiar farmland sight – as it would continue to be for a great many centuries to come. Today, however, the Turtle-dove – like all too many of Europe’s once common farmland birds – is declining at an alarming rate in numerous countries across our continent and is now listed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List.
“The sharpest declines that we know about are found along the western flyway”
A long-distance flyer, the Turtle-dove migrates from its European breeding grounds to winter in Africa. All three main migratory flyways – western via France and Spain, central via Italy and eastern via Greece – present perilous hurdles including lack of food and water, hunting and illegal killing as well as sea and desert crossings to reach sub-Saharan Africa. But the sharpest declines that we know about are found along the western flyway: from the UK, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands down through France, Spain and Portugal. Overall, the European population is estimated to be declining at a rate of 30-49% over a 16 year period. But in the UK, the situation is even worse with numbers plummeting by almost 95% in the last twenty years.
To reverse this downward spiral, the Turtle-dove was chosen to be one of the 16 iconic bird species targeted by the EU-funded LIFE EuroSAP project, launched in 2015. The project studies the entire life-cycles and migratory routes of some of the most charismatic and threatened birds in Europe with a view to developing specific Species Action Plans (SAPs) to conserve populations on a continental scale.
The first draft of the European Turtle-dove Action Plan – coordinated by BirdLife International and the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) – was published this April. It details an initial set of proposed conservation actions to tackle habitat loss, lack of food availability and the impact of hunting over a ten year period.
This draft is now out for consultation: governments, conservation organisations, scientists, hunting organisations and other groups from across the Turtle-dove’s European, Central Asian and African range, now have the chance to comment on and shape the Action Plan before it is launched in early 2018. So far, the process has involved more than 130 experts from across countries and disciplines; it’s truly great to see the Turtle-dove – a fabled symbol of fidelity – bringing together such a diverse array of people. We’ve gotten off to a flying start and it feels like there could be new hope for the future of the Turtle-dove in Europe.
Joscelyne Ashpole is a Species & Habitats Assistant Officer at RSPB (BirdLife UK).
You can view the draft Turtle-dove Action Plan online via the Species Action Plan Tracking Tool.
This video from England says about itself:
23 May 2017
By Peter Lazenby in Britain:
Donations flood in for homeless heroes
Thursday 25th May 2017
KINDHEARTED fundraisers for two homeless heroes who ran to the aid of those injured in the Manchester terror bomb raised more than £50,000 yesterday.
And the huge outpouring of support following the atrocious attack raised over £1.5 million for the 22 dead and 59 wounded victims and their families.
Stephen Jones, 35, was sleeping in a doorway near the Manchester Arena concert venue on Monday night when he heard a huge bang, which he initially thought was a firework.
“I then realised what was happening and saw children coming out, screaming and covered in blood,” said Mr Jones.
“We were having to pull nails and bits of glass out of their arms and faces,” he said. “We haven’t slept most of the night because of what we’ve seen.”
Mr Jones, a former bricklayer who has been sleeping rough for more than a year, added: “I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I’d just walked away.
“Just because I’m homeless, it doesn’t mean I haven’t got a heart.
“There’s a lot of good people in Manchester who help us out and we need to give back too.”
Two separate Just Giving fundraisers had raised a total of £56,446 for Mr Jones at the time the Star went to press to help get him off the streets.
Mr Jones’s brave actions were so inspiring that West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan and his son offered to pay rent on a house for him for the next six months to “help him get on his feet.”
Mr Parker had been in the foyer of the arena when the explosion went off which knocked him to the floor.
But instead of running away he told reporters that it was his “gut instinct” to go back and help.
He said he has not been able to stop crying after cradling a 60-year-old woman who passed away in his arms.
The identities of the 22 people killed in the attack, carried out by suicide bomber Salman Abedi, are being revealed slowly.
They include a Polish couple there to collect their daughters, venue PR manager Martyn Hett and an off-duty police officer.
The first victims named were eight-year-old Saffie Roussos and 18-year-old Georgina Callander.
Police are investigating a “network” believed to be involved and have arrested four men in south Manchester.
Troops were sent to guard major London landmarks yesterday and Britain’s terror threat was raised to “critical.”
He said: “The British people are united in their resolve that terror will not prevail. Resuming democratic debate and campaigning is an essential mark of the country’s determination to defend our democracy and the unity that the terrorists have sought to attack.”
This video from England says about itself:
Manchester’s homeless documentary
A short documentary that tells the story of some of the many homeless that live on the streets on Manchester. The idea of making this short film was to create a documentary where people can hear their stories without filtering anything. Made by Ryan Priestnall, Charles Dalton and Jarred Gibb in 2014.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Solidarity will defeat terror
Thursday 25th may 2017
THE people of Manchester’s response to Monday night’s terrorist atrocity continues to show solidarity, courage and community spirit that acts as an example to us all.
The thousands raised for homeless Stephen Jones, who raced to the scene to pull nails from the faces of the victims and the hundreds of thousands pouring into the Manchester Emergency JustGiving fund display the same generosity we saw so much evidence of from local people on the night of the attack.
Suspending general election campaigning in the aftermath of the tragedy was the right response, a mark of respect for the innocent victims of terrorism and their families.
But extending that suspension indefinitely is the wrong response. It gives the perpetrators of such disgusting attacks a kind of victory. …
Clearly no society can simply carry on as normal in the face of a mortal threat to the lives of its people. Attacks must be investigated and measures taken to prevent them happening again. But this is very different from suspending our critical judgement of the response of the authorities.
“Something must be done” is not a policy and our recent history is littered with examples of responses which have caused enormous harm — and left us far less safe than before.
This open-ended conflict has proved more counterproductive even than the much-ridiculed “war on drugs,” which has so dismally failed to reduce the illegal smuggling of narcotics or the lethal violence that awful trade inflicts on civilians in producer countries.
No serious analyst of the wars launched in the name of the “war on terror,” from Afghanistan and Iraq in the Blair era to Libya and Syria under David Cameron and Theresa May, argues that they reduced the terrorist threat.
The destruction of stable governments and the descent of whole nations into bloody chaos created Isis and proved a gift to its precursor and now rival al-Qaida.
Studies by the Open Society Justice Initiative and Rights Watch UK have also slammed the British government’s Prevent programme as counterproductive — allowing widespread discrimination and abuse which can alienate entire communities.
And all such projects to counter “radical Islam” ring hollow when Britain maintains its sycophantic alliance with the Wahhabi regime in Saudi Arabia, where death is the penalty for atheism and where the government sponsors and promotes murderous, intolerant fanaticism on a global scale.
Suspending campaigning is an inadequate answer to Monday’s terrible events because we do have a choice on June 8 that could make a difference.
Theresa May stands for all the failed policies that have brought us to this pass. The government’s response, to ramp up Prevent and flood the streets with soldiers, is more of the same.
Labour offers a different vision, one where our security is boosted by a peaceful foreign policy and military assistance to jihadist groups in the Middle East is ended.
UK REPORTEDLY STOPPED SHARING INTELLIGENCE WITH U.S. ON MANCHESTER CASE After U.S. leaks to the media.
By Julie Hyland in Britain:
Official account of Manchester suicide bombing unravels
25 May 2017
It took less than 24 hours for Prime Minister Theresa May’s claim that Manchester suicide bomber Salman Ramadan Abedi was known to British intelligence only “up to a point” to be exposed as a lie.
Reports from acquaintances of Abedi and a series of leaks from US and French intelligence sources make clear that the security services knew that the 22-year-old who took the lives of 22 people at the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena Monday night was a serious threat to public safety.
British intelligence had been warned about Abedi being a possible suicide bomber as far back as five years ago. The BBC reported that two college friends of Abedi had made separate calls to the police at that time because they were worried that “he was supporting terrorism” and had expressed the view that “being a suicide bomber was OK.”
Among a plethora of leaks, NBC reporter Richard Engel tweeted that a US intelligence official told reporters that Abedi’s family had warned British security officials that he was “dangerous.”
Later that day his father and brother were arrested in Libya, accused of being long-time supporters of Al Qaeda and planning further atrocities.
France’s interior minister, Gerard Collomb, revealed that Abedi had “proven” links with Islamic State [ISIS], and that both the British and French intelligence services had information that Abedi had been in Syria, from where he had only recently returned.
British Home Secretary Amber Rudd and May’s office have both denounced US intelligence and others for leaks they maintain will damage the “operational integrity” of the investigation into Abedi. Their real concern is that these revelations have undermined their efforts to portray anyone questioning the official account of the Manchester bombing as a “conspiracy theorist.”
Events now unfolding fit a well-established pattern. After an atrocity occurs, it soon emerges that the assailants were known to the security/intelligence agencies, which without fail and for reasons never explained allowed them to “slip through the net.” But claims of incompetence carry no weight. The only plausible explanation is that these individuals are protected by forces within the state.
From a political standpoint, the origin of these atrocities is clear. In every case the roots can be traced to the catastrophic wars launched since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 through to the present day—in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and beyond. The result is a political and social disaster in these countries that provides fertile soil for the proliferation of terrorist groups and individuals.
Crucially, those primed for murderous violence on the streets of Britain, France, the US and elsewhere are products of reactionary terror networks that are intimately involved in these imperialist wars for regime change.
Abedi’s trips to Libya and Syria and his links to Islamist terror forces follow a well-worn path of perpetrators of bombing atrocities being tied in with sectarian terrorist organisations financed, armed and utilised by the Western powers. He comes from an area of Manchester that exemplifies British imperialism’s cultivation of Islamist terror groups for service in its foreign operations.
Abedi is reported to have been a close associate of ISIS recruiter Raphael Hostey from Manchester, who was killed in a drone strike in Syria in 2016. For years, a group of members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group were active in the Whalley Range district of Manchester, close to Abedi’s home. They were allowed to recruit there in return for their role in opposing the Gaddafi regime. The local leader, Abd al-Baset Azzouz, was active until he left for Libya in 2014. He was said to be an expert in bomb making, with 200 to 300 militants under his control.
Just as sinister as the Manchester attack itself is the political use to which it is being put. On Tuesday, May raised the national terror threat to “critical,” its highest level. Amid official warnings that another assault is “imminent,” nearly 1,000 troops have been dispatched to the streets, mainly in London, to reinforce counterterrorism officers. These moves are in accordance with Operation Temperer, a covert plan drawn up by the Tory government in 2015, when May was home secretary.
The latest attack follows a pattern where terrorist outrages coincide with critical ballots—most recently last month’s fatal attack on a police officer in Paris by Karim Cheurfi. This was used to justify holding the first round of France’s presidential elections at gunpoint, amid a massive police and army presence on the streets and at polling places.
France provides a serious warning of what may unfold in Britain.
A state of emergency has been in force in France since 2015 following a series of terror attacks in Paris. It was extended only yesterday, supposedly in response to the Manchester bombing.
Last week, L’Obs magazine disclosed that top members of France’s Socialist Party government had prepared a coup d’état in the event of neo-fascist Marine Le Pen winning the May 7 presidential runoff. The aim was not to prevent a National Front presidency, but to crush left-wing dissent and install Le Pen in power in an enforced alliance with a Socialist Party-led government. …
Does anyone seriously believe that similar discussions are not taking place in ruling circles in Britain?
May called the snap June 8 election in an attempt to pre-empt the democratic process by securing a parliamentary majority to ram through measures that have no real popular support—deepening the austerity offensive against the working class and pursuing a course of escalating war alongside the US against Syria, Iran and even Russia.
Less than 48 hours ago, her plans appeared to be in ruins. So acute was the political backlash over May’s manifesto proposal to make pensioners sell their homes to pay for social care that even her slavish media supporters worried that she might lose the election to Labour.
Such is the hostility in ruling circles in both Britain and the US to the prospect of Corbyn becoming prime minister—due in particular to Corbyn’s stated opposition to nuclear weapons and criticisms of NATO—that in 2015 an unnamed senior British general warned that there would be a “mutiny” should he become prime minister.
Already May has utilised the Manchester suicide bombing to shift the election agenda back to the question of national security, as she struts around unchallenged and unquestioned—the de facto spokesperson for the police, the MI5, the MI6 and the military. But things might not end there.
The most recent historical precedent in the UK for a snap election was that called by Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath in 1974. At a time of enormous political and social tensions internationally, including a militant miners’ strike in Britain, Heath called the election to decide “who runs the country?”
Heath lost, but remained in Downing Street for four days. It is now acknowledged that discussions were being held between senior military officers on a possible coup.
Instead, the state decided it could rely on the incoming Labour government to help re-establish its control. Today… the shift towards dictatorial forms of rule flows from the deep class antagonisms wracking the UK and the utter putrefaction of British capital.
A comment on that article says:
This video from England says about itself:
The crew of short documentary ‘Why we: Don’t Buy the Sun‘ spent some time with campaigners and rapidly growing Facebook group ‘Total Eclipse of the Sun‘ during a peaceful protest outside Mossley Hill Co-op in Liverpool.
Join the grassroots campaign and group of almost 45k members who continue to inform people of the reasons of a boycott of The Sun newspaper which famously exists in Liverpool and champion stores/businesses who staunchly refuse to stock the publication.
Follow the progress of the short documentary ‘Why we: Don’t Buy the Sun‘ – THE documentary that both Rupert Murdoch & Kelvin McKenzie DO NOT want you to see as we reveal the reasons an entire city has boycotted ‘The S*n’ newspaper & why other cities now need to follow. Coming Soon.
By Peter Lazenby in Britain:
New calls to boycott the Sun newspaper across Manchester
Thursday 25th May 2017
AN online campaign has been launched to boycott The Sun newspaper in Manchester over its outrageous lies about Monday’s terrorist attack.
If successful it will unite Manchester with neighbouring Liverpool, whose people have boycotted The Sun for 28 years over its shocking coverage of the 1989 Hillsborough football stadium disaster, which saw 96 Liverpool fans crushed to death.
The Sun lied that the Liverpool fans caused the Hillsborough tragedy; that they “picked pockets of victims,” “urinated on brave cops” and “beat up PCs giving the kiss of life.”
The true cause of the disaster — police incompetence — was revealed after a determined 27-year campaign by the families of the dead.
Now The Sun is at it again. It sought to exploit the tragic deaths of 22 people in the bombing at Manchester Arena by erroneously linking Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell to terrorism.
According to The Sun, victims of Monday’s atrocity “were murdered specifically because Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell sucked up to the IRA” — a reference to their attempts to seek peace in Northern Ireland 30 years ago.
The appeal to the people of Manchester to emulate Liverpool’s boycott of The Sun for its lies about their city’s tragedy has been made by Greater Manchester resident Charlotte Hughes through online pressure group change.org.
She said: “When I saw the article in The Sun saying Jeremy Corbyn was implicated in some way with the deaths, it was just awful.
“It was absolutely disrespectful to the victims. I didn’t want it to go the way The Sun did with Hillsborough.”
Her appeal states: “On a day set aside for mourning, with all political campaigns stood down, The Sun ran a story that was a naked manipulation of tragic events to serve its own political purposes.
“At a time where media and political regulators seem to be failing to uphold standards, consumers can apply real pressure. Simply by taking their custom elsewhere.”
The Liverpool boycott is estimated to be costing The Sun £15 million a month.
On Wednesday, newly-elected President Emmanuel Macron’s administration seized on the May 22 terror attack in Manchester to announce the prolongation of France’s state of emergency, imposed after the 2015 Paris attacks, through November 1. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced the move after a Defense Council meeting at the Elysée presidential palace. The state of emergency was supposed to lapse on July 15: here.