Big pro-peace, anti-Trump demonstration, Brussels, 7 July


This 24 May 2017 video from Brussels, Belgium is called Thousands Protest Trump Before NATO Summit.

That 24 May 2017, there was a big demonstration against the militarism and other wrongs of Trump and NATO, organized by the Trump Not Welcome coalition in Belgium.

This year, on 7 July, they will have a similar demonstration, when Trump will probably be at a NATO conference again.

From their Internet site:

Protest March

Make Peace Great Again

7 July 3 PM – Brussels North Station

Trump will probably visit our country on 11 and 12 July for a NATO summit. On the agenda: more defence expenditure by all NATO countries, including Belgium. The Trump Not Welcome Platform calls on everyone to reclaim the streets on Saturday 7 July. We refuse to participate in this arms race at the expense of poverty reduction, social protection, the fight against climate change, humane refugee policies, and a diverse society based on solidarity. Will you join us?

Come to Brussels on Saturday 7 July, and say ‘No’ together with us to Trump, his politics, and that of his European counterparts. Let us jointly give a message:

For peace

Against the purchase of new fighter jets and the militarization that Trump and the NATO want to enforce. We want to invest our tax money in education, health care, the climate, and international solidarity! For a world without nuclear weapons!

For a liveable world

It’s outrageous: lignite plants are reopened, and iodine tablets are distributed to protect us against the cracks in the nuclear power plants. We want a solidarity-based and decisive climate policy for a sustainable future.

For a tolerant society based on solidarity

Racism, sexism, intimidation, criminalization of those who seek refuge from war and of people who open up their houses out of solidarityRights for which the struggle started long ago are under attack. We stand up for the rights of all people, based on the principles of equality and solidarity.

For social rights

For the interests of the 99%. No to the politics of self-enrichment of governments that are governed by and for the richest 1%. We’re fed up with austerity measures. Time to invest in our society.

Join us on Saturday 7 July and let your voice be heard. Let us show that we stand united for a peaceful and sustainable future based on solidarity. United we stand!

Speeches and program to be confirmed.

Meeting point: Railway Station Brussels North at 3 PM

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Brazilian military killing civilians


This video says about itself:

14 May 2018

In Brazil, a soldier killed a civilian on Saturday evening in a favela in the north of Rio de Janeiro.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Riots in Rio after civilian shot dead by military

RIOTS took place in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday night after a civilian was shot in a military operation, with human rights organisations calling for an end to the killings.

A man was shot dead after he allegedly refused to stop his motorbike at a military roadblock in the north of the city, according to an army report.

His death sparked riots in Villa Militar, with buses torched and clashes with Brazilian security services.

Rio has been under military control since February after President Michel Temer’s right-wing coup administration ordered the army to move in to supposedly curb violence.

However, human rights groups and charities say that more than 200 civilians have been killed between February 16 and April 15, with two left-wing politicians among the dead, including activist Marielle Franco.

Mr Temer has been accused of targeting the poor and Brazil’s black community, with ousted former President Dilma Rouseff saying the military intervention was designed to create an enemy.

“In Brazil’s case, it is poor black people who live in periphery neighbourhoods … It’s not white people who live in Ipanema nor in Leblon”, she said.

Belgian Brabant Killers and far-right, new information


Brabant killers, Belgian police poster

Translated from Dutch RTL TV:

May 12, 2018 06:20

New trail in investigation of the notorious Brabant Killers gang

The police team that is investigating the infamous Brabant Killers gang may have found a new trail.

Investigators have this week heard a witness who is said to have recognized the prominent gang member ‘the giant’ on a composition photo, report the Belgian newspapers Het Nieuwsblad and Het Laatste Nieuws.

According to the [ex-soldier] witness, De Reus is the 63-year-old former army officer Michel Libert. Libert [then the witness’ commanding officer; working at NATO headquarters in Evere] is said to have recruited him in 1979 [when the new witness was 17 years old] for the extreme right-wing organization Westland New Post (WNP). He took part in training camps and, at the request of the organization, burglarized an army barracks to steal material, the newspapers write. In 1981 he broke with WNP [because it used swastika signs, according to the Nieuwsblad report]. When shortly afterwards newspapers wrote about the crimes of the Brabant Killers, he recognized what he had learned in WNP.

Libert was in 1983 and in 2014 also a suspect in the investigation of the gang. …

28 dead, culprits were never caught

In the early eighties, the Brabant killers committed a series of thefts and robberies at supermarkets, killing 28 people. The perpetrators have never been caught.

Last year someone else reported that he claimed that his (now deceased) brother was the ‘giant’.

Trump supporter also nazi supporter


Racist graffiti in the USA

From The Forward in the USA:

Pro-Trump Group’s Policy Adviser Praises Nazis: They Should’ve Kept ‘Going’

May 10, 2018 By Alyssa Fisher

A policy adviser for the pro-Trump group America First Policies praised Nazis in December and shared his disappointment that they didn’t “keep f—-ing going,” according to video obtained by Mediaite.

Juan Pablo Andrade reportedly expressed his appreciation for Nazis at the conference of Turning Point USA, a fast-growing college and young adult conservative group.

“The only thing the Nazis didn’t get right is they didn’t keep f—-ing going!” Andrade can be heard saying in a Snapchat video posted by alt-right activist Cæsar Svbervi.

In the video, Svbervi talks about a car that hit people protesting the Turning Point conference, saying, “This is the car that hit the f—-ing protester. She smashed that b—-, that is awesome!”

Andrade worked on Trump’s National Hispanic Advisory Council, Trump’s National Diversity Coalition and the Trump campaign as a surrogate. He writes for The Hill as an opinion contributor and has shared his political opinions on NewsmaxTV, CNN Latino, and Univision. Additionally, he worked for TPUSA as the group’s Florida field director in 2015 and led the group’s informal Latino caucus in 2016. He was featured on the 2017 30 under 30s of Newsmax and Red Alert Politics, which are power lists compiling prominent young conservatives in America.

Polish Jewish socialist Szmul Zygielbojm’s suicide in 1943


Szmul Zygielbojm

By David Rosenberg in Britain:

Friday, May 11, 2018

History: ‘Perhaps by my death I shall help break down the indifference’

Seventy-five years ago, Polish Jewish socialist Szmul Zygielbojm killed himself in his London flat in an effort to draw leaders’ attention to the plight of Poland’s Jews. DAVID ROSENBERG tells his story

“MY COMRADES in the Warsaw Ghetto perished with their weapons in their hands … It was not my destiny to die as they did, together with them.

“But I belong to them and in their mass graves … perhaps by my death I shall help to break down the indifference of those who have the possibility now, at the last moment, to save those Polish Jews still alive from certain annihilation…

“I wish that the surviving remnants of the several millions of Polish Jews could live to see, with the Polish population, the liberation that it could know in Poland, in a world of freedom and in the justice of socialism.”

The above quotes are an extract from a handful of suicide letters, left on a table in his London flat 75 years ago, by Szmul Zygielbojm, a Polish Jewish socialist, when he knew that the Ghetto Revolt had been extinguished.

His letters, addressed to allied leaders, the exiled Polish government and close political associates, made clear that his action was a political protest. He addressed one more letter to his landlady apologising for the distress he would cause her.

Zygielbojm, a factory worker at the age of 10, a glovemaker from 12, had been a councillor in Warsaw and Lodz, secretary of the Metal Workers Union, and represented Jewish trade unions in the Federation of all Polish Trade Unions.

When the nazi occupiers had instructed Jewish community leaders to build the ghetto walls, Zygielbojm told a large gathering of Jews not to go voluntarily into the ghetto.

The Gestapo demanded he attend “an interview”. His comrades hid him, obtained false identity papers and sent him to western Europe with a mission to reveal to world leaders the fate of Jews under nazi occupation and demand extraordinary action to rescue them.

From March 1942, until he took his own life, aged 48, in May 1943, Zygielbojm lived alone in London, representing the Jewish Socialist Bund in the exiled Polish National Council.

For 14 months, he bombarded political leaders, diplomats, the press and trade unions with first-hand information from the ghettos collected through underground resistance networks.

In a BBC broadcast in June 1942, he spoke of “Jews in the ghettos who … see their relatives dragged away en masse to their death, knowing only too well that their own turn will come.”

At a Labour Party protest meeting at Caxton House in September 1942, he revealed horrific details of the nazis’ first use of poison gas in carrying out mass murder. In just seven weeks, he declared, 40,000 Jews in Chelmno had been herded into vans and gassed as they were driven to mass graves in the forests.

The Warsaw Ghetto revolt began on April 19 1943. The nazis’ plan to liquidate the ghetto and kill or deport its remaining 30,000 inhabitants was blocked for three weeks by an astonishing guerilla campaign waged by 220 Bundists, communists and left-wing zionists aged between 13 and 40 years, using smuggled and improvised weapons.

On May 8 1943, most of the surviving fighters were holed up in a bunker beneath 18 Mila Street at the heart of the ghetto. The nazis threw in tear gas to force the occupants out.

Most of the fighters, including their commander Mordechaj Anielewicz, killed themselves rather than allow the Nazis to murder them.

Around 40 fighters, though, escaped through a rear exit into the sewers, emerging outside the ghetto seeking hiding places or heading to the forests to link with partisans.

The day the revolt began coincided with the Bermuda Conference at which British and US politicians and diplomats met for 11 days but failed to agree any plans to rescue Jews or offer sanctuary to refugees. Zygielbojm received this news as a bitter blow.

On May 11, when he knew for certain that the ghetto revolt had been crushed, he wrote his suicide letters and, that night, he ingested poison in his Paddington flat.

At that moment, Zygielbojm believed that his closest family in Poland had all been exterminated, but one son, Joseph, had fought as a Red Army partisan, survived and settled in the United States.

Seventy-five years on, Szmul Zygielbojm’s extraordinary story still remains relatively obscure, largely for ideological reasons.

It casts an uncomfortable shadow over the manner in which Britain’s military objectives were defined and prioritised. Civil servants dismissed his evidence as exaggerated. His calls for action were ignored by military and political leaders alike as the rescue of Jews undergoing genocide in Poland was not a war priority. Three million of Poland’s 3.3 million Jews were exterminated.

But what of the Jewish community? The movement which Zygielbojm represented, the Bund, was secular, socialist, internationalist and committed to Yiddish culture.

It demanded full equality for all minorities and urged Jews to strive for equal rights wherever they lived. It opposed all nationalism, especially territorial nationalism, and strongly rejected zionism.

In Zygielbojm’s last personal letter in April 1943 to his brother Fayvl, who had escaped from Poland before the war, he excoriated zionists for “exploiting the Jewish tragedy for their political ends”, paraphrasing their spokespersons: “Another 100,000 Jews murdered. Give more money for Palestine.”

Zionism had been a small minority opinion within overwhelmingly working-class Jewish communities everywhere before the second world war, finding more traction among middle-class Jews.

The Holocaust and the appalling aftermath, where survivors languished in displaced persons camps with no country wanting to take them, engendered understandable sympathy for those trying to get refugees to Palestine.

As zionist ideology became more popular among post-war Jewish communities whose class position was shifting, non-zionist and anti-zionist Jews were increasingly marginalised.

Zygielbojm’s story did not fit the post-war consensus established by Jewish communal “leaders” that emphasised the precariousness of diaspora and redemption and security through Israel.

By the 1960s, teachers in Jewish schools and youth leaders alike were elevating the role of zionist ghetto fighters and airbrushing out Bundists and communists. They drew a false line between ghetto resisters in 1943 and Israel’s independence fighters in 1948.

They forgot Zygielbojm and ignored his fellow Bundist Marek Edelman, second-in-command in the uprising, who survived and stayed in Poland, where he affirmed: “We fought for dignity and freedom, not for a territory nor for a national identity.”

Zygielbojm was cremated in London, though his ashes were later interred in a New York cemetery of the Workmen’s Circle, a Bundist-inspired friendly society. A Zygielbojm monument stands there.

Bundist refugees in Canada established a similar monument in a Montreal park. There is a striking tribute to Zygielbojm in Warsaw, along a route “of Jewish martyrdom and suffering” through the former ghetto area.

Here in London, in 1993, a small group of Bundist survivors joined forces with younger members of the Jewish Socialists Group to campaign for a plaque in London.

It was finally unveiled in 1996 by Polish Ambassador Ryszard Stemplowski and Zygielbojm’s daughter-in-law Adele, a survivor of nazi slave labour camps, who came from the United States with her sons for a ceremony attended by nearly 200 people.

At a reception after the unveiling, Zygielbojm’s grandson Arthur said: “People are still being exterminated today because of an accident of birth. Because they are identified with one ethnic group or another.

“His death is not resolved. His message is still unanswered. His cry is not silent.”

Arthur’s brother Paul affirmed that “Szmul Zygielbojm’s labour and sacrifice were not for the Jews alone… amid his anguished pleas for the salvation of a people, he wrote of his belief that a better world would come … a world of freedom, justice and peace.”

We can only speculate what Szmul Zygielbojm would have made of Poland today, where pluralistic and forward-looking Jewish communities are once again growing in 15 cities on Poland.

But they do so in an atmosphere in which all minorities are feeling increasingly threatened by menacing far-right movements who draw confidence and encouragement from a government dominated by the Law and Justice party that indulges in open anti-semitism and Holocaust revisionism, Islamophobia, anti-Roma and anti-refugee racism.

Our own government is directly linked with the Law and Justice party through the Conservative and Reformists group in the European Parliament.

We and our Polish sisters and brothers have work to do!

The Zygielbojm plaque is on the corner of Porchester Road and Porchester Square, Paddington opposite Porchester Hall/Paddington Library, London W2.

Zygielbojm plaque