French Macron bans protests against police brutality


This 3 August 2019 from Nantes in France is about a rally to honour Steve Maia Caniço, killed by police brutality.

Police have arrested scores of protesters.

Police arrest Nantes demonstrator, AFP photo

By Will Morrow:

French government bans protests against police killing of Steve Caniço

3 August 2019

Amid growing outrage across France at the police killing of 24-year-old after-school carer Steve Maia Caniço during a Nantes music festival in June, the Macron administration is banning protests planned for today and branding opposition to police violence as illegitimate.

Yesterday, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner endorsed the decision by the Nantes police prefect, Claude d’Harcourt, to ban today’s protest in Nantes against Canico’s death and the ensuing state cover-up of the police’s role. “I understand perfectly the wish to pay tribute, but I don’t know of any hommages that take place through violence”, he said. “They don’t exist. If some people wish to come and sow violence, and … exploit this event, that’s unacceptable.”

On Thursday, the Nantes prefect placed a ban on protests across large areas of the city. D’Harcourt’s statement noted that a “call for a rally” was “circulating on social media”, and declared without any evidence that the event would be “boosted by the presence of ultra-protesters and extremely radical individuals, of the ‘black block’ type”. These unspecified groups’ “illegal actions exceed the framework of the freedom of protest and the characteristics of a movement advancing demands”, it said.

In other words, the vague assertion that “radical” individuals “of the black block type” are attending a demonstration suffices to declare the protest illegal and brand as criminals all those participating. D’Harcourt threatened a police crackdown, telling a press conference Friday that the “government and the interior ministry have given us everything we required.”

Protests have already taken place in multiple cities across the country. In Lille, between 250 and 500 protested against police violence on Friday evening. In Dijon, 200 people marched carrying white balloons. “What happened to Steve moved me a lot”, one marcher in Dijon said. “That could have been anyone, one of my brothers, a friend. We wanted to pay him tribute.”

Steve Caniço’s badly decomposed body was recovered in the Loire river on Tuesday afternoon. He had not been heard from and been presumed drowned since police carried out a military-style raid on a peaceful techno music festival in the early hours of Saturday, June 22. As the panicked crowd of 200 young people fled the police rubber bullets, tasers, attack dogs and truncheons through a haze of tear gas, at least 14 fell seven meters down into the Loire river, located closely adjacent to the festival on the Wilson quay. Caniço, who did not know how to swim, never resurfaced.

'Where is Steve?' flyers at the Place Royale of Nantes in July 2019 (Photo Credit: GrandCelinien)

The Macron administration is giving the police forces vast powers. On one hand, it is brazenly rejecting the widely-known evidence, including video footage, of the police’s culpability for Caniço’s death; on the other, it is taking the event as an opportunity to threaten workers and youth that the police have a green light to kill those who oppose the government’s policies with impunity.

Thus, Macron justified the police’s attack in Nantes on July 20, telling reporters that “one must not forget the context of the violence that our country has been living through”, concluding, “Calm must be restored in the country.”

Immediately following the discovery of Steve’s body on Tuesday, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe gave a press conference to whitewash the police’s role, citing an internal “investigation” conducted by the police themselves, via the General Inspection of the National Police [IGPN], into their own actions. The IGPN report, which had been ordered by the interior ministry as part of its cover-up strategy, was dated July 16, but the government had said nothing of it for two weeks until the discovery of the body.

Steve Caniço

Philippe cited the report’s declaration that there was no proof to “establish a direct link between the intervention of police and the disappearance of Steve Maia Canico.” The report denied that there had been a police “charge” or “offensive leap” against the concert goers. Instead, Philippe sought to blame the organization of the festival itself, which had taken place peacefully until its conclusion, when police attacked. He stated that there were “questions as to the preparation for this event.”

These lies are believed by no one and had been exposed well before they were uttered. One of those who fell in the river after being hit by tear gas, 24-year-old Jeremy, told Mediapart: “My eyes were burning, I felt my foot go into empty space. I couldn’t see anything. I tried to swim, I tread water I held onto a cordon the side, I couldn’t see the others fall but I heard them.”

Eighty-nine people at the concert joined a legal suit against the police following the raid. None of these eye-witnesses were interviewed by the IGPN, which relied exclusively on the testimony of security agents.

One of those who filed charges, Romain, a 33-year-old photographer, testified on Wednesday that he had spent hours in the police headquarters and navigated contradictory “instructions and counter-instructions” from the police in order to file testimony with the IGPN. The police have since claimed they could not include his comments, supposedly because they requested another statement from him via email, which Romain says he never received.

Romain was at the event with his girlfriend and her younger sister. “I didn’t even see the police uniforms at the beginning,” he said. What he originally thought was a smoke bomb as part of the concert display “landed at my feet. All of a sudden, we suffocated, and we knew it was tear gas. When I could see again, everyone was running everywhere. I looked for my friend and saw her green dress running toward the Loire. I ran after her and caught her arm 50 cm from the Loire. We turned to get to cover. It’s horrible but at that moment, we crossed people running toward the river. I cried, ‘Don’t go, the Loire is there.’ We couldn’t do anything. I heard the sound of the bodies falling into the water.” The two of them eventually found the woman’s younger sister lying in a state of shock on the ground.

Cell phone footage of the event, compiled in a video by Liberation, shows that the police tear gassing and charge continued as young people screamed that the river was behind and that people had already fallen in. …

The Socialist Party’s Martine Aubry declared that “we cannot be in a country where we doubt the police, it is not possible. It’s truly horrible that in our country, we must wait so many days to find a body and that today there are so many questions to which the official investigations don’t respond.”

Protesters marched in cities across France against police violence and to commemorate Steve Maia Caniço, who drowned in the Loire River in Nantes amid a violent police crackdown on a music festival. Anger is erupting against the government’s unabashed defense of the deadly, unprovoked violence of the police: here.

British Home Secretary Patel, punk rock parody


This 29 July parody music video from Britain is called Sacked Patels – Priti Vacant (lyric video).

It is a parody of Pretty Vacant by the Sex Pistols.

It is about Priti Patel, the new Home Secretary in Boris Johnson’s Conservative government.

It says about itself:

Why did Priti Patel, our new Home Secretary, have to leave her previous ministerial role? Find out on “Priti Vacant” by her Sex Pistols tribute band, Sacked Patels, fronted by the iconic Priti Rotten.

LYRICS:

There was no point in asking the Foreign Office
Because Boris Johnson was out on the piss
If anyone asks, yes they did have a hunch
That Netanyahu and I went out to lunch

Oh I’m so Priti, I’m so Priti
I’m vacant
I met with Bibi, met with Bibi
On vacation

Don’t ask about the meetings ’cause I wasn’t there
Okay, there were a couple, but just that – I swear
Alright, I confess, there were a dozen or so
I said we’d send them money
Don’t tell the FCO

Oh I’m so Priti, I’m so Priti
I’m vacant
I met with Bibi, met with Bibi
On vacation

Alastair Campbell, Blair’s spin doctor, parody music


This 30 July 2019 parody mu=sic video from Britain, about Tony Blair‘s spin doctor Alastair Campbell, recently expelled from the Labour party for voting for the Liberal Democrats, which is against Labour rules, says about itself:

Spin Doctor – Two Faces (Alastair Campbell song)

Alastair Campbell is Spin Doctor!

LYRICS:

If you want to blow up Baghdad
Just go ahead now
And if you want to unleash jihadJust go ahead now
And if you want to vote for Lib Dems
Just go ahead now
And if you want to portray jews as pig men
Just go ahead now

Labour expulsion got me vexed up
I’m proper narked, now
It’s worse than the dossier I sexed up
To bomb Iraq, now
Saddam had mass destruction weapons
That’s what I said, now
But I want a second referendum
So I’m exonerated, now

Here is my open letter
TLDR: Dave Miliband would be better
I fucked up the world in 2003
But I know what a Labour PartyBritish state-Murdoch attack on Labour party’s meant to be
I know what a Labour Party’s meant to be

Alastair Campbell, one of the key figures in Tony Blair’s 1997 Labour government, announced this week he no longer wants to be a member of the party. The sentiment among most Labour Party members was “Good riddance to bad rubbish”: here.

United States folk singer Ani DiFranco interviewed


This 20 July 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Ani DiFranco on Trump, Her New Memoir, Defying Music Moguls & Working with Pete Seeger and Prince

Legendary Grammy-award winning songwriter, guitarist and activist Ani DiFranco has published a new memoir, No Walls and the Recurring Dream, and joins us for an extended conversation about refusing to bow to the power of record companies, and founding her own music label at age 19 in 1990, called Righteous Babe.

She has gone on to release 20 studio albums, and sell over 5 million records. Over the years her music has woven together styles ranging from folk to funk, soul to jazz to R and B. She sings of the personal and political, of love, sexuality and loneliness, of sexual abuse and police brutality, and about the perversion of democracy in America.

One of the many musicians she worked with, Pete Seeger, once described DiFranco as “the torch bearer for the next generation.” She also discusses Trump, abortion rights and reads a poem she wrote after 9/11.

Donald Trump’s racism, Beatles musical parody


This 15 July 2019 parody music video from Britain is called The Tweetles – Get Back.

It is a parody of the Beatles’ song Get Back. The original lyrics of that song parodied the anti-immigrant views of British Conservative politician Enoch Powell, and anti-Puerto Rican prejudices in the USA.

It is about United States President Donald Trump’s recent attack on Twitter against four oppositional congresswomen: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley. One of them a refugee from the war in Somalia, continued by Trump. The other three congresswomen were born in the USA with immigrant or trans-Atlantic African slave trade ancestors.

The video says about itself:

The unambiguously racist new single from President Donald Trump’s Beatles tribute band.

LYRICS:

AOC’s a radical who hates America
Probably ‘cause the air’s too free
If she doesn’t like it, she could always go and
Fix things in her own country

Get back! Get back!
Get back, Ocasio-Cortez!
Go home, Ocasio!
Puerto Rico’s one of the shithole countries, right?
I hope we’re not sending them foreign aid

Ilhan is a nasty racist who hates Israel
She’s from like Somalia
I heard they have pirates, maybe she’s one of ‘em
Wooden leg and going “arrrr!”

Get back! Get back!
Get back to all your pirate friends!
Go home, Ilhan!

There’s another lady who worked here illegally
Then she got a fraud visa
She had an anchor baby, then brought all her family
Oh wait, that’s [Trump’s wife] Melania

That’s fine, that’s fine
That’s fine ‘cause she’s Judeo-Christian

United States neo-nazi site The Daily Stormer praises Trump for this attack, especially because it implies that Congresswoman Ayanna Presley, with ancestry from African American slavery times, and other African Americans, should be deported forcibly to Africa.

Ethiopian-Israeli rap music against police brutality


Associated Press news agency, 12 July 2019, writes about this video about music:

Ethiopian rappers challenging Israel police through song

In his song “Handcuffed”, rapper Teddy Neguse addresses police brutality against young Israeli men of Ethiopian descent.

Although the song came out in 2017, it has recently reached new heights in the wake of street protests across the country following the killing of an Ethiopian Israeli teen by an off-duty police officer last month.

This week the 23-year-old artist was invited to perform his song live on the popular news website Ynet.

Neguse’s appearance on Ynet illustrates the growing Ethiopian Israeli presence in the local music scene.

But it also reflects the ongoing struggles against alleged racism and discrimination, some three decades after Ethiopian Jews began arriving in Israel.

Large numbers of Ethiopian Jews began arriving in Israel via secret airlifts in the 1980s.

The new arrivals from a rural, developing African country struggled to find their footing in an increasingly high-tech Israel.

Throughout the decades, Ethiopians have suffered discrimination.

In the late 1990s, it was discovered that Israel’s health services were throwing out Ethiopian blood donations over fears of diseases contracted in Africa.

Accusations have also been raised that Israel has deliberately tried to curb birth rates in its Ethiopian communities.

Today there’s around 150,000 people in the Israel Ethiopian community, some 2% of the country’s 9 million citizens.

While some Israelis of Ethiopian descent have made gains in areas like the military, the police force and politics, the community continues to struggle with a lack of opportunity and high poverty rate.

Against this backdrop, Israeli artists of Ethiopian heritage are breaking out in the entertainment world, especially in the growing hip hop and dancehall scenes.

In his music video for “Handcuffed”, Neguse is dressed up as a soldier, riding a bicycle, when he encounters two policemen.

The officers then, seemingly unprovoked, beat him up.

The music video depicts a 2015 incident in which two policemen were filmed beating a uniformed Ethiopian Israeli soldier, sparking mass protests.

The most recent demonstrations erupted after the unarmed Solomon Teka, 18, was fatally shot by a police officer in a Haifa suburb on June 30.

Police say … at least 150 protesters were arrested.

The officer in question, who has claimed the youth was accidentally hit by a warning shot he had fired at the ground, is being investigated by internal affairs and remains under protective custody.

Another up-and-coming Ethiopian Israeli musician, Yael Mentesnot, says that in the past, the community has been “restrained” and “we end up coming off a bit naive.”

But this time she says the community is beginning to truly feel the despair.

“All the protests, they are not orchestrated, nothing there was organised,” she said.

“Everyone went to the streets frustrated and released their anger.”

While most of Mentesnot’s young solo career has been filled with upbeat party songs, she said the recent events have inspired her to address the Ethiopian Israelis’ struggle.

“Our whole life is a struggle, we face challenges, and we overcome them,” she said. “I want the public to see it. To understand what we feel.”

Neguse said he is pleased that Ethiopian musicians are on the rise, but said the recent protests should be seen as “a call for help, a cry of an entire community.”