French police massively injures protesters

This French video says (translated):

Since the beginning of the Yellow Vest movement, thousands of casualties have been counted among the protesters, from simple bruising to the injuries caused by the strongly criticized Defense Ball Launcher (LBD). Shocking images.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

How the resistance grows against a controversial French weapon that injures yellow vests

Its name is ‘LBD40’, which until recently was completely unknown to most French people, but is now the focus of a fierce debate. The controversial weapon LBD40 is used, eg, in confrontations with yellow vests.

At demonstrations of that movement it often comes to violence. The police then shoot rubber bullets with LBD40 rifles. Dozens of people are said to have been injured. The French ombudsman has now asked for the LBD40 to be shelved, but that does not seem to happen for the time being.

What is the matter with the weapon? Are they really that dangerous, and why are they used at all? Five questions and answers.

What exactly are these rubber bullets?

The French police act at demonstrations by yellow vests with so-called LBD40 rifles. LBD stands for ‘Lanceur de Balles de Défense’: it shoots ‘balls’ for self-defense.

The fired rubber projectiles have a diameter of about four centimeters. …

Why are they deployed?

The weapons are meant for self-defense, when police officers are attacked. …

Why is there resistance in France now?

On social media, bloody photos of protesters who were seriously injured by rubber bullets were shared in recent weeks.

The government does not give any figures about it. French media therefore investigated and found that 40 to 70 demonstrators had been injured since the middle of November by using the LBD40. Around 14 people are even said to have lost eyes.

Critics say that the rubber bullets can seriously injure and mutilate people. The LBD40, they say, is inaccurate and often misused.

What does the government say?

The French government says that the rubber bullets, like tear gas, are meant for self-defense. …

Can the weapon not just be stopped?

The French Ombudsman, Jacques Toubon, asked for this. The weapon, he said, is too dangerous. But according to the government and police officers there are big risks to a ban.

Grenfell fire disaster scandal news

This 22 May 2018 video from Britain says about itself:

Deborah Lamprell remembered at Grenfell Inquiry – 5 News

A presentation was made on behalf of Deborah (known as Debbie) Lamprell’s mother, who criticised the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Saturday, 19 January 2019

There was no fire safety report before refurbishing Grenfell

GRENFELL Tower was safe until the refurbishment took place, when it was wrapped in highly flammable insulation and cladding, described by fire safety experts at the inquiry into the fire as the equivalent of dousing the tower in petrol.

Now we find out that no fire safety report was commissioned for the final Grenfell cladding refurbishment plans. Inside Housing obtained the previously unreleased ‘Outline Fire Safety Strategy’ for the refurbishment of the tower, which was written by fire safety firm Exova Warringtonfire in October 2013.

The 10-page document into earlier refurbishment plans for Grenfell Tower determined that the refurbishment would have ‘no adverse effect on the building in relation to external fire spread’. The plans were for a simple conversion of the lower floors to residential use and did not include the addition of external combustible cladding, or other major changes such as new windows.

Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union (FBU) general secretary said: ‘This concerning development sheds further light on the complacent attitude towards resident safety shown by the council, the Westminster government, and the businesses involved in Grenfell.

‘The FBU has repeatedly highlighted the dangers of the cosy relationship between councils, the construction industry, and fire safety regulators. ‘This new evidence provides further proof that corners were cut, exposing the endemic cost-cutting mentality surrounding social housing, and which placed profit before the lives of residents.

‘This is rightly a matter for the inquiry and potentially for police investigation.

‘We need to know why Rydon (the construction company that refurbished Grenfell Tower) failed to commission a fire safety report into the final plans; whether the council overlooked its responsibilities; whether cost-cutting measures drove this decision; and why the requests of residents for fire retardant cladding were ignored.

‘We are disappointed that, due to the delay to the next phase of the inquiry, the corporate and government interests complicit in the fire safety regime at Grenfell will continue to evade justice for another year.’

In the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire, you would assume that fire safety checks would have increased. However, over the last seven years, fire safety checks across England have actually plummeted by 42%.

Due to Tory cuts since 2010 when they took power, the number of fire safety inspectors has fallen by 28%. Meanwhile, nearly 50 councils have used unregistered fire risk assessors to check if their buildings are safe.

One hundred and twenty-eight councils responded to Freedom of Information requests about their fire risk assessors, with 46 saying they had used at least one unregistered assessor since 2010. Of these, 23 said that none of the assessors they had used since 2010 were registered.

And there are hundreds of council towers across the country with the same Grenfell-style flammable cladding, which still, even 19 months after the fire, have not been stripped and re-clad safely.

We can’t wait a year for the Grenfell Inquiry to resume. The criminals must be made to stand trial now. It is the Tory Kensington and Chelsea Council, and the Tenants Management Organisation who put the cladding up, Rydon the company that did the refurbishment, and the Tory government that has closed ten fire stations in London, axed 552 firefighters’ jobs and got rid of 14 fire engines in the capital that are responsible for the deaths of 72 people in the Grenfell Tower fire. This is a Tory government that boasted of a ‘bonfire of the regulations’.

German politician justifies murdering Rosa Luxemburg

This 15 January 2019 video says about itself:

Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht inspire the left to this day. They both founded the Spartakusbund (which eventually became the Communist Party) in 1916 calling for the overthrow of the German government [of Emperor Wilhelm II] and the end of the war.

By Peter Schwarz in Germany:

German SPD politician justifies murder of Rosa Luxemburg

18 January 2019

Although the SPD

The social democrat party in Germany.

Recently, United States sociologist Stephanie Mudge said there were three phases in the ideas of social democrat leaders: first, aiming to replace capitalism with socialism. Second, trying to improve things for the working class within capitalism with Keynesian economic policies and a welfare state. Third, giving up on Keynesianism and the welfare state, replacing it with Thatcherism-Reaganism-Clintonism-Blairism. That third phase, Ms Mudge said, may prove fatal for these parties.

About 1900, in the German SPD there was a ‘reformist’ right wing, thinking socialism might gradually and smoothly replace capitalism by legislation. Maybe a few capitalist individuals would grumble a bit, but that would be all. The revolutionary left wing in the SPD, represented by, eg, Rosa Luxemburg, thought things would go less smoothly. At least a general strike would be needed to reach socialism.

The Socialist International, including socialist parties all over the world, decided at its 2007 and 2012 congresses that, if war would threaten, the working class should stop it by a general strike.

In 2014, World War I threatened. Hundreds of thousands of peace demonstrators in Germany and elsewhere tried to prevent it.

Nevertheless, the right-wing leadership of the SPD decided to support Emperor Wilhelm II’s war; similar to right-wing social democrats in other countries. While Emperor Wilhelm’s government jailed anti-war socialists like Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. Jailed them; not killing them yet. That would happen after the war, in 1919 when Emperor Wilhelm’s government had been replaced by an SPD government.

continues to officially dispute its complicity in the murder of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht a century ago, Wolfgang Thierse, former president of the federal parliament, recently explicitly declared: We would do it again. The two revolutionary socialists and co-founders of the German Communist Party were brutally murdered one hundred years ago, on January 15, 1919, by Freikorps soldiers who were in close contact with the SPD Reichswehr Minister Gustav Noske.

Thierse gave an interview to the Leipziger Volkszeitung on January 14 about the commemoration of Luxemburg and Liebknecht, which he described as a “dishonest honour.”

Asked whether the Social Democrats bore a portion of the blame in January 1919, Thierse answered, “There were radicalised elements among the workers. They had to be defeated by force of arms. It remains a painful episode, also in retrospect, but we know that the path that was then taken was the better one.”

According to Thierse, Germany after the November Revolution was divided between “radical forces who wanted something like the Bolsheviks in Russia, a revolution, and the moderate Majority Social Democrats, who said, we first need to win peace, we must ensure that the people don’t starve, that some sort of orderly relations exist.” In retrospect, one can say “that the moderate forces were right in not relying on a brutal revolution that would have resulted in a dictatorship, but instead working for democracy, the rule of law, and the social state.”

In summary, Thierse is saying that the suppression of uprisings by revolutionary workers, which claimed thousands of victims, and the execution of their leaders were necessary steps to secure democracy, the rule of law, and the social state. This is an incredible falsification of history, which can only lead one to conclude that Thierse and the SPD, confronted with similar conditions, would do exactly the same today as they did then.

The SPD government of Friedrich Ebert, Philipp Scheidemann, and Gustav Noske from 1918–19 did not defend democracy, but rather the authoritarian state, militarism and capitalist private property. They protected from the raging revolution all of the social forces that would assist Hitler to power 14 years later—the military caste, the big landowners, the industrialists Stinnes, Flick and Krupp, the Deutsche Bank, and the authoritarian judiciary and police apparatus. To this end, they organized the Freikorps, which carried out several coup attempts in subsequent years and went on to serve as the basis for Hitler’s paramilitary Stormabteilung (Storm Detachment, SA).

The concessions the SPD was forced to make in the process—a bourgeois constitution, universal suffrage, the eight-hour day, etc.—were purely tactical and were withdrawn at the first opportunity. The Weimar democracy was never more than an empty shell, which collapsed at the first signs of social unrest. Numerous serious historians, including those who oppose a socialist perspective, therefore explicitly describe the policies of the Ebert government as counter-revolutionary.

As the well-known publicist Sebastian Haffner wrote in his book on the November Revolution published in 1979, “The German revolution was a Social Democratic revolution that was put down by the Social Democratic leaders; an episode that is virtually unparalleled in world history.”

In his new book on the 1918 revolution, Joachim Käppner comments on this remark: “Had the Ebert SPD used the mass movement instead of fearing it, driven the old military to the devil instead of allying with it, the Republic probably wouldn’t have collapsed in 1933, or at least wouldn’t have fallen into the hands of the Nazis—according to Haffner’s train of thought, and it is difficult to disagree with his logic.”

Leon Trotsky summed up the character of the November Revolution in the concise formula, “As to the German Revolution of 1918, it was no democratic completion of the bourgeois revolution, it was a proletarian revolution decapitated by the Social Democrats; more correctly, it was a bourgeois counter-revolution, which was compelled to preserve pseudo-democratic forms after its victory over the proletariat.”

In the founding programme of the German Communist Party, Luxemburg noted that the Hohenzollerns [imperial dynasty] overthrown on November 9, 1918, were “no more than the front men of the imperialist bourgeoisie and of the Junkers. The class rule of the bourgeoisie is the real criminal responsible for the World War,” she continued. “The capitalists of all nations are the real instigators of the mass murder.”

On this basis, she concluded that the world war had confronted society with two alternatives: socialism or barbarism. She went on, “The World War confronts society with the choice: either continuation of capitalism, new wars, and imminent decline into chaos and anarchy, or abolition of capitalist exploitation.” Her warning was to be tragically confirmed by Nazi rule, the Holocaust, and the Second World War.

The 75-year-old Thierse is a powerful voice in the SPD. He grew up in East Germany, and began his political career as a civil rights activist during German reunification with the New Forum. Shortly before reunification, in the summer of 1990, Thierse became leader of the SPD in East Germany. He was subsequently deputy leader of the German SPD until 2005, and a member of its commission on basic values until 2013.

Between 1998 and 2005, Thierse played an important role as president of parliament in enforcing the agenda of the SPD-Green Party government, including foreign military interventions, the Hartz social welfare reforms, and the Agenda 2010. The bearded Catholic and spokesman for the Christian Working Group within the SPD was capable of bestowing a lofty moral aura on the reactionary policies of the Schröder-Fischer government.

The fact that Thierse has now openly attacked Luxemburg, instead of trying to distort or co-opt her as others have done, is an unmistakable sign of the SPD’s further shift to the right. Despised by workers and reduced to 14 percent in the polls, the SPD is preparing once again to brutally suppress social opposition in alliance with the most reactionary forces.