Movement against racist murder in Bolsonaro’s Brazil


Activists including members of Black Lives Matter march against the murder of Black man Joao Alberto Silveira Freitas at a Carrefour supermarket the night before, on Brazil's National Black Consciousness Day in Sao Paulo

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 22 November 2020:

Funeral of a black man beaten to death by security guards sparks anti-racism protests across Brazil

THE funeral of a black man beaten to death by supermarket security guards on the eve of Brazil’s Black Awareness Day was accompanied by anti-racist demonstrations across the country at the weekend.

Joao Alberto Silveira Freitas, a father of four, was buried on Saturday in the southern city of Porto Alegre in a coffin draped in the blue and white chequers of the Gremio football team.

“I just want justice,” his partner, Milena Borges Alves, told Brazilian media. “That’s all. I just want them to pay for what they did to him.”

She said they had planned to formally marry in a few days after living together for nine.

Last Friday, Brazil’s national Black Consciousness Day, citizens awoke to footage circulating on social media of two white security guards repeatedly punching Mr Freitas in the face before throwing him to the ground.

One of the guards is then seen kneeling on Mr Freitas’s neck.

Demonstrators enraged by Mr Freitas’s death painted “Black Lives Matter” on the pavement of Paulista Avenue, one of the most famous thoroughfares in Sao Paulo.

Military police used pepper spray to disperse protesters outside a supermarket in the north-eastern city of Recife.

In a video message to the G20 summit in Saudi Arabia, Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro denied that his country suffered from racism and complained of an unspecified movement seeking to “divide” Brazilians.

Black and mixed-race people account for about 57 per cent of Brazil’s population but 74 per cent of victims of lethal violence, according to the Brazilian Forum on Public Safety, a non-governmental organisation.

This figure is even higher, 79 per cent, for those killed by police.

Popes John Paul, Benedict child abuse cover-up


This 10 November 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Popes Knew Of Misconduct Allegations Against Ex-Cardinal McCarrick, Vatican Finds | TODAY

The Vatican has released its long-awaited report on former American cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was expelled from the priesthood for sexual misconduct. NBC’s Anne Thompson reports for TODAY.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

The previous two popes ignored complaints of abuse by a cardinal

Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict, the predecessors of the current Pope, have ignored or downplayed complaints of sexual abuse against US American Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. That is stated in a report from the Vatican. Pope Francis ordered the investigation into whether complaints about the cardinal have been covered up.

The investigation shows that in 2000, Pope John Paul II knew that accusations against McCarrick had been made to the Holy See. According to anonymous letters, the American cardinal was guilty of, eg, the sexual abuse of underage family members. Investigators also found that the Vatican received additional information on previous allegations in April 2005, shortly after Pope Benedict XVI took office.

McCarrick was instructed to remain somewhat in the background, according to the report. Benedict thought no further steps were necessary.

Deprived of priestly status

McCarrick retired in 2006. In 2018, Pope Francis stripped him of priestly status for sexual abuse. American bishops and other representatives of the Vatican have also been guilty of ignoring or downplaying reports of McCarrick sexual abuse, the investigation shows.

Dutch neo-nazi terrorists arrested


This 2019 video is called Netherlands: ‘Nijmegen against racism’ demo held against neo-Nazi RVF.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio, 30 October 1980:

The police arrested two 19-year-old men from Amsterdam and Zwijndrecht for right-wing extremist incitement and crimes with a terrorist aim. The two had large amounts of Nazi material at home, searches revealed.

These are two separate cases, the Public Prosecution Service writes in a press release. Both suspects had eg, Nazi uniforms, posters, flags and illegal knives in their parents’ homes.

The suspects are probably affiliated with right-wing extremist groups that incite racial hatred and anti-Semitism online. One of those groups is The Base, a network mainly active in the USA.

War criminal Tony Blair also coronavirus spreader


This 30 July 2020 video says about itself:

As European countries expand protection measures like quarantines and mask-wearing for Covid-19 patients, courts are being left with the job of interpreting and enforcing the new laws. In Austria, a woman has been sentenced to a suspended jail term for visiting a supermarket while under quarantine – a move the judge slammed as ‘dangerous’.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

British former Prime Minister Tony Blair has discredited himself by allegedly violating the coronavirus rules. According to The Sunday Times, he did not go into home quarantine after a two-day trip to the United States. People entering Great Britain from that country are required to go into isolation for two weeks.

The newspaper says it has photos of Blair showing him leaving a London restaurant ten days after his return from Washington. The Sunday Times reports that Blair filed for an exemption but was not granted it.

Why is this war criminal, responsible for killing over a million Iraqis, many Afghans, etc. not yet in a prison cell in The Hague? Why can he fly to the USA, world coronavirus epicentre ‘thanks’ to Donald Trump, and fly back to Britain, bringing the virus with him? Are war criminal politicians only put on trial in The Hague if they are black Africans?

Murderous Greek Golden Dawn nazis convicted


This 14 October 2020 video says about itself:

A member of the far-right Golden Dawn party has been handed a life sentence for the 2013 murder of a rapper.

Yiorgos Roupakias was found guilty of the murder. Other senior members of the group were also given jail terms.

That includes the head of Golden Dawn, Nikos Mihaloliakos, who has been sentenced to 13 years in prison.

The group is now considered a criminal organisation.

By Kevin Ovenden in Athens, Greece:

Greek neonazi leaders sentenced to 13 years jail in historic victory for anti-fascist movement

THE leadership of neo-nazi party Golden Dawn have been sentenced to hefty 13-year jail terms in a historic victory for the anti-fascist movement in Greece and internationally.

Would-be fuehrer Nikolaos Michaloliakos and five other former MPs received that sentence, two years short of the maximum, today for “directing a criminal organisation.” A seventh got 10 years. They constitute the fascist party’s whole executive committee.

The panel of three judges in the most important trial of Nazi criminality since Nuremberg will next consider applications to suspend those and other sentences of the 57 Golden Dawn convicts pending appeals, or instead to issue arrest warrants and send them to jail.

Appeal hearings could be years away. Lawyers for Golden Dawn’s victims insist that vindication for their clients and for democratic public opinion in Greece depends on the neonazis being jailed.

It is also a matter of public safety, according to anti-fascist campaigners. One convicted leader is Ilias Kasidiaris, who has set up one of several breakaway Golden-Dawn-lite parties looking to take up its mantle.

He became notorious for assaulting female left MP Liana Kanelli on TV in 2012. A botched state prosecution meant he was not convicted.

Other sentences include five to seven years for the 20 convicted principally for membership of a mafia-type organisation, and life imprisonment for the murderer of anti-racist rapper Pavlos Fyssas. His co-perpetrators got seven to 10 years. That crime in 2013 led to the popular eruption that forced a conservative-led government to prosecute Golden Dawn.

Those guilty of the attempted murder of Egyptian fisherman Abouzid Embarak got seven to 10 years; of the attack on trade unionists of the Pame organisation, two years — the maximum sentence was three.

Mr Embarak’s lawyer, Thanasis Kampagiannis, said, “The sentences for the leaders are stiff, but not the strictest. The penalties for those involved in the criminal organisation and for the perpetrators of individual crimes are lower than what is appropriate.”

The Communist Party of Greece said similarly and added: “These sentences must be applied immediately to put the Nazi criminals in prison.”

There was little doubt that if that did not happen, then popular indignation would burst onto the streets as it has done repeatedly in driving through the conviction of Golden Dawn that parts of the Greek state fought to avoid.

In any case, anti-racist campaigners of the Keerfa coalition and others are to hold two days of action this weekend in solidarity with refugees held by the state in inhuman camps and to build on the court victory.

On Monday, the Greek equivalent of the Daily Telegraph newspaper ran a feature on how respected lawyer Dimitris Zotos first brought a suit to have Golden Dawn declared a criminal gang in 1996 on behalf of socialist activists assaulted by the neonazis. He was also part of this prosecution under the same penal article.

We might well imagine that Pavlos Fyssas and others would be alive today had the state authorities not blocked Mr Zotos’s legal action 24 years ago.

No-one in Greek public life can honestly claim that they did not know. This week, international labour movement opinion certainly knows.

Donald Trump and United States far-right terrorism


This 13 October 2020 video says about itself:

Was Trump Responsible For Michigan Governor Kidnapping? (w/ Garlin Gilchrist II)

Garlin Gilchrist II joined Thom to discuss how Donald Trump played a pivotal role in the attempted kidnapping of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The Trump campaign was forced yesterday change the location of a rally scheduled for today with President Donald Trump’s son, Eric Trump, initially set for Hudson Valley Guns in New Hudson, Michigan, after it became known that one of the 13 men arrested last Thursday for plotting to kidnap and murder Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer was a former employee of the store. The store owners blamed Whitmer for the cancellation of the event, scheduled for today: here.

Trump continues far-right appeals as details of Michigan plot emerge: here.

The verdict is in: Trump embraces Fascism: here.

4 YEARS OF MAGA TERROR Last week, 13 men belonging to paramilitary groups were arrested in a horrifying plot to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer. Based on what can be gleaned from the men’s social media pages, they fit a familiar profile of far-right vigilantism in America. They are white men. Most appear to be supporters of President Donald Trump. They consume disinformation and conspiracy theories online with abandon. They see a new American civil war on the horizon, and they’re more than eager to fire some of the first shots. [HuffPost]

Democrats silent on Trump’s election coup plans as confirmation hearings begin on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett: here.

GOP TOLD TO REMOVE FAKE BALLOT DROP-OFF BOXES California’s attorney general and secretary of state told Republicans to knock it off after election officials reported the state party had been breaking the law by placing makeshift, unauthorized ballot drop-off boxes around the state and falsely labeling them “official”. The officials issued a cease and desist order following reports of the mysterious ballot collection boxes at gas stations, gun stores, churches and gyms. Republicans maintained the boxes are legal. [HuffPost]

FBI raids neo-Nazi camp in Michigan as national connections of Whitmer plotters emerge: here.

United States election and Michigan far-right terrorism


This MSNBC TV video from the USA says about itself:

‘Shaken’: Michigan State Senator Reacts To Thwarted Plot To Kidnap Governor Whitmer

“Every day when I enter the Capitol floor, I look into the gallery for armed gunmen. I keep a bulletproof vest under my desk. And that’s just how it is in my workplace,” says State Sen. Polehanki on threat of right-wing extremists in Michigan. Aired on 10/08/2020.

By Eric London in the USA today:

The Michigan conspiracy, Trump, and the 2020 election

Yesterday’s announcement of criminal conspiracy charges against 13 fascists who plotted to kidnap and murder Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer removes all doubt as to what Donald Trump means when he refuses to commit to a “peaceful transition of power.” The US president is clearly implicated by word and deed in a wide-ranging and violent plot to overturn the outcome of the November 3 election.

Federal prosecutors outlined initial details of the plot in a 15-page criminal complaint filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Michigan. The conspirators, who claim the ability to mobilize “hundreds” of people, made intricate plans to intercept Whitmer at her vacation home and to forcibly transport her on a boat across Lake Michigan to an undisclosed militia-controlled location in Wisconsin. They then planned to stage a trial and execute her. Other conspirators planned to descend on the state capitol in Lansing, take control of the legislative chambers, and disband the elected government.

Trump’s plan for election day is no longer a matter of conjecture. In battleground states that support Biden, Trump will falsely proclaim himself the victim of election fraud, deploy violent groups to intimidate voters, seize statehouses and eliminate political opponents. Armed supporters will declare the vote invalid or compel state legislatures to certify pro-Trump slates of electors. Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have Democratic governors and Republican-controlled legislatures and will therefore be the central target of this plot.

The further exposure of this plot makes clear Trump’s motivations for rushing back to the White House from Walter Reed hospital. On Wednesday, barely 24 hours before yesterday’s announcement, the World Socialist Web Site wrote:

“Trump’s decision to return to the White House from the Walter Reed Medical Center Monday night was clearly motivated by deep concerns over the impact of his sickness on his position and political conspiracies.

Unless all the polls are totally wrong, Trump’s political position is deteriorating, and he faces the danger of a substantial defeat at the polls. But this fact does not alter his plans. The more desperate the crisis of the administration, the more Trump calculates that his ability to remain in office depends entirely on his ability to utilize extra-constitutional measures. Such conspiracies cannot be orchestrated from a hospital bed in Walter Reed. Trump requires control over the apparatus of the state.”

Under normal conditions, political etiquette would have compelled Trump to call Governor Whitmer, express his relief at her escape from danger, denounce the conspiracy against her life and the constitutional order in the most unequivocal terms, and pledge the full support of his administration for the exposure, apprehension, and punishment of all those involved in the plot.

But Trump has done no such thing. On Fox News last night, Trump scolded Whitmer for “complaining” about the plot, adding, “She goes and does her little political act and she keeps her state closed…what she is doing is a horrible thing to the people; the churches are closed.” Trump’s statements excuse and legitimize fascist violence. His comments are a signal to the fascist conspirators that Trump has their backs and that they, if convicted of a crime, can count on a presidential pardon.

The criminal complaint, which was announced from Michigan and not Washington DC, makes clear the Michigan plot is only the tip of the iceberg in a national conspiracy connected to Trump or those around him. The criminal complaint quotes one of the conspirators as saying, “I can see several states taking their f—ing tyrants.” The complaint also references the conspirators’ collaboration with militia groups in the swing states of Ohio, where the group held a secret meeting in June, and in Wisconsin.

Though the complaint does not mention the president by name, the originator of the conspiracy is in the White House. Trump has on many occasions specifically selected Whitmer out for condemnation because she was most visibly identified with implementing measures aimed at curbing the spread of the pandemic, which ravaged Michigan in March and April. It is now clear these attacks were part of a deliberate strategy to lay the basis for the present coup attempt.

In March, Trump referred to her as “Half-Whitmer” for criticizing his administration’s response to the pandemic. On April 17, Trump tweeted his call to “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” and other swing states, including Minnesota and Virginia, a clear signal to “Operation Gridlock” protests goaded by Trump and the Republicans against restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

That same month, he tweeted: “I think they’re listening to me. They seem to be protesters that like me and respect this opinion, and my opinion is just the same as about all of the governors. They all want to open—nobody wants to stay shut …”

On April 30, the far-right protesters descended on Lansing and entered the statehouse armed with assault rifles to demand the end of the lockdowns. The next day, Trump tweeted: “The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire. These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal.” During last week’s presidential debate, Trump issued what is known in the military as a “preparatory command” to his fascist supporters, ordering them to “Stand by.”

The Biden-Harris campaign responded to these threats by issuing a series of platitudes chastising Trump for his “un-presidential” behavior and imploring people to vote. But this appeal is meaningless under conditions where Trump plans to ignore the outcome.

Throughout Trump’s presidency, the Democratic Party has responded to every escalation in Trump’s fascist strategy by downplaying the danger to the population. Judging by their muted response yesterday, the Democrats are treating the exposure of Trump’s plans to mobilize fascist militias as a minor episode, and the major newspapers are already pushing coverage on their online editions far down the page.

It is urgently necessary that the public be made aware of all the details of Trump’s dictatorial conspiracy. The success or failure of Trump’s plot depends on this.

In which other states are similar plots underway? Which of Trump’s fascist aides are in contact with the Michigan militia groups? The Nazi Stephen Miller? Roger Stone, who helped promote the right-wing QAnon conspiracy theory? How many degrees of separation are there between Trump and the fascists? Which other public figures do the fascist groups plan to kidnap and assassinate? Which governors, members of congress, media personalities, or cultural figures are next on Trump’s kill list? What do the text messages and meeting recordings of the plotters reveal?

The Democratic Party does not want the matter to be investigated for fear that it will trigger opposition from below. Their response is, “Keep moving, nothing to see here.” Trump relies on this spinelessness to move forward with his plans. But workers, youth, and honest journalists and professionals must demand answers immediately to expose and stop the plot against America!

FEDS: MILITIA PLOTTED TO KIDNAP MICHIGAN GOV. WHITMER A Michigan militia was plotting to kidnap Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, according to the FBI, which charged six people with conspiracy to commit kidnapping. The domestic terrorism investigation involved informants and employees who recorded conversations, texts, online chats and phone calls with the defendants. Whitmer drew a strong line between the alleged plot and Trump’s hate speech, interpreted by right-wing militia groups as encouragement. Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller trashed Whitmer after her remarks, calling her a “phony.” [HuffPost]

Do not let Gretchen Whitmer become the next Rabin.

CNN’S CUOMO EXPLODES AT TRUMP’S ‘VIRUS OF HATE’ CNN anchor Chris Cuomo was livid after Trump stayed silent for hours about the foiled kidnapping plot against Michigan Gov. Whitmer, who has been the target of attacks from Trump and his supporters for months over her measures to keep her constituents safe from COVID-19. Despite tweeting intermittently all day, Trump said nothing about the alleged terror plot against an elected official until 9:30 p.m., during Cuomo’s broadcast. On Trump’s silence, Cuomo asked, “Where is the outrage? How is this OK?” [HuffPost]

Democrats and corporate media cover-up Trump’s role in Michigan coup plot: here.

Greek nazis are criminals, court decides


Magda Fyssa (centre) the mother of late Greek rap singer Pavlos Fyssas, who was stabbed and killed by a supporter of the extreme right Golden Dawn party in 2013 triggering a crackdown on the party, celebrates immediately after the delivery of the verdict of a court in Athens

Magda Fyssa (centre) the mother of late Greek rap singer Pavlos Fyssas, who was stabbed and killed by a supporter of the extreme-right Golden Dawn party in 2013 triggering a crackdown on the party, celebrates immediately after the delivery of the verdict of a court in Athens.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

Editorial: The Golden Dawn verdicts are a victory that should encourage anti-fascists everywhere

THE verdict that Greece’s fascist Golden Dawn party is a criminal organisation is a huge victory for the Greek left and international anti-fascism.

It is a vindication of years of work to mobilise against fascism and isolate the neonazi party.

And it’s a win for popular pressure that forced a reluctant Greek state to take action – pressure symbolised by the thousands who rallied outside the courthouse today, and reluctance symbolised by the state prosecutor who recommended that the charge that Golden Dawn was a criminal organisation should be dropped and the specific crimes committed considered as the acts of individuals.

Those crimes are a showcase of the targets prioritised by fascists. The murder of the anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas. The attempted murder of an immigrant fisherman. The attempted murder of a metalworkers’ trade-union leader and communist.

The fascists had friends in high places: the communist trade-union leader Sotiris Poulikogiannis pointed during the trial to Golden Dawn’s co-ordination with shipyard owners who wanted its help in smashing the militant union in their workplace. Lawyer Thanasis Kampagiannis has described the back channels that existed between Golden Dawn and the mainstream conservative party New Democracy – which forms the current Greek government.

They were defeated not by Greek officialdom but by years of community organising and anti-fascist unity to build what Kampagiannis calls a “democratic wall” to stop them. That is why Golden Dawn lost every parliamentary seat it had last year.

That mobilisation will need to continue. Illegality is a serious blow to fascists, but these dealers in death were already criminals.

Street violence is part of the core strategy of fascism. Mussolini’s Blackshirts were identified by Hitler as the key innovation of the original Fascist Party. Golden Dawn’s now convicted leader Nikos Mihaloliakos spoke to this truth when responding to election defeat: “We return where we became strong, on the streets and squares, in the tough struggle against Bolshevism.”

Violence precedes and underlies all its forays into “official” politics – as in India, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP was formed as the political wing of the RSS Hindu nationalist paramilitary organisations. To this day they act as his boots on the ground, breaking up opposition meetings, setting on and killing political opponents as the murder last weekend of Keralan communist organiser PU Sanoop illustrates.

Internationally fascism is far from dead. India’s BJP, with its virulent xenophobia, bids to rewrite history to erase non-Hindus from the national story and routine use of violence, is the governing party in the modern world closest to the classic model of fascism. But the threat also exists elsewhere.

Germany, reeling from an anti-semitic attempted murder whose suspected perpetrator carried a swastika in his pocket, has been forced to disband its entire elite KSK military unit – the German army’s equivalent to the SAS – because of officers’ links to far-right terror.

In the United States, gun-toting white supremacists march against Black Lives Matter demonstrators: when they kill, as Kyle Rittenhouse did in Kenosha, Wisconsin, they receive warm words from a US president who has also called on the far-right Proud Boys to “stand by” in an election whose official result he will not commit to accepting. In Britain, racists block the roads from Dover and the Home Secretary panders to them by calling on the navy to keep out refugees.

The left internationally should look to Greece for our response. Liberal officialdom will appease and collaborate: the socialist left must organise against fascism as only we can, since socialists understand the real causes of the fears fascists prey on, which lie in the insecurity and misery created by the capitalist system. Yet understanding those fears and offering real solutions does not mean giving an inch to the fascists’ lies.

As Communist Party of Greece general secretary Dimitris Koutsoumbas quoted after the verdict: “Understand fascism – it will not die by itself. Crush it.”

Violence encouraged in Donald Trump’s USA


This 22 September 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Florida [ruled by Trump’s Republican party] To Legalize Murdering Protesters

This is not an exaggeration. John Iadarola and Emma Vigeland break it down on The Damage Report.

“The American Civil Liberties Union joined Florida Democrats on Monday in condemning a proposed bill by Gov. Ron DeSantis that would newly classify certain forms of protest as felonies and impose harsh penalties on some protesters.

Flanked by Republican lawmakers and law enforcement officials at an afternoon press conference in Winter Haven, DeSantis referred to Black Lives Matter protests in Portland, Oregon as he announced the proposed legislation.

“I look at what goes on in Portland. They’ll have people, they’ll arrest them,” DeSantis said. “They’re all scraggly-looking Antifa-types. They get their mugshot taken, then they get released. It’s like a carousel; on and on it goes.”

“That’s not going to happen in here in Florida,” the governor vowed.”

Read more here.

TRUMP CELEBRATES VIOLENCE AGAINST JOURNALISTS Trump celebrated violence against journalists during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Tuesday night, mocking a reporter who was injured covering this summer’s racial injustice demonstrations and calling the act “actually a beautiful sight.” The president’s comments are the latest of many attacks on the free press but an overt endorsement of members of the media coming under attack. Trump also recounted racial justice demonstrations in Minneapolis following the police killing of George Floyd, saying the city had been “cured” after National Guard troops were deployed. [HuffPost]

Donald Trump-International Criminal Court conflict


This 12 June 2020 video says about itself:

ICC says Trump sanctions attack the court, victims of atrocities

The International Criminal Court has rejected the US president’s plans to impose sanctions on some of its officials.

Donald Trump is trying to stop an investigation into allegations of American war crimes in Afghanistan.

But the ICC says the move will undermine its efforts to ensure accountability for mass atrocities.

Al Jazeera’s Rosiland Jordan reports from Washington.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 3 September 2020:

International Criminal Court hits back at ‘unprecedented’ and ‘unacceptable’ US attacks

THE International Criminal Court (ICC) condemned sanctions imposed by the US on its court’s prosecutor and a member of her office as “unprecedented” yesterday.

It warned that the latest measures announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday were “another attempt” to interfere with its work in addressing grave crimes and humanitarian atrocities.

“These coercive acts, directed at an international judicial institution and its civil servants, are unprecedented and constitute serious attacks against the court, the Rome Statute system of international criminal justice and the rule of law more generally.”