Donald Trump’s unwelcome visit to Britain


This February 2017 video from Texas in the USA says about itself:

Anti-Trump protesters gather near The Galleria on Feb. 3 to protest Trump’s executive orders and immigration policies.

Video by The Signal reporter Edwin Vega.

By Chris Nineham in Britain:

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Now it’s serious: Why taking on Trump matters

AFTER two false alarms, this time he is coming. We shouldn’t underestimate what an important political moment this is.

Donald Trump has been a disaster for the US people. He has slashed social security and Medicare, ramped up the military budget, cut taxes for the rich, hounded immigrants and re-energised the politics of white supremacy.

He is threatening abortion rights, tearing up environmental regulation and a whole spectrum of anti-discrimination policies. He is dragging the country backwards.

But Trump has had a terrible international impact too. He has pulled out of the Paris climate change agreement, the only one going.

He has escalated militarily in the Middle East and Afghanistan, ramped up Nato’s presence in eastern Europe, scrapped the Iran nuclear deal, provocatively declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel and generally brought a crazed, confrontational approach to foreign policy that raises eyebrows even among neocons.

You know things are bad when a defence secretary widely known as “Mad Dog” Mattis is playing a restraining role in the White House.

Two things are particularly worrying about Trump’s foreign policy. One, it appears to be driven largely by domestic concerns to keep his hard right evangelical Christian constituency on board.

Second, in Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, Trump has now managed to pull together a foreign policy team that is as extreme as he is.

All this at a time when the US is facing challenges to its global dominance. With Trump at the helm the risk of big power war is greater than at any time for decades.

More generally, the presence of such an open racist and xenophobe in the White House has helped legitimate far-right ideas and movements around the world. Trump is a hero to the growing number of Islamophobic and fascist leaders and movements in Europe and beyond.

It is a badge of pride that Trump has pulled out of two previous visits to Britain. He has admitted this was because he feared being confronted by protesters.

Now that he is coming we need to deliver the biggest possible turnout. Large numbers on the streets of London will send a signal around the world that millions regard him and his policies with utter contempt and that it is possible to mobilise on a mass scale against him. If we stop Trump coming to London, that will be a victory in itself.

But there are other domestic reasons why the protests matter. Above all they give us a chance to turn up the heat on Theresa May’s government at a time when it is desperately weak and when the left feels too quiet.

May has backed Trump in most of his misadventures. She joined in the recent, pointless gesture-bombing of Syria and is aiding and abetting the US-backed Saudi war in Yemen. She is supporting his call for increased military spending in Nato.

At home, her government’s attitude to immigrants may not be promoted with Trumpian flourish, but it shares many essentials.

May and Trump have similar hellish visions of a low-wage, low-tax, privatised future too. On both counts May is deeply unpopular.

The anti-Trump demo is an opportunity for everyone who opposes austerity and racist immigration policies to take a stand.

Finally, a big anti-Trump turnout will be a great response to those trying to organise an anti-Muslim far-right in Britain. It is our chance to express solidarity with the Muslim communities in Britain and show that the majority reject the Islamophobic politics of hate.

Preparations for the protests are going well. The two biggest groups that organised against Trump last time he threatened to come are now collaborating as Together Against Trump.

This means there are a huge range of trade unions, campaigns, community groups, politicians and celebrities behind the call for a national demonstration assembling at the BBC at 2pm on Friday July 13 and other protests during his time in Britain.

New groups keep getting in touch wanting to organise feeder marches and blocs including a Stop Trump party, with some of the world’s biggest DJs, that is feeding into the march on Friday July 13.

Given the level of contempt for Trump and everything he stands for in Britain, we should be looking at very big and lively protests. That depends on what each of us does from now to get the word out.

We have just over a month. Let’s give Trump a reception he won’t forget and the world can’t ignore.

Chris Nineham is vice-chair of the Stop the War Coalition.

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United States government theocratic xenophobia


This video from the USA says about itself:

Rev. William Barber: Jeff Sessions Using Religion to Justify Family Separations Is “Biblical Heresy”

15 June 2018

More than 300 Catholic bishops have blasted the Trump administration’s immigration policies, calling for an end to the separation of migrant children from their parents and condemning Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s policy of ending the right of domestic violence survivors to seek asylum in the United States.

On Thursday, Sessions quoted the Bible to justify his department’s immigration policies. Sessions was speaking to an invitation-only crowd in Fort Wayne, Indiana. “I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes”, stated Sessions. Critics seized on his reference to Romans 13, noting it was a favorite passage of defenders of the Confederacy used to justify slavery. We speak to the Rev. William Barber.

Ukrainian taxpayers’ money to violent neonazis


This 2012 video is called Ukraine far-right Svoboda party anti-Semitism.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Friday, June 15, 2018

Human rights groups condemn Ukraine over its funding of nazi militias

HUMAN rights groups in Ukraine hit out today after it was revealed that nazi militias involved in brutal and violent attacks against minorities have received cash from the government.

A report published on YouTube by the Ministry of Youth and Sports showed officials voting to fund the far-right Svoboda party along with the violent neonazi C14 group via grants for “national-patriotic education projects”.

In the C14 name, the C alludes to C18, the (originally English, later international) neonazi terror gang Combat 18. In which 18, the first and eighth letters in the alphabet, stands for ‘AH’=Adolf Hitler. The 14 in the C14 name stands for the ’14 words’, a racist neonazi slogan.

In a statement on its website the ministry admitted that, while it does not directly finance any public groups, including the far-right, it does fund the projects of those groups.

“Through project contests, budget funds are allocated solely to support the implementation of projects of public organisations”, it said.

The government refused to respond to questions regarding C14, which won its funding bid to host a children’s summer camp and a series of festivals.

The group has engaged in violent homophobic and anti-Roma attacks, including the burning of a camp in Kiev in April.

Freedom House Ukraine director Matthew Scharf criticised the selection process.

“It shouldn’t be too difficult to add another criterion to grant selection — not implicated in or publicly approving of violence”, he said.

Freedom House is an organisation, financed by the United States government with close links to the United States establishment. Usually, it only criticizes people or countries which have conflicts with the United States establishment. It did not criticize United States allies like the Uzbekistan dictatorship which boils dissidents alive, because the Uzbek government helped the United States war on Afghanistan. Rarely, like in this case, it criticizes allies like the Ukrainian government or right-wingers.

‘Stop deporting refugees to Afghan war’


This video says about itself:

Desperate journeys: Afghan refugee children suffer from malnutrition

4 November 2016

Aid workers in Greece are increasingly concerned about Afghan refugees who are hiding from the police. They’re refusing to go into official camps, because they’re worried they’ll be deported under a deal between the European Union and Afghanistan.

Some refugee children are suffering from malnutrition.

Al Jazeera’s Laurence Lee reports from the Greece-Macedonia border.

From Dutch NOS TV, 15 June 2018:

Afghanistan unsafe, NGOs argue against deportation of refugees

Large parts of Afghanistan are unstable and unsafe, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs writes in an official report. This is important for the immigration authorities’ assessment of asylum applications by Afghans. …

Corruption, a climate of impunity, ineffective government and a weak constitutional state combined with the often unsafe situation mean that the Afghan authorities are generally not able to protect the population against violence”, says the report.

Irresponsible

Twelve human rights and children’s rights organizations, so-called NGOs, want the Netherlands to stop deporting refugees to Afghanistan, they emphasize in response to the report. “It is irresponsible to continue with the deportations.”

“This puts many lives, including those of children, at great risk,” says director of the Dutch Council for Refugees Dorine Manson on behalf of the twelve organizations. They includes Unicef ​​Netherlands, Oxfam Novib and Save the Children. A third of the victims of last year’s attacks were children.

Nearly two-thirds of asylum applications by Afghans were rejected last year. The Netherlands is therefore harsh compared to other countries in Europe. The European average is just over half.

London Grenfell disaster anniversary


Writing tributes on the memorial at the base of Grenfell Tower yesterday

From daily News Line in Britain:

Friday, 15 June 2018

GRENFELL ANNIVERSARY

‘WE WANT the nation to keep Grenfell in their consciousness, member of the Justice4Grenfell campaign group Yvette Williams said on the anniversary of the tragic fire which claimed the lives of so many men, women and children.

Masses of people gathered at the base of Grenfell Tower yesterday morning to unveil a mosaic, and next to the mosaic was a board on which people wrote tributes to all of those who had died. Why are we allowed to build high-rise buildings with a single staircase? It is sheer madness. It is not allowed anywhere else in the world except for Great Britain’, Arnold Tarling, Fire Safety Expert said on the first anniversary of the Grenfell Fire.

He continued: ‘The stay-put policy in that property, had there not been the changes made to it, replacement of the cladding, replacement of the fire doors with plastic fire doors, the stay-put policy would have worked. The firefighters had never been in a situation like this before. They are not responsible. If they had advocated evacuation, the stair cases were full of highly toxic gas, because the air extract was not working.

‘You have one person tripping on that staircase, everybody else goes on top, you would still have huge numbers of people dying, they might have got a few more now. In the past, the stay-put policy had worked, but because of the changes that we got in materials and design and alterations, the stay put should be reviewed and removed. We should have two means of escape for every building. There are lots of people who are trying to play down the problems that we have in construction. And it is not just social housing, it is around the building industry.’

It emerged yesterday that out of the 159 tower blocks with the same flammable cladding as Grenfell Tower, to date only ten had been re-clad, meaning that thousands of families are still living in fire traps.

‘French police abusing refugee children’


This video says about itself:

People Without Papers: How France Handles Its Refugees

1 December 2017

People Without Papers: Despite dwindling publicity, France remains a major destination for thousands of refugees in Europe’s ongoing migrant crisis. This report investigates their plight, as they face police evictions and general hostility.

“I came here to France but I experienced unspeakable problems on my way here”, says 24-year-old Afghan refugee Mustafa. “I have made an application for asylum, and the French government told me to wait for 18 months”, he says. There are many like Mustafa for whom French asylum remains a distant reward. In the meantime, rough sleeping and evasion of a frequently brutal French police, using tear gas and shooting rubber bullets, are a daily peril for those fleeing war.

“The methods that the French police are using are criminal”, says a ‘Help Refugees’ volunteer. Following the destruction of migrant camps, many are left without shelter. “No house, no tent, no nothing”, says Kurdish refugee Zirack, sifting through a deserted camp in the woods. “It’s a big problem for all children. But what can I do? It’s my country’s problem. I can’t stay in my country because my country’s a big, big problem“. For many of the migrants stuck in limbo throughout the camps, the prospect of a better life in the UK means risking all to cross the Channel.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Oxfam: French police are mistreating migrant children

The French border police mistreats migrant children physically and emotionally, forges their papers and puts them on trains to Italy illegally. This is what Oxfam Novib writes in a report. The organization says that children are locked up in cells without food, water or blankets before the police return them. They are also not assigned official guardians.

The organization writes that this concerns refugees and migrants from crowded Italian shelters, which France sends back to Italy. The French authorities are accused of forging the ages of the migrants and pretending that the children want to return to Italy.

Examples of abuses in the report include cases where agents cut off the soles of children’s shoes and of how policemen steal the SIM cards from phones. They also write about an Eritrean young woman, who is said to have been forced to walk 40 kilometers on an unpaved border road to Italy, with a six-week-old baby on her arm.

Children, women and men fleeing persecution and war should not be victims of mistreatment and neglect by the French and Italian authorities“, says Evelien van Roemburg of Oxfam. “People who want to apply for asylum in a country where their family resides are constantly being thwarted.” …

The Oxfam report coincides with tensions between Italy and France over the Italian refusal of a ship with migrants. The French president Macron calls the migration policy of the new Italian government cynical because of this.

On this point, President Macron is correct. However, what about Macron‘s own police?

USA: Attorney General Jeff Sessions and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders both cited the Bible on Thursday to justify the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their families at the southern border: here.