Haitian refugees whipped in Texas


This 21 September 2021 video from the USA is called Border Patrol Use Whips And Horses To Chase Asylum Seekers.

Outrage As Biden Administration Rapidly Deports Haitian Migrants From Texas Border

The Biden administration is rapidly deporting thousands of Haitian migrants who have been camped at a Texas border town seeking entry to the U.S.

More than 14,000 refugees, most of them Haitian, have been camping out for days in squalid conditions under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas. Some 3,300 people from the camp have already been sent to detention centers or removed on deportation flights by U.S. immigration agents, USA Today reports.

In a release Saturday, the Department of Homeland Security said it was expelling most of the migrants using Title 42 ― a Trump-era policy that allows the U.S., during the coronavirus pandemic, to quickly deport people crossing the border, typically without processing them for asylum.

Video and photos showed Border Patrol agents on horseback whipping ropes at Haitian refugees on Sunday. The refugees had reportedly gone into Mexico to buy food, and were seeking to return to the camp on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande.

Immigrant rights groups expressed outrage, urging U.S. Customs and Border Protection to “stop this discrimination” and slamming the Biden administration for choosing to “shut the door” on Haitians seeking safety.

When asked Monday about the violent images of CBP agents on horseback threatening migrants, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that while she didn’t have the “full context” of what was happening in these incidents, “I don’t think anyone seeing that footage would think it was acceptable or appropriate.”

A DHS spokesperson said in a statement that the footage is “extremely troubling” and an investigation will be “conducted swiftly,” adding that the agency “does not tolerate the abuse of migrants in our custody.” In a subsequent statement to reporters Monday, Border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz said he believed the agents were “trying to control” their animals but that officials would investigate the incident.

Advocates have condemned the Biden administration for resuming deportations to Haiti, a country mired in turmoil from the assassination of its president in July and an earthquake in August that killed more than 2,000 people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes.

Read more here.

U.S. SET TO ADMIT LOWEST NUMBER OF REFUGEES EVER Despite Biden’s pledge to overhaul immigration and welcome refugees to the U.S., 2021 is on pace for a record low in refugee admissions, with 7,637 admissions as of Aug. 31. The refugee cap was set as up to 62,500 after pushback by advocates, but the U.S. is unlikely to meet that number by the Oct. 31 fiscal year deadline. [HuffPost]

Anti-Asian American racism


This 8 August 1980 video from the USA says about itself:

Asian American History, Labor, Xenophobia & The Japanese American & Japanese Peruvian Internment

The history of racism against Asians and Asian Americans in the US goes back more than 150 years. This panel looks at part of this history including the internment of Japanese Americans and Japanese Peruvians in the US during the 2nd World War. It also looks at the denialism around the ‘Comfort Women’ and the history of China-bashing by the US.

As the pandemic drags on, Asian Americans are still being attacked.

Guantanamo torture camp still open


This February 2021 video says about itself:

My Brother’s Keeper has been longlisted for a BAFTA in the category of British Short Film.

Mohamedou Ould Salahi and one of his former guards, Steve Wood, reunite in Mauritania 13 years after last seeing each other, rekindling an unlikely relationship that profoundly changed their lives. Mohamedou was a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay for 14 years. During his incarceration, he was subjected to torture and solitary confinement, but never charged with a crime. His memoir, Guantánamo Diary, became an international bestseller and was adapted into the film, The Mauritanian, starring Tahar Rahim and Jodie Foster.

WHY HASN’T BIDEN LET GITMO PRISONERS GO? Six months into his presidency, Biden’s administration has not released a single person from Guantanamo Bay, even though 11 of the 40 men still there have been cleared for release. It’s been hard to discern exactly what the administration plans to do with Guantanamo — and how fast. [HuffPost]

FIRST GUANTANAMO DETAINEE RELEASED UNDER BIDEN Abdul Latif Nasser ― who was imprisoned without charge at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for 19 years ― was transferred to his home country of Morocco, making him the first detainee to be released from the infamous detention facility under President Joe Biden. Nasser, 56, was cleared for release by an interagency government review board back in 2016. [HuffPost]

Trump gone, his anti-immigrant policies continue


This 13 May 2021 video from the USA says about itself:

Biden Is Flying Migrants Thousands of Miles Just to Send Them Back to Mexico

Biden’s campaign promised change at the US-Mexico border. But since March, the Biden Administration has been systematically flying thousands of migrants attempting to enter the US via the Rio Grande Valley in Texas all the way to San Diego — thousands of miles away — to then expel them to Tijuana. VICE News reports from the border.

IMMIGRATION ARRESTS SOAR UNDER BIDEN The number of immigrants detained by ICE has risen significantly under President Joe Biden, swamping detention centers and private prisons. The influx raises questions about whether detaining so many people is the best way to handle immigration. [BuzzFeed]

Islamophobic massacre in Canada


This 8 June 2021 video from Canada says about itself:

Reaction from the Muslim community as 4 family members killed in London, Ont. vehicular attack

Members of the Muslim community react to the tragedy that occurred Sunday evening in London, Ont., which saw four members of the same family killed when they were struck by a vehicle in what police believe was a targeted act due to their faith.

Three adults and a teenager were killed when they were struck by the vehicle, said Chief Steve Williams on Monday. A child from the same family is in serious, but non-life-threatening condition.

Global News’ Catherine McDonald and Erica Vella report.

DRIVER IN CANADA KILLS 4 IN SUSPECTED ISLAMOPHOBIC ATTACK A Canadian man is accused of hitting five members of a Muslim family who were out for a walk with his car on Sunday night, killing four of them in what police suspect was a premeditated attack motivated by Islamophobia. Police in London, Ontario, have charged a 20-year-old Canadian with first-degree murder. [HuffPost]

Linda Lindas, teenage punk girls band


This 16 June 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

The Linda Lindas are Mila (8), Eloise (11), Lucia (12), and Bela (14).

This 11 August 2019 is called The Linda Lindas – Linda Linda [LIVE]

You can see a bit in these videos that this band of enthusiastic preteen/teenage girl musicians were still learning then … but look at how fantastically they have progressed now that they are two years older! No more need for a guest bass player like in the top video etc.

This 21 May 2021 video is called The Linda Lindas – “Racist, Sexist Boy” (Live at LA Public Library).

Now 10-year-old drummer Mila drums and sings at the same time. Far from easy.

The song is about anti-Asian racism in the USA.

This 21 May 2021 video says about itself:

Official video of punk band, The Linda Lindas, performing a mashup cover of Bikini Kill’s Rebel Girl and The Muffs’ Big Mouth in Moxie 🖤★

Look at that audience, like a sea on a stormy day. Many of them girls in their early teens. A bit reminiscent of this concert in 1980. Some writings depict that age group as stupid musically, incapable of anything but screaming and swooning as manufactured boring boy bands perform. That may be true for some individuals. But it was not true for the whole category in 1980, and it is not true now.

This 22 May 2021 video says about itself:

Teen punk rockers, The Linda Lindas, are going viral with their original song “Racist Sexist Boy.”

Stop Israel-Palestinian war, protest report


This video from Israel is called 27.7.2014 Tel Aviv: 5000 protest assault on Gaza.

By Adam Keller of the peace movement in Israel:

The storm which Netanyahu unleashed

May 12, 2021 – 10.00 PM

Yesterday morning (Tuesday) we woke up with the news of twenty-one Palestinians killed in Gaza, nine of them minors, and two Israeli women killed in Ashkelon (one of them; it later turned out, was a migrant worker from India, and since then, the death toll on both sides more than doubled). Then came the email which I was expecting. Noa Levy of Hadash sent out an urgent call for emergency protests in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, A second message, from the Forum of Israeli and Palestinian Bereaved Families and Combatants for Peace, endorsed the Hadash call and added a Haifa protest venue initiated by the Haifa Women for Women Center. “The government is playing with fire – all of us get burned! In a desperate attempt to cling to power, Netanyahu is dragging us into war, into killing and suffering and pain for both peoples. Stop the escalation! Cease the fire! Stop the expulsion of families from Sheikh Jarrah, stop the police rampage in East Jerusalem. There can be no peace and no quiet as long as the West Bank lives under occupation and Gaza suffers a suffocating siege. The solution: an end to the occupation, an end to the siege of Gaza, and the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, with East Jerusalem as its capital. We all deserve to live in freedom and security. The time to act is now!”

And so, there were several hours of frantic work at the computer and phone, spreading the message by Facebook and Whatsapp to all who waited for such a call on such a day. And then taking the bus to Tel Aviv. The Kugel Boulevard, main Holon thoroughfare on which all buses to Tel Aviv travel, had its completely normal daily bustle. On King George Street in Tel Aviv, there were already several hundred people gathered outside the Likud Party headquarters. Among them, familiar faces, the determined minority of Israelis who always show up on such days, as in 2014 and 2009.. “Stop the fire, stop the bloodshed!” chanted several hundred throats. And “On both sides of the border / Children want to live!” and “Sheikh Jarrah, don’t despair / We will end the occupation yet!” and also “Gaza, Gaza, don’t despair / We will end the siege yet!” and “Netanyahu, Netanyahu / The Dock at the Hague waits for you!”.

Dispersal, and a vague feeling of frustration. But what more could we have done? Perhaps we would have felt more satisfied to be violently dispersed and spend the night in detention – but here, unlike other locations, the police did not interfere with the demonstration. There were only two bored police officers watching from the side. Our favorite vegan eatery was nearby, so we went in. Everything was just like any other evening out in downtown Tel Aviv, it felt a bit strange to have life as usual while terrible things happen elsewhere.

The air raid alarms wailed just after we paid our bill and started walking. We went into a nearby big pharmacy. The pharmacy staff were quietly efficient – “Over here, turn left, the basement stairs are there”. About a hundred people – staff and clients and everyone who happened to be on the street – crowded in. Even in the basement, we could clearly hear the explosions in the sky. “Are these the missiles themselves, or the interceptors?” wondered an old woman. Another old woman said “Don’t worry, dear, if this goes on we will all learn to know which is which”.

After a quarter of an hour we thought it was over and everybody emerged and started again down the street – and then the air raid siren sounded again. This time we went into the basement of a private house with very friendly young people who offered to let us stay the night. “You can stay here, no need to risk going out again, we have spare beds”.

I must say that up to that point it still felt like a bit of a game. I realize now that we shared the arrogant illusion of most Israelis that the Iron Dome missiles were giving us virtually complete protection. But as we were huddling in the second basement of the evening, the phone rang: “Are you OK? Good to hear your voice, I heard of the burned bus in Holon, I was so worried!” “I am in Tel Aviv, what bus is that?” A quick look at the news websites showed the Kugel Boulevard where we had passed just three hours before. It was a war zone, flames and scattered debris everywhere, and the skeleton of a completely burned bus in the middle. It was reported that the driver heard the alarm, stopped the bus and told everybody to run just a minute before the bus was hit.

Perhaps we should have taken the young people’s offer and stayed the night with them. Getting back home was a long and weary experience. The main roads were blocked by the police, and we saw ambulances and fire trucks rushing forward. The bus from Tel Aviv let us off a long way from home and there were no taxis to be had in the whole of Holon, so there was a very long and weary trudging through dark empty streets. At home I had a whatsapp exchange with an old friend. “Stay alert, this night is not yet over” she wrote. “The government is sure to order a strong retaliation for this attack on Tel Aviv, and the Palestinians will want to retaliate for the retaliation”. She was completely right. After 3.00 PM there was a very long series of alarms, one after the other. The explosions were more vague and seemed a long distance off. This time they were aiming at the Ben Gurion Airport.

One of the missiles had fallen on a hut in Lod (Lydda), and killed a fifty year old man and his teen daughter. It later turned out that they were Arabs, that they had lived in an “unrecognized” neighborhood where no building permits are issued, and that this prevented them from building a more solid structure which could have saved their lives.

And so here we are, with the conflict escalating and the death toll rising ever more steeply. And I should recapitulate, at least briefly, how we got to this.

Last Friday – just five days ago, though it seems like an eternity – public attention in Israel was totally riveted to the complicated dance of party politics. Prime Minister Netanyahu, facing three serious corruption charges at the Jerusalem District Court, had just failed in his efforts to form a new cabinet. The mandate passed to the oppositional “Block of Change”, whose leaders embarked on delicate negotiations aimed at forming a very heterogeneous government coalition comprising right-wing. left-wing and center parties, which have virtually nothing in common except the wish to see the last of Netanyahu. We had very mixed feelings about it, especially since the intended new Prime Minister Naftali Bennet is, if anything, more right-wing than Netanyahu. Still, the new government would have very strong mechanisms of “mutual veto” in place that would prevent Bennet from doing too much harm – though the same would also prevent the new government from doing much good, either. And this government would be the very first in Israeli history to rely on an Arab party for its parliamentary majority (other than the Rabin Government in 1995, whose tenure was cut short by the PM being assassinated).

Anyway, there were very concrete plans to have the new cabinet ready for parliamentary approval by Tuesday, May 11 (yesterday). The anti-corruption demonstrators who have been demonstrating every week outside the Prime Minister’s residence were joking about when the movers will arrive to take away the Netanyahu family furniture. But Netanyahu had other irons in the fire.

First, there was the planned expulsion of hundreds of Palestinians from their homes in the Sheikh Jarach neighborhood of East Jerusalem. Dozens of them were due to be expelled within days and extreme right settlers were going to enter into their vacated homes. Protests in Sheikh Jarach and elsewhere in East Jerusalem met brutal police repression. Then, protests spread to the Haram A Sharif (Temple Mount) compound, and so did the police repression. Police started to shoot “rubber” bullets directly into demonstrators’ faces, causing them to lose eyes – at least two of them losing both eyes and becoming blind for the rest of their lives. Footage of the police breaking into the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site and a place considered even by secular Palestinians as a major part of their national heritage, spread widely through the social networks, escalating the protests. And then there was the plan to have thousands of radical young settlers hold the provocative “Dance of the Flags” right through the Damascus Gate and the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, chanting their habitual racist slogans. The police and government reiterated hour after hour that the “Dance of the Flags” would take place as scheduled. And it was then that Hamas in Gaza threatened to retaliate for the attack on the Palestinians of Jerusalem, and the government declared that it would not bend to “the ultimatums of terrorists”. And at the very last moment the “Dance” was cancelled – but it was too late. At 6.00 PM the salvo of seven Hamas rockets at the outskirts of Jerusalem – which in fact caused no casualties or damage, but which precipitated the Israeli deadly retaliation on Gaza. .

And now, a bit more than 48 hours later, here we are, in the midst of an escalating war, the Israeli Air Force destroying high rise buildings in Gaza and proudly announcing the “elimination” of senior Hamas activists – but unable to hinder the Palestinians’ ability to go on shooting rockets. And relations between Jews and Arabs, fellow citizens of Israel, have descended to unprecedented depths of inter-communal violence. In Lod, the police declared a night curfew “to stop the rampaging Arabs” but Arab inhabitants refuse to abide and are involved in violent confrontations with police around a local mosque. And in Bat Yam and Tiberias, mobs of extreme right Jews are assaulting random Arabs and smashing up Arab-owned shops. And repeated again and again in the media is the government’s total refusal to make a ceasefire. “No, no, no ceasefire – we must teach Hamas a lesson!”

Of course no ceasefire. Why should Netanyahu want a ceasefire? Every day in which the shooting continues is one more day of keeping that dreaded movers’ truck away from the Prime Minister’s Residence, one more day of keeping power in his own hands. If there was concrete proof that Netanyahu did it all consciously and deliberately, it would make up criminal charges far more serious than those he is facing at the District Court of Jerusalem. But any such evidence is probably classified Top Secret and would only be published fifty years from now. So, we can’t prove that he did it deliberately, though there can be little doubt about it. We can only end the war and immediately afterwards get rid of him.

Perhaps what is happening now will shake President Biden out of the attitude of keeping a low profile on |Israel and the Palestinians? After all, all this mess had fallen on his desk with quite a loud clatter.

Anti-Semitism among Florida pro-Batista Cuban Americans


Anti-Semitic graffiti in Miami, Florida, USA

An interesting 27 April 2021 article by Jordan Levin in the USA. Though maybe it talks too much about people of Latin American ancestry in general, while in fact, anti-Semitism is especially a problem among the part of Cuban Americans who prefer the pre-1959 Batista dictatorship in Cuba, supported by the CIA, to the post-1959 situation.

Some quotes:

Antisemitism rises among Hispanic Miami’s right wing

The graffiti messages scrawled around Miami in March, on the eve of Passover and Holocaust Remembrance Day, were shocking: “The Jews are the Problem” “Zionism is Satanism.”

Most ominously in this city filled with Cubans … was this one: “Communism is Judaism.”

The phrase echoed a trend towards antisemitism in Miami’s right-wing Hispanic political circles that have come to dominate this bellwether city:

•In 2018 Miami-based Radio Television Marti, the federally funded broadcaster of anti-Communist messaging to Cuba, ran a report blaming Soros for orchestrating the 2008 financial collapse, and supporting narco-terrorism and Cuban schemes. … the report was exposed and denounced as antisemitic in 2019.

•Last year, Libre, a 40-page Spanish-language insert published by a longtime right-wing Cuban exile activist and filled with racist, extremist opinion pieces, was distributed in El Nuevo Herald, the Miami Herald’s sister paper, for 32 weeks. The op-eds said Black Lives Matter was worse than the Nazis, called out Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg as Jews, and compared American Jews to Cubans brainwashed by communism. Following public backlash, El Nuevo Herald’s managing editor resigned and the Miami Herald’s publisher and executive editor lost her position as publisher.

•Last October a group of over 150 parents, including Vince Lago, the recently-elected mayor of the prosperous municipality of Coral Gables, the former speaker of the Florida House, and other prominent figures, sent a letter to an elite private Catholic girls school, castigating it for launching an anti-racism program in response to numerous reports of racism among students and faculty. The letter cited the malign influence of “Cultural Marxism” and the Frankfurt School, parroting a conspiracy theory that blames progressive U.S. social and racial justice movements on German Jewish scholars who fled the Nazis. …

But Rivero says he frequently encountered “Jews are communists” and other antisemitic posts in conservative Cuban social media groups during 2020, as well as death threats from Trump supporters. …

Antisemitism rose across the U.S. during the Trump administration.

But the insular nature of Miami’s Hispanic community, particularly among a conservative Cuban faction that has reversed a years-long moderating trend to become politically dominant again, appears to be magnifying that tilt here, while making it more acceptable for leaders to ignore or even encourage the slide towards prejudice.

No politician condemned the antisemitic graffiti. The signatories on the Catholic school letter, which was covered by the Miami Herald and the Miami New Times, defended their calls to abandon teaching about racism.

“The idea that equality and racial equity are rooted in a socialist Jewish group – that’s ridiculous,” said Billy Corben, the Jewish filmmaker lambasted by the Miami commissioner, who first exposed the letter on Twitter. “You cannot minimize the impact of these very powerful and influential policymakers who have signed this letter.”

Jessica Landsberg, a young political operative who has worked on several local campaigns, and whose father is Jewish and mother is Cuban, was disturbed by the “communism is Judaism” and other anti-Semitic graffiti – and frustrated no one denounced it.

“That there’s no conversation that long after the Holocaust antisemitism is alive in a city with one of the largest Jewish populations is disappointing,” said Landsberg, 23. “The graffiti is just the latest thing. I’ve been repeating for the last few years that antisemitism is not just alive but on the rise.” …

Perez and Soibel emphasize that they do not believe most of Miami’s Hispanics are antisemitic. But because Hispanics, and Cubans in particular, dominate politics in Miami-Dade and are so influential in Florida, and in U.S. foreign policy in Latin America, a shift in attitude towards Jews here has the potential for much wider influence.

Brazilian Bolsonaro’s lethal COVID-19 policies


This 28 April 2021 video says about itself:

Brazilian Senate opens inquiry into Bolsonaro’s COVID handling

Brazil‘s Senate has opened an inquiry into President Jair Bolsonaro’s government handling of the pandemic as the country reports nearly 400,000 deaths from coronavirus this week.

Bolsonaro has repeatedly downplayed COVID-19’s seriousness, railed against lockdowns and presided over an inept vaccination campaign.

Brazil has the world’s second-highest death toll from the virus after the United States.

The probe could hurt the president‘s chances of being re-elected in next year’s polls.

Al Jazeera’s Monica Yanakiew reports from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

BOLSONARO’S OWN VERSION OF JAN. 6 FEELS INEVITABLE Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, is following Trump’s playbook to undermine 2022 elections. And he’s working hard to secure the military support Trump lacked, writes Travis Waldron. An actual military coup remains an unlikely scenario, analysts said, but there are fears that significant numbers of police could back Bolsonaro no matter what. [HuffPost]

INDIA’S COVID-19 DEATH TOLL TOPS 200,000 India reported a single-day record 3,293 COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the country’s total fatalities to 201,187, as the world’s second-most populous country endures its darkest chapter of the pandemic yet. The surge of new infections is tearing through dense cities and rural areas alike and overwhelming the health care system. [AP]

COVID-19 can affect the brain. New clues hint at how. Anxiety, depression and strokes can occur after infection, leaving experts to determine how the virus affects the brain: here.