Trump comes to Britain, demonstrate against him


The Stop Trump demonstration in London in July 2018. Let's make this year's even bigger

By Denis Fernando in Britain:

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Stand Up to Trump‘s DENIS FERNANDO explains why we should all mobilise for June 4’s protest against the US president’s state visit

Donald Trump’s state visit this June will give him unjustifiable prestige and recognition. Trump’s policies seriously threaten humanity, only serving the interests of the ultra-rich billionaires he represents. Together Against Trump, a broad coalition of campaigners, activists, trade unions, faith and community groups including Stand Up to Racism, Stop the War and others is calling a national protest on June 4 in London.

Last year in London, a quarter of a million protested against his visit. To avoid these protests he barely visited London.

Whilst details of the current visit remain unclear, we anticipate red carpet treatment from the government and royalty, including hand-holding from Theresa May regardless of his insults and threats.

A new poll shows only 24 per cent of Londoners support the state visit and huge numbers support protests against it. It is clear to see why.

In less than three years his presidency has moved the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight; ratcheting up threats of war against Iran and Venezuela and supporting the increasing aggression against the Palestinians.

His administration is putting the corporate elite first, undermining unions and workers’ rights, slashing public services and health care provision.

In addition women’s rights are under attack, from his comments about sexual assault through to the recent Republican-backed abortion ban in Alabama. The campaign group GLAAD reports 106 attacks on LGBTQ rights in the workplace, schools, public services and beyond, averaging almost one per week. His opposition to tackling climate change seriously threatens the entire planet and humanity’s future.

Trump’s visit coincides with the anniversary of the D-Day landings. All democrats will wish to commemorate and respect the liberation of Europe from the nazis. When the horrors of the nazi concentration camps were revealed, including the mass murder of six million Jewish people and many others, the world said “Never Again.” Today, the rise of fascism globally, including explicit nazi sympathisers, is an insult to all those who laid down their lives to stop the nazis.

There should not be a warm welcome for a president who has equivocated between the KKK in Charlottesville and those brutally attacked for protesting against them, which resulted in the death of a Jewish anti-racist activist. Trump has also retweeted the violent far right organisation Britain First, a move which was roundly condemned by MPs across parties. Thomas Mair shouted “Britain First” when he killed Labour MP Jo Cox. It is the duty of all democrats, from elected leaders holding office, to ordinary people protesting bigotry, to oppose the hateful politics of fascism and challenge those in power when their actions embolden the far right.

Protesting against Trump matters because the words, actions and governmental policies of the most powerful leader in the world have consequences.

Trump’s election saw a spate of racist incidents targeting African-American, Muslim, Jewish and migrant communities, many citing his name or election slogans.

These included graffiti using the swastika and children were filmed in a school chanting “build the wall.”

His Muslim ban, caging of migrant children and his support for the far-right President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil and Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, whose rise to power was accompanied by an anti-semitic campaign against George Soros, are chilling.

These actions embolden racists the world over, from the KKK in America to fascists across Europe. We are witnessing a 593 per cent rise in hate crimes in Britain and a resurgent far right advancing electorally in Europe which emboldens fascist street movements.

We must do everything to stop this. The murderous attacks on mosques, synagogues and other places of worship from Christchurch to California were all fuelled by far right racial hatred.

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon has been intervening in European politics, which included addressing the Front National‘s Convention. There are concerted efforts to rebrand the violent far right.

Bannon describes Tommy Robinson as a “solid guy” and called for his release from prison. Robinson is now standing as an MEP. Trump also shares many common positions with Nigel Farage, from hostile policies on immigration to regressive views on climate change and gun laws.

Yet our Prime Minister is an uncritical ally of Donald Trump, signalling an even more subordinate relationship with the US. This is why we must demonstrate and draw on the history of protest movements against grave injustices that have sparked meaningful change.

Let’s ensure the streets are once again full with the vibrant diversity of society that Trump threatens. His politics of hatred have no place in the 21st century.

Join the Together Against Trump National Demonstration: Assemble Trafalgar Square London 11am Tuesday June 4 and march to where Trump is being received on the state visit. For more information visit www.togetheragainsttrump.org.uk.

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Europeans helping refugees, are they criminals?


This 26 June 2017 video by British Channel 4 TV says about itself:

Rescued African migrants say they are fleeing slavery

Italy [then still under an officially ‘center left’ government] has threatened to stop foreign boats carrying migrants rescued in the central Mediterranean Sea from docking in its ports unless other EU countries do more to help. It comes amid a surge in arrivals in recent days, as we reported last night from aboard a German rescue vessel. Tonight we hear from the migrants and refugees themselves. A warning: this report contains images and testimony that you may find distressing.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Hundreds across Europe harassed, charged and arrested for supporting migrants, new report shows

HUNDREDS of people, including “elderly women, priests and firefighters” are being harassed, charged or arrested for showing support and solidarity for migrants, a shocking new report has revealed.

Data compiled by the openDemocracy website details how draconian laws have been used against individuals including a French olive grower arrested for feeding and sheltering migrants on the border of Italy and a 70-year-old Danish grandmother who was convicted and fined for offering a lift to a family with small children.

At least 250 people have been charged in 14 countries over the last five years, according to the group’s study.

But most cases were found in just seven countries — Italy, Greece, France, Britain, Germany, Denmark and Spain.

The report suggested that the numbers had “risen sharply” in the last 18 months, particularly in Italy and France where far-right parties hold power at national and local levels.

Figures showed that in 2018 at least 100 people were arrested, charged or investigated, double the number for the previous year.

Most appeared to have been targeted for providing food, shelter, transport or other support to migrants without legal papers.

NGOs warned of an attempt to “criminalise” their work.

France has a specific delit de solidarite, crime of solidarity, contained in its immigration law.

But a 2018 court judgment ruled it unconstitutional to use this law against people who act for humanitarian reasons.

The Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights Dunja Mijatovic said it was “troubling to see” the increase in cases.

“Instead of clamping down on those who help migrants live a more dignified life,” she said, European leaders must “recommit with human rights, the rule of law and European values. This is both a legal and a moral duty.”

Flowers, elephants and herons of Tilos, Greece


This video is called Tilos 2014.

After 8 May 2019 on Tilos island in Greece came 9 May.

Early in the morning, bee-eater sound.

Wild carrot, 9 May 2019

Along a road near Megalo Chorio village, this wild carrot flower.

Wild carrot, on 9 May 2019

And this other wild carrot flower.

This 3 June 2019 video is called Could you spot a wild carrot? | [London] Natural History Museum.

Elephants, 9 May 2019

Back in Megalo Chorio, this supermarket, where you can buy elephants …

Food, 9 May 2019

… and various food items.

We walked to Agios Antonios.

A clouded yellow butterfly.

A sling-tailed agama on its usual wall.

Flowers, 9 May 2019

Along the road, these flowers.

Flowers, on 9 May 2019

And these flowers.

Holy orchid with snail, 9 May 2019

And this holy orchid with snail.

A house martin flies past.

A hoopoe calls.

In Agios Antonios, two squacco herons fly along the coast.

Agios Antonios, 9 May 2019

These trees grow there.

Just past the harbour, a gull on a rock. This time not a (common) yellow-legged gull, but a rarer Audoin’s gull.

This 11 July 2017 video says about itself:

Always carry a camera! Audouin’s gull – Port de Pollença, Espana

From caterpillars to butterflies, BBC video


This 18 May 2019 video says about itself:

Caterpillar Cocoon Timelapse | BBC Earth

Watch the first bizarre steps in this caterpillar‘s rebirth from bug to butterfly, in a timelapse showing the beginning of one of nature’s most incredible metamorphoses.

German army against German civilians?


This video is called GERMAN STATES TOY SOLDIERS. From the Emperor Napoleon I era, including Bavaria.

Unfortunately, now about 21st century real soldiers.

By Tino Jacobson and Peter Schwarz in Germany:

Bavarian State Regiment

German government prepares troops for domestic missions

18 May 2019

With the pilot project of a Bavarian “state regiment”, the German federal government is secretly and unconstitutionally creating an armed homeland security force. This links up with the tradition of volunteer military organizations that terrorized the working class during the Weimar Republic in the 1920s and 1930s.

The Bavarian State Regiment is a joint project of the Federal Ministry of Defence, the Bundeswehr (armed forces), the Reservists Association and the Bavarian state government. The project officially began on April 1 and will be extended to the whole of Germany after a trial period until the end of 2021. The first state regiment will enter service on May 18 in Roth near Nuremberg. It includes 500 reservists, as well as five active Bundeswehr soldiers. Fifty other active Bundeswehr soldiers will take part in exercises and join up in case of emergency.

The proposal to build state regiments comes from Oswin Veith, Christian Democratic Union (CDU) member of parliament. Veith is president of the Reservists Association, funded by the Defence Ministry, and in addition to enjoying the free provision of offices, exercise areas and materials, is funded with around €14 million annually.

At the annual meeting of the Bundeswehr reserve in autumn 2016, Veith announced: “I dream that in 2026 there will be a provincial regiment in each state with a charismatic commander, a troop flag and an organization of between 800 and 2,000 reservists to support the police and the Bundeswehr in emergency situations.”

In draft guidelines, which he sent internally to association leaders the following year, Veith called for universal compulsory service, obliging all 16- to 35-year-old men and women to undertake social duties. Those who decided to serve in the Bundeswehr should be able to serve in one of 16 state regiments near their home town.

According to Veith, the state regiments would form a “national reserve” with around 30,000 posts and have a clear ideological orientation. The “reservist, who has not yet committed or wanted to get involved” should be “addressed and motivated with the positive term ‘national’”.

An internal analysis of the Bundeswehr at that time rejected this proposal on the grounds that the guidelines of the Reservists Association were “incompatible” with the German constitution. The structures of the state regiments “contradict the state’s monopoly of force” and some of the chosen formulations placed “the principles of our liberal and democratic constitution on its head,” said the Bundeswehr. But less than two years later, Veith’s proposal is being put into action, at least in part.

The Bavarian State Regiment relies on three existing reserve units: the Upper, Middle and Lower Franconia companies of the so-called Regional Security and Support Services (RSU). There are 27 such companies nationwide. Reservists include former soldiers who have retired from active duty but remain at the disposal of the Bundeswehr and, recently, specially recruited men and women between the ages of 25 and 55, who are being trained in a crash course as “soldiers lite.”

The RSU units are trained for domestic tasks that are forbidden for the Bundeswehr according to the constitution. These include “monitoring and ensuring the safety of the German air and sea areas,” “securing domestic military installations”, as well as deployment in a “domestic emergency.” In addition to natural disasters and particularly serious incidents, these emergencies include uprisings, strikes and protests that endanger the state order.

The reserve units are therefore also intended to be used as a kind of National Guard for counterinsurgency purposes. In forming the state regiments, they will receive a stronger, centralized command structure and be linked more closely with the Bundeswehr.

Colonel Stefan Helmut Berger, the first commander of the state regiment, was “extremely happy” to take on a new mission “for the homeland” and welcomed this “further opportunity for a serious reserve force. For example, the reservists have done very good preparatory work in the past 10 years in establishing the KVKs and BVKs.”

The abbreviations KVK and BVK refer to District and Regional Commands, which already exist in all federal states, and are deployed in disasters or major incidents. They would form a link between civil protection and the Bundeswehr.

The head of the Bavarian State Chancellery, Florian Herrmann, bragged about the special role of Bavaria in the pilot project, “For Bavaria, as the top reservist state, one thing is clear: we want to make better use of the reserve’s potential.”

The Bavarian state government has been campaigning for domestic Bundeswehr operations for years. It has been involved in several civil war exercises in recent years, such as: GETEX (Joint Counter Terrorism Exercise), BAYTEX and the 2017 nationwide anti-terror exercise, in which heavily armed soldiers trained to collaborate with the police in the inner cities.

The construction of a Homeland Security force is not limited to Germany. Similar developments already exist in France, Poland, Sweden, Denmark and the Baltic States. All these countries are building up national reservist troops for domestic deployment to prepare for future uprisings.

Since the 2015 terrorist attacks in France, an 85,000-strong National Guard has been created to take over the army’s domestic operations. Since the end of March, President Emmanuel Macron has been using soldiers against the “yellow vests” who take to the streets against social inequality and the “president of the rich”. The Paris military governor, General Bruno Leray, threatened that his soldiers would also use live ammunition if necessary.

In Germany, the “Bavarian State Regiment” pilot project is part of a comprehensive upgrade of all state organs—the military, the police and the secret services—and the deliberate strengthening of extreme right-wing forces. These include the new police laws in the individual federal states, the financial, personnel and material upgrades of the police and intelligence services and the construction of camps and detention centres for refugees.

The use of the Bundeswehr and the reservist associations domestically violates the constitution. The German constitution expressly excludes domestic army operations, with the exception of “natural disasters” or “particularly serious incidents”, such as the devastating 2013 Elbe flood. However, they have been practised for years and are constantly being expanded.

For example, the “new Bundeswehr Concept”, which the grand coalition presented last summer, states: “With regard to the threats in the ‘global commons,’ as well as hybrid threats in cyberspace, national and spatial boundaries, the strict separation of internal and external security is losing its significance.”

The paper, which advocates the permanent deployment of the Bundeswehr domestically and the collaboration of the military and the police, is also supported by the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Greens. The first joint exercises by the Bundeswehr and police in Germany not only had the backing of Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU), but also the then North Rhine-Westphalia state Interior Minister Ralf Jäger (SPD) and Baden-Württemberg state premier Winfried Kretschmann (Greens).

The ban on Bundeswehr domestic missions was one of the lessons drawn from the Weimar Republic and the Nazi regime. The Reichswehr (Imperial Army) together with paramilitary combat units, the secret service and police had formed a state-within-the-state. Among other things, the assassination of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht and the bloody suppression of the Munich Soviet Republic took place exactly 100 years ago as a result of this “deep state.”

After defeating the Munich Soviet Republic, the Guards Cavalry Rifle Division moves into Munich. (Photo: Federal Archives)

Between April to May 1919 in Munich, the Freikorps (Free Corps) brutally rampaged and murdered thousands of revolutionaries and also ordinary workers. Bavaria became an El Dorado for all types of Freikorps and military associations. They operated under the protection of the reactionary Bavarian state premier Gustav Ritter von Kahr, and the Social Democratic federal government of Ebert/Scheidemann in Berlin with their Wehrbeauftragte (Parliamentary Armed Forces Commissioner) Gustav Noske (SPD). This paved the way for other far-right formations, such as the Stahlhelm (Steel Helmets) and Nazi Sturmabteilung (SA), and finally Hitler’s seizure of power.

With the establishment of the state regiment in Bavaria, the federal grand coalition government of the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats is completely abandoning these lessons. In the death agony of capitalism, it is increasingly resorting to authoritarian methods to arm itself against the resistance of working people.