European Union Internet censorship, video


This 5 April 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

EU Clamps Down on Freedom of Speech in name of Copyright Protection

Julia Reda of the Pirate Party warns that the law does not protect creators, but large interest groups. Internet platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter will install filters and ban access to material individuals upload who do not buy the rights for everything they use.

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More European Union, Australian government internet censorship


This 20 December 2018 video says about itself:

Article 13 – Is this how Europe will censor the net?

With Article 13, the European Union are about to make massive changes to a fundamental part of society (the internet) without clearly comprehending what they’re doing and this is incredibly frightening. This is like a bad first draft of a bad proposal. This is not just “this is a bad bill that went through a comprehensive process and I disagree with it.” This is an utter mess. It keeps shifting, it has vague and contradictory definitions, it tells companies to wave magic wands, and tells companies not to let the very thing the law compels actually happen. This is not regulating. This is why the public hates regulators.

By Justus Leicht and Johannes Stern in Germany:

European Union intensifies internet censorship

27 March 2019

Two months before the European elections, the European Parliament has voted to massively escalate internet censorship. Yesterday, the majority of MEPs voted in favour of a directive which, under the guise of copyright reforms, would enforce the use of so-called upload filters in social media, thus further restricting the internet.

According to Article 17 (formerly Article 13) of the Directive, internet platforms must now ensure that works protected by copyright are not uploaded without permission. This could only be enforced through upload filters, which automatically filter and censor content. The consequences are clear: internet giants such as YouTube and Facebook, which cooperate closely with the secret services and governments and already censor left-wing and progressive content on a massive scale, are being urged to delete articles, videos or other postings even before they are uploaded.

So far, platforms such as YouTube and Facebook have had to delete copyrighted works from their sites as soon as they receive a complaint. According to Article 17 of the new directive, operators must ensure that copyrighted works are not uploaded without permission. Alternatively, they must seek licences for the material uploaded by third parties and, in principle, develop mechanisms to prevent works from being made available in the first place where the rights holders have proven their claims.

In practice, given the amount, variety and speed with which new content is uploaded, this could only be achieved by automatically scanning and filtering all content in advance. Anyone who inserts images, excerpts from texts, videos or music to their own content, or modifies such content to create new content from it, can fall victim to the upload filters just as much as someone actually violating copyright law. In addition, upload filters can be politically manipulated so that, for example, texts or videos that are directed against austerity, militarism and war, report on labor disputes and strikes or contain terms such as socialism or “Marxism” are censored.

None of this is the result of an oversight, but is the real purpose of the “reform”.

The European governments and giant tech companies fear growing social opposition and are already censoring left-wing and progressive content on a massive scale. Facebook regularly deletes accounts that oppose war and police violence. In Germany, tens of thousands of posts have been deleted since the so-called Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG) came into force. Google, in consultation with German government circles, has modified its search algorithms in order to suppress left-wing and progressive websites—including, above all, the World Socialist Web Site.

Faced with the “Yellow Vest” protests in France, the mass protests in Algeria and the growth of class struggle internationally, the ruling class is feverishly seeking ways to suppress all independent opposition. Already last autumn, the EU agreed to intensify internet censorship and threatened opposition parties with sanctions and punishments. This most recent authoritarian measure has been pushed through in direct opposition to the expressed will of the population.

On the weekend before the vote, more than 100,000 across Europe took to the streets against the new directive and the infamous upload filters. More than 40,000 people demonstrated in Munich on Saturday and more than 10,000 in Berlin. Further protests took place in Malmö, Helsinki, Amsterdam, Bucharest, Krakow, Lisbon and Thessaloniki. An online petition on change.org, “Stop the censorship machine—Save the internet”, was signed by more than 5.1 million people. Last Thursday, the German Wikipedia site went offline for a day in protest.

Immediately after the vote on Tuesday evening, spontaneous demonstrations with several hundred participants each took place in Cologne, Karlsruhe, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Dresden and Leipzig. Further protests are planned for the next few days. The directive must be approved by the European Council before it can officially enter into force. According to media reports, this will take place in a vote on 9 April.

The MEPs who voted against the reform—including the majority of SPD, Linkspartei and Green MEPs from Germany—fear above all the growing radicalisation among students and young workers. Julia Reda, a member of the Green/European Free Alliance (EFA) parliamentary group, warned that the directive would “rob an entire generation of confidence that politics will represent the interests of the population.”

In fact, the vote showed that all the establishment parties support censorship and the construction of a European police state. Representatives of all factions—from the … Liberals (ALDE), Social Democrats (S&D) and Conservatives (EPP and ECR) to the extreme right (ENF and EFDD)—voted in favour of the new censorship law.

In implementing their reactionary plans, EU politicians are resorting to bald-faced lies. A few days before the vote, conservative European politician Daniel Caspary (CDU) denounced the anti-censorship protests in the Bild newspaper as “bought demonstrators” who would “endanger democracy”. EU Justice Commissioner Věra told Netzpolitik that upload filters and short deletion periods for online platforms could have prevented the right-wing terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand and the radicalisation of the perpetrator.

Dr Ms Jourová: the self-styled fascist mass murderer of Christchurch was not ‘radicalized’ by lack of censorship; but by face to face metings with Australian extreme right people; British extreme right people; French extreme right followers of Marine Le Pen; Austrian extreme rightists; and extreme right fellow members of his Christchurch gun club. And by hate speech by politicians like the most powerful man of the world, Donald Trump, ‘leader of the free world’. And by the never ending wars, with Islamophobia and anti-Semitism as poisonous byproducts, promoted by the corporate media.

She wanted “100 percent certainty” that “terrorist content… would not remain on the net.”

Such statements turn reality upside down. It is not the internet and demonstrators who are responsible for attacks on democratic rights or the radicalisation of right-wing terrorists like Brenton Tarrant, but EU politicians like Jourová herself. She is a member of the Czech governing party ANO 2011, which advocates a restrictive immigration policy and denounces Muslim refugees as potential terrorists. How openly and shamelessly leading European politicians are tying in with Nazi traditions was demonstrated by a statement made by the head of the conservative EPP parliamentary group, Manfred Weber (CSU), at the beginning of 2018. “The central European issue” was “the final solution to the refugee question”, he declared.

One year later, European governments openly consider fascistic methods to implement their reactionary policies. Ahead of protests by the “Yellow Vests” last weekend, the Paris military governor announced that the soldiers of an elite unit were ready to open fire on demonstrators with live ammunition if necessary.

Workers and youth must draw the necessary conclusions. The struggle against internet censorship—as well as the struggle against social inequality, fascism and war—requires a political struggle: that is, the mobilization of the international working class on the basis of a socialist program.

This December 2017 video says about itself:

20 Video Games That Are Banned or Censored in Australia

From start to finish, Australian games are suffering from heavy conservative censorship in the name of protecting everyone, even adults. This doesn’t make sense at all. Nanny state and conservative values has been running rampant in Australian society.

By Oscar Grenfell in Australia:

Australian government exploits fascist atrocity in New Zealand to push online censorship

27 March 2019

The Liberal-National Coalition government … is cynically using the March 15 fascist massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand to escalate long-standing moves to censor social media and suppress political discussion.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison summoned the Australian representatives of major social media companies, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, to a meeting in Brisbane, where he outlined a series of draconian measures aimed at forcing them to rapidly remove content.

Morrison flagged legislation that would compel the platforms to delete whatever the government deems to be “abhorrent violent material”. It would be a criminal offence for the companies to fail to comply with a government directive, punishable by massive fines. Financial penalties would increase, based on the length of time that the material was publicly viewable.

In an unprecedented move, the government has also stated that the legislation, which is still being drafted, will contain provisions for the criminal prosecution and potential jailing of social media executives and office holders who do not obey its dictates.

Following the meeting, Attorney-General Christian Porter declared that the response of the social media representatives had been “thoroughly underwhelming”. “There was unfortunately nothing in that room that would discourage the government from looking at a legislative solution to try to ensure that much, much quicker action is taken”, Porter stated.

All of the official parties and the corporate press have presented the proposed measures as an attempt to stop “hate speech” and prevent the public being exposed to “offensive” and “violent” material. They have cited the dissemination on social media platforms and websites of the Livestream video of the shooting produced by the fascist terrorist Brenton Tarrant.

These claims are a lie. They are aimed at covering up the responsibility of the political establishment and all of the major parties for the Christchurch attack and utilising the massacre to crack down on the democratic rights of ordinary people.

Tarrant’s attack was not the product of free speech or the internet. The Australian-born fascist was a highly conscious political operative with links to extreme right-wing networks in Australia and across Europe. His political outlook, based on murderous hostility to immigrants and an intense hatred of socialism, mirrors the nationalism and jingoism that has been promoted by Australian governments and all of the official parties for decades.

For the past 30 years, … governments have transformed Australia into a world model for the persecution of refugees fleeing imperialist war and oppression. They have vilified asylum-seekers, while detaining them indefinitely in concentration camps in the Pacific.

The major parties and the press have demonised Muslims since 2001, as part of the bogus “war on terror”, aimed at legitimising predatory US-led military interventions and erecting the foundations of a police state. They have stoked nationalism and anti-Chinese xenophobia to divide and disorient the working class amid a deepening social crisis produced by their pro-business policies, and to legitimise Australia’s integration into US preparations for war with China.

Morrison himself was installed as prime minister in a political coup within the Liberal Party last August, spearheaded by far-right forces. He and his colleagues have sought to transform the Liberal Party into an alt-right-style movement, modelled on Trump and based on extreme nationalism, xenophobia …

In reality, the calls for a crackdown on social media are directed against the mass opposition of workers, students and young people to the ruling elite’s agenda of war, austerity and authoritarianism.

Since 2017, the major social media companies, working in collaboration with the US intelligence agencies, have introduced a series of algorithms to dramatically reduce traffic to socialist, progressive and anti-war websites. Facebook and Twitter have deleted hundreds of pages and accounts exposing US wars and military intrigues, and the domination of official politics by the banks and corporations.

Morrison has made clear that his government’s measures are of a piece with these international efforts to suppress freedom of speech online. In the immediate wake of the Christchurch attack, he floated the possibility of a ban on all social media livestreaming.

This would prevent ordinary people from broadcasting significant social and political events and airing their views to a live audience online. Livestreaming has been used in the US, Australia and internationally to document police violence and state attacks on protests and to broadcast political demonstrations to a global audience.

Even if the government legislation does not ban live-streaming, statements by senior Coalition ministers have signalled that it will be used to crack down on political opposition. It is entirely possible, for instance, that footage of police attacking ordinary people or prison guards brutalising detainees could be deemed “abhorrent violent material” and proscribed.

Moreover, the threat of financial and legal penalties is clearly intended to pressure the social media companies, which are already implementing online censorship, to carry out the broadest removal of content, including to protect their own lucrative operations.

Already, in the immediate aftermath of the Christchurch attack, major Australian internet service providers blocked access to websites which had hosted Tarrant’s video, even if they had subsequently removed it. …

These measures will inevitably be followed by attempts to suppress left-wing and progressive pages and opposition from the working class. Morrison, and Peter Dutton, the minister for home affairs, set the stage for this, by declaring last week that it was necessary to oppose “extremism” of the “left” and the “right”.

A federal Senate hearing on social media in November last year underscored the real target of online censorship.

Journalists from corporate media outlets, including Chris Zappone, the online foreign editor for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age, warned that social media threatened “social cohesion” and was fuelling “growing distrust between the population—the citizens—and the leaders of that country.”

Dr Michael Jensen, of the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, a government-funded think tank, said that online discussion would likely be used to weaken “the Five Eyes alliance”—the international surveillance network led by the United States, which monitors the communications of millions of ordinary people and is integral to the preparations for war. He warned of online support for Julian Assange, who is being persecuted for his role in WikiLeaks’ exposure of US war crimes, mass spying and illegal diplomatic intrigues.

The drive by the entire political establishment, in Australia and internationally, to social media censorship and other authoritarian measures, underscores the importance of the International Coalition of Socialist, Antiwar and Progressive Websites, initiated by the World Socialist Web Site in 2017 to fight back against these attacks on freedom of speech and democratic rights.

Australian government sets global precedent with online censorship bill: here.

Egyptian singer Sherine banned for criticizing dictatorship


This 1 February 2019 music video is Egyptian singer Sherine Abdel-Wahab singing Hobbo Ganna.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Ban on singing for Egyptian singer after criticism of censorship

Egyptian singer Sherine Abdel-Wahab is no longer allowed to perform in her own country after she said that there is no freedom of expression in Egypt. At a performance in Bahrain, she said she could say what she wanted there,

This may be true for that one performance by Sherine. However, another female singer was harassed sexually by the king of Bahrain himself. A Bahraini young poetess was tortured by the king’s daughter for writing a poem critical of oppression. Bahraini doctors and nurses were tortured for trying to heal patients. Etc.

but that anyone who talks freely would end up in prison in Egypt. The singer, known as Sherine in Egypt, also presents the Egyptian [TV] version of The Voice.

The [government aligned] Egyptian Union of Musicians immediately banned singer Sherine from performing, and called on her for an interrogation. A lawyer who has often prosecuted celebrities on behalf of the government has filed charges of defaming Egypt. …

Last year, Sherine also ran into problems when she said the Nile was polluted. A six-month prison sentence was dropped on appeal. …

Since he [dictator Sisi] is in power, many politicians and artists have been imprisoned or exiled.

Students strike for climate, today, tomorrow


This 22 January 2019 video is about a big Youth for Climate demonstration of striking students in Brussels, Belgium.

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, Facebook corporation has censored (deleted) the Instagram account of Youth for Climate in the Netherlands.

Their march of striking students, starting today at 1pm at the Dam square in Amsterdam, will go ahead.

This tweet says that on 25 April, there will be another Dutch students’ pro-climate strike.

By Ceren Sagir in Britain:

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Students ‘alarmed’ by government’s lack of action on climate change

School students across Britain to strike again on Friday to demand the government acts to prevent environmental devastation

… More than 100 towns and cities across the country will take part in the action on Friday to urge the government to declare a climate emergency.

Students from the Youth Strike 4 Climate movement during a climate change protest on Parliament Square in Westminster, London, England last month

By Bryan Dyne in the USA:

The Youth Climate Strike and the fight against global warming

14 March 2019

Hundreds of thousands of students and young people are expected to take part this Friday in a worldwide Youth Climate Strike to protest the inaction of governments on the issue of climate change. That the international demonstration has evoked a broad response is an indication of both the serious nature of the ecological crisis and the radicalization of youth all over the world.

The strike is the culmination of a series of international protests that began last August after 15-year-old Greta Thunberg began picketing the Swedish parliament every Friday. Since then, students and youth, some as young as 12,

or: as young as ten

have organized weekly walk outs, protests and strikes in many parts of the world. Friday’s demonstrations, which will be the largest to date, will take place in more than 1,200 cities in at least 92 countries across six continents—including in Australia, Brazil, China,Great Britain, India, Iran, Italy, the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Somalia, Sweden and the United States.

The protests have expanded amidst a series of reports indicating that global warming is accelerating, and that the destruction already caused by climate change from hurricanes, heat waves, droughts and other extreme weather events will become qualitatively more catastrophic as early as 2040. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned that the measures taken by governments to halt global warming are so much empty bluster. It estimates the potential economic damage from unabated climate change to be between $54 and $69 trillion worldwide.

Perhaps the most tragic consequence of global warming is the creation of so-called “climate refugees”, those forced to permanently flee their homes as a result of climate change-related disasters. The United Nations estimates that 210 million people worldwide have been displaced since 2008, and that up to one billion will be displaced by 2050.

The student strikes reflect the politicization and left-ward trajectory of a generation that has come of age in a world of unprecedented social inequality, ongoing environmental degradation, growing state repression and expanding imperialist wars.

Polls consistently show a left-ward movement of young people and growing support for and interest in socialism. Central to the perspective of genuine socialism is the understanding that there is not a single social problem confronting humanity—from climate change, to poverty and unemployment, to authoritarianism and war—that can be resolved except through the political mobilization of the international working class in a revolutionary movement to overturn capitalism and establish a society based on social need, not private profit.

The objective basis for such a revolutionary movement is beginning to emerge in the growth of the class struggle internationally, beginning in 2018 and escalating this year.

Mass protests and strikes in the past several weeks have paralyzed the Algerian government. Protests in Belgium, France, Germany, Portugal and Sudan have erupted against pro-business austerity and the victimization of refugees. Workers in different parts of Iran have been regularly striking for 15 months. Tens of thousands of autoworkers in Mexico have been on strike since January, and tens of thousands of teachers in the United States have gone on strike this year … . Students themselves are joining in these struggles, particularly in support of teachers and to defend public education.

It is to the working class that young people must turn, not to the corporate politicians and government institutions. …

The track record of every international agreement and climate summit shows that none of them are capable of solving the crisis posed by climate change. They are ultimately dominated by the major corporations, which are responsible for global warming in the first place. Any measures that are adopted, such as carbon emissions trading, are thinly veiled mechanisms for these companies to continue business as usual—and even turn the poisoning of the environment into a new source of speculative profit.

The urgent measures needed to address climate change require a major reorganization of economic life on a global scale. The framework of energy production has to be transitioned from one that uses fossil fuels to one that relies on renewable energy. This, in turn, requires an international effort, involving a massive influx of funding for infrastructure, the development of current technologies and the investigation of new ideas.

All such measures come into conflict with the nation-state system, the basic political framework of capitalism, which itself has become an intolerable brake on the development of the world economy. They also collide with the foundation of capitalist exploitation of the working class—private ownership of the means of production and production for profit. As long as a handful of billionaires dominate society, with every aspect of economic life geared to their personal enrichment, not a single social problem, including climate change, can be solved.

This makes the solution to climate change an inherently class question and a revolutionary question. It is the working class that will suffer the brunt of the impact of global warming. It is the working class that is objectively and increasingly defining itself as an international class. It is the working class whose social interests lie in the overthrow of capitalism and the abolition of private ownership of the means of production, which will open the way to the establishment of an economic system based on the satisfaction of human need, including a safe and healthy environment.

This is a Catalan tweet supporting the students’ pro-climate strike.

This is an Italian tweet about the students’ pro-climate strike.

Facebook ‘s Zuckerberg wants more internet censorship


This 7 March 2019 Canadian TV video says about itself:

Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg’s privacy-first claims get a reality check

Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg says his platform will shift its focus to privacy. We talk to industry experts to give those claims a reality check.

By Kevin Reed:

Mark Zuckerberg’s “Privacy Manifesto”: A brief for intensifying Internet and social media censorship

12 March 2019

On March 6, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg published a statement entitled “A Privacy-Focused Vision for Social Networking” on the Notes tab of his personal page. Widely described as a “manifesto”, the document is a brief for ending the mass public exchange of ideas on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, as well as across the Internet as a whole, under the guise of “protecting privacy”.

The manifesto begins with Zuckerberg emphasizing that he is “taking positions on important issues concerning the future of the Internet”, not just social media. He says that he is “working openly and consulting with experts across society as we develop this.” In other words, Facebook—which has grown to 2.7 billion users across the globe and has a Wall Street value of nearly $500 billion—is working with consultants at the highest levels of the tech industry and US intelligence establishments to develop its plan.

The core of the new strategy is the idea that an open and public social media environment—where all users can freely communicate with one another and share each other’s posts—must be replaced by a structure of one-on-one private communication between individuals. As Zuckerberg wrote, “Over the last 15 years, Facebook and Instagram have helped people connect with friends, communities, and interests in the digital equivalent of a town square. But people increasingly also want to connect privately in the digital equivalent of the living room.”

A second aspect of replacing the “town square” with the “living room” is dispensing with the Facebook timeline feature of stored posts. He writes, “I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever.”

In sum, Zuckerberg’s proposal amounts to a gigantic about-face for Facebook. The company that was founded in the 2004 with the mission “to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together” will now be replaced by “a world where people can speak privately and live freely knowing that their information will only be seen by who they want to see it and won’t all stick around forever.”

Zuckerberg then elaborates on six technical and policy principles for putting the social media genie back in the bottle: private interactions, encryption, reducing permanence, safety, interoperability and secure data storage.

He makes clear that the new plan is being implemented on all of Facebook’s services and writes, “We understand there are a lot of tradeoffs to get right, and we’re committed to consulting with experts and discussing the best way forward.” He never gets around to explaining precisely what the “trade-offs” are that need so much attention.

After three years of continuous battering by the corporate media and Washington political establishment over “fake news”, unsubstantiated claims of Russian interference in the 2016 elections and numerous data privacy violations, Zuckerberg has dutifully drafted a plan intended to mollify his critics. However, from the standpoint of the ruling class, the real problem with Facebook is none of the above-mentioned transgressions.

The advisors that Zuckerberg is collaborating with—such as The Atlantic Council—are responsible for decades of false news, political meddling and mayhem in countries around the world and covering up public privacy violations. Meanwhile, the Wall Street valuation of Facebook is predicated upon the company’s ability to scrape social media profile information and tidbits of user behavior for sales and marketing purposes. Something much bigger and more threatening to the interests of imperialism and the stock market is behind Zuckerberg’s manifesto.

Under conditions where workers and young people around the world are using social media to communicate and organize their strikes and struggles—especially coordinating across industries and national borders—the ruling class has concluded that these open platforms are a significant menace and must be shut down as soon as possible. Thus Zuckerberg’s “trade-offs” involve a direct attack on online freedom of speech that he and his advisors must now repackage in the form of privacy protection.

Since Zuckerberg’s March 6 post, some in the corporate media have focused on skepticism that the plan can deliver on its ostensible goals. Others, such as Facebook critic Roger McNamee, have argued that the manifesto is a public-relations stunt designed to shore up investor confidence and push back calls for government regulation that would break-up big tech companies like Facebook, Google and Apple.

Nowhere in the official media response is there any connection drawn between Zuckerberg’s new vision and the blatant political censorship that Facebook has been engaged in for over two years. Under the guise of fighting “fake” accounts and implementing “harm prevention”, Facebook’s army of 30,000 censors and artificial intelligence bots have removed millions of user accounts and posts arbitrarily identified as inauthentic or misinformation.

As explained by the World Socialist Web Site in its Perspective of December 29, Facebook is today the global censor that decides what information is to be seen and read by billions of people all over the world. In particular, Facebook has specifically targeted accounts, pages and posts of a left-wing character, including those of writers of the World Socialist Web Site and members of the Socialist Equality Party.

The latest proposals from Zuckerberg are of a piece with these past practices. They represent a deepening of the collaboration between the tech industry—references to encrypted communications notwithstanding—and the military-intelligence establishment. Workers and young people should not accept the claims by Zuckerberg, the media or the political establishment that they will protect the privacy rights of the public. The new Facebook vision is part of ongoing efforts to track what people are talking about on social media and, at the same time, to prevent them from using the platform to organize and coordinate their struggles.

FACEBOOK CUTS ANTI-FACEBOOK ADS Facebook temporarily removed multiple advertisements from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign that called for breaking up tech giants, including Facebook. [HuffPost]

Facebook’s Data Deals [with Amazon, Google, Microsoft, etc., violating privacy] Are Under Criminal Investigation: here.

Most people who make changes to Wikipedia pages are volunteers. A few people, however, have figured out how to manipulate Wikipedia’s supposedly neutral system to turn a profit. Facebook, Axios and NBC took advantage of that and paid a guy to whitewash their Wikipedia pages. Here is Ashley Feinberg on how she got the story.

Government censorship means no Ukraine at Eurovision 2019


This 23 February 2019 music video from Ukraine shows the song ‘Siren song’ by ‘Maruv’, the stage name of singer Anna Korsun. With this song, Maruv won the Ukrainian final for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. Maruv was supposed to go to Tel Aviv in Israel for the international final.

However, then right-wing Ukrainian government politicians intervened.

According to them, the Ukrainian representative at the song contest should make far-right Ukrainian nationalist ‘patriotic’ propaganda. And Ms Korsun did not do that.

So, Maruv was banned.

According to Dutch NOS TV today, the consequence is that there won’t be any Ukrainian singer at the final in Israel.

Authorities asked other Ukrainian singers to scab as substitutes for Maruv. But they refused.

With less than two weeks left in the presidential campaign, the Ukrainian Interior Minister has mobilized against incumbent president Petro Poroshenko the very same far-right forces that were instrumental in the imperialist-backed 2014 coup that brought Poroshenko to power. Last week, Poroshenko, who currently sits in third place in Ukraine’s Presidential election polls, behind comedian and leading candidate Volodmyr Zelenskiy and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, was accosted by members of the far-right Azov Battalion-affiliated National Militia in the city of Zhytomyr during a campaign stop. In a photo that was widely shared on social media, Poroshenko was seen fleeing reporters and the far-right thugs while jumping through puddles in the street: here.

Ukrainian censorship of winning Eurovision singer


This 8 February 2019 music video from Ukraine is called MARUV – Siren Song (Lyric video) Eurovision 2019.

Well … Eurovision Song Contest 2019 … Ms Maruv did win the Ukrainian competition, so she was supposed to go to the international final in Tel Aviv.

However, then far-right Ukrainian ruling politicians intervened.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Ukraine must look for a new artist for the Eurovision Song Contest. The [Ukrainian] public broadcaster has withdrawn 27-year-old Maruv as their candidate after a fuss about her performances in Russia.

Immediately after her victory at the national qualifying round last weekend, several politicians said they did not want Maruv to represent Ukraine. As the singer sings regularly on Russian stages. Those performances are controversial

A commenter at Maruv’s YouTube video mentions that meanwhile, to Ukraine’s far-right warmongering billionaire oligarch president Poroshenko, the profits of his own businesses in Russia are not controversial at all; contrary to Maruv’s singing.

The singer and the public broadcaster sat around the table yesterday to come to a solution. Maruv offered to cancel her shows in Russia in the coming months. But that was not enough for the broadcasting authority, whom she accused of censorship.

“I am a Ukrainian citizen, who pays taxes here and I love Ukraine with all my heart”, she writes on Facebook.

One should hope that Facebook will not censor her now as well.

“But I refuse to parrot slogans and use my participation for the honour and glory of our politicians. I am a musician, not an instrument in the political arena.”

Patriot

The broadcaster states that the Eurovision participant is a cultural ambassador for the country and that the opinion of the Ukrainian people

Especially the opinion of rich oligarchic people like Poroshenko

must be propagated. The Ministry of Culture takes that even further and says that “only patriots who are aware of their responsibility” should be allowed to participate in the song competition as long as “thousands of heroes die for the territorial integrity of Ukraine”.

Hey President Poroshenko and Poroshenko Ministry of Culture: if you have a few seconds time to listen in between your censoring of the internet and counting your profits from military weapons production and from tax dodging in Panama: then I will tell you that you might inspire far-right politicians in other European countries with your censorship.

Eg, ABBA won the Eurovision song contest with Waterloo. But they oppose the Danish extreme right abusing their music. And they are not members of the Swedish neofascist party ‘Swedish Democrats‘, as far as I know. So, not patriots at all according to extreme right standards. ABBA should give their Eurovision trophy back immediately.

Dutch Eurovision contest singers have sometimes been of African or Asian ancestry. Dutch racists don’t like that. How can they ever be real right-wing Dutch patriots? That kind of singers should be banned forever. Etc. [Sarcasm off]