United States neonazi violence and warfare

This 20 November 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

New American Nazis: Inside the White Supremacist Movement That Fueled Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

Neo-Nazis are on the rise in America. Nearly a month after a gunman killed eleven Jewish worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, we look at the violent hate groups that helped fuel the massacre.

On the same day that shooter Robert Bowers opened fire in the synagogue, a neo-Nazi named Edward Clark that Bowers had been communicating with online took his own life in Washington, D.C. The man’s brother, Jeffrey Clark, has since been arrested on weapons charges. The brothers were both linked to the violent white supremacist group Atomwaffen.

We speak with A.C. Thompson, correspondent for FRONTLINE PBS and reporter for ProPublica. His investigation “Documenting Hate: New American Nazis” premieres tonight on PBS stations and online.

This 20 November 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

America’s perpetual warfare abroad has led to an increase in white supremacist violence at home. That’s one of the key findings in Frontline PBS and ProPublica reporter A.C. Thompson’s new investigation, “Documenting Hate: New American Nazis”, which premieres Tuesday evening on PBS.

The documentary reveals the deep ties between the military and white supremacy, as Thompson examines the Pittsburgh shooting and the rise of violent hate groups such as Atomwaffen.

Thompson interviews historian Kathleen Belew, who says there has always been a correlation in the U.S. between the aftermath of war and the rise of white supremacist violence.

“If you look for instance at the surges in Ku Klux Klan membership, they align more consistently with the return of veterans from combat and the aftermath of war than they do with anti-immigration, populism, economic hardship or any of the other factors that historians have typically used to explain them”, she notes.

We speak with A.C. Thompson in Boston. His investigation premieres Tuesday on PBS stations and online.


British Conservatives whitewash murderous Saudi crown prince

This 21 November 2018 video says about itself:

Yemen: 85,000 children under five may have died of starvation, international aid group says

Save the Children says up yo 85,000 children under five may have died of hunger in Yemen since the outbreak of the war in 2015.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thornberry grills Hunt: Did you bow down to Saudi Arabia over Yemen?

EMILY THORNBERRY called on Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt today to clarify whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had persuaded Britain to soften its draft resolution on the Yemen war.

Mr Hunt’s Labour shadow asked the urgent question in the Commons after charity Save the Children warned that 85,000 Yemeni youngsters under the age of five have died from hunger and disease since the Saudi-led assault began three years ago.

Ms Thornberry asked why Britain’s current United Nations security council draft resolution does not call for the investigation of alleged war crimes, as did its previous draft from 2016.

Mr Hunt met the crown prince in the Saudi capital Riyadh last week.

Ms Thornberry called on him to say whether the recent draft that Prince Mohammed was presented with had included the demand for an investigation into alleged war crimes, suggesting that the prince had demanded its removal.

Mr Hunt didn’t answer her question about the exclusion of an investigation from the recent draft, despite agreeing that there “absolutely” has to be a “full investigation”.

He also said: “The important thing about the resolution that we are proposing is not that this is the end of the story in terms of international efforts to broker a ceasefire. This is a step in the road.

“We want a ceasefire that will hold and we know the risk that, if you go for too much too early in these resolutions, that they end up getting ignored.

“And so this is a carefully brokered form of words, designed to get a consensus from both sides that allow talks to start before the end of this month in Stockholm. That’s the objective of this resolution.

“If the talks are successful, we will be able to have a much stronger resolution to follow.”

Ms Thornberry also pointed out that the recent draft does not stipulate sanctions for parties that breach a ceasefire, asking which body would monitor the compliance.

British police spying on the left

This video from Britain says about itself:

26 July 2017

Spycops: undercover police surveillance of activists

Dave Smith, Kate Ellis and Brian Richardson

By Alice Summers in Britain:

UK: Left groups targeted for decades-long police infiltration

20 November 2018

A database compiled by the Guardian and the Undercover Research Group, activists that scrutinise police espionage, has shed light on the extent of state spying on political groups between 1968 and 2011.

Over 1,000 political groups were targeted by undercover police agents, with the overwhelming majority left-wing organisations.

According to the new database, it is known that covert police agents spied on at least 22 left-wing/socialist groups, 10 environmental groups, 9 anti-racist campaigns and 9 anarchist groups, as well as 17 justice campaign groups. This is in addition to several trade unions and to campaigns against apartheid, war, the arms trade, nuclear weapons and the monarchy.

By contrast, only three far right-groups were targeted—the British National Party, Combat 18 and United British Alliance, involving only five agents in total.

According to the information obtained, the Socialists Workers Party (SWP), known as the International Socialists until 1977, was the primary known victim of police spying. Twenty-four undercover agents were deployed by police to infiltrate the party between 1970 and 2007. Undercover officers were in the organisation almost continuously during this 37-year period, often with more than one officer embedded at a given time.

Four of the 24 officers who infiltrated the SWP deceived women into forming sexual relationships with them, before abandoning them once their spying operations were complete. One spy, whose name has not been released, married an unsuspecting female party member and fathered a child with her as part of his efforts to build his cover story. The emotional suffering inflicted can only be imagined.

The database was compiled using a variety of sources, as the Undercover Policing Inquiry (UPI)—set up in 2015 supposedly with the aim of investigating police spying between 1968 and 2011—has refused to release full details of those involved.

As well as the minimal official list, the database draws on information garnered from the Undercover Research Group’s own investigations and from whistle-blowers, including Peter Francis, a former undercover officer and UPI core participant.

Due to the dearth of information supplied by the UPI, the database lists only 124 of the 1,000 groups spied on by the police since 1968. It includes information only about groups targeted by spies from the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) and the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), the two Special Branch units responsible for carrying out much of the police infiltration. The SDS was active between 1968 and 2008, and the NPOIU between 1999 and 2011.

Many police spies worked within left-wing organisations for five years or more, with one infiltrator, using the name Dave Evans, working within the SWP for seven years. Another SWP infiltrator in the 1980s, Alan Bond, stole the name of a dead child for his fake identity.

The new data shows that other organisations infiltrated included the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign (VSC), an anti-war popular front organisation established in 1966 … . The VSC was penetrated by nine covert officers between 1968 and 1972.

This is only the tip of an iceberg. Information revealed by ex-MI5 agents Peter Wright and David Shayler, among others, indicates that the Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP)—until 1986 the British section of the International Committee of the Fourth International—and its predecessor, the Socialist Labour League (SLL), were the main targets of undercover police operations from the late 1960s onwards.

The database gave information about only two of the police spies infiltrating the WRP, cover names “Michael Scott” and “Peter Collins”, who penetrated the group in 1971-1976 and 1973-1977. But in a House of Lords debate on combating the influence of “subversive and extremist elements in our society” in January 1975, Lord Chalfont singled out the WRP, declaring it to be one of the “most important revolutionary group[s].”

The Earl of Kimberley warned that the WRP “must not be dismissed as just another fringe movement. It is by far the most dangerous of the Trotskyist organisations in this country. It is larger, better organised, and, from the point of view of industrial agitation, more intelligently led than its rivals.”

This extensive infiltration, carried out over multiple decades, is a fundamental attack on democratic rights. The Socialist Equality Party demands that all details of the spying operations be fully and immediately disclosed.

In 2015, the SEP sent a letter to the UPI demanding “the immediate release of the names of all undercover police operatives, especially those active in the Workers Revolutionary Party (and its forerunners and successor organisations), their pseudonyms and dates of operation.”

Lord Pitchford, the chair of the Undercover Policing Inquiry at the time, refused to investigate police surveillance of the SLL and WRP, despite the evidence from ex-MI5 agents and others. This only confirmed the UPI’s essential role as a police cover-up and exercise in damage limitation. The inquiry was only convoked after activists and journalists uncovered damaging evidence of state surveillance and legal challenges had been launched for compensation. Unable to keep a lid on the scandal, then-Home Secretary Theresa May launched the inquiry in 2015.

Since then, nearly 200 victims have been named as core participants, though the true numbers affected likely run into the thousands.

From the outset, the inquiry did not require the police to reveal their operations and accepted as participants only some of those who already knew themselves to be victims. The SDS alone employed 201 people over its 40 years of existence.

Three years later, and at a cost of nearly £12 million, the inquiry is still in the evidence-gathering stage. No single piece of substantive evidence has been heard in public due to police legal applications for anonymity. Instead, anonymous police officers will give private evidence to a judge, who will produce a final report in 2023 at the earliest.

Other organisations, including MI5’s F-Branch, are known to have undertaken extensive “counter-subversion” spying operations. F-Branch, which was active until 1988, particularly targeted the Trotskyist movement, focusing particular attention on the SLL/WRP. A section of F-Branch, F6, dealt with Trotskyist and radical organisations, while another section, F7, specifically monitored the Workers Revolutionary Party and SWP.

The former head of MI5, Stella Rimmington, director general from 1992 to 1996, admitted in 2017 that spying on the Trotskyist movement was a central part of its operations: “I now see in [pro-Jeremy Corbyn] Momentum some of the people we were looking at in the Trotskyist organisation of the 1980s, now grown up and advising our would-be prime minister Mr. Corbyn on how to prepare himself for power…their names are familiar, shall we say that much?”

Macron’s compulsory military service in France

This video says about itself:

‘It’s Macron‘s fault’: parts of France in gridlock as thousands protest fuel tax hikes

17 November 2018

A female protester has died after being hit by a motorist as demonstrators angry at fuel tax hikes gridlocked parts of France on Saturday. Police said 47 other protesters had also been injured, three critically, as France’s newest people’s movement, the “gilets jaunes” (yellow vests), staged a day of action.

Macron government propaganda says the fuel tax hikes are supposedly pro-environment. That is a lie.

Recently, Macron’s environment minister Nicolas Hulot resigned in protest against the anti-environment policies of the rest of the government.

This video is about godwits. The Macron government wants to make it legal for hunters to kill these beautiful threatened birds, and also beautiful, threatened curlews.

Already when he was a minister in the previous Hollande administration, Macron clashed repeatedly with his Environment colleague, Ms Ségolène Royal, because of his anti-environment pro-fossil fuel corporations plans.

Already before becoming president, Macron planned environmentally destructive gold mining next to a national park in the colony French Guiana.

If the Macron government would really care about the environment, then they would not raise fuel taxes for the common people, but, eg, lower or abolish taxes for electric cars and public transport; raise taxes for Big Oil fat cats and other super rich persons; stop promoting nuclear energy; etc. Their aim with the fuel tax is to take money from common people to give yet more to rich people.

“Macron is the president of the rich”: “Yellow Vest” protesters speak out: here.

By Alex Lantier in France:

Amid mass protests, France announces return to universal military service

20 November 2018

Yesterday, after hundreds of thousands of people across France donned yellow vests and blockaded roads and intersections to oppose President Emmanuel Macron’s fuel tax hike and his social attacks on working people, the French government announced the return to universal military service. In an interview yesterday with Le Parisien, Junior Minister for Youth Gabriel Attal, who is presenting the bill, said: “My objective is to have the first draftees as early as June” of 2019.

The timing of this announcement underscored the close link between the ruling elite’s attempts to put entire generations of youth under military discipline, and its attempts to suppress social anger that is erupting among youth and workers in France and across Europe.

As it announced the return to the draft, the government was threatening a new, violent police crackdown against continuing “Yellow Vest” protesters’ blockades Monday. Some 27,000 protesters were involved, blockading highways in the northeast and near the western coast of France, as well as strategic Total oil refineries in the south.

With 183 protesters still in preventive detention after a heavy police crackdown on the weekend’s protests, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner threatened that Yellow Vest protesters would be “thrown out systematically, methodically” from their blockades during the week.

“Deblockading operations will continue in the coming hours”, he announced last night, adding that he had asked police authorities to be ready to “liberate fuel depots and other sensitive sites.” …

With calls spreading on social media for a march on the Elysée presidential palace and for renewed mass blockading actions this coming weekend, the government is clearly planning for a major police crackdown against growing social opposition.

The Macron government’s return to the draft, after France abolished it in 1997, is part of a broad move across Europe to incite militarism and prepare for war. In 2017, Sweden re-established the draft as part of preparations for war with Russia, citing “Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the conflict in Ukraine and the increased military activity in our neighborhood” as pretexts for the move. In 2016, German authorities announced that they were also considering reinstating the draft.

In France, Macron pledged to bring back the draft in a 2017 presidential campaign speech in which he declared: “We have entered an epoch in international relations where war is again a possible outcome of politics.” Beyond building infrastructure for a return to the draft if and when it is needed, however, its central purpose is to stoke nationalism and militarism, and shift the political atmosphere to the right.

Now, Attal declared in a long set of feature articles about the draft published by Le Parisien, France will draft “several hundred or even several thousand people” next year, as a prelude to a program where men and women would be recruited before their final year in high school to do a month of military service. Attal said a possible target date is “2026, but we are studying faster possibilities.” He added, “Universal national service must reinforce the links between the army and the nation.”

The paper explained, “Every year, around 800,000 boys and girls of the same age will be called up for a month, including 15 days when they will live collectively.” They will then have the option of signing up for three more months of military service, and then possible recruitment into the armed forces.

The government’s attempts to give a fraudulent democratic gloss to its plans, and to deny their link to plans for military action or domestic repression, are shot through with crying contradictions. Attal claimed that “France no longer needs to have an entire generation trained to handle weapons.” He claimed the draft would allow for “mixing social classes on the basis of the values of our Republic”—echoing, oddly, the purpose assigned by the state to the public school system.

Academics interviewed by Le Parisien contested whether military service did this before its abolition in 1997. As youth entering the program were allowed to choose between various types of military and civil service, historian Bénédicte Chéron said, “Social mixing gradually ceased, and in 1997 you only had young men from the poorest social classes in the land army’s combat units.”

Plans to bring back the draft, Le Parisien admitted, are highly unpopular among the youth, who have a “confused and rather negative view” of Macron’s plans. This leads, the paper added, to “a feeling that the program is useless” that is widely held among French youth. It cynically recommended that Macron seek to market the draft by playing up claims that time spent in military service would help youth learn more about “reacting in crisis situations” and about “activities linked to the environment and sustainable development.”

In fact, the purpose of restoring the draft is not to protect capitalist democracy by allowing young workers, middle class youth and scions of the financial aristocracy to rub shoulders in the barracks. Its aim is to impose military discipline on the youth to forcibly suppress social conflict, so that Macron can continue imposing his unpopular wars and austerity policies. Macron’s return to the draft is a particularly striking illustration of how the bourgeoisie’s attempt to limit class conflict at home leads to militarism and the rise of the war danger internationally.

The ruling elite sees the suppression of class conflict among the youth as particularly critical after the European Union’s 2017 “Generation What” poll, which found that over half of European youth and nearly two-thirds of French youth want to join a “mass uprising” against the existing order.

Le Parisien all but admitted this in its editorial, titled “A moment to come together”, writing: “At a time when France is torn apart by divisions that threaten its unity, the idea of putting back in place a national service program seems to be a timely initiative.”

Macron underscored the militaristic character of this policy with his trip to Berlin this weekend during the Yellow Vest protests, during which he echoed his earlier calls to build a European army capable of confronting Russia, China and the United States. French officials at the Munich Security Conference earlier this year estimated that France would spend €300 billion by 2023 on the military buildup needed to realize Macron’s plans.

This weekend, Macron called for a “stronger and more sovereign Europe” that would not “become the plaything of other powers” and, referring to Franco-German collaboration on a European army, declared: “The new Franco-German responsibility consists of giving Europe the tools it needs to reach sovereignty.”