More refugees drowning in Mediterranean than ever

This video says about itself:

EU played regime change games and is now drowning in refugees

14 March 2016

It’s been five years since the start of the Syrian war and just over a year since Europe, which called for regime change in Syria at first, has been choking from a refugee crisis. The EU has no plan on how to deal with the problem they helped create and they cover their weakness with bureaucratic statements.

From the United Nations Refugee Agency:

Mediterranean death toll soars, 2016 is deadliest year yet

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson William Spindler – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today’s press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

By: William Spindler | 25 October 2016

UNHCR is alarmed at the high death toll being seen this year among refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean. Already, and with two months of 2016 still to go, at least 3,740 lives are reported lost – just short of the 3,771 deaths reported for the whole of 2015. This is the worst we have seen.

United States police kill pregnant Native American woman

This video from the USA says about itself:

Pregnant Woman Shot By Police During ‘Wellness Check’

24 October 2016

Renee Davis was pregnant when she was shot and killed by police officers, during a ‘wellness check.’ Cenk Uygur, Grace Baldridge, and Hasan Piker, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

“Washington woman who was five months pregnant was shot and killed by King County Sheriff’s deputies Friday night on Muckleshoot tribal lands. Now her loved ones want to know why.

The dead woman’s former foster sister Danielle Bargala told the Seattle Times that Renee Davis, 23, had struggled with depression and mental illness before her fatal run-in with police on Friday.

“It’s really upsetting because it was a wellness check,” said Bargala, who is a Seattle University law student. “Obviously, she didn’t come out of it well.”

A relative of Davis called the sheriff’s department on Friday after receiving an alarming text from the mother of three. Police records show that officers responding to a call about a potential suicide encountered a woman with a handgun and two small children in the house when they arrived at 6:30 in the evening.

What happened next, Bargala said, is still in question, but at the end, Davis — who was an avid outdoorswoman of Native American heritage — lay dead of gunshot wounds. The children, 2 and 3 years old, were unharmed. Davis’ third child, a 5-year-old boy, was at a neighbor’s house.”

Read more here.

‘Structural sexual abuse in Dutch Roman Catholic Church’

This video says about itself:

Catholic Church’s systematic abuse cover up in USA

16 November 2014

The Pope [John Paul II] played a leading role in a systematic cover-up of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

24 October 2016

The [Dutch] Roman Catholic Church has paid victims of abuse cases so far nearly thirty million euros in damages, reports daily De Limburger.

A complaints committee that investigates the abuse in the Catholic Church received 3678 reports of abuse. …

Certainly three hundred people have had to deal with exceptionally serious abuse. They will be compensated up to 100,000 euros.

Structural abuse

Stevens, chairman of the complaints committee, says in De Limburger that most provincial superiors of religious orders will pay the compensation. “Two or three provincial superiors do not want to pay. We are still working on a solution.”

According to Stevens one may speak of structural abuse in the Church. “Not all church officials have done wrong. But the fact that there are so many perpetrators does justify to speak of structural abuse at that time.”

Paul Robeson, African-American anti-racist singer, new biography

This video from the USA says about itself:

The Tallest Tree: Paul Robeson, Part 1

22 May 2016

The life of Paul Robeson, a black actor with universal talent and appeal. Languages, Law, Sports, Singer, Movie Star and Activist.

This video is the sequel.

By Tom Sibley in Britain:

The tallest tree in the forest

Monday 24th October 2016

Gerald Horne’s excellent account of the towering legend that is Paul Robeson tells the story of a performer and activist who supported many progressive causes and the struugle for a new world order, says TOM SIBLEY

Paul Robeson: The Artist as Revolutionary
by Gerald Horne
(Pluto Press, £12.99)

THE AFRO-AMERICAN polymath Paul Robeson (1898-1976) was the son of a slave who, as a young man, was a brilliant athlete and an outstanding student with a degree in law.

By the 1930s, he had become an internationally known concert-hall performer whose deep bass baritone voice was recognised and revered across every continent.

He played Othello on the London stage and Broadway to critical acclaim.

He was the leading man in six major films including How Proud Was Our Valley, the story of the Welsh miners’ fight for jobs and communities in the 1930s.

He went to Spain in support of the republican government and the International Brigades in their struggle against international fascist military aggression.

And, above all else, he campaigned for his own people — black Afro-Americans so often denied civil rights, persecuted and always super-exploited by big business and the state.

Robeson explained his motivation when speaking to a packed Albert Hall on returning from Spain. “Every artist, every socialist must decide now where he stands… every artist must elect to fight for freedom or slavery.”

As Horne reminds us, Robeson chose to fight for freedom. While referring to the slave trade, he explained to his London audience that “the history of the capitalist era is characterised by the degradation of my people.”

In this period, and up to the deepening of the cold war in the 1950s, Robeson was indeed the “tallest tree in the forest.”

But, as Horne points out, he was not the only outstanding civil rights leader.

He was supported through good times and bad by leading figures in the movement, particularly Ben Davis and William Patterson, Communist Party leaders from the Afro-American community who were the two most foremost influences on Robeson’s political thinking and activity.

By the early 1950s, the cold war had really kicked in and Robeson became one of its first victims. His increase in attacks on institutionalised racism — Jim Crowism — together with his strongly expressed admiration for the Soviet Union were too much for the US authorities to bear.

When Robeson linked racism, imperialism, capitalism and colonialism with the threats that they posed to world peace and human survival, the ruling class took steps to shut him up.

His passport was confiscated on the grounds that his criticisms of the maltreatment of Afro-Americans should not be aired outside of the United States. Robeson was not to get his passport back for eight years.

Throughout the 1950s, Robeson faced constant harassment from the CIA, FBI and the McCarthyite House Committee on Un-American activities, before which he appeared on three occasions.

While Robeson retained his political integrity and refused to make concessions to nationalism and anti-Sovietism, the unrelenting attacks by the state and the media took their toll.

His opportunities to campaign were severely limited as many black organisations and most of the labour movement, consumed by cold war anti-communism, broke their links with Robeson.

Perhaps more importantly, his health was badly affected as his isolation from the mass movement became more marked.

And doubts grew in his mind about developments in the Soviet Union, particularly those related to anti-semitism and repression of political opponents by party and state.

He found it increasingly difficult in these circumstances to recover from a range of ailments.

Yet, through all this, Robeson remained loyal to the working-class and anti-racist movements, at home and abroad.

He was a socialist and internationalist to the end of his days and, as Horne emphasises, you cannot understand the successes achieved by the civil rights movement in the US during the 1970s and 1980s without an understanding of Robeson’s life.

He truly was the precursor of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, as both leaders came to accept the class basis of racism in their later years.

The mass civil-rights movement which emerged in these years owes much to Robeson’s work in the previous four decades.

The exhibition Paul Robeson: Black Star, exploring his status as one of the most important film stars of the 1930s and 1940s, runs at the BFI Southbank in London until October 31, details: